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Going From A Scattergun To A Marketing Plan

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

After a recent class I taught, a young student (we will call her Beth) approached me and asked if I would spend a little time with her regarding her job search. She told me she had heard and read a lot of advice on this topic, but she wanted my opinion as to whether she was on the right path. After listening to what Beth had been doing, I can only say that it was a story I had heard many, many times before. She had basically thrown a wide net, applying to as many positions as she could find that somewhat applied to her certification and areas of other words, the "scattergun" approach. You know something? I bet I have heard this tale of woe a hundred times if I have heard it once! Now, for my true was exactly the same strategy I had used some 3000 years ago when I was looking for my first teaching job. Who knows, you might even be using that approach yourself. But the deal is; we just have no real plan of action; no attack strategy; no marketing plan. Perhaps then, this is a good time to look at a few better ideas and re-engineer how we market ourselves and conduct our job search. There is a lot of advice out there on this topic, but today I will examine just three concepts and offer them for your consideration. It's not too late. After all, this is the prime interview season!

Target your market! Simply throwing your name onto job boards,, or some other professional "fishing ground" is no way to secure the kind of position you want or find that solid professional fit. Statistically, the results of such activities in the teaching field are dismal at best. I suggest you begin with a more deliberate plan. Ask yourself a few questions to clarify the kind of school you think would be "ideal." What geographic area suits you? Do you want an urban, suburban, or rural setting? Do you want a larger or smaller school? Do you have specific school features that attract you? Such features might include things like grade-level teams, strong gifted and talented programs, block scheduling, and so forth. What is of most importance to you? Once you have these key school characteristics in mind, then you should begin your search. You can look on county websites, individual school websites, newspapers, or whatever common advertising sites are available in your geographic region. Do you know teachers or parents in any of your target areas? Talk with anyone who might be in a position to know of openings you might want. When you have identified the schools looking for a teacher with your credentials, you should then select those most in line with the priority characteristics you identified for yourself. They become your target market.

Get connected and build networks. You know something; I can hear some of you saying right now, "Gee thanks, but I've already done a lot of what you suggest and I pretty much came up with buptkis for schools fitting my profile and needing teachers." Yep, my friend; I feel your pain; same thing happened to me back in the day. what's that mean? We go look for a greeter's job at WalMart while we wait for good things to happen?! Gracious! No, we get off our dead duffs and begin marketing ourselves while we continue to search all of the above for a future opening. Perhaps we widen the search radius. Perhaps we knock off one or two of the lesser criteria. But most of all, we begin to widen our own exposure. A great way to market ourselves is to build a network of similar professionals and increase the probability of connecting with someone who can lead us to a great job opportunity. Get on a website such as, post your resume, write a philosophy statement, highlight a sample of your work, or post anything you think a prospective hiring officer might find of interest. Look through the site and link up with other professionals who might have a line to school officials or other contact people. These social networks have become one of the most powerful tools available in the job-search process. Once you begin to build your online network, you will be amazed at how many different people in your life know each other and can potentially provide great leads. Get hooked up and network, network, network!

Actively market yourself in the social arena. When other teachers or school officials know who you are, you have a distinct advantage if an opening occurs in that school or district. For this reason you should look for educational conferences, professional organizations, substitute teaching opportunities, or other ways to get into the company of educators from your target areas. You might also consider non-educational groups like Rotary or other civic organizations because these comprise local leaders who would be great additions to your network of friends. As you might have guessed, shut-ins, social misfits, and teachers living in mom's basement rarely get hired for anything. So, become a person who is actively out in the educational community; get your name and face known!

As you can see, my suggestion is for you to develop a comprehensive approach to marketing yourself and your skills. This approach needs to be viewed as an ongoing campaign; a job in and of itself. We need to outperform our competition. Most of that competition will be doing just what Beth and I did; send out a bunch of boiler-plated cover letters and resumes to anything and everything that even looks like a possibility. One might find a teaching job that way, but it's a hit or miss proposition, and finding that ideal job is less likely. The better approach is to define your marketing strategy, then work it every day until you find that great professional position you deserve. Now get moving!

My name is Robert W. Pollock. I am an educator, with over 34 years experience, a speaker, a consultant, and the author of 'Teacher Interviews. How to Get Them & How to Get Hired!. I have spoken to 1,000's of prospective teachers on how to interview and get the job. I have consulted with numerous schools around the country. Currently I am a professor of Education at Tusculum College, Knoxville, TN, where I also serve as the president of their alumni board. Order my book "Teacher Interviews: How to Get Them & How to Get Hired!" at:

Email me at:

Source: EzineArticles
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