Building a strong nanny resume is not that different from building a traditional resume. A note-worthy nanny resume contains several key pieces of information, such as education and work experience, but many of the free online resume builders are geared toward corporate jobs. The best nanny resume examples will often look more like the resume of a teacher or healthcare provider, and they go beyond the standard sections to include things that are unique to the position of a childcare provider, particularly if the position desired is a full time or live in nanny.
This post will take the would-be nanny or the experienced child care provider through the steps necessary to build a resume that catches the eye of potential employers, but it can also be used by former nannies and even babysitters who are transitioning to a new job.
Many job seekers think the goal of a resume is to get the job they are applying for, but that is not the case! The goal of a good resume is actually a little more straightforward than that. The goal of any successful resume is to get noticed by a prospective employer enough to land an interview. Many job seekers struggle with balancing how much information to include as well as the best way to describe their experiences (work experiences as well as education, volunteer, and life experiences). Since studies have shown that most employers spend no more than seven seconds on each resume, having a succinct, memorable resume is critical to getting to that next step.
A resume is your best way to make a positive first impression, so investing some time to make your nanny resume showcases your skills and abilities to their best advantage is critical. Before you even pull up that blank page (or pull out that resume that has not been updated for five years), start by researching target job ads for positions in your field. As you review the postings and job descriptions, make a list of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that seem important in the nanny jobs that are most attractive to you.
Now, set that list to the side and start brainstorming. List everything you have done that seems remotely relevant or that you would want a potential employer to know about you. Job history, childcare experience (anything from watching your little brother to working in a pre-K), volunteer experiences, special projects, skills, hobbies — anything you can think of should be written down.
Compare your brainstormed list to the KSAs you found from searching through available nanny jobs. Highlight any items from your list that map to the desired knowledge, skills, and abilities of the job description of your desired nanny position. Take special note of the terminology from the job posting, and, where appropriate, update your own list of KSAs using language (key words and phrases) that is similar to the descriptions on the posting. This background work and preparation will equip you with what you need to draft a nanny resume that highlights how well you fit with what the prospective employer is seeking.
The first basic question in resume writing is what format to use. May employers will specify if they prefer a Word document, a PDF file, or some other method, but as far as templates go, you can find a number of sample nanny resumes and nanny resume templates simply by searching for nanny resume examples online. In addition, Google Docs and Word and a variety of other programs offer downloadable templates that can be filled in and then saved to whatever format you desire. In many cases, the templates can be finicky with very defined spacing, embedded tables, and prescribed color schemes, so lean toward simpler templates if you decide to go that route.
As you draft your resume, you may be tempted to make it appealing through creative fonts, unusual color schemes, and specialized formatting. In many cases, this can make the resume appear unprofessional or amateurish. Judicious use of bold, UPPERCASE, italics, different font sizes, and bullet points can add visual interest while also making the resume easy to read and scan for key information. Remember, if you only have seven seconds to catch someone’s attention, you need to make it easy for them to put your resume in the interview rather than the discard pile.
Most of the best nanny resumes are only one page. If you challenge yourself to limit your resume to one page, you will force yourself to use words that are descriptive without being repetitive, to consolidate similar tasks and experiences, and to use the space you have to its best advantage. Don’t panic, though, if your resume runs a bit longer. Just make sure you are being as concise as possible. Two pages of relevant, non-repetitive information may be what you need, especially if you have a longer work history.
Your name, usually in a larger, bolder font than the rest of the resume, should be listed at the top of the resume, along with your address, phone number, email, and any social media handles. It is poor form to use an email from your current employer, e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org, so use your personal email in your contact information. If you run a blog or website, have a LinkedIn profile, or have links to creative works or projects, you may also wish to include that information in the header.
The first section of many resume templates also includes a section for an Objective Statement or a Summary Statement. While objective statements are often considered outdated (after all, the objective is usually some version of “to get the job I am applying for”), summary statements can be useful, especially to the nanny resume. Summary statements are just that — a one or two sentence statement that quickly summarizes the resume. For example, something along the lines of, “Patient, capable nanny with 3+ years of experience caring for children from newborn through age 15. Former swim instructor and lifeguard with CPR certification, a clean driving record, and familiarity with potty training as well as pre-teen outdoor adventures.” is really all you need in this section.
If you do not have a lot of relevant work history or if you are still attending college or university, the next major section of the resume is typically the Education and Training section. Lead with the highest level of education (even if that education is still in progress). If education is still in progress, list the expected graduation date. If your GPA is 3.5 or higher, you may wish to include that info as well as noteworthy achievements such as the Dean’s List, Honors College, leadership positions, awards, or scholarships.
Resumes of college students or college graduates do not usually include high school, but if there was something noteworthy about your pre-college academic experiences, such as attending a performing arts school or exclusive prep school, you may wish to include as it provides a possible way to connect with or stand out for potential employers.
If you have an impressive work history or if it has been some time since you have been in school, the Work or Professional Experience section may come before the Education section. For many parents and prospective employers, this is the most important section to determine if what you have done before has adequately prepared you for the task of managing young children.
As you list your jobs and job duties, be flexible. If you have had lots of similar jobs back to back, it is acceptable to group them together under a primary job title, though generally the work experiences are listed in reverse chronological order. Freelance Nanny, Full Time Nanny, and Part Time Nanny are all perfectly acceptable ways to categorize past experience as a nanny. If you have worked in high-population areas such as New York City or have worked for a well-known family, be sure that you include that kind of information (with the family’s permission, of course).
Babysitting and other types of nanny services are common, so do not shy away from your experiences with younger siblings or neighborhood children, and make sure that you list anything unique about your past childcare experiences. Resume experts and recruiters alike will confirm that anything that makes you stand out in a positive way can be useful. For example, if you have ever worked with a child who had special needs or provided care to an elderly person with dementia, make sure your resume reflects that desirable skill, even if you are not applying for a position that involves those particular situations.
If you find yourself stuck trying to remember what exactly your duties were, take a look at current or former job descriptions. It is likely that someone has already spent a lot of time describing what a past, current, or desired job entails, so you can use the job description as a jumping off point.
Use bullet points and brief summary statements in this section. Good active verbs for nanny duties may include taught, modeled, supervised, promoted, sparked, administered, and so on.
The best nanny resumes, like most other resumes, can be counted on to include certain characteristics, so below are some resume tips on what to do and what to avoid when crafting the perfect resume.
While in many standard resumes the skills section can be an afterthought or even left off altogether, the skills section of the nanny resume is crucial in conveying what specific skills, talents, or prerequisites you bring to the job. Nanny resume skills can be divided into hard skills, such as first-aid certified in newborn resuscitation or the ability to teach piano, as well as soft skills, such as creative approaches to learning or high-energy activity planner.
The Skills section may also include things that are not so much skills are they are key facts, such as having a clean driving record or the ability to speak other languages. If you have the resources or connections to schedule desirable play dates (especially important for high-end nanny jobs in more exclusive zip codes), include that info as well! If you have other skills or hobbies that a potential employer can connect with, like running an Ultimate Frisbee competition, finishing a marathon, or solving a Rubik’s cube in under a minute, the Skills section may be a good place to include that info.
Nannies are typically expected to have certification in Infant CPR and Pediatric First Aid, and some positions require Water-Safety Training, Child Development Associate Certification, and/or nutrition and fitness training. Be sure to include any type of training and certification that is typically expected (remember those KSAs we talked about earlier) as well as any that may set you apart from other applicants.
It is usually a good idea to include any associations, clubs, volunteer experiences, publications, or presentations that you have to your credit. If you have been a member of an orchestra, an athletic team, or something similar, you will want to include that as well. Any position of responsibility with your roles should also be highlighted.
Below is a high-level outline of a sample nanny resume that can be customized into your desired template or format. The order and key components will, of course, vary based on your own preference, your background, and your desired position. Even if you have been a nanny but are now moving into a different role, the nanny resume sample statements throughout this post should be able to help you see how to list nanny experience on a professional resume.
When building your own resume, be flexible. There is no one right way to do a resume, just as there is more than one way to be a successful nanny. Explore a variety of nanny resume templates as you work to create a resume that uniquely represents you.
Now that you have drafted a strong nanny resume, what next? When you reviewed job postings, did anything catch your eye? As a job seeker, one easy way to connect with potential employers is to register yourself and your resume with a job posting forum such as Care As One that specializes in supporting employers and job seekers in the childcare and elder care industry.