Ever wondered how to make sure your CV stands out from the rest? Are you often sure you tick all the boxes, and yet even so, you don’t land the elusive interview for your dream job?
Securing your dream job isn’t as straightforward as sending off your CV and waiting for the call.
These days it’s a highly competitive market and even with a rap sheet that sings your praises, it’s actually the devil in the detail that’ll move your application to the top of the pile.
So what’s the secret?
Take note, we might just have the answers you need to fast track your trajectory towards dream job status!
Today, Fiona Collins, our Happy Nest Family Consultant, shares three things she looks for on a CV when shortlisting candidates. And it’s these three golden ticket features that are often the deciding factor for whether you make the final cut and go through to the interview stage with a family.
Let’s dive right in, the three things we look for on a nanny CV, and how to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
1.) You’ve travelled abroad or had experience working abroad
It’s good news for travel bugs everywhere: travel could be considered as important as education. It indicates you’ve had a wider range of experiences.
You might be surprised to hear that your formal experience isn’t always the decision-maker. According to Fiona, if you’ve had experience working abroad (in the profession or otherwise) you’re more likely to get a second look. Similarly, if you’ve travelled overseas (even if it wasn’t for work) it could count in your favour.
When we review your CV, particularly when you first register with us and you’ve not yet had your initial registration interview, it’s this experience abroad that we look for. It’s a highly desirable element on your nanny CV because it shows you have a wide range of life experience.
As a result, you will have encountered different cultures, opinions, belief systems, and ways of doing things. And all of this valuable experience works in your favour. Because when applied to the family setting, where you’ll work with families and children of all walks of life, we know you’re likely to be more accommodating, understanding, and adaptive.
It also suggests you’ve had to overcome hardship. Be it missing a connecting flight and finding yourself stranded in an airport for 12 hours. Or running out of funds whilst stuck in a foreign country, with only 3% phone battery left. With travel comes a myriad of delays, problems and challenges.
“It’s this ability to overcome hardships and to solve problems that we find particularly endearing on a CV,” Fiona says. “It increases the likelihood that you’ll successfully navigate anything and everything that could pop up in the everyday life of a nanny.”
2.) That you’ve completed additional courses, in your own time
When you go out of your way – in your own time – to do something (like gain a certification in Forest School studies), it shows you’re keen to add value.
Let’s unpack this. There are two ways of looking at courses or extra education (we believe). The first is when you do a course to flesh out your CV (kind of because you have to). And the other is when you engage in further learning because you’re filled with the desire to better yourself. To educate yourself. To grow your learning and knowledge so you can apply it to what you do and the value you offer.
Neither one is better than the other. And in fact the first (such as your childcare qualification) is often mandatory. It goes without saying we like to see these on your nanny CV. However, with regard to the second, that’s a more distinguishing feature that will ensure your CV stays at the top of the pile.
“Having completed extra studies makes you shine amongst the rest”, says Fiona.
“When you take on further education and training (especially, when they don’t come with credits or an internationally recognised certificate) it speaks to your character, and your passion. It shows you go above the minimum requirement. And, we believe, it’s most likely to suggest the children you care for will also benefit from your ‘all the way’ mentality.”
Plus, your added knowledge is a huge benefit in itself. You never know when Mr 10 might find himself in need of help with his Geography project, and suddenly that healthy eating course you took by an LA-based health coach means you can remember the full name of Los Angeles; El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula. Talk about a mouthful!
3.) That you have experience with helping children learn in different ways
When it comes to thinking outside the box, it’s out with the old, in with the new.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably our people. Which means we’re preaching to the choir. You’ve probably got this well in hand when it comes time to polishing and submitting your CV. But for any newcomers, we’ll dust off the cobwebs.
Just as all families are different, so too are our children. Which means they learn differently. And so when it comes down to your involvement, whether you’re a sole-charge nanny during their early years helping for school readiness, or whether you’re on afternoon school-run duty and homework falls under your purview, it’s vital you’re skilled in being able to help kids in a way that’s going to benefit them most.
“It’s your ability to champion individuality and to personalise activities and learning experiences to the individual child in your care that makes you a highly desirable candidate,” Fiona says.
“When you show us, through your previous experience and career stories, how you’ve worked with bilingual children or children with learning difficulties, or children who prefer to learn through play. Or when you tell us about the time you cared for a child on the spectrum, who responded best when you used positive language and modelled behaviour as a way to help him learn how to socialise with peers, it suggests to us that you think outside the box. And it’s this characteristic, that ensures you hit the yes pile, and stay there.”
You heard it here first. You have our full permission to fly the coop in the name of bettering your career prospects. Just make sure once you’re done pursuing your interests, you return home, with your life experiences in the bag and a glowing CV prepped and ready to land your dream job!