From education to employment

Managing Your Online Presence to Land That Dream FE Job

Margaret Adams MA FCIPD, former college manager and staff development officer in FE

You were thinking – or was it just hoping – that you were going to get the job you recently applied for, but you didn’t. You don’t know why not, but you have some thoughts.

There could be many reasons why you are not working your notice right now. Some you have thought of, others you have not considered. Here are some questions to think about now.

They are related to how you manage an important aspect of your career: Your online presence.

Do You Have A Strong Online Presence?

Just think about your online profiles, for example, your LinkedIn profile. Are you proud of your profile? Would you be happy if a potential employer looked at your LinkedIn profile or any other online profile that you have?

Are ALL your online profiles up to date? Do you update them at least every three months?

If you think about everything you do online, does what you have written reflect well on you? If not, do something about it today.

Remember that, these days, potential employers do more that look at your application form and other material you submit when applying for a job. They look for you online. If you are embarrassed by what you have uploaded about yourself, change it or delete it.

If you are invisible online, which is even worse than having a poor online image, you just do not exist as far as many people are concerned, including some potential employers in FE and beyond.

Are You An Expert?

Take your time. Be careful how you respond. Do you have a specialism beyond your initial qualifications and one which others value?

Do people in college or in the training provider premises where you work see you as an expert in something? Are there issues about which every one seems to come to you for advice? Do you have particular skills and experience that your colleagues value?

You need to make sure you are good, or at least better than most people, in an area which interests you, and which is valued by employers. Then write about this subject or issue online. 

Join groups and forums linked to your specialism or area of expertise. Publish some of the things you write about on your blog, (you do have one, don’t you?) your FE Newsroom and on LinkedIn.

If you don’t have your own Newsroom on FE News yet, register here to start publishing content.

If you had an interview for a job, could you talk about HOW your specialist knowledge would be useful in the potential employer’s organisation or in the organisations of others?

If you present yourself well, a potential employer might be worried about your being snapped up by the competition (another FE or training provider).

Experts in relevant fields can often take their careers forward quite quickly. Therefore, choose a specialist area, develop your expertise and keep up to date with your specialism from now on.

Are You Becoming More Influential?

You can only become more influential once you have decided on the specialism you are developing. The obvious advice is to make more contacts. Seek out the right people to connect with on LinkedIn.

Be active on those online forums you have joined. Help others by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. Let others benefit from your expertise, so show them you can help them.

There is one successful international networking organisation that says: give to get.

It’s true and it works.

And The Next Job . . .

The online world is the place to make an impact. It is the place where you can do a lot to advance your career. If you haven’t done so, in the past, make an effort now to use all the online platforms that interest you to become more visible and promote yourself positively.

Show off your expertise and use what you say online as a means of helping you to get the next job you apply for.

Margaret Adams MA FCIPD is a former college manager and staff development officer in FE. She now writes books and articles to help professional people to be more successful at work. Find her work on Amazon.

Margaret Adams Newsroom Strap

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