6 Ways for Teachers to Enhance Their LinkedIn Profile

Having a strong LinkedIn profile is equally as important as making a good, in person, first impression. After or even during conferences, workshops and other PD related events, many attendees use LinkedIn to stay in touch with the people they meet. A blank LinkedIn profile is a missed opportunity to showcase your professional expertise, and highlight information that can make meeting you more memorable.

1. Upload a headshot of yourself in professional attire

LinkedIn members with profile photos are 14X more likely to be looked at than those whose profiles lack a photo. Headshot style photos work best for LinkedIn profile pictures. It’s best to use a clear, recent photo in which you can easily be identified. Avoid photos of your pets, students, school logos or photos that appear to have others cropped out. Such photos will not do!

If you don't have any photos of yourself that meet the above requirements you can also take a #workselfie. Taking a work selfie is simple. You can sit or stand in front of a wall that is a solid color or take your photo in your office or classroom. Make sure there are no pictures or signs that may distract attention from your face. Take your selfie in a room that has a lot of natural light and avoid standing directly in the sun for your selfie. Your head and shoulders should be visible in your workselfie.

(See LinkedIn’s official guide on taking workselfie for more detailed instructions.)

2. Add a descriptive headline

Your headline should include popular keywords someone may include when searching for professionals with your career background. You can either simply use your job title or take things a step further by highlighting your teaching passions. Also be sure to include your location and industry in this section of your profile.

Good

Third Grade English Teacher | Nurturing the whole child

Physical Education Teacher

Middle School Science Teacher | Project-Based Learning Champion

Bad

Helping Children Learn

Sports teacher

Seventh Grade Teacher

3. Add a summary that highlights your experience & supports your career development goals

In your profile’s summary, you should highlight your key skills and teaching strategies of choice. If you are a science teacher focus on your STEM expertise. If you teach various subjects for specific grade levels, address the skills you’ve mastered with this particular student body. If your goal is to advance within the education sector then your summary should highlight your past accomplishments and illustrate your leadership potential.

4. Add your current position and at least 2 past positions

The description of your current position should be the most detailed. Don’t simply describe the school or program you work with. Also mention your role and any key results you’ve achieved in this position. For your past roles, a simple 1-2 line description of your work is ideal. 

You can also upload any photos  of student work, sample lesson plans or presentations that you’re particularly proud of below any teaching position. This will give your profile visitors deeper insight into your teaching style.

5. Rack up some LinkedIn recommendations

Let your talents shine through the recommendations of your peers. This will also make your job hunt easier whenever the time may arise for you to make a career change. Instead of sending separately stored documents containing recommendations to recruiters, you can simply direct them to your LinkedIn profile. Odds are your LinkedIn recommendations could’ve been a deciding factor for the job search manager who selected you from a pool of applicants.

6. Keep your Education section short and sweet

Unless you’re a recent graduate, there’s little value in listing your college activities and creating a long description of your academic program. Simply adding your college/university, dates, degree and field of study is suitable.

 

After following these 6 steps your profile will be complete! You can now move onto the fun stuff—whether that be finding and sharing job opportunities or professional development information! Let us know how you fared completing your LinkedIn profile and ask any lingering questions you may have in the comments below.

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Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.