Posted by & filed under AdjunctWorld Resources.

Several times a month, and three times this week alone, I receive emails from frustrated members of our community who apply to online teaching job after online teaching job and rarely -if at all – receive any acknowledgement from the school let alone opportunities to interview.

I hear you loud and clear. I myself am an online teaching job seeker and have played the application game for several years now. It is supremely frustrating to spend hours and hours uploading CVs, writing and re-writing cover letters, filling out fields for my old boss’ addresses and phone numbers, and getting excited by a job description only to never hear back – or hear back once in a blue moon.

So whats going on? Why are so many of us uber-qualified online instructors – excellent scholars who love to teach, guide, and mentor our students – having such a hard time landing an online teaching assignment?

I don’t know the answer, but I have a hypothesis. The ratio of online job seekers to online job opportunities seems to be grossly mismatched, with many more people looking for those jobs than jobs there are to be had. The ratio might be better or worse depending on which discipline you teach in. For you business, technology, psychology, and English instructors out there there are a lot of online teaching opportunities – but, there are more of you applying to those jobs. On the other hand there are, for example, a lot fewer geography instructors competing for online teaching jobs, but there are fewer of those opportunities available.

In short, its a numbers game – not a game necessarily based on qualification, need, or job-fit. Simply put – the more applications you put out there, the more likely you will hear back. Applying for online jobs is a job in itself – a thankless and unpaid one, but one that may bear fruit for those willing to do it.

How do we at AdjunctWorld help set you up to succeed in the numbers game? Four main ways:

  1. We scour the web more days than not each week looking for available online job opportunities in any discipline we find, collating them for you in our database. When I look for jobs, I go to both the “job” websites (like Glassdoor and Indeed) and individual school HR pages – schools I know tend to offer a steady stream of online opportunities our community would be interested in.
  2. Whenever possible, we try to link directly to the school’s HR page so that you are applying to the school and not a third-party site. When you apply using AdjunctWorld, you are not submitting your application to us. You are for the most part applying directly to the school – unless the school doesn’t have their own job application portal and instead outsources that to these third party sites like Indeed or CareerBuilder. Sometimes that happens. But we prefer to send you, via our links, directly to the school looking to hire. I myself do not like applying to third party websites (unless it is clear that this is what the school uses). It feels further removed from the process.
  3. We allow schools to post directly to our site. If a school wants to come in and provide an opportunity directly to our AW community members, they can go on ahead. Our presence on social media and the web has alerted some schools to our service and community and we’ve been able to market some opportunities to you exclusively (so that you aren’t competing with everyone else on the world wide web) – I love it when that happens!
  4. We provide support. Hopefully these weekly emails provide a good source of support and information for you. Frustrated by the numbers game? Email me. We’ll talk. I enjoy communicating with our community members. The main thing I like to tell frustrated online job seekers is to not take anything personally. If you are an otherwise great candidate for an online teaching job, that you are not getting interviews is doubtfully a reflection on you. Its a reflection of the market. If you see it as a numbers game and don’t take perceived rejection personally, you might have more stamina for playing it.

I’m very curious to know how everyone is faring in their job searches. Do you have any tips for your fellow job seekers? Any observations on the process? Please leave a comment below so we can discuss!

4 Responses to “Application Frustration?”

  1. Andrea

    I am a certified K-12 Art and Gifted educator who hold a Masters plus 12 in Education. I have been searching for online teaching possibilities yet the are slim. My Masters is in Educatin therefore, would teach education classes. What suggestions would you have for my situation?
    Thank you,

    • Brooke Shriner

      Hello Andrea! Thanks for writing. In addition to applying to any online job you feel capable of teaching that you come across, either on AdjunctWorld or otherwise, I would suggest looking for universities or colleges who have online training programs for educators in your specialty area. Check their HR page often for jobs and perhaps find a contact there you could email personally. As I look for jobs each week, I’ll keep my eye out for such programs and communicate with you as I find them. I would also suggest that, if you can, you open up and teach any education job that you think you meet minimum qualifications for – not just in your speciality area. For example, as a psychology adjunct, even though I don’t have a strong background in I/O psychology, if I otherwise meet qualifications for the position, I would apply to that.

  2. Dr Reagan Edith

    I have a PhD in Mgt and four masters wiith 24 years teaching experience. I am on every online job site on the planet and I never hear back either, even for adjunct or full time. Also I have limited mobility so online positions are essential for me. Any ideas? My cv is all over

    • Brooke Shriner

      Given the diversity of your academic background, Dr. Edith – and you may already be doing this, but its a suggestion I have for you – you should make sure that you are searching for jobs in every subject area you feel like you would be qualified to teach in. I’m going to write a little about this in this week’s email. Sometimes adjuncts get stuck in a rut of looking for jobs in a narrow-ish discipline. For instance, I teach psychology and I often stop with searching for and applying to “online psychology” jobs. But, I’m also qualified to teach counseling classes, social science classes, and research methods/statistics. So I try to remember to search for those as well. Since it appears to be a numbers game, broadening our search helps us get more of those numbers.


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