Standing Out in the New, Competitive Nanny Job Market
There is not one among us who has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and caregivers have been hit especially hard. With so many nannies working under the table, facing furlough and therefore without ability to apply for unemployment, we are seeing many nannies itching, even desperate, to get back into the workforce as soon as possible. At Los Angeles Nannies we are still interviewing and vetting candidates for the eventuality that jobs start flooding in once more. The market post coronavirus will be extremely competitive, so how can nannies stay at the top of the applicant pool and beat out the tough competition?
Work with, not against, the agency.
With many internet resources for nannies to self submit to childcare jobs, one may wonder what need there is for an agency. While an extra step for nannies, agencies can be a massive benefit to a nanny’s career. For starters, agencies advocate for a nanny’s rights and assist in negotiating. There aren’t many mentors available in the nanny industry, but an agency can be there every step of the way for advice and suggestion on how to get you hired. Agencies want you to get a job, they don’t make money unless you do. If you choose to go the agency route, make sure you stay active and responsive, procrastinating on responding to that email from an agency can be the difference between getting a job and staying unemployed. Stay communicative with your agency, reach out about opportunities you’re interested in and make sure all of the necessary documents are on file so that when new jobs arise, they can send you out as soon as possible. The market will be extremely competitive and there will be many nannies who have CPR and credentials on file already, so make sure you are not missing out on an opportunity with your dream family simply because you waited to send an email.
Gather your References
Reference checking is always the most tedious and time consuming part of the application process, and an unresponsive reference can be the deciding factor between which two candidates are hired. Reach out to your references in advance and let them know that people will be calling. Encourage your references to schedule a time to chat. Don’t worry about inconveniencing them, you worked hard for every family and you deserve to have your references completed.
Bolster your resume by getting specific in your job descriptions. Did you “cook” for the Smith family or did you “create nutritious meals for family of four each night to promote a healthy diet”? Did you “go to the park” with the kids or did you “plan fun excursions to enhance physical abilities and expose children to stimulating, educational activities”?
Now is not the time to be humble! Sell yourself! Create or update your nanny website so families can explore all of your credentials in one place. A website also shows that you are serious about your career and not just in it for the paycheck. Gather and organize all of your relevant documentation in one place. Create a folder for your CPR / First Aid Certificates or online classes. Ask for and file letters of recommendation. Seeing all of your qualifications and additions to your expertise in one area is a great way to add to your confidence and remind yourself that you are worthy of any job you apply for. Go through all of your social media accounts and make sure that you are representing yourself in a professional manner. View your profiles like a parent would. When reaching out to families or agencies, make sure you detail every bit of relevant information that would make you be the perfect candidate for any family.
Join a Networking Group
Like in all professions, who you know can go a lot farther than what you know. Joining nannying or childcare groups on social media, signing up for newsletters, or getting involved with organizations like the International Nanny Association can be a great way to stay connected and updated in the childcare community. You never know what job opportunities may arise simply from knowing and connecting with other nannies in your area, as many families would rather interview a referral than a stranger. Joining a nannying networking group is a great way to stay in the know about jobs, opportunities, continuing education classes and much more.
Solidify your Resume
Bolster your resume by getting specific in your job descriptions. Did you “cook” for the Smith family or did you “create nutritious meals for family of four each night to promote a healthy diet”? Did you “go to the park” with the kids or did you “plan fun excursions to enhance physical abilities and expose children to stimulating, educational activities”? Changing your language can help you stand out and above the rest of the candidates. Treating your childcare resume like the professional tool that it is, can help you show families that you are the ideal candidate. Resume still not looking so hot? Take an online class in childcare or volunteer locally. Our resume template is a great place to start.
Get specific in your Cover Letter
Reading the job description and adding in phrases or information from the post into your cover letter helps you stand out to families. Not only does it show that you’ve taken the time to read the post, it also affords you an opportunity to explain why you are a great fit for the job. If the job mentions that the child loves soccer, mention your coaching experience. If the child needs transportation to practice for the school play, flash your BA in Theater Studies. Families ultimately want to see who will be taking care of their child’s safety but also their emotional, social and intellectual growth and if you have things in common already, that’s a huge first step.
After you’ve found your dream job, get proactive against unforeseen circumstances.
You may think that being a nanny inherently lacks job security, but that is not the case. Make sure you’re never put into this position again by advocating for yourself with the same confidence you did in the interview. Ensure that you are paid legally on the books so that you can apply for unemployment benefits should you be laid off. Get and sign a contract. Agencies are great resources for legally binding employment contracts that can make a huge difference in your job security even outside of times of uncertainty. You should also start saving for the future – our blog on saving for the future is a great place to start.