I received a phone call on Saturday morning from Canada. Had no idea who it was.
I ended up speaking at length with a freelance writer about the field of educational technology. She asked about the type of training that Instructional Designers receive in a masters program and we chatted about graduate schools that have competitive Educational Technology departments. We also talked about getting a job.
I’ve really thrown myself into the ring over the last five months, becoming active in new social networks and blogging on the regular. Call it brand-building, whatever it is I’m doing has a lot to do with my job prospects coming out of this masters program. Some things worked really well; others not so much. As I talked with Maria (the writer), I was able to organize some of my thoughts on the topic of getting a job in education technology.
Here is a list of things that have worked for me. As part one of two…or three…these ideas can get you headed in the right direction if you’re trying to market yourself. Hopefully one of these will be helpful to you.
Document your SkillsMost educational technology programs have an ePortfolio as a requirement for masters candidates, and for good reason! Have a clean, concise ePortfolio to showcase your work. It doesn’t matter what you can say you can make, only what you can show employers. In lieu of one of those “online portfolio-making” sites, use Weebly or Google Sites for a free place to host your ePortfolio.
Use multiple Forms of Social MediaThe varying social media platforms can help you see what’s going on at the world-level in ed tech. Twitter is a great micro-blogging tool and can really give you an insider view in the technology industry if you follow the right people. Be wary about Facebook, keep that network private for now. If you’re not on LinkedIn yet, you better hurry up. If you’re seeking professionals to network with, this hub should be on your list.Using multiple forms of social media will allow you to reach other professionals and enthusiasts who might not be on all of the networks. Use a formal picture as your avatar in your professional profiles. Smiling helps!
BlogIf you use a micro-blogging tool, you can make a blog. Many blogs I read have relatively short posts, while others have full-length articles. Starting this blog has dramatically increased my reach, and yours can too. Write on a few topics to attract a more diverse following. Check out WordPress and Blogger blogging tools, pick whichever you prefer the controls for. Pick a topic and just start writing. Starting is the hardest part.
Follow TrendsDepending on what your employment goals are, it will likely benefit you to stay up on the latest technology trends. If you’re already using Social Media, as mentioned above, this will probably already be happening. TechCrunch and Mashable are good places to start for popular tech news. Employers will be pleased to know that you’re aware of the latest goods. Many will demand it.
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