Recently, a tutor messaged me: “please unsubscribe me. waste of time applying to your tuition assignments because I never got any.”
Frankly, it’s not a pleasant message to receive, not because we lost one tutor but because our motivation has always been to genuinely help tutors find more tuition jobs to supplement their income.
It is a fact that the demand for tuition jobs is usually significantly greater than the supply. However, here’s the truth – there are still tutors who consistently get ahold of well-paying tuition jobs.
How, you may ask? If you are a tutor who doesn’t get enough tuition assignments, it really is not a matter of market forces nor is it that tuition agencies are picking on you.
If you want to know how to consistently get more tuition assignments, I’d love to share with you my 5 tips from a tuition coordinator’s point of view on how you can get more tuition assignments as a home tutor. Ready? Read on.
1. Don’t omit requested information
Different tuition agencies may have different protocols, but most will have some form of template for you to fill in when you apply for jobs. There is absolutely no excuse not to provide the requested information when it’s clearly laid out in front of you.
This may sound painfully obvious, yet many tutors make this mistake.
For instance, if you’re familiar with SmileTutor, you’ll notice every job SMS we send ends with:
“Reply assignment code, mobile no, qualifications, experience, relevant grade(s), school(s) taught, rate & available timings and start date.”
If you want to consistently be successful when you apply for tuition assignments, you need to make it as easy as possible for the tuition coordinator to choose you out of the many profiles.
I don’t know about other agencies, but coordinators at SmileTutor handle 50-60 cases a day. Now, imagine you are one of our coordinators and receive the following two applications:
Which would you choose? So remember step one – don’t omit requested information!
2. Match the job’s requirements
So you’ve got all essential information down and have been applying for jobs… but still no luck. Perhaps the reason is because you are not applying for suitable tuition assignments in the first place!
Case-in-point: If a P6 student has 4 months to their examinations and is looking for a tutor to “Start immediately” and you decide to apply stating “Can only start next month after my holiday”, what are the chances you will get it?
Yes, I understand that many tutors would think that there’s still a slight chance to get accepted. That’s not untrue. The key here is that it’s important to be able to make a distinction between hard requirements and soft requirements. Hard requirements are seldom negotiable, which means that if you do not meet those requirements it would be best not to waste precious time applying for those.
To help you, here’s a list of hard/soft requirements
You can see that we have listed “Tutor Qualification” as hard. This means that, if a tuition job clearly indicates full-time tutors or ex/current MOE teachers and you’re still an undergraduate, don’t bother applying. Make better use of your time applying for other suitable tuition assignments!
3. ‘Beef’ up your profile
Knowing how to sell yourself is crucial. Amongst a sea of tutor profiles, the coordinator has to make a decision on who is the most qualified individual to recommend to the student.
Yes I know, most people aren’t super tutors with qualifications like Oxford degrees, Olympiad medals etc. And I’m definitely not asking you to lie as well. But be sure to build your own profile in a way that you present your strengths in the best way possible. If you scored C5 in a subject, do not include it. Instead, you should be focusing on subjects where you scored an A or B.
Make sure you list any qualifications you have clearly. List any awards (scholarships, bursaries, MOE improvement awards etc.) you received in the past, as well as all your relevant experience (teaching internships, tuition centre experiences, teaching cousins etc.) We can’t recommend a blank profile, so try your best to list something.
Another point to note is relevance. If you are applying for a mathematics assignment, it is meaningless to talk about your experience in English or Science. Make sure you edit each profile and application so that your application is succinct. This makes tuition agencies much more likely to recommend you.
4. Be a responsive, responsible and friendly person
I can’t speak for other agencies, but tuition coordinators at SmileTutor are trained to do our due diligence before recommending any tutor to our clients. Hence, we usually have to either call or SMS to potential tutors to clarify a few questions before we proceed with the recommendation.
It is crucial that you respond quickly in a cooperative manner providing us with the information we need. This shows us that you are a person that is not difficult to work with. Working with responsive tutors makes the tuition coordinator’s job 10x easier. The last thing tuition agencies want is a tutor that is unresponsive.
Also, do not ever flake out or suddenly go MIA (missing-in-action) at the last minute. There have been cases where tutors have given their word of agreement to take up an assignment and then later backed out saying “I just realized the address is too far” or “I just checked my schedule again and realized I can’t make it”. Such behavior often results in you leaving an extremely bad impression as you have just wasted the coordinator’s time. It destroys your credibility.
Lastly, remember that tuition coordinators are humans. It never hurts to be extra friendly and appreciative so that you can make a good impression. Having a good relationship with the coordinators will definitely help you to be hand-picked for more recommendations in the long-run.
5. Don’t give up, keep applying!
If you ensure that you don’t omit requested information, match the job’s requirements, ‘Beef’ up your profile, and behave like a responsive, responsible and friendly person, you have maximized your chances of being successful at applying for tuition assignments
The final step would be to not give up – keep applying!
Register as a tutor today and immediately start receiving direct SMSes for the newest tuition jobs. We bring more than 2000 new assignments each month, so if you’ve followed this guide, there’s no reason you can’t get 1 or 2 new students under your wing every month!