The nanny job market is definitely one of the more competitive ones out there, but ensuring you have a professional, engaging Curriculum Vitae can almost certainly get you off to a good start in your search for that dream position. You need a C.V which sets you apart from your peers. Your CV should obviously reflect your educational achievements as well as your related childcare experience and additional skills and qualities. A well-executed CV will highlight your abilities and ensure the recruiter understands why you are suitable for the advertised position.
Unfortunately, during the time I worked in recruitment I came across some very poorly put together CVs which were full of grammatical mistakes, samey appearance, typos, and pictures where you could barely make out the applicants appearance. Considering a CV is always something you will make additions to, it is almost definitely worth investing some time when creating one. A CV needn’t contain beautiful, colourful swirly patterns on it to represent the children you could potentially be caring for, but it should be clear, concise and honest; it should look professional as if you were applying for a top job on Wall Street. Below you will find the key components of a successful CV which in turn makes the recruitment process faster, easier and more efficient.
For any recruiter or employer, a perfect C.V will contain all of the following:
1 .Personal Information: Basic information such as your full name, address, phone number/s and your email should be at the very top of the page (Ideally under a recent picture of yourself).
2. Childcare Qualifications: Nannies should concisely list ALL relevant qualifications they possess. Ideally, if you have many, many childcare related qualifications (as some nannies do) list them in rows of 2 or 3. Highlight the qualifications you feel are relevant to the position. This shows the recruiter that you have taken an interest in the position and have actually read the job advertisement, as opposed to just browsing all the way to the bottom of the job advert to look at the salary thinking “sounds awesome” – It also shows the recruiter that you have actually thought about how those specific qualifications (no matter how insignificant it may seem) could actually be of benefit to this specific position.
3. Nanny/Governess Experience: Give a precise description of all of your previous childcare employment details. Each position should include the following – the name of the employer, the number/ages of the children, a brief summary of your responsibilities, additional duties performed, the dates of employment and your reason for leaving that position. Having the employer reference contact information should ideally be placed underneath each position, this is so the recruiter can easily identify which reference belongs to whom. (The reference can simply be highlighted, or in a different colour).
4. Additional (relevant) Experience: Some nannies found their way into the profession via teaching. Teaching is not the same as being a nanny, but closer to the role of a governess. However – all additional experience in relation to being around children should be mentioned in this section. Laid out in exactly the same way as above. Additional information should come in the form of teaching, youth camps, babysitting, children charity work etc.
5. Special Skills: Having the ability to speak any additional languages or possessing musical ability is something all employers love. There are two of the most common things that parents look for when choosing someone to mentor their children. You can mention details such as these in this section. You may also have Jamie Oliver-like skills in the kitchen, mention it along with any qualifications you have gained from your skills.
6. Educational Background: This section is linked to #2, in this section, you should ideally link each of the mentioned qualifications with the college or university it was awarded from, what grade (if applicable), dates studied and you can also include the name of your professor and his contact details for reference purposes.
7. Hobbies and Interests: I feel this is a really important section in terms of employability. This basically gives the recruiter and the parents more of an insight into your lifestyle and of course your personality. It will also give parents ideas for their children and any extra skills they would like their children to pick up (“if I hire this person they could teach my child how to paint or ride a horse…”)
8. Relevant information pertaining to the position: This can be a simple list of things which could be a decisive factor in terms of you being selected for the position. This would come in the form of things such as having a paediatric first aid certificate and a recent police-check certificate (DBS). These would also need to include the date of issue as well as the expiry date. It would also be of benefit to mention any additional passports you hold as well as current/active visas.
9. Gaps Between Employment: This can sometimes cause panic amongst recruiters and agencies. Obviously, it can be difficult to account for every moment we spend on this planet, but always try to be as accurate as possible and try to ensure your C.V flows with time. If you do have gaps, just put the dates in and explain what you were doing between these periods. No major details, just be honest. Travelling, study, maternity leave, and even job searching are quite common in terms of work gaps…and quite realistic – these reasons should really not be frowned upon.
As well as having all this info on your childcare CV – make sure all of your educational certificates, any written references, passport page and additional paperwork are scanned clearly and put into a folder on your computer. You can then simply attach the folder to an email and let the recruiter or the agency figure out how to open it all. Your job is done in terms of giving them everything they need.
What about your photo? Since we live in a technological era and most of the gadgets we carry round in our bags and pockets contain a gizmo with which to take a clear photo; there is simply no excuse for a poor quality picture in this day and age. Most modern mobile phones have an 8-megapixel camera which is more than enough quality with which to take a half decent, ‘professional’ photograph. You can have a friend take a good, clear head-shot just like you would for a passport but without the stone-faced stare. Should you be short of a friend with a steady hand and wish to get a CV sent off to a recruiter or family PA for a particular job you fancy – then you can easily take a selfie! Sure, selfies are more for evening gatherings with friends but surely a recent, semi-decent selfie is better than a picture which is 5 years old in a dark room? (yes, I have experienced this before..)
I would always recommend getting a professional digital headshot created. Even most supermarkets offer passport photo services in which they take your photo against a light background. It can be done in as little as 5 minutes and would cost you around £4.50. The photographer will have a great camera, the correct lighting, a steady hand and won’t make you laugh! Then, not only can you use this photo for your CV, you can also add this photo to your professional LinkedIn profile and develop your professional network; professional people are more willing to engage with those who have a good quality profile image. I know, not many of us like getting our photos taken but the fact of the matter is, it is necessary to have a good, clear photo when applying for positions.
If you give a recruiter or employer all of the above information they should not need to ask you for anything else, other than when it would be convenient for an interview! The job seeker/recruiter relationship should always be a two-way street and if you do your part by following the above steps, a recruiter will almost definitely go ALL OUT to get you placed with a decent family.