How To Create A Rockstar Nanny Resume
The application process for child care is expectedly thorough, in-depth, somewhat time-consuming, but the pay off is totally worth the investment. Some childcare professionals balk mid-way through the process because they were not prepared to provide multiple references, format their resume, participate in multiple interviews, and conduct a trial. In reality, you are applying for highly competitive positions that involve the complete responsibility of a stranger’s children. This may seem daunting but you can definitely do this, and we’ve got some great tips to get you started!
Your ability to wholeheartedly participate in this screening process is one of the many things that will ultimately convince agencies and families to offer you a total dream job. For starters, it is very important to keep your initial application very general. It is meant to show your entire skill set to a wide variety of families. Be completely honest and showcase your experience and personality.
You may find yourself applying for a travel, temporary, live-out, or a live-in position, so don’t get caught up in salary, scheduling details, or listing all of the things that you ideally require from a position. Those things may change depending on the scope of the job and your desire to be considered for a specific position – you don’t want to limit yourself in the first impression! We have seen some of the most incredible applications over the years, and we want to offer you a peek behind the curtain and give you some insider secrets to mastering the first vital step to landing that dream job.
1. Take A Great Profile Photo
Most agencies require you to include a photo of yourself at some point in the screening process. This is something that most families like to see along with your resume and references, and these documents together comprise the first impression the prospective family forms of you. As with any first impression, you want to put your best foot forward and represent yourself accurately and in the most flattering light. To take the best photo we suggest that you grab:
-a well-lit light-colored or white wall
-a friend to take the picture and offer feedback
-a phone or digital camera
-a clean, fresh face without too much makeup, a clean outfit without too much skin or jewelry
-a natural smile!
2. Design Purposefully
Whether you decide to construct your nanny resume with a template or completely on your own, being aware of the overall look and aesthetic of your resume is essential to effectively representing yourself on paper. Be aware of each font and font size decision and take time to browse examples of fantastic resumes on Pinterest and LinkedIn and gain a sense of what choices make sense together and balance an overall readability with a professional level of personalization.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles to a degree, but bear in mind some design basics. For instance, all of your headers should be alike, and all of your sub-headers should match one another, each section of the resume should be represented by the same font and size, so list all references with the same design, etc. If you have questions about what looks good, opt to keep things simple and go with a template that offers pre-selected design elements.
3. Format Your Resume Wisely
No matter how well written, your resume won’t get a thorough reading the first time through. Generally, a resume gets scanned for 25 seconds. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds two pages.
- Use a chronological format, wide margins, clean type, and clear headings
- List only relevant experience, leave out that barista job, etc.
- Use bullets to call attention to important points like your accomplishments
- Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye
List your most recent and relevant roles, providing reference contact information for each position. Check out resume-building websites for professional templates if necessary and create an accurate, chronological account of your job experience, with the most relevant experience listed first.
List your certificates, education experiences, special accomplishments, and of course mention any continuing education that you’ve participated in. If you have any gaps in employment, be sure to include an explanation of why that occurred and what you were up to during that time. Go over your resume and make sure that every detail is accurate, spellchecked, and have a friend review it for you.
4. Use Action Verbs
Beginning all of your bullet points with action verbs is an excellent way to make your resume memorable and compelling. These words inspire a more dynamic representation of your information, giving the parents a deeper sense of what you’re all about. Here’s a list of common action verbs that many fantastic nanny resumes tend to have:
5. Target Your Professional Experience
The experience section of a nanny resume is where you’ll identify the specific skills and experiences you have mastered. In bullet point format list job duties and notable achievements from your previous work experiences.
Ultimately, parents are seeking candidates that can help them solve a problem or satisfy a need within their family, and you can’t present yourself as a solution to their problems without stating how you solved similar problems in other homes + employment situations.
- Focus on what you did on the job, not just the title of ‘nanny’ or ‘tutor’
- Include a one or two line job description first, then specifically list your accomplishments
- For each point try to include the benefits of your work for the family
- Accomplishments should be unique to you, not just a list of general tasks
- Avoid using the generic descriptions of the jobs you originally applied for or held
- Leave out any previous roles that aren’t related to child care
The Follow Through
Once you’ve submitted your cover letter and resume with your lovely photo attached, the next step is really simple: you wait! We often receive hundreds of resumes per position. The recruitment coordinators and placement counselors are inundated with candidates with varying levels of experience and are carefully and purposefully sifting through each individual application to identify the candidates that would be the best fit for the family.
Following up by sending multiple emails and making multiple phone calls can be interpreted as overwhelming and even desperate considering the number of candidates that will also be applying. We recommend sending no more than one follow-up email after submitting your resume, knowing that the recruitment coordinators will be contacting the most eligible candidates. If you aren’t contacted for that specific position, consider submitting your application for a different position with a fresh cover letter.
Throughout this process, we are typically placing the most eligible candidates based on their ability to model timely and professional communication, follow directions throughout the application process, take ownership over their screening process by being as self-reliant as possible and accessing the many resources we offer, and maintain a professional and unquestionably child-safe social media free of any images, words, or content that would be inappropriate for a child to see.
At the end of the day, remember that the goal of a nanny resume is to show a loving family that you are trustworthy enough to be a member of the household and care for their child. Keep this in mind when creating your resume and you’re guaranteed to represent yourself in the best and most accurate light.
Do you have any tips that we may have missed? We’d love to hear about your personal experiences applying for positions in child care – reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, and check out the other posts on our blog!