In any professional environment, your prior work experience is a vital component of the hiring decision. When you work with the most vulnerable people, your previous experience and the perspective of your former hiring family is absolutely crucial in your pursuit of a new role. Here’s how to provide excellent references that will, in turn, secure your position as the most eligible candidate for the childcare role of your dreams!
The first step to having fantastic professional references is obviously performing at a high level, and responding positively to feedback in each role that you take on. Hiring parents are often more than happy to provide a great reference for an employee who has: consistently shown up on time with enthusiasm about working with the children each day, has met or exceeded their expectations, and has offered a professional notice when they decide to move on. We’ve written a lot about how to be a fantastic childcare professional throughout our blog, so invest some time in checking those out!
So let’s assume that you’ve already accumulated years of incredible experience where you established wonderful, professional working relationships with parents who would now be delighted to offer a reference for your next role. The next step would be contacting your potential references and letting them know that you’d love to use them as a reference for a job that you’re hoping to interview for, and ensuring that they are ready and willing to take the time to provide that information. Giving your former nanny families this heads-up is a respectful way to gauge their willingness, while also getting a sense for how and what they might say to a hiring party. You may have had a wonderful experience working with that family three years ago, but without checking in with them, you can’t be certain that they are easily reachable and willing to provide accurate, positive information about your work performance.
The next important step to providing excellent resources is compiling your references in a chronological way that coincides with your child-related work experience. For instance, if you’ve listed three former nanny families on your resume but your references are from altogether different employers or they’re not organized on your resume, this will create a bottleneck for new hiring families or agencies as they attempt to check your references and figure out how they relate to your resume. The screening process will take much longer with several unnecessary emails back and forth as the hiring party works to locate references that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, while also trying to figure out how they correlate to your listed job experience. Be sure to highlight references from roles that were consistent and long-term, don’t utilize references for any babysitting or fill-in jobs when applying for a professional childcare position. Keep in mind that, in addition to being extremely unethical, lying on childcare resumes is also potentially illegal depending on where you live. Families that are hiring someone to care for their children need to feel confident that the information you’re providing on your resume is accurate and reflects the experience, character, and trustworthiness of someone they can trust will protect + support their precious kids.
To land your ultimate dream job it is essential that you perform well in your current role, that you contact your potential references prior to listing them, and that you organize your resume to accurately reflect the work you’ve done so well, with references that coincide with your listed jobs. We can’t wait to introduce you to your next dream nanny family, once you’ve got your resume and references in order, check out our job board!
Now that you’ve got a bit more information about how best to handle your references to land that dream job, what will you do differently? We’d love to hear about your previous experiences with work references!
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