What nannies can do to get ready for the fall hiring season

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Little girl and boy playing together with mother. Isolated over whiteBy NannyPro.com

The fall is one of the biggest hiring seasons in the nanny care field. If you’re considering looking for a position starting then, you should use your time now to get prepared. Here are some tips for getting off on the right foot for your fall job search.

Detail the type of job you want to have. Before you jump into your next job search, spend some time reflecting on the type of job you’d like to have. Sometimes if you’re in an unhappy situation now, you immediately want to jump to a job that seems like the opposite type of job. That’s often not the best choice. Invest the time to take the emotions out of your decision and really look at your wants and needs honestly. Make a list of the things you don’t have in your current situation that you want in your new situation, then prioritize those things to get a better feel for what’s most important to you.

Create a résumé. Having a well-written and up-to-date résumé is one of the basic tools of the nanny job hunter. Make sure you have detailed and accurate information listed. Use a format that is easy to read and showcases your best selling points. Proofread the final product to make sure you don’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes. Creating a great résumé takes some time and energy. This isn’t something you want to rush through. Once you’re done, ask a few friends to offer their feedback. Those who know you best are often able to give you great insight into what your résumé should say.

Polish your interviewing skills. Effective interviewing skills are a must when looking for a job. These skills aren’t something you have or don’t have. They’re something you develop over time and with practice. One of the best ways to polish your interviewing skills is to role play with a friend. Come up with a list of questions that a family might ask during an interview and have your friend play the part of the parent. Practice your answers and ask for feedback. Use the feedback to hone your answers until you feel your responses really represent the message that you want to get across.

Ask for reference letters. Reference letters are an important tool for your upcoming job search. This is the time to ask former employers, volunteer supervisors, moms you’re in a play group with, teachers and others for a reference letter. It often takes people several weeks to write a reference letter, so you don’t want to wait until you’re ready to begin your search to ask. If you start collecting letters today, by the time fall rolls around you’ll have a few impactful letters that you can add to the information you provide to agencies and families.

Bolster your financial cushion. Finding a nanny job can take weeks or months and is dependent upon several factors. Before you jump into your search, it’s important that you have a financial cushion that can help you stay financially stable if your search lasts longer than you think it might. This is the time to step up your savings and build up that cushion. Knowing that you’ll be able to pay your bills throughout your search will help keep your stress level down at a time when your attitude is key to your success.

Sharpen your specialized skills. Having a wide range of specialized skills is a big boost in your job search. Parents are looking for nannies that can speak a second language; cook healthy, tasty family meals; coach their child in specific sports; take on some household management or personal assistant tasks or do a number of other things in support of the family. The time before the fall hiring season is a great time to learn new skills and improve your current ones. If you’re looking to use a different skill in your new job than you use in your current one, it’s also a great time to volunteer or intern to get some hands on experience.

Register with the agency you want to use. Once you decide which agency or agencies you’d like to work with, this is the time to submit your information and go through the interview process. Because most agencies are open during the hours most nannies work, it can take a while to get an interview scheduled. By getting the agency work out of the way, your agency will be ready to start presenting you once you’re ready to jump into your job search full force.

This article originally appeared on NannyPro.com. NannyPro.com offers advice, tips and resources for families, nannies and babysitters.

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