Making your job application stand out from the crowd

Belated Happy New Year everyone! We do hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well in these difficult times. Given the current climate, it will not surprise you to know that there are a large number of nannies on the market at the moment, so it is more important than ever to ensure your application stands out from the rest.  I’ve spent over 25 years working in recruitment and our combined experience must stand at over 40 years, so we’ve seen an awful lot of CVs in our time. Here’s a few top tips to help your application rise to the top of the pile:

  • Attention to detail – this is so important. If the job you are applying for is a live out position in Oxford and the address on your CV suggests you live in Brighton, you may well be binned straight away. Have you moved recently and forgotten to update the address on your CV?
  • A covering letter – a well written personalised covering letter that is specific to the job can really attract the attention of agencies.
  • Tailor your CV – I receive so many CVs with an opening paragraph stating that the person loves working in a retail environment, or is looking for a career path in fashion – but the job they are applying for is in childcare.  Unless I can see that the person’s passion lies in childcare, they are not going to make the cut.
  • Try not to make your CV a long list of jobs – it needs to be interesting to the reader.  For those nannies who have many years of experience, you might have had lots of jobs, which is wonderful.  However, focus on your most relevant roles – e.g. those in the last 10 years and the longer term ones.  Giving the same weight to a two week temp role 20 years ago as you do to a 6 year long term role means that the reader will find it difficult to identify which ones are your main ones.  The others can be grouped together – e.g. 2012-2013 – “various temporary roles whilst seeking full time employment – more information can be provided on request”.
  • Check you meet the minimum criteria – if the advert asks for a current DBS, paediatric first aid certificate and driving licence, for example and you don’t currently tick all those boxes, explain why in your application, or state that you are willing to obtain such certifications.
  • Ensure you complete the application fully – if you are asked to explain your interest in the job or suitability for it, do answer those questions – they are a perfect opportunity to make your application shine.
  • Read through your CV again – it’s so easy to make a simple grammar mistake or include too much detail. A good rule of thumb is 2 pages – try and keep it to that. Relevant, to the point and don’t state the obvious – References available on request is a given!
  • Follow up with a phone call.  Job sites have the details of the agency on them, so look up the agency and give them a call directly too.  Agencies really appreciate proactivity from nannies and you are more likely to progress quickly this way.

Good luck everyone! Best wishes, Steph