Monday, February 15, 2010

Successful Techniques and Proven Strategies for Finding Online Teaching Work.

Successful Techniques and Proven Strategies for Finding Online Work.


Searching for online work requires a plan, perseverance, and organization.  An adjunct instructor is both a teacher and a business person.  Ongoing search for work is part of the profession.  This article will help you pursue your goals in a methodical and effective manner. 

As an adjunct, you'll have great flexibility as well as the responsibility for maximizing your own efficiency.  It's likely you'll have multiple jobs with different deadlines. This is a good thing.  Rather than have all of your work with one client, seek to diversify into many jobs. It's important to work with many clients because you are increasing your opportunities for new classes.  Another advantage of not having all your eggs in one basket is you protect yourself against the effects of loosing a job. 



Find the Jobs:

Many online jobs come from your network of friends and professional colleagues.  I've written extensively on the importance of networking. You should also be aware of what's available in your current place of employment. However,  you also need to pursue a more direct and generalized job search.

Find online instructors and look at their homepages.  Watch for links to their places of employment. Another approach is to use the following websites to find schools that are offering online programs.  From there click through to the school's homesite and begin investigating the programs and courses that they offer.

Places to Find Online Schools that may be hiring:







Websites and blogs that list online work:



Apply for work:

Craft an introductory email.  Be sure to provide information about your qualifications. Be sure to list the courses you are qualified to teach in your introductory e-mail.

Mention specific courses offered by the school you are applying to. Be sure to include the school's course numbers.  Make it seem that you are focused just on their school, even if you are applying to multiple employers.

Find your way to the Universities contact page. Follow the HR application procedures specified on each website, but take it a step further.  Include a cover letter detailing your qualifications and the specific classes your are qualified to teach. Include your Curriculum Vitae.  The problem with the standard 'HR' route is lack of visibility with the decision makers.  Your application could end up in a database or at the bottom of an unprocessed pile of forms. 

Double your chances bye going directly to the department level. You will need to research the academic heirachy of the departments that offer the classes you wish to teach. Find the email addresses so you can write the department chairpersons and school deans.

Send an email with a formal introduction to the decision makers.  Address them at Doctor (just assume they have a terminal degree). 

Be sure subject line of your email is consise and indicates you are job hunting.  Consider:  Seeking Online Position, Adjunct E-learning Professional, Referral, Online Teaching Position.

Bcc yourself on all applications.  Keep these copies organized. It may take months to ge a response, so be sue you have the history of correspondence organized.  Some compile a spreadsheet, other organized by file folders or tags.  Develop a method and maintain it!

Bcc the dean of the department when you write the department chair.  (Double cover your bases, it can't hurt.)

Be Prepared to respond quickly and professionally
  • Keep electronic copies of all your transcripts.  This is especially important for your most recent degree.
  • Keep on hand, the addresses you'll need to request official transcripts.
  • Have an updated and expanded curriculum vitae.  This is more than a one page business style resume.  Academic CV's should be complete and extensive.
  • A generic cover letter you can tune to the employer's interests.
  • A reference list.  Be sure to have at least three professional references. Also be sure to informA your references in advance with note that they may be contacted.
  • A list of the specific courses you want to teach at the university you are corresponding with.
  • An online portfolio or teaching website you maintain regularly.
  • A statement of your teaching philosophy. Write two tight paragraphs about how and why you teach.