Childcare Resumes: 101
When beginning any career you will be asked for your resume more often than not. The stress of actually compiling and recording your work experience can be daunting, but is very necessary. The nanny industry is no different!
For agencies, it is more common to ask for a resume from a candidate before sending them an application to complete, and here is why-
TIME & EFFORT
Resume building from scratch is tedious. If you aren’t computer savvy, it may take a while to input your information, find an efficient format, and then find a design that will be appeasing to the hiring manager. Anyone can fill out a job application, but going the extra mile to create a clear and concise resume shows that you are taking this nanny position search seriously, not just looking for quick money to pass the time.
Most nanny agencies require applicants to have a childcare based resume. The key components to have on your childcare based resume are listed below, with examples for reference!
Photo: Some agencies require photos for nannies seeking employment through their agency. Your photo should be a head shot, taken from the chest-up with good lighting on your face, and no strong dramatic shadows. There are agencies that ask for full body shots, but either way, it MUST be professional looking. There is no need to hire a photographer for your picture, as iPhone and Androids both take amazing pictures. Find some good lighting, wear something that is flattering and still professional, and avoid skimpy clothing, heavy makeup, and selfies (use that self-timer!) You can allow your personality to show through, but keep it professional. The photo is the first impression families and agencies will see, you don’t want them to write you off based on a less than professional photo!
Here are some good examples of headshots (you may see some familiar faces :-))
Full Name- Your first and last name will be what agencies Google when you submit your application. Additionally, you will have to be background checked and giving your full given name (not an alias) would be ideal. Some nannies choose to go by a nickname, and if you prefer the use of a nickname, you should include that. For example Marsha “Miss Marshie” Jones.
Location- It is not required that you list your physical address on your childcare based resume, just a city and state will suffice. Agencies will likely require your address for your background check and to determine how long your commute will be if that is important for clients, but outside of a request for your full address, you should be fine without it.
Phone Number- Be sure to list a current phone number. Sometimes What’s App/Google voice numbers work, but in any instance, a permanent number is preferred so that there is no confusion when agencies are attempting to contact you.
Email Address- You need a professional email address to add to your resume! BowWowBaby@gmail.com may work for your personal life, but your resume is a professional reflection of you! The amount of unprofessional and inappropriate emails that go overlooked by an agency would shock you, so getting another professional email from a free server such as Gmail or Yahoo just for your job search is highly encouraged. Keeping it simple with your first and last name makes it easy for you to remember!
Objective/ Qualifications/Career Summary Statement: Human resource departments believe that objective statements on resumes are outdated, and we are inclined to agree. The objective is usually prominent at the top of your resume, after your contact information, and is seen before the actual work experience. When we are showing nannies how to make resumes, we encourage them to use a career summary statement instead of an objective. The career summary statement will highlight the relevant experience, skills, and achievements in your desired field. The career summary should be around 2-5 sentences and plainly identify the value you will add to the role. The stronger the statement, the more interested the hiring manager will be in reading the rest of your resume.
This is an example of a career summary that illustrates the value this candidate would add to a nanny role.
Skills/ Qualifications: Following the summary statement you can list your qualifications, certifications, additional trainings, and any additional languages that you speak. Often times this can be bullet pointed and is completely optional, but highly encouraged to be included in on a resume. Some common qualifications that you may include any certifications that pertain to your position; CPR/ First Aid, nutrition, breast feeding, car seat safety, water safety, baby sign language, etc.
Work History: This is going to be the meat and potatoes of your resume. A childcare based resume is easy when you’re a career nanny with many positions under your belt. If you are newer to the industry, you may only have one or two positions to include on your resume. Include all of your experience that is childcare related. It is not important to list that you’ve been working as a night club host for three years, but it is important to list that you were a camp counselor for a few summers while you were in college or if you volunteer in the nursery at your worship center.
In some rare instances, listing non childcare positions may be beneficial. An example of that would be if you are applying for a home manager or family assistant position. Any non-childcare experience that aligns with the job duties and will illustrate value you can add to that particular position including organizing, maintaining calendars, running errands, creating content, and more is relevant!
For your work history you should include
The name of the family, (The Jones Family) if you can, or (Private Family) if you are bound by an NDA. Usually high profile (HP)/ high net worth (HNW) families prefer to maintain their privacy and we respect that privacy. Agencies may ask for a reference from the personal assistant or someone else close to the family to confirm this experience.
The Location- With travel positions there may be a few locations, but using the base location of where your work was done will suffice.
Start and End Dates of Position- If a family is looking for a candidate with long term care experience, we need to know that you actually have that experience. We know that nanny/family relationships are a dating game so it isn’t unlikely that you won’t have a few short-term positions throughout your career.
Age of Children at time of hire- Completely optional, but can be beneficial if you want to apply to a position with specific age requirements (i.e. infant experience, multiples experience, toddler experience) or if you have an age preference for your positions.
Description of your job duties- You can be a detailed as you want here, but the average is description is around 2-4 sentences. A brief overview of what your responsibilities entailed and any milestones over the duration of your employment is good starting point.
**Please note: You don’t have to list that you kept the children safe, entertained them, fed them, changed diapers, or anything else that would be obvious as a childcare provider. You can include any specific and unique duties such as
Safety- Aided in babyproofing the family home
Food- prepared vegan/vegetarian/gluten free/ allergen friendly meals
Diapering- Cloth diapering/ toilet training assistance.
Play/Hobbies- yoga, meditation, soccer, fencing, swim, gymnastics, etc.
Here is an example of the idea work history entry. This nanny listed her position, the age of the children, and her duties. She also included information on travels, specifically with the family!
Education: Most resumes include education, but specifically education post high school or the equivalent. There is no degree required to become a nanny, but an associate's degree and/or specialized certifications in early childcare development will absolutely help with career advancement. Be sure to include the institution, the dates you attended (start and end, or in progress if you’re still working), and program of study on your resume.
You can also list any formal childcare training in the education section.
Some examples of formal education training are- doula training, extensive newborn care programs, and early childhood development philosophy courses (Waldorf, RIE, Montessori, Reggio.
References: The childcare industry heavily relies on references from former employers, whether written or verbal.
Written: As nannies, we build special relationships with our employers and often times moving on (as opposed to phasing out) can seem like a personal attack to the families. Getting letters of reference from every position BEFORE you leave is something that we encourage all nannies to do. You wouldn’t want a spiteful former employer to ruin your chances with a new potential family because they are upset that you are moving on to another position. Reference letters are also great to include in your resume attachments, but they are only a supplement.
Verbal: Agencies and families alike want to SPEAK with your former employers. You will need actual references from former employers as well. Be sure to let them know you are applying so that they have a heads up, and that they will be contacted after a successful interview. Realistically no one has time to answer 20 different calls or emails about the same person for various positions, which is why agencies contact references after a successful interview and before the actual job offer.
Be sure to include a phone number and email for both your verbal and written references. If you know they aren’t good with answering the phone or checking emails, consider using someone close to them who has seen you working and will give an unbiased recommendation.
Contact information for a personal assistant, spouse, co-nanny, or grandparent is a good alternative to have, in the case we are unable to reach your employer.
Now that you know exactly what to include in your childcare based resume, you need to get started. The Indeed Resume builder is fantastic to use when building your resume from scratch.
Click here for the FREE Resume Builder, you just input your information and it formats it for you automatically.
If you already have a resume but want to spice it up, there are some design applications that allow you to add colors, images, and more. Canva.com is one of our personal favorites and they have many different options!
You can also pay for resume help from the professionals, that specialize in building nanny resumes. Your Nanny Resume and My Nanny Resume are two popular companies, and though we haven't used them personally, they have good reviews.
Either route you take, you need a childcare resume- and you need one NOW- particularly if you're currently on the job hunt! Summer is quickly approaching and families will being searching for summer and travel nannies now!
Next week we are covering what families should look for in a nanny!
If you have any thoughts or comments on our resume post, leave them below!
Thanks for reading!
-The So Life Agency Team