LinkedIn for Educators: The Ultimate Guide (Plus 8 Steps on How to Set Up a Winning Profile)
Most everyone has heard of LinkedIn, but not everyone uses it. Teachers especially struggle with it because LinkedIn is traditionally more of a recruitment tool, and most teachers stay at one school or in one district for more years than the average employee stays at a company.
However, LinkedIn can open the doors for more than a new job. The professional network also boasts a proud database of content geared towards the ever-changing workforce.
In addition to professional development, 94% of recruiters screen candidates via LinkedIn. This means that for your students, a presentable LinkedIn profile is pivotal, and what better way to learn than by example?
You can help your students conquer this new job search landscape by being an expert yourself. Bonus, you get to establish your own personal brand in the process.
What are the benefits of LinkedIn?
By connecting with industry professionals, you can be an intermediary between the industry and your students to help set students up with potential employers. Having an excellent profile is one thing, but being able to contact a company representative help push a résumé through the hiring process can make the difference between a “congratulations” and a “thanks for applying.”
Additionally, teachers have a distinct advantage in networking because they see so many students who go on to become industry professionals. Staying in contact with alumni through LinkedIn even opens doors to invite guest speakers to your classrooms. The more connected you are, the more opportunities you can give your students.
The benefit of having so many bright minds on one social platform is the wealth of knowledge available in any subject. By having direct contact with the industry’s latest posts, you can stay up to date on the latest policies, standards, trends and news, like this South African company who’s using maggots to engage in ‘nutrient recycling,’ doctors combating children’s fear of needles with virtual reality, and even the future of pizza delivery.
You can get instant access to the latest and greatest in your field by following the profiles of industry leaders and experts, or you can interact with them through LinkedIn’s Group feature. You yourself can become an industry expert by posting about activities you and your students have done in or out of the classroom. The best part is that everything you learn, from class activity ideas to industry news, can be passed on to your students.
A good teacher doesn’t just teach; they practice what they preach. When a student sees a teacher doing a project alongside them, it makes the task much less overwhelming and far more purposeful. Gain credibility in the eyes of your students by developing, adding to, or viewing your profile alongside them.
By displaying your experience and engaging with content written by experts, you can boost your visible competence and build credibility as a result. You also have the opportunity to create your own content without the hassle or commitment something like a blog would take.
Teaching isn’t always easy; you’re bound to have a not-so-great day every now and again. But sometimes all you need is a change in perspective. LinkedIn is packed full with motivational quotes, videos and graphics. These short snippets of positivity are great to show your students at the beginning of class to start everyone off in the right frame of mind.
You can build these mood boosters into news feed by following motivational influencers ABC Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavek, or by following the hashtags #motivation, #inspiration, #expertadvice, #dailywisdom, etc.
Social media for teachers can be a touchy subject. But unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn is professionally-oriented, so it is geared toward professional topics and interactions.
On top of that, most school districts have clear-cut rules in terms of social media behavior that are designed to help you know what and what not to do. Maybe you can’t follow or be friends or connect with current students for example. Whatever they are, you can use those rules as a guide to keep yourself safe, and when you combine them with LinkedIn, you can navigate the platform essentially worry-free.
Here’s how to do it.
We’ve compiled a downloadable checklist, and you can pass it along to your students too. Have any questions or suggestions for other teachers? Leave them down below!