The road to finding your dream job as a nanny can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth it. It might seem like you’re competing against many others with the same qualifications and skills as you, but the truth is that every family is unique, and as such they need a nanny who is unique too. That means your perfect job is waiting for you out there somewhere!
To make your journey a little easier, here are 10 helpful tips for you if you’re looking for a job as a nanny.
1. Understand Rejection
Rejection is hard: it hurts and it’s not easy to stop taking it personally. However, the great thing about rejection is that it helps you to learn and grow- here at Polo & Tweed, we’ve watched people use their rejection as a springboard to becoming a super nanny, and they’ve succeeded!
If you seem to be facing a lot of rejection, stop for a minute and do some self reflection. Ask yourself some questions:
- Is your CV good enough?
- Is my photo good enough?
- What might be putting me off prospective employers?
You can also ask your family and friends the same questions. Perhaps you’ll discover something new, and learn to present yourself in a more professional way.
If someone offers you constructive feedback, don’t get defensive. After all, super nannies aren’t at the top of their game just because they got lucky. They are there because they responded to feedback and adjusted themselves for each different position.
2. Do Research
You need to truly understand the job you’re applying for. It might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many applications we’ve had over the years from candidates who don’t seem to have even read the job specification.
Read the specification thoroughly, and really consider whether you’ll understand the family and offer them the skills they’re looking for. If it’s a job with a high net worth Russian family, do you speak Russian,or at least have an understanding of the Russian culture? If the family needs someone who can ride horses, you’re going to have to be able to ride horses!
When you’re looking for a job as a nanny, it’s this kind of research that will lead to success. Adjust your CV for each position, and only apply for those jobs that you think you could master. When a family is paying you a high salary, they expect lots of skills in return!
3. Be Realistic
This may play into your self reflection process. If you’ve worked as an au pair for a year, and now want to become a nanny, it might not be wise to only apply for the highest paying job as a nanny you can find. Search out those roles that are looking for junior and entry level nannies and choose those instead.
As an agency, we always track a candidate’s job applications. Those candidates who are overconfident are likely to get less job opportunities than those who apply for work that suits their background and experience.
4. Long Term Placements
Most families will want to hire long term nannies. They don’t want to go through the stressful process of recruitment, only for their chosen nanny to leave after 6 months. Understandably, things can happen. Family circumstances can change and personal situations can occur. But always be honest about your intentions when you apply for a job as a nanny.
Look at your CV- do you have a lot of short term placements listed? If so, make sure it’s clear why that’s the case. If you don’t explain short term roles, families will wonder why you left each one, and it may make them anxious about hiring you if they don’t think you’ll stay in the role long term.
Don’t be a negative nanny! Life can be difficult and stressful sometimes, but a prospective employer isn’t going to want to hear your harmful energy. In fact, hearing bad things about previous roles may make them worried about what you’ll say about them once you’ve left.
‘They never paid me on time’ may seem like a reasonable and honest answer for why you left your last role. But prospective employers might take this to mean your focus is money rather than their children, and no parent is going to hire a nanny who just wants to make a quick buck.
6. Get HelpNever be afraid to ask for help when you're looking for a new job! #reachout Click To Tweet
On the path to finding a job as a nanny, asking for help is a brave thing to do. Ask your family and friends to help you reflect, or get a native English speaker to look over your CV. If you choose to join an agency, you’ll have a recruiter on hand to help you with anything you need too.
It’s never too late to ask for help in finding a job as a nanny, and you may find new opportunities present themselves when you do.
7. Pick Up Your Phone
It’s not always easy or practical to keep your phone on you, but when you get the chance, always check your emails- including your junk folder! If you’re interested in a new job, you’ll need to act fast and be responsive. The best jobs are quickly taken by great candidates, so make sure you’re one of them.
If you use an agency, they may be trying to reach you, so if you miss a call, respond as soon as possible for an update. Ignoring employers when you’re looking for a job as a nanny is never good.
Presentation really matters. Remember that people make a decision about others after just a few seconds of meeting, so how you look, dress and act are all going to affect your success levels when you interview for a job as a nanny!
Think about the culture, background and family you’re interviewing with. A conservative family won’t appreciate a low cut top, and a more traditional family might prefer a woman to wear a suit dress rather than trousers. It’s not just the clients themselves that matter either, as anyone who can put you on track for a new job as a nanny (think agency, colleague of personal contact) will want to know you conduct and present yourself well.
9. Don’t Be Late
Poor timekeeping is a very unattractive quality in a nanny. There may be a rare occasion, where due to an accident or family emergency you need to be late or move an interview, but aside from this you should never keep a potential employer waiting.
Give yourself more than enough to get to your interview, so that if you get lost or transport fails, you’ll still be on time. Show your punctuality right from interview stage, and families will see that you’re a reliable candidate.
10. Continue Your Education
Advancing your education is important. Remember to clearly outline your experience and education on your CV, as it demonstrates your commitment to the role. You’d be surprised how many nannies leave this off their CV!
A super nanny will be very highly educated and focused, so strive to be the best you can be through additional courses and training.