Perhaps you are leaving your job because the family's needs have changed, or maybe you are leaving because you feel overworked and underpaid. Regardless of the situation, searching for a new nanny position can be overwhelming and you may find yourself searching for a new position and getting frustrated that you are not being seen. We want to offer some guidance during your nanny search, and hopefully you can find your perfect position whether it's through an agency or on your own!
Creating a Resume
Your first step in a job search is creating a resume. You may think to yourself, "But I never had a resume before, I only used references." Not only does preparing a resume show that you are a professional and committed to being a nanny, but it also helps a family see the breakdown of your prior positions. Check out our previous posting and the free download to a sample resume to get you started.
Applying for Jobs
When you apply for positions, whether it's on Care.com, Facebook.com,or any other social media website, you should have the appropriate responses to each family that shows that you are not only interested, but that you understand and respect their posting.
Below is an example of what NOT to say to a potential family:
Below is a great example of what you SHOULD say to a potential family:
As you can see in the above photos, the first Sample Nanny simply said, "hi pm" which comes off as unprofessional. The second nanny took the time to share that she read the posting and that she has a resume and past experience that she would like to share with the family. It comes off as more professional and the chances of the family responding to the second nanny are higher than responding to the first nanny.
One of the biggest challenges when applying to nanny positions is staying responsive. If you are difficult to get in touch with, whether it's through email or text, a family will stop trying because it shows that you may not be responsive as a nanny while on duty. It is incredibly important to not only follow up with a family, but to respond as soon as possible. If you know that you will be away and unable to respond, perhaps send a message to the family such as, "Hi! I am very interested in this position, but unfortunately I will be away for a few days. Can we schedule a time to chat when I am back as I will not have access to my phone or computer during that time."
Even if you are applying to an agency, it's important to stay responsive. When nannies are non responsive or we struggle to get in touch with them, we will unfortunately have to reject them as candidates going forward. Staying responsive and answering promptly is key to finding a nanny position!
When you are applying for a position, state your expectations in an appropriate manner. You can either include this in your resume, or you can simply tell the family via email, text, or on the phone. Here are a few ways you can state your expectations:
"I am hoping to find a family that will guarantee 30 hours per week at $20 an hour. I also would like two weeks paid vacation, five sick days, and mileage reimbursement. If CPR and First Aid is required to be renewed, I would ask that the family please reimburse payment for those courses."
"I would like to be paid on the books as a W-2 employee. I saw in your posting that you were offering a range of $20-$25 per hour. I would feel comfortable starting out at $23 per hour, and in six months discussing my worth ethic and a potential raise. I do require two weeks paid vacation, five sick days, and mileage reimbursement. Anything else we can discuss after hire if you feel I would be a good fit for your family and vice versa."
The above responses are appropriate and show that you are a professional and understand negotiating pay and benefits. The following responses are what you should not say to a family when discussing pay and benefits.
"I'll do it for 20 bucks and nothing less."
"I like everything about your job but I need off the books and I want $25 and hour"
How you present yourself to a family is incredibly important. Being a nanny is a profession, and you should treat it as such. You would never walk into a big firm and sit down and demand "20 bucks". That being said, remember that when you have expectations they may not get completely met. It's important to be negotiable with a family. Obviously if a family is asking to pay you $15 an hour when you requested $20, then that family may not be the best fit for you. It's always a smart idea to offer a 90 day or 6 month evaluation period where you revisit your work ethic and discuss adding on some of those other benefits you had originally requested.
Perhaps you applied to a job and the family said they would get in touch, but they never did. Always allow at least 24 hours before following up with a family. You can simply follow up with a message such as, "Hi, I am just following up on our recent conversation about scheduling a time to chat. I look forward to finding out more about your needs and seeing if we could be a good fit. Thank you!" That message shows the family that you are still interested in the position and that you are respectful of their time.
When you are following up with a family, you should not send them messages such as, "??" "hello???" "interested" as that comes off as unprofessional and can potentially irritate a family to the point that they would not be interested in pursuing an interview with you.
If you have been on an interview with a family and have not heard from them in 48 hours, it's always encouraged to send a quick message to them. Simply follow up with the same type of message you would send if you were attempting to schedule an interview. If a family ignores your messages or does not respond within a week, it's unfortunately a sign that they may not be interested.
Applying to Multiple Positions
Never put all your eggs in one basket! Send your resume out to MULTIPLE families, and interview in person with as many as possible. As much as a family is trying to find their perfect fit, remember that your perfect fit is just as important!!!!!
If you are feeling frustrated with the job search, or feeling as though you are just not being seen, please do not feel discouraged! Your perfect job is waiting out there, and if you'd like to have our help finding you a new position then please check out our available positions and apply today!