How many times have you heard this phrase being pushed to you, but not receiving any updates afterwards? How many times have you applied for assignments, but still not assigned to even one successfully?
But why? My credentials are solid – A’s for the subjects that I am applying for, and I even have past tutoring experience! Why am I still not getting any assignments?
Don’t be disheartened, you will receive an assignment soon. Don’t stop trying!
Yes yes, your Tutor Profile is great.
However there are many other factors, some out of your control, that affect whether you get selected for the assignments. Parents, Agents, Rates, and your Tutor Profile, are the key determining factors that will be explained in the sections below.
“Alright! We will update you sho-JUST GIVE ME THE ASSIGNMENT.
4 in 10 Parents that requests a Tutor, choose to not engage a home tutor in the end.
With varying reasons such as: “changed my mind”, “confirmed another tutor from another agency earlier on”, to “found a relative to give tuition for free” – Parents are one of the main reasons for your demise.
At the end of the day, tuition is a Service-based business.
Just like how you browse through Deliveroo, foodpanda, and GrabFood to see which one of your favourite restaurants is currently accepting orders – Parents likewise can go to multiple agencies, multiple different platforms/connections to source for the Tutor that fits their exact criteria (mostly budget, which brings me to my next point).
We do get Parents that query us “why is XXX’s rate so high?” on the regular, for some tutors.
Parents are well aware of the average market rates for Home Tutors.
However, we do get the occasional tutors that apply for assignments well out of their range; $40-50/h for Primary-level assignments, with zero tutoring experience. How?
(Point #2 does not apply to Tutors with more than 2 years of tutoring experience)
We understand that some tutors only want to be assigned high-paying assignments from the occasional rich Parents. But honestly the chances are pretty low when you have 5 other tutors with equally, if not better Qualifications than you do.
On the bright side, tuition is also a slippery slope – once you begin, your rates can only go higher and higher as you have more tutoring experience.
We all have to start from somewhere, certainly not at the upper end! (See: How Much You can Actually Make from Giving Tuition)
Of course as much as possible we will push for higher rates, before negotiating and settling for lower rates – but we cannot help you if we are unable to justify your high rates when you have little to zero experience 😉
3. Tutor Profile
You can greatly improve your chances of getting selected by Parents by improving your Tutor Profile.
Remember the format that you have to copy/write manually every time you want to apply for an assignment?
We send the same thing to the Parent, albeit rephrased and formatted better.
Here are some tips you can use to improve your chances instantly:
1. For Qualifications: it is ideal to state number of Distinctions for O Levels & A Levels + relevant grades for subject you are applying for – Parents love numbers.
(e.g Qualifications: School – 7 Distinctions in O Levels, School – 5 Distinctions in A Levels. A1 for E/A Math, A for H2 Math)
2. For Experience: it is best to state number of years of tutoring experience. You can add in grade improvements as well for more credibility.
Usually we will help Tutors construct one when sending to Parents, however if the assignment has lots of applicants, we will just send exactly what you wrote to the Parent. (See: How Parents choose Tutors)
Imagine the Parent seeing this below. As the Parent, would you want to hire the Tutor?
Lee: 22 year old female NUS undergraduate
– Qualifications: ALevels
– Experience: taught Pri Math before
Agents also play a big part for the selection process. They are the ones directly liaising with the Parents, and would know what exactly the Parents are looking for.
Some Parents can be real picky, and have very strict requirements for their tutors (not the usual gender/race requirements only).
Usually this would filter out to a few tutors left – sometimes none, as their requirements are almost impossible to achieve. (See: 5 Signs You are a Problematic Parent)
Also, if there are 5 other applicants with the same background, qualifications and experience but with a significantly lower rate than you do, we will not send in your Tutor Profile to the Parent. (Of course, this only applies to tutors with minimal tutoring experience – less than 1 year)
There is no added benefit that you can provide compared to the other tutors whose rates are lower. Parents will always omit you from their choices anyway.
However the same works both ways – if the assignment has very little applicants, we can bump your rates up a bit ($5-10/h) depending on the Parent.
There are many other factors that lead to no response after “Alright! We will update you should the Parent wish to proceed.”
The factors below are more applicable for everyone – the points listed above mainly addresses Tutors with 0-2 years tutoring experience:
1. Nature of the assignment
Math assignments (Primary and Secondary level) are really popular.
We can have up to 20 applicants for these assignments, 30 if the location is very accessible, right by the MRT.
2. Parent’s preferences (in Special Request)
Most Parents have their preferences for the gender/race/type (Part-time/Full-time Tutor or MOE School teacher) of the Tutor.
If you do not meet their preferences – unless your Profile is really good, most likely you will not be considered by them.
3. Parent’s preferences (not in Special Request)
We also have some Parents that suddenly have their preferences after viewing Tutor Profiles; such as only want Full-time Tutors/MOE teachers, or only want females after further discussion with tutee.
One way that Tutors can secure more assignments through recommendations from the Parent (after the first assignment) is by adding value.
Tutors can also value-add to the tuition by providing additional tips on how to get through the Education system smoothly, such as tips for; “Secondary 3 Subject Combination Exercise“, “Tips for Choosing Schools“, “How taking Combined Science Almost Ruined My Future” and etc.
Some Parents may recommend you directly to their friends/relatives afterwards, allowing you to skip the Commission entirely (as it is not through the agency).