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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Table Talk Thursday: Nanny Portfolio A to Z


Nanny Portfolios A to Z
by Myrna Alphonse
NAN Conference Phoenix Arizona
Copyright September 2004



In this tight economic period, I recently had the experience of putting to work my time tested portfolio skills. The content still proved positive results! This is your chance to put together a portfolio of your own or revamp a portfolio you already are using.


Why Have a Portfolio?


Nanny Portfolio: A factual summary of accomplishments compiled in report format of your entire nanny career

• Condensed documentation of your record in an unlicensed field

• Creates a foundation of your personal story

• Solidifies a good first impression of your level of professionalism

• Differentiates your career accomplishments from simple log form resumes or agency applications

• Measurable tool to self-evaluate your career objectives



A-Accumulate artifacts
• Photos
• Journal entries
• Sample activities

B-Build relationships
• Potential references
• Vendors
• School personnel
• Relatives of the employers
• Household staff

C-Condense information into subcategories
• Skills achieved from each position
• Daily routines with children
• Household responsibilities
• Special projects overseen

D- Design your layout
Select a logo and desirable font
• Try to use 10-12 point size
• Simple, Eye-catching
• Dark colored ink
• If in doubt lean towards business conservative

E- Educate yourself
Working with children requires ongoing learning
• Know all areas of the nanny business
• Subscribe to periodicals
• Read current methodologies
• Review developmental stages

F- Format a style
Less speaks volumes
• Heavy stock paper preferred
• Use crisp linen colors
• Be creative
• Consider your portfolio a creative extension of your resume!

G- Grow within each position
Seize opportunities to gain experience
• Take initiative
• Share your talents with charges
• Be open to learn from the family’s lifestyle

H- Highlight your strengths
Showcase the best of you
• Document poignant memories with photos
• Action oriented

I- Investigate opportunities of interest
Proactively seize possibilities
• Your weekly hangouts with charges
• Volunteer with an age range you enjoy
• Flyers, brochures, local papers

J- Juggle multiple tasks
Describe practical life skills
• Nannies are naturally gifted multi-taskers
• Morning routines
• Evening routines
• Communication routines

K- Know your audience
Gain insight about your potential future employer’s taste
• Most employers are in a higher economic bracket
• Knowledge of business theory
• Read lifestyle publications

L- Lock in message
Leave your reader with only you in mind
• Lingering effect
• Gain an edge over competitors
• Repeat your agenda at least once

M- Meaningful message
Your logo exudes clues about who you are and what you have to offer
• Overt
• Subtle

N- Note physical details
Proofread, proofread, proofread
• Utilize several sources
• Perfect product goal

O- Observe
Chart developmental progress along a continuum
• Weekly
• Monthly
• Annual report


P- Philosophy statement
Summarizes your preferred style of childcare
• Recap personal positive attributes
• Identify your discipline style
• Consider top goals for children

Q- Quality quotient
Basic questions should be easily identified
• Easy to read
• Symmetric format from family to family
• Answers in gaps of employment

R- Research
Have samples of reports to support your philosophy
• Family Fun, Parents, etc.
• Medical Journals
• Newspapers, credible TV programs, internet

S- Specify
Utilize action words to describe abilities
• Adjectives of motion
• Active adverbs

T- Timing
Effectively use time to captivate audience quickly
• Average portfolio 5-10 pages
• Average reader only reads first few sentences of each paragraph

U- Unique
Your personal spin is best
• Thematic
• Interesting
• Image Conscious

V- Verify
Keep up to date records of previous employment
• Send annual holiday greetings
• Create an email address book
• Prior to new post alert past employers of potential callers

W- Whole child
• Social/emotional
• Physical
• Intellectual

X- eXtreme eXamples
Positive recognition of going beyond stated duties
• Atypical positions
• Unusual situations

Y- Youthful
Your portfolio should look child friendly NOT childish
• Avoid cartoon caricatures
• Save childlike ornaments for photo pages

Z- Zest
Career passion emanates on each page
• References
• Resume
• Philosophy Statement
• Summary of Work History
• Certificates
• Published articles & honorary awards


Nanny Professionalism is the gateway to success in your career. A portfolio is where that image begins!


Myrna Alphonse is a career nanny/parent consultant of 19 years transitioning to the counseling field. She specializes in families in crisis by bringing calm to chaos. Myrna resides in Washington, DC.

3 comments:

Anonymous October 29, 2009 at 8:00 AM  

I forwarded this on to my Nannies so they can get started on updating and improving their portfolios.

Great idea!

Patti at NannyMall dot com

CincyNanny October 29, 2009 at 3:05 PM  

Love this! I have a few Nannies working on this right now! Thanks!!

Greta
cincynanny.com

Anonymous October 29, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

Great article and well written!

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