For many individuals, the idea of providing childcare in a family’s private home seems like the perfect job. And for many it is. Getting to work in a less formal environment certainly has its benefits and pouring your heart and soul into the children in your care is certainly rewarding.
However, nanny jobs aren’t really entry level childcare jobs. Since nannies work unsupervised in a family’s private home, it’s essential that they have proven themselves able to provide high-quality childcare without being micromanaged and without constant supervision.
Once you secure your first nanny position, with a solid reference, finding others becomes much easier. Breaking into a career in nannying can often be challenging because parents tend to prefer hiring experienced nannies. However, every nanny has to start with their first nanny job and securing one is possible, if you know how to conduct your job search.
Before starting your search, it’s important to remember that every interaction you have with a family will sway their impression of you. For this reason, it’s important to always present yourself as a professional. Now is the time to confirm that you have a professional looking email address, that your voicemail message is appropriate and that your online presence is clean and free from questionable content that would leave a potential employer running in the opposite direction.
As you prepare to job search be sure your resume is up to date and reflects all relevant experience. You can use this as a guide to be sure you cover all of your experience during the application and interview process.
For first-time nannies, a personal reference from a trusted friend goes a long way. Tell everyone you know you are seeking a nanny position. Those who love you and think you are great with children will tell everyone they know that they know a stellar nanny looking for a job. Word-of-mouth referrals will generate many viable job leads. Don’t forget to leverage your social media network and spread the word you’re job seeking there, too.
Since parents will receive personal recommendations to use your services, you can expect to get phone calls or emails from parents letting you know how they received your name and asking about your availability and experience. Since they know someone who knows you, they may simply invite you over for an interview. However, having a phone conversation and meeting the parents at a public location, like a coffee shop, makes more sense if you’re not familiar with the family and aren’t close friends with the person who made the referral. If this is the case, you can simply let all parents know it’s your policy to have a phone interview and coffee date first, to gauge mutual interest in the possibility of working together.
From Craiglist.org to NannyClassifieds.com, there are many online classified sites that allow nannies to browse jobs and post job wanted ads. Before responding to an ad, be sure that you meet any stated criteria for applying. When responding to job postings, send a short email of interest stating where you’ve found the job listing, your relevant experience and why you think you’d be a good fit for the job, unless the ad specifically states an alternative way to contact the poster.
If you receive a favorable response, schedule a phone interview to discuss the job details and your experience with the parents. If that goes well, expect to be invited for an interview. Since you are meeting strangers you’ve connected with online, it’s always best to hold your first meeting in a public location, like at a coffee shop, and save the in home interviews for only those parents whom you are interested in learning more about.
Online Nanny Recruiting Sites
Online nanny recruiting sites allow caregivers to create a customized profile and to search and browse the profiles of parents seeking nannies.
Before creating your profile online, use a word processing program to spell and grammar check any text you wish to include. When completing the online application and any accompanying forms, it’s important to be truthful and to include accurate information. Since reputable online sites encourage parents to verify the information provided through a thorough background check, you can expect parents to learn about any discrepancies.
In your profile, be sure to convey a positive attitude, share why you wish to work in a nanny and highlight all of your relevant experience. The more complete your profile is, the more attractive it will be to parents seeking a position. While it can be tempting to check all the boxes when it comes to what you’re looking for in a job, don’t. Only indicate the tasks, duties and responsibilities you are truly comfortable taking on. If you don’t, you’ll leave a potential employer disappointed when she finds out you’re allergic to cats, but stated you’d help out with family pet care.
When searching for positions, you can make your search as narrow or as wide as you wish. You can limit it to your local area or even search for jobs in states other than your own.
To increase the likelihood that a parent contacts you, only show interest in jobs you’re truly qualified to take. For example, if a parent is advertising for a nanny to care for newborn twins, but you only have experience caring for children ages three and over, it’s probably not the best job to apply for.
If a family does show interest in your services, be sure to schedule a phone interview and meet in a public place for the first face-to-face interview. Meeting parents for the first time in public places, like a coffee shop, is a good policy to adopt.
Nanny Placement Agencies
For candidates with at least two years of verifiable childcare experience and clean criminal background, listing with a reputable nanny placement agency to find a job can be beneficial. A nanny agency will review your information, prescreen you and present you only to parents who they believe you’d make a good match for.
While listing with an agency should not cost you anything, since the families pay a steep placement fee to them for conducting their nanny search, some agencies may require the nanny to pay fees associated with drug testing or other prep-employment screenings.
Since families pay a fee for the agency’s service, you can expect them to work hard o find you an employment match. To find a reputable agency, visit the International Nanny Association website, www.nanny.org, that maintains a list of current members.
10 Ways to Find Your First Nanny Job
There are many ways nannies find their first nanny jobs. It’s important when trying to break into a career as a nanny that you cast your nets wide and use all of the job search tools you have access too. The more families you can reach, the greater the chance is you’ll find the right employment match.
- Leveraging Word-of-Mouth Referrals. Tell everyone you know you’re looking for a nanny job and encourage them to spread the word.
- Using “Looking for a Nanny Job” as Your Status Update. Leverage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social networks in your job search.
- Responding to Classifieds. Respond to ads on free and paying classified sites like Craigslist and NannyClassifieds.com.
- Creating a Profile on Nanny Recruiting Websites. eNannySource, GoNannies and NannyPro are great places for creating a profile.
- Listing With Nanny Placement Agencies. Contact the International Nanny Association for a list of member agencies in your area.
- Joining a Nanny Support Group. Search for local nanny groups on your area and attend a meeting to network with other nannies.
- Hanging Flyers in Coffee Shops and Libraries. Hang up flyers advertising your services in places parents with kids frequent.
- Contacting Career Services Where You Are Alumni. Many career services offices keep a list of jobs that prospective employers submit to the school.
- Placing an Advertisement. Place an advertisement in your local parenting paper or online publication advertising your services.
- Passing Out Business Cards. Create nanny business cards with your contact information and experience and as you hand them out, let people know you are looking for a new nanny job.
The more parents you can reach, the more likely you are to find a suitable employment arrangement. Use as many methods as you’re comfortable using when conducting your job search. Remember to present yourself as a professional and be sure that your email address, voicemail message and social media profiles convey that you are a responsible personal capable of providing attentive care to a family’s children