Applying for online ESL jobs when you’re new to the industry can feel like entering a maze of possibilities, options, positives, and pitfalls. There are ways to make things less complicated however, and choosing a reputable, well-resourced agency such as TwoSigmas is certainly one of them. Below we discuss five advantages of an agency-led application as opposed to going it alone:
A more personalized and streamlined service catering to your needs and requirements
Unusual work hours? Children? A crazy traveling lifestyle which requires utmost flexibility? If your schedule is not as set and your life not as flexible as it once was, finding a job in the online ESL world can prove difficult, if not impossible. Most schools have requirements; you must work X amount of hours a week between certain times, or you will not be deemed eligible. This can be extremely daunting for people who have just entered the profession or are looking to transition from an existing job.
This is where an agency can come in extremely handy.
Armed with your background information - your likes, dislikes, requirements and circumstances - agencies such as TwoSigmas are in the best possible position to place you with a company that works around the aspects of your life which require more forethought and planning.
It can be incredibly disappointing to go through the long and drawn-out process of finding a school, applying for a job, jumping through their many-and-varied demo/interview hoops, only to find that there is a small clause in their contract which makes the job impossible for your circumstances. Saving yourself this time and effort by applying through a reputable, well-resourced agency can really help to make the process less of an ordeal, and give you the opportunity to start off your job on a more positive footing.
Access and information on a number of different schools
Using an agency is not a one-way street, however. Just like your needs and requirements are completely individual and unique to you, each school has its set-ways and quirks which can be extremely useful to know about when making a decision. Although the ESL groups on social media are awash with information about the seemingly millions of schools that are pitching for new teachers, there are really only a select few who are reputable. It’s a great idea to be armed with information on these particular companies from the get-go so you are not wasting your time with unsuccessful applications to places not worth your time and effort.
Creating the perfect match really is down to having all the information (from both sides of the equation) available. Using an agency to do the initial leg-work so that you can then concentrate on making the best decision is invaluable, and a route which can save you time, money and your own sanity in the long run!
Industry insight and experience to draw on through the course of the application
School/national holidays, exam periods, training days/weeks for the company in question; these can all - unfortunately - affect your application and your booking rate later on down the line. Unless you have an existing employee working as your secret mole in the company you’re applying to, it can be very difficult to ascertain when these down periods are so you can plan and understand why any delays (or lack of classes) may be happening.
It’s a great idea to begin seeing yourself as a self-employed business owner from the very beginning of your employment, and that generally involves being aware of the ebbs and flows of the industry you are working in. Having a little advance knowledge of these periods can really set you up well and ensure that you can advance-plan your finances, your holidays, and the availability you give to the school in question.
Better chance of hire and higher pay
It goes without saying that with an agency on your side giving you all the information required to make a good application - you will have a far greater chance of hire than if you set out to do so on your own. To ensure they hire quality teachers, a lot of schools make the application quite a long process that requires you to put in some effort and display at least a little critical reasoning ability. Although a great idea in principle, this can mean that well-qualified teachers with all the right skills and attributes can fall at the first hurdle. Not displaying your information in the right way or missing out something vital can be make or break.
Using an agency can help to overcome the obstacles set by the company as they will know exactly what is being asked of ideal applicants.
Once over these tricky initial stages, the next challenge is negotiating pay and establishing exactly how much is reasonable to ask for based on your qualifications and experience. This can be really very daunting for even the most experienced of online teachers; you don’t want to sell yourself short, but equally, you do not want to scare an employer away with unreasonable pay demands. Having someone knowledgeable and informed on what is acceptable to ask for can really make a big difference in achieving exactly the level of pay your experience, qualifications, and all-round general greatness deserves!
Full support and guidance before, during AND after application
As is probably clear by this stage, having the backing of an agency during the application can alter the experience you have from the very beginning (even before you begin to start filling out the forms and arranging the demo classes, etc). Even if you are quite a confident person generally, it is always a positive having someone to guide the process, signpost the obstacles and generally hold your hand a little as you face what can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. The help and guidance does not stop at this initial stage though, and actually, the after-support in following everything up can be even more invaluable.
As a little insight into what this can look like - my application to Whales English at the end of last year, unfortunately, coincided with a relatively obscure holiday for China. After five days of waiting post-interview, I was beginning to wonder whether my application had been rejected. As TwoSigmas were available to talk with while China slept, they were able to put my mind at rest immediately by explaining that it might take a little longer than anticipated for my application to go through.