Chicago is a wonderful nanny-friendly city. There are plenty of families in every neighborhood and tons of kid-friendly activities that nannies can enjoy with their charges. If you’re on the hunt for a new family in Chicago, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the process. That’s why we’re sharing a few tips to help prepare you before you start your next job hunt!
1. Make sure your resume is up-to-date
Some nannies may not revise their resume very often, especially if they’re employed by a family for a long time. And that’s okay!
To update your resume, be sure to:
- Add any recent experience. Don’t forget to add the location, length of job, and details about your work.
- How old were the children?
- Did you have unique responsibilities like planning special meals, handling medical needs, or tutoring?
- How long were you with the family?
- Include new skills, training, or certifications. Maybe you’ve obtained certification in a new field, or you learned a new skill related to tutoring or child care since you last updated your resume. This is also a great time to update your CPR/First Aid if those certifications are expired. As a college-educated nanny, you should also share information about where you went to school, your major, and if you graduated with honors.
- Check the small details. The details of your resume can make a big difference! Check that your contact information is current. Read your resume out loud to see if it flows smoothly. Make sure your punctuation, verb tense, and formatting are consistent.
2. Collect at least three references
It’s common for parents to request references from your previous families or employers before they decide whether to hire you. Make sure your key references will emphasize your skills, work ethic, and character.
Choose at least three references, such as:
- Previous families who employed you. A potential new family will want to get a feel for your child care experience, and a former employer can provide helpful insight into your child care methods.
- A teacher. If you have an educational background in child development or early childhood education, a teacher can speak about your exceptional knowledge, as well as your productivity, motivation, or organizational skills.
- A supervisor or colleague. If you don’t have several families in your work history but have experience in other jobs or volunteer work, choose someone you worked with for a reference. Even if this person wasn’t involved in your child care career, they’ll have a sense of your character and personality.
Don’t forget to ask your references if they’re comfortable being added to your list, and let them know you’re interviewing for nanny positions. Once they give you permission, let them know when they can expect to be contacted on your behalf.
3. Boost your professionalism with certification and training
Parents are willing to pay nannies who are certified and trained more money. CPR and first aid certifications are basic, highly-valued training courses, and many families have this listed as a “must-have” for their nanny applicants. Organizations like the American Red Cross can help you find local courses in your area. You can also check for courses in the Chicago area on sites like Yelp.
Once you’ve been certified in CPR and First Aid, don’t forget about other certifications. Water-safety certification can be handy if you often bring kids to water playgrounds in the city, Navy Pier, or the beach. Even if you expect to take public transport to and from your job, it helps to have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record. Your employers may ask you to run errands or take the children to locations far from CTA routes. Plus, it’s useful to have in case of emergencies that require you to drive.
Find a family with Chicago Collegiate Nannies
Now that you’ve got everything you need to start applying to nanny jobs, it’s time to start your search! If you don’t have as much time as you’d like to devote to your search, or you want to be sure your skills will match a family’s needs, join Chicago Collegiate Nannies. We work to connect you with the right Chicago family, making sure your placement benefits both you and the family. As a bonus, there is no cost to nannies to join our agency. To learn more about joining Chicago Collegiate Nannies, check out our application process and requirements.