This Ask Savvy question comes ShelleyHFan who wants to drop her current job to become a nanny. I reached out to Wendy Sachs, Editor-in-Chief of Care.com, a website that matches nannies up with families, to share her expertise in the field with us. For those interested in taking care of children, Care.com has a great babysitter pay calculator , which shows you the estimated pay for a nanny by zip code.
I hate my job and I have wracked my brain to figure out why I'm continually unhappy at most places. I think I've finally figured it out, much of my work has been in sales and/or customer service and I'm kind of an introvert (people confuse introversion with shyness but I know that it really refers energy output when dealing with people and for how long). Anyhow, I think sales jobs are hit or miss for me.
I was thinking that I really like kids and maybe I should try and look for a job as a nanny. I plan to get certified in CPR and First Aid. My issue is that I don't have much formal experience with kids. Most of my jobs have been sales/customer service and my resume is tailored to that. I've got a little over 10 first cousins on one side of the family and I'm the oldest of four so I'm not a stranger to kids and big families, but I never babysat anyone else's kids. I wanted some advice on how to write up a new resume or if I should at all? What should I write down in my email to this preschool/daycare center? Does anyone have any advice on how to apply for nanny jobs? What do you wear to nanny interviews? And what do I do about my resume? I also never finished my college degree do I need to mention or explain that?
To hear Wendy's response, read on.
Congratulations on wanting to take your first step towards nannying! Having had no formal nanny or early childcare experience should not necessarily hinder your efforts in finding a job. In fact, although you are not enjoying your current job in sales and customer service, the skills you’ve learned to multitask and communicate will serve you well as a childcare provider. When hiring a nanny, families are looking for responsible people who love children. Showing that you are either willing to get CPR trained or have completed the process definitely makes you more marketable. Having some college education, even if you haven’t completed your degree, is also a fantastic selling point. Don’t downplay your personal background as the oldest of four and being part of a huge family – it shows another kind of experience. As far as going to a job interview: be prepared to provide character references and even past employer references. While you haven’t been a nanny before, it’s important to show that you are professional, respectful, honest and dependable. For a job as a nanny, it’s not essential to have a traditional resume. References and background checks are what is required on Care.com and what parents usually ask for. However, for a job at a daycare center, a resume may be required. If you get CPR and First Aid trained, list those dates of training and certificate completion
Come to the interview neatly dressed and groomed. I wouldn’t apply overpowering perfume or decide to wear multiple nose rings (as one of my nanny candidates did once). A pair of pants and blouse or sweater is appropriate. You don’t need to be formal, just neat. Jeans and a nice top can also be worn. You will be taking care of children, you want to be comfortable, just not sloppy. Expect to interact with the child or children at the interview. Websites like Care.com
Ask anything career- or budget-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and readers and I will weigh in to support you.