How to write a Nanny CV
I’m sat here staring at a blank screen, it’s round about that time to update my CV. What is it about talking about ourselves that makes this part of our professional lives so challenging? I’ve written countless of references for previous employees and never had any trouble whatsoever speaking about them in a positive, honest and professional manner, it just seems to come naturally that way. However, when speaking about yourself, the very person you are supposed to know better than anyone it can be somewhat tricky at times. The odd thing about writing your own CV/resume is that we become very aware that we are trying to impress other people, knowing we will be judged instantly. We want them to look at us in a particular light, one that makes them want to employ us. Yet sometimes the anxiety of speaking about yourself in a confident, although not arrogant manner seems impossible, especially when you are aware of the skills and expertise you hold in certain areas and are proud of.
Breathe in and breathe out
I think the most important thing to do when writing a CV is to relax; to consciously decide that it’s a task you are going to enjoy, rather than dread. After all, it’s a positive time to talk about yourself and get a deeper understanding of the qualities you not only possess, but also what you have to offer. What isn’t great about that?
Admittedly, you have to have a real understanding about the role you are applying for, a standard CV doesn’t work for every job. Your CV should be tailored specifically to meet the requirements of the role, assuming you possess the skills to apply for the job in the first place of course.
So, now you have relaxed about the not so dreaded CV writing process and carried out some soul searching. By understanding your qualifications, skills and unique qualities, you can approach the CV writing with nothing but a sigh…of RELIEF!
In this instance I’ll be advising you on how to write a CV for childcare, if you are applying for a role as a Nanny or Governess. It’s really important to know your qualities and unique approach to child rearing. What is it about your style that gets the best out of the children you work with? How do you provide a wonderful environment for the children, ensuring they obtain a desire to learn the educational, social skills, discipline and etiquette you implement into their daily routine? What is it that you can add to their lives that makes you stand out amongst other candidates? Do you have any special skills or talents that may prove to be beneficial in your Nanny/Governess role?
Don’t be afraid to list your qualities and potential. If you are a sportsman/woman, musician, cook, artist, writer, poet, photographer, scientist etc… then these skills should be highlighted. Families want to know that the Nanny/Governess they hire not only has experience and qualifications, but a well-rounded view of who you are as an individual. Nanny/Governess roles are very diverse and all your personal skills and achievements can usually be implemented into such a role, with a dash of thought and creativity of course.
I know a Governess who has taught the children not only a host of educational, social skills, etiquette, discipline and manners. She has now begun teaching the children computer programmes such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Photoshop. The children aged 6 and 9 really enjoy their computer lessons and are learning English as well as how to navigate computer software in a fun, interactive environment which will prove to be very useful as they grow. A modern day Mary Poppins I’d say!
Of course this is only one example however, everybody has something unique and rewarding to offer, it’s just a case of understanding what it is about you that makes you the ideal candidate. Make your CV stand out from the crowd and where you can gain qualifications or skills that you can add to it. Many people looking to work abroad as a Nanny have fabulous experience, however some don’t hold a certificate to teach English as a foreign language, otherwise known as CELTA/TEFL. This is a certificate looked very highly upon and is relatively low cost and easy to obtain, as long as you apply yourself it can be completed within a reasonably short amount of time.
Firstly, let’s think about presentation. The presentation of your CV is the first thing any employer will notice. If it looks scruffy or messy you’ll be judged at once, before they have even had a chance to look at the wonderful skills you possess. This is so easy to avoid! Whilst appreciating the fact that not everybody is a Microsoft Word genius, there are many easy ways to find out how to create a presentable and aligned CV, for example looking at a Tutorial online or asking someone who is very familiar with Word before you start sending your CV out to numerous employers/agencies. It may seem a little tedious but in the long run, very much worth the extra time spent.
As a Nanny/Governess the family almost always like to see a picture attached to the CV. It is really important here that your picture is only of yourself, or perhaps with previous charges. However, in this modern day of social media fun, camera phones and #selfies, it’s important to know that your Nanny CV isn’t the time or place for that. A happy photo, with or without children, nicely lit and with some headspace will suffice. Sending over #selfies, pictures whilst out with friends or showing too much flesh is not usually the best way to go about securing yourself a new role within a childcare setting. Keep your personal life, well, personal. Ok, so presentation is pretty simple, let’s move on.
Down to business with the CV
It’s good to specify as much information as you can when providing your personal details. The easier it is for an employer/agency to contact you if they want to arrange an interview, the better. They don’t want to have to make an extra effort, considering they may have a pile of Nanny/Governess CVs to go through. Keep it simple and make sure you are contactable. In this section I’d advise you add the following:
- Phone Number
- Country of residence
- Date of birth
- Languages (Mother tongue and other levels – fluent, intermediate, beginner)
These are all details any Nanny agency/employer will require at some point so, rather than have to keep answering the same questions if you are registered to many; it’s probably easier to put all the information into your childcare CV to begin with.
Next up, your work experience. Make a list starting with your most recent employment first. Ensure you insert the date, your job title, employer and location. For example:
December 2013-December 2014
Nanny/Governess – Blogs Family – Moscow, Russia.
It’s very important to then list what your duties were in that job. Make sure it’s clear, and has some kind of structure, as your daily routine as a child carer would be. This is the place on your CV to show off, show what you are capable, what makes you unique and how amazing it would be for you to be their Nanny/Governess. Make sure you put all work in a chronological order and include part-time roles. With regard to job gaps, don’t be afraid to put them in and explain why, it’s better than adding time to other jobs, keeping in mind that in this field, your references will always be checked. Job gaps aren’t a problem and they don’t look bad, especially if you’ve been off travelling the world. In the area of Nannying and Governessing, this aspect of your personality is sought after, considering your role will most likely include jetting off to some beautiful destinations anyway.
Moving on to your education, again in the chronological order list your education, whether it be an NVQ in childcare, Social Studies, TEFL, A Degree; put it all in there. Include the date, title and institution it was obtained. For example:
October 2012-April 2013 – Diploma in Montessori Training – New York – USA
Sept 2006–June 2009 – PGCE in teaching – Goldsmith’s University – London – UK
Next up you should add your skills; what skills do you have that show your interests as well as qualities applicable to the job? As a Nanny/Governess it is often your skills and interest in particular areas that aids you in your creativity and motivation when planning new activities, use them to your complete advantage. Skills can include languages, musical ability, sporting ability, cooking, first aid, driving, computer skills, photography etc. Put all the skills you genuinely have here, it can only work in your favour and allows your potential new employer to get a well-informed idea of the type of person you are.
Finally, don’t forget to add your references; available on request makes it more difficult for a childcare agency to check them, as well as your potential employer. Speak with your previous employer/educator who has agreed to be your referee and make sure they are prepared to take a call on your behalf as you are applying for new jobs. Providing the employer with the details is a way for them to quickly gain some more information about you as a Nanny/Governess and feel comfortable enough to go ahead and interview you. I’ve seen many references include lengthy company addresses that take up too much space on your CV – especially if you are trying to keep it at a minimum of two pages long, which as of standard is a good number of pages to keep to. An example of how you can provide your references is as follows:
Joe Blogs (Most recent employer) Mother
Telephone: +7 985 *** **** Email: [email protected]
Joe Blogs (Director of Studies, Goldsmith’s University) Tutor
Telephone: +44 207 *** **** Email: directorofstudies.ac.uk
I sincerely hope this article has helped anyone struggling to write a CV – good luck and all the best going forward in your job search!
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Mary Poppins set the standard and I’m really going to ask you to take my word for this as someone that runs a nanny agency and speaks with clients for a living. So let’s see how to find your Mary Poppins.