Every nanny who is searching for a new position is looking for their ideal nanny family! When you finally get the opportunity to interview with an incredible family with a job description that is exactly what you’ve been dreaming of, how do you show them that you are the ideal nanny for their family? As you’re reading through available jobs, maybe you are noticing a trend: If most families who have a toddler want someone who has some background or training in child development, how can you broaden your skillset? If you notice that a lot of families are looking for a nanny who can cook, but that’s not one of your strong points, how can you grow your confidence in the kitchen? Read on for some tricks of the trade that may help you along the way!
- Resume: Having a resume that showcases your skills, abilities, work experience, and strengths can make all the difference in helping a family feel connected to you from the get-go! A photo is optional, and if you’d like to have a photo on your resume, make sure it looks professional. You can even have a friend take it if you keep the following in mind: make sure you have a well-lit wall behind you that’s a neutral color such as gray, beige, or white, dress professionally in a color that flatters you, keep your hairstyle simple, wear light make-up, smile and be yourself.
- Certifications: It is an industry-standard for every nanny to be certified in CPR and first aid. We also require all of our nannies to comply with California law and be TrustLine certified upon hire.
- References: Make sure you have at least three excellent references, and that your former families know that they will be getting calls soon to get their feedback about their time working with you. If your references make it easy to contact them, it will speed up the interviewing process, and help you land your favorite nanny position!
- Social media: Potential families will most likely Google you. You want to present yourself in the best way possible. Be sure that your social media reflects who you are in a positive light.
- Dress Professionally. We recommend clothing choices that are clean, simple, and modest. You will want to look polished, yet ready to jump right in with the kids by wearing dress pants or dark jeans, a polo or collared shirt, and flats. Keep your hair simple and make-up light. Avoid wearing perfume or scented lotions as some clients may have allergies. Don’t forget to be yourself!
- Arrive on Time! It’s always better to arrive early and be outside waiting in your car than to arrive even a couple of minutes late. Show how much you value a potential employer’s time by being punctual from the start.
- Stay positive. Talk about why you love being a nanny, and why you love working with children! Share some wonderful things about past families you’ve worked for without over-sharing or gossiping. This will build trust with the family. Talk about some fun, enriching or educational activities you love to do with children. Showcase your strengths. If you love to cook or have been a math tutor in the past and they have a child who is in school and may need help with homework, let the family know! Don’t forget to try to connect with the family during the interview. Ask them about their family, where they are from, what a typical day in their house looks like, what they are looking for in a nanny, etc. If you get the chance to meet the children during the interview, try your best to get down on their level to interact with them. Make sure you wash your hands before holding a baby, and ask the parents for permission before picking up a baby or toddler. Jump right in if it feels appropriate: If you arrive and dad is unloading groceries from the car, offer to help bring them into the house! Safety first: If a child starts to do something that is not safe such as riding a scooter without a helmet, remind the child of what is safe. When the interview is over, be sure to thank the family.
Keep evolving as a nanny and add more qualifications and/or training to your bag of tricks!
- Take local child development classes. If you are in the Los Angeles area and you’re interested in learning more about the RIE philosophy, Jill Getto Lee teaches an incredible course that is taught specifically to nannies called Nurturing Nanny Course: http://www.jillgettolee.com/
- Do you love working with newborns? If you are interested in becoming an NCS (Newborn Care Specialist), one of the most highly-vetted NCS training companies is the foundational and advanced courses offered by Newborn Care Solutions. https://newborncaresolutions.com/?wpam_id=19
- Attend an International Nanny Training Day through Nannypalooza. http://www.nannypalooza.com/about-nntd.html
- Become a member of the INA (International Nanny Association), and attend an INA conference. https://nanny.org/
- Check-out some popular child development books at your local library to expand your knowledge and to help empower yourself on the job! A few excellent reads include The Whole-Brain Child by Dr. Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, and The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary.
- Listen to a free child development podcast on the go such as Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled. Her short, enriching episodes on integrating the RIE philosophy into your daily childcare routine are sure to help you on the job!
As you continue to improve yourself as a nanny, you are not only going to be the best that you can be, you will also be affecting the special little lives in your circle for the better! Isn’t that what being a nanny is truly all about?
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” -Audrey Hepburn