Sunday, February 7, 2010

Successful Techniques and Proven Strategies for Finding Online Teaching Work. (Part 6)

Be Prepared, Professional and Persistent!

Searching for online work requires a plan, perseverance, and organization. An adjunct instructor is both a teacher and a business person. Searching for work is part of the profession. In time you may develop a comfortable niche at a great school. However, to get started you need to keep searching for the right fit.
 

Adjunct Agility
 
As an adjunct it's likely you'll have multiple jobs with different deadlines. To build your career seek work at several schools. Prove your abilities and hope for additional classes.  Multiple schools provide multiple opportunities. Keep in mind the old adage: "Don't keep all your eggs in one basket."

Be Social

Many online jobs come from your network of friends and professional colleagues. This network starts when you are learning online line as a student. Seek like minded peers as the foundation for your professional network.

Now is the time to master online social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  These are natural ways for an online teacher to build a professional presence and connect with like minded teachers.  Most of your online work will come from your professional network. However, most first jobs come from the hard grind of applying for online work.

Dive into the Adjunct Pool
 

Take the time to research the schools where you want to work. Investigate the courses they teach online. If there's a good match for your talents proceed.  IF you have strong personal contact at the school of your choice, use it.  Other wise, time to dive into the Adjunct Pool.

Search the school's website for the adjunct application portal. Carefully fill out the application. Yes, data entry is tedious. Be persistent! This is one way to break in. It's also a way for schools to filter out applicants who don't have the determination to jump through the hoops.

Revise your adjunct pool applications every 4 to 6 weeks.  Just give them a touch. Add new information. Make minor changes.  This keeps the revision dates 'fresh' in the database.  You are fishing. Keep the bait fresh and apply to all the adjunct pools that fit your expertise. Getting a break could mean applying for dozens (100s?) of jobs.

Research + Customized Cover Letters = Interviews

Do your homework. 
  • Dig into the school website. 
  • Identify the courses that fit your skill set. 
  • Find the names and email addresses of the decision makers.  
  • Notice the names of the Colleges/Departments/Special Sections.  
Note the personal information and use it to compose a focused cover letter. You may improve your chances by going directly to the department head in the division that offers the classes you wish to teach. 

Send a short email with a formal introduction to the decision makers.  Compose a concise job hunting subject line for your email.  


  • Briefly list your Degrees and Subject matter expertise. 
  • Emphasize any online teaching or training you have. 
  • Mention the specific classes you have reviewed. 
  • Attach your well crafted CV

The key is to show the decision maker that you've taken the time to read their materials and investigate the school. (If you ask a question that is answered on the website you haven't done your homework.) 

You may get bounced back to HR. Or you might land a phone interview if you fit the immediate needs of the school.  

Get Organized


Blind copy (bcc) yourself on all job seeking emails.  Tag your email with keywords. Make it easy to search for your applications. You might build a spreadsheet to track your applications and correspondence. Also consider using job application management software:
Develop a method and maintain it!

Professional Response Toolkit
  • Make electronic copies of all your transcripts.  This is especially important for your most recent degree.
  • Be ready to provide official transcripts.  Most schools will require official transcripts at some point in the hiring process.
  • Develop a compelling Academic CV.
  • Maintain a professional E-Portfolio that shows what you know.
  • Write a short statement of your teaching philosophy.
  • Write a great cover letter and customize it for each application.
  • Have three professional references. Be sure to inform your references in advance with note that they may be contacted.
  • An online portfolio or teaching website you maintain regularly.
Read More about Finding E-Learning Jobs! 

Here are more articles about strategies for finding online work, and the kinds of preparation and paperwork you should be working on: 
  1. Where and How to Find E-Learning Jobs
  2. Finding E-Learning Jobs
  3. Finding Online Teaching Jobs: Are you a Online Teaching, Adjunct Instructor, K-12 Virtual Teacher? 
  4. E-Portfolios for Career Development: It's not just resumes anymore!
  5. Make Money Teaching Online 
  6. Successful Techniques and Proven Strategies for Finding Online Teaching Work