Hello fellow nannies! Are you excited to get out there and get hired for your dream nanny job? Do you know you have what it takes to provide best practice care for a family? Are you frustrated by being passed up for a job because they found someone else? Well, here are a few tips to help you stand out as a professional when being considered for a position caring for young children.
First, it is very important that you know what your own philosophy for caring for children is. You need to understand what is important to you when providing care for infants, toddlers, preschool, and school age children. Each of these age groups are uniquely different and require different care. What is your approach on providing developmentally appropriate activities for each age group? I know it can seem overwhelming at first, but a family looking to hire you wants to know what you believe is important and how you will care for their child. It is most helpful if you have taken the time to understand this for yourself prior to interviewing for a position.
I think the best way to showcase your professionalism is by creating a professional portfolio. If you have taken college courses they may have spoken about this, and some early childhood education degrees will require you to build a portfolio over the course of your classes. But don’t worry, if you have never heard of a professional portfolio before, I will help point you in the direction to get yours started! A portfolio will showcase your experience, education, references, philosophies, and achievements. It will also help you stand out among other qualified candidates.
So, are you feeling lost yet? Wondering where to start? No worries! The main things your portfolio should have are; personal information, professional resume, degree/transcripts/certifications, personal philosophies, references, professional achievements, and anything else you may have that makes you stand out as a professional. These can be activities you have done with the five NAEYC standards, a paper on your understanding of NAEYC standards, or pictures showing you in the field.
Start with who you are. What makes you, you? Introduce yourself in a one page paper that describes your background and current lifestyle. This should be the first thing in your portfolio. Next, add your resume. Your resume may have already been given to the person interviewing you, but it is always good to present it in your portfolio as well. Also remember to update your portfolio as you have gained new experiences. If you have a degree, you will want to put in a copy of it as well as transcripts from courses you have taken. Next, put copies of any certifications you have such as first aid/cpr, OSHA, or any other specialty certifications you may have earned. After you have taken the time to write up what your personal philosophies for caring for children are, add these to your portfolio too. You will want to add a list of references which can include letters of reference if you wish. And lastly, anything you have done that showcases your professional achievements. For example; a “teacher of the year award,” thank you pieces, seminar packets, or service awards. If you have had any experience with the NAEYC standards, it would be icing on the cake for you to include anything you can to showcase that.
Keep in mind that organization and professionalism go a long way! So when putting it all together keep it well organized, easy to read, and professional looking. I truly believe that a portfolio is a great way to help professional nannies stand out and showcase themselves! Good luck!