The most frustrating part of a care job search is applying for a position you are perfect for, waiting anxiously for a response and then getting nothing but silence in return. Care.com is a great resource for finding that ideal job. There are many posted opportunities and lots of people looking for work. But it’s easy for families to get overwhelmed by great candidates. So how do you stand out from the crowd?
Here are 12 ways to improve your profile, your application and your chances of landing that dream job.
1. Be First
Once you receive an email job alert, respond to new postings ASAP. Families tend to look at the first applicants rather than the last.
2. Be Persistent
Follow up once you’ve sent an application. If it’s a job you are really interested in, send a follow-up message to see if they have hired anyone. Re-state why you are a good fit. You may just have slipped below the radar and this additional message now puts you at the top of their inbox.
3. Be Referenced
When you have completed a job for a family through Care.com, ask them to provide your profile with a review – you can request this from your account.
4. Be Social
Advertise your services beyond Care.com. You never know who’s on the site or who’s looking for help. Tweet your profile link on Twitter or mention on your Facebook profile that you are looking for a job, with a link to your profile. You can’t promote yourself on the Care.com Fan page with your contact info, but you can definitely do so on your own Facebook page. You may have friends looking to hire someone through Care.com, who may not know that you are also on the site.
5. Be Detailed
Use keywords in your profile that people might search for or gravitate towards. Looking for a nanny job? Incorporate words associated with being a nanny. For example, mention if you provide after-school care or have your own transportation. Include language like “I am a nanny who cooks healthy meals for children” and give examples of your favorite nutritious treats. Using the right words and details can help more families find you when they search for specific traits they find important.
6. Be Personal
If you received an email from someone you didn’t know and it just read, “Hi. Call Me.”, you would probably not be very eager to respond. Families feel the same way when you reply to their jobs. Don’t copy and paste the same generic message to all families. Your response to a job post is essentially your babysitter or nanny cover letter. Personalize and customize it for this specific position. Say why you are a good fit for what they need, and provide unique details that illustrate who you are and why they would be lucky to have you. Give the family every reason to respond to you over other job seekers.
7. Be Punctual
Respond to messages when you say you will. Many families are looking to hire soon after they join Care.com so the faster you respond to a family’s message, the more likely you are to beat out the competition. Responding quickly to messages also shows families that you are serious about finding a job and indicates that you will also be punctual and organized when taking care of their children.
8. Be Knowledgeable
Care.com has a whole library of resources! From what to have in your nanny bag to what families should include on an emergency list, we provide you with as much information as possible. Many people ask questions on our Facebook page and in the comment sections at the end of articles. Most of the time, we already have the answer in an article. If your job search is a struggle, check out some of our articles for tips and tricks. Read article comments along with Facebook and blog posts. Maybe someone asked the same question that you have and another person has already responded. Our members give great advice to one another so it might be worthwhile for you to check out those other resources.
9. Be Active
Ever heard the saying “looking for a job is a full-time job”? What does that mean on Care.com? Log in daily. Respond to a job, comment on an article, add references, etc. The more active you are, the higher your profile appears in search results. And no one wants to hire someone who last checked their account three weeks ago. That would worry a family, especially if they need someone ASAP. By logging in daily, you show you are serious about finding a job. Hundreds of babysitters are also looking for a job. If you aren’t participating and searching daily, that perfect job is going to be snatched up before you log back onto the site!
10. Be Appropriate
Competition is stiff, but don’t lower your standards just to grab a job. You shouldn’t charge (and families should not feel comfortable offering) two dollars an hour to watch four kids. That’s not fair to you or the children. You are caring for a child’s safety, providing educational activities and acting as a parent while the parents are not available. Care.com has a disclaimer that families must pay at least the minimum wage (which may differ depending on where you live). Most families will pay an appropriate rate for a caregiver if that person has everything the family is looking for. Talk with the family about a pay rate that you both are comfortable with, but if they offer you three dollars an hour, it’s probably not a family you want to work for anyway.
11. Be Seasonal
Changes in seasons mean changes in a family’s needs, and we see this often at Care.com. More families need help in the summer when school is out. If you have lifeguard training, tweak your profile in the summer to highlight that skill. If it’s winter, talk about your love for skiing and how you would be comfortable going with families to the nearby slopes.
It’s a good idea to search for jobs on Care.com all year round. And it’s best to start looking for jobs early. Once summer hits, all of the university students and people who are only looking for seasonal jobs sign up on the site and the competition becomes much stiffer.
12. Be Complete
Add more to a profile that may be a bit barren. Talk about not only your favorite movies, but also your favorite movies to watch with kids. Maybe reminisce about your days as a hockey star or a ballerina, and you’ll appeal to families who are involved with those activities.
Make sure your profile features these must-have items:
- Uploaded Documents: That “On File” green tick mark can make all the difference. It shows you’re serious about being a carer and have no skeletons in your closet. Plus, you will appear higher on the search results page and get more exposure. To upload documents, go to your My Care.com Profile and click on “My Documents”. Using the “Add new documents” link in the upper right-hand corner, select documents from your files such as your resume, background check, certificates and licences.
- Photo: What makes a great photo? Check out our article about uploading profile pictures on Care.com.
- Certification: Are you certified in First Aid? Nursing? CPR? Lifeguarding? Dog training? You are looking to be hired to care for a family’s kids, seniors, pets or home so if you have the right certification, a family may be more apt to higher you.
- Skills. Now is not the time to be humble. List all of the specific skills you’ve acquired. Use several different examples.
Above all else, don’t get discouraged. We know the job search can be rough and that it takes a lot of time. So get noticed and hired with a stellar profile.