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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Tips for Finding a New Nanny Job

Tips for Finding a New Nanny Job
By Genevieve Thiers
Founder and CEO of

It's never easy leaving a nanny job and leaving behind a family you've come to truly care for. Complicating matters is the fact that you're also left without a job and without an income to support yourself as you've been doing – no doubt about it, the transition period is a tough one.

As the founder of, I've seen countless babysitters and nannies in transition and looking for work. To help nannies in transition find a new nanny job, I've put together some tips designed to give you an edge and get back in the game.

Get Connected

The only way to find a job is to put yourself out there. From frequent networking to online searches, connecting with people is going to help you a great deal in your job hunt.

• Reconnect with references. Not only will you need these references to vouch for you in the very near future, but they or someone they know may also be looking for a nanny while you're looking for a job. If not, they can still keep an eye out for you and pass along any job leads they come across.

• Post your profile on On Sittercity, a job is posted every 5 minutes. Head over there to create your detailed nanny profile so you can apply to those jobs and get in front of hundreds of thousands of parents looking for caregivers! Make sure your profile is as complete as possible (pictures, references, background check, etc.) so you'll rise to the top of parents' searches.

• Be a backup for friends. If you have friends who babysit, let them know that they can feel free to refer you to a family if they can't make it to a job and need a back-up caregiver.

Focus on Standing Out

In this economy, many nannies find that they're up against stiff competition when it comes to landing the best jobs with the best families. Now more than ever, it's so important to do everything you can to help yourself stand out in the crowd.

• Update your resume. Make sure your resume includes any additional experience you gained while on your last job (did you sit for multiples? Were you responsible for driving the children? Did you often cook meals or do housework?) as well as any new training or skills you may have acquired, such as CPR or first aid.

• Use your downtime wisely. While you're looking for a new job, use your downtime to get more safety training or to volunteer in a child care-related field. This will not only help keep your skills fresh, it can also help you network and connect to other potential jobs.

• Get a background check. Running a background check on yourself is simple (you can do right on Sittercity) and is a great way to show parents that you're professional, trustworthy and eager to find work.

• Learn the tricks of applying to jobs. Applying to a nannying job might sound simple, but you'd be surprised how many people overlook the little details that make a big difference! Click here to read an article that fills you in on all the dos and don'ts of applying to a nanny job.

Put Together a Nanny Portfolio

Before you head out on any interviews, make sure you've put together a detailed nanny portfolio that you can give to parents to show them that you're organized and professional.

Here's what your portfolio should include:
• Updated resume, complete with your contact information
• List of references and their email/phone number
• Availability schedule
• Copies of certifications or diplomas you've earned
• Copy of clean background check
• Copy of your driving record, if you'll be driving the children
• Printed version of your online profile to help parents remember you
• Printed version of your online reviews, if you have them
• List of activities/games you like to play with children

Prep for Interviews Like a Pro

Whether or not it's been a while since you've been on an actual nanny interview, it's important to set some time aside to prepare yourself for the meeting.

Review interview questions. In addition to reviewing the common questions you'll be asked on a nanny interview, you should also prepare your own list of interview questions to ask the parents. This shows that you're engaged, thoughtful and well-prepared to handle the position.

• Review your nanny portfolio. Make sure you have several copies of each document in case some juice or coffee gets spilled on the originals, and double-check to make sure everything is up-to-date and spelled correctly.

• Dress for success. Wear a clean, wrinkle-free outfit that is free of stains, tears or faded fabric. Since most parents use the interview period to introduce you to the children, you should wear something modest that allows movement, so don't pick anything too formal or anything you'll be uncomfortable in.

Follow Up

After your interviews, send a polite, gracious email to the parents to thank them for taking the time to meet with you. Keep it brief and tell them not to hesitate to contact you with any additional questions they may have.

Genevieve Thiers is the founder and CEO of, the country's largest and most trusted online source for child care. Through Sittercity, she has been able to transform her vast child care experience into an award-winning company and the industry leader in online care. In addition to literally writing the book on child care, titled "Love at First Sit," Genevieve has also shared child care tips, tricks and trends with hundreds of audiences across the country, from those of the TODAY show to Babytalk Magazine


Anonymous July 7, 2009 at 9:59 PM  

Excellent article! I really like the idea of a portfolio to bring with you. I always bring my resume and references, but the other items could certainly be an excellent step-up for anyone looking for a new position. Espescially in these times, you need to truly prove yourself as the right person for the family you are interviewing with, because you can count on there being lots of other folks looking for a job as well.

Anonymous July 7, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

Love the post!

My portfolio got me my last 2 positions! :D It's a MUST in job searching.

maric July 8, 2009 at 11:15 PM  

I thought it a very good article. I think networking is profoundly important both in job searching and in staying current as a nanny. I also like the list of items of what to put in a portfolio was good

Marsha Epstein July 11, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

Excellent advice. One thing missing, however, is the benefit of using a nanny agency that you have a good feeling about. We find that many nannies are coming to us for help in marketing, coaching, presenting and matching with the many families who still want to invest in a great match and a great nanny. Nanny agencies can be a big help to those who would rather brush up on their childcare skills than spending too much on marketing and self promotion. Not to say that nannies should not invest in portfolios, great resumes, wonderful reference letters and networking, too. Agencies are also a good tool when a nanny feels that they can listen, understand and appreciate their skills and employment, salary and benefits needs. Almost all of our employers give benefits and follow other professional guidelines.

Marsha Epstein
American Nanny Company, Inc.

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