How to write a strong Nanny CV
Posted on 21st April 2022
Each week I am emailed a large volume of CVs and see some BIG mistakes! I thought it was about time I wrote a blog outlining what should be on a well written CV.
In this article I will outline what to include in a CV when pursuing a Nanny career.
Your contact information
When you’re registered with me and I send your CV to a family, I will remove your personal information (and anything identifying a previous employer, for GDPR compliance). However when sending your CV to an agency, it should have your name, address (or at very least, town) and your phone number and email address.
Your education history
If you’re further on in your career with a lot of training and courses, you can probably remove your secondary school to shorten a CV. Otherwise, you should show your GCSEs and any other qualifications – however be sure to give more detail on relevant courses. Childcare training, online courses in behaviour, montessori training etc – this should all be clearly laid out with dates.
An opening statement
I see a lot of CVs that show no personality! My personal pet hate is bullet points – I would much rather read in your own words what a job entailed, what you learnt and what you loved. Also bullet points makes a CV more lengthy.
I would strongly advise you start your CV with a paragraph about you – summarise your experience, why you’re good at your job and what you’d bring to a family. This is your first impression on a family and you want to sell yourself and make yourself stand out against other candidates.
You can also use this to outline the role you’re seeking – the general location, hours you require, and your ideal age range. Specify if you’re happy to work with a family with pets, if you’re a driver with your own car and business insurance, and any other musts for you in your next role.
You should outline all jobs, in separate paragraphs. Another peeve of mine is seeing (eg) ‘2009-2020 – nannying for various families’. This gives me zero information about your background, and won’t impress a potential employer. I need to know how long you spent with each family as well as any gaps in your employment.
For each role you should include:
1. Dates of employment - be sure to list month/year for start and end. Telling me you worked for a family from 2020-2021 could mean you were there 2 full years (Jan 2020-Dec 2021) - or 1 month (Dec 2020 – Jan 2021) and again doesn’t highlight any gaps in employment. If there are any gaps – address them.
2. The location of the role. It will help a family to know you’ve worked locally in previous roles, as you’ll know schools, activities and classes close by.
3. Working hours – especially if you’ve had a couple of jobs alongside each other – it can be really confusing to see overlapping dates with differing families, without having it spelt out that you worked Mondays and Tuesdays with Family A, and Wed-Fri with family B.
4. The ages of the children – this should be such an obvious one but is missed A LOT! If I can’t see the ages you’ve worked with, how many children you’ve cared for at once, how do I know what roles will suit you in the future? Always list the ages of the children in your care when you started a job. Instantly I can see that you have worked (for example) with babies, through weaning, changing routines, potty training, settling children into school…. And I can use that information to sell you to a new employer.
5. A summary of the role – once you’ve got the basics (working hours, location of family, ages of children) tell me what you spend your time doing! What activities do you and the children enjoy, what do you do with them to further their learning, how do you juggle the various ages. This can be samey for different roles but do try to make each job slightly different and specific to that family – avoid copy and pasting at all costs.
6. A reason for leaving – this is hugely important and often neglected. An agency (and potential employer) will question why you left that family after only 6 months – however if we already know its due to the family relocating, or a parent taking over the childcare, we can see its not down to you.
I often CVs that are varying fonts and sizes across the document, which looks messy. Also personally it really helps me if you don’t use a million text boxes or formatting – I will edit your CV to an extent and this is made really tricky if its formatted lots already! Keep it simple and concise.
Any specialist skills
Often upon interviewing a nanny I discover that they speak another language, play an instrument, can ski, or even that they have twin nieces/nephews they spend a lot of time with. When I mention its not on their CV, they admit they didn’t feel its relevant – but its all relevant to see how you will fit with a new family and their interests. This is where you sell your strengths! Tell them you’re a great cook and really enjoy baking. Make it clear you played in that sports team. Show them what you can bring to their family.
Again, I will take this off your CV before sending to a family but its information I need! Don’t use up a whole page listing addresses – its outdated and no one writes to referees nowadays. I need your employers name, phone number and email address – and most importantly make sure you have their permission to list them as a referee and share their contact details.
They say a good CV is two pages. I think with nannying, more information is better than less – so I am happy with a CV that’s around 3 pages long. However, with nanny roles typically ending after a few years (since children grow and needs change) this can mean when you’ve been nannying a while, you end up with pages more! You don’t need to list nanny jobs from the 80s.
I would advise you list each separate role covering the last 10 years as a minimum. If you’ve been nannying for 30 years, I would condense the older roles, but outline any specialist work – eg:
‘Between 1993 and 2010, I worked in both nurseries and as a nanny. I worked with X amount of families in this period, typically working with each family for between 2-4 years. I worked with children aged between 8 weeks and 12 years, including twins and a child with a speech impairment. More detail can be provided upon request.’
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