How to Respond to Job Postings and Land the Job!

Communicating with parents in the right way is extremely important when applying for a job. Parents have many candidates to choose from so you need to be sure you stand out from the crowd and make an very professional first impression.

To help you make the best first impression, we have put together a list of Do's and Don'ts for your job application and communications with parents.

Dos:

  • Be professional.
    You may think of a babysitting job as a casual position or something that you just want to do to make some extra money, but that's not something a parent wants to hear. To a parent, finding a babysitter or nanny is an extremely important decision and parents want to be sure their candidate is trustworthy and takes the job seriously. By being professional, you show parents that the job is extremely important to you.
  • Being Professional means WritingProfessional.
    How you write/type isn't just seen as a reflection of your personality, it's also viewed as a sign of your intelligence. After all, parents want their children to be influenced in positive ways. So, if you write something like, "i luv kids, love chilren, please call me to skedule a time thanks," it's pretty safe to assume you won't get the job. You must use complete sentences, proper grammar, and correctly spell words. If you're not a native Engish speaker, there's nothing wrong with starting your sentence with:"I am a native speaking Chinese speaker, so please be patient with my grammar and spelling."
  • Stay Relevant.
    When writing a job profile or sending a message to a parent stick to the 80/20 rule. 80% of your message should be about your experience working with children and your qualifications and 20% should be about yourself and your hobbies, etc. Even though you want to share your personality with the parents, there is a time to do this and your profile or first communications are not the place to do so. Stay professional to make the best first impression!
  • Read the job posting carefully.
    If you quickly skim a job posting, you may miss crucial information about the job -- information that may prevent you from being able to accept it. For example, a parent may need a sitter who has experience with asthma or may need a nanny who can work on Saturday mornings. If you miss any pieces of information in the job posting, you could end up applying to a job you're not qualified for, wasting not just the parent's time, but your own as well.
  • Always proofread your application.
    After you're done writing your profile or message to a parent, please take the time to proofread it once or twice to be absolutely sure it's correct. A great tip is to copy and paste your writing into Word to find any errors or mistakes. Parents want to hire nannies and sitters that are knowledgeable, professional, and can teach their children how to properly write and spell.
  • Be motivated and enthusiastic!
    We recommend you write in a way that shows parents that you are very enthusiastic about the job and the specific family. You can achieve that by referring to something the parent may have wrote in their job description or telling a story about your past work experience with kids ("At my last position as a babysitter I loved to build pillow-forts with the kids in the playroom. We had a blast!").

DON'TS

  • Don't tell parents why YOU WANT the job. Tell them why THEY WANT YOU.
    A big mistake many applicants make is telling parents they are looking for a job, because they need money or have some extra time on their hands. Is this something you would want to hear if you were the parent? Probably not. There are better ways to convince the parent that you are qualified for the position. Focus on why the parent would want to hire you including your qualifications, experience, etc.
  • Are you writing a job application or a text message?
    We have already stressed the importance of staying professional. When writing your profile or message to parents, don't use slang, abbreviations, use ALL CAPS, or be too casual. If you really want the job you should take the time to write in full sentences, think about what you're writing, and take the time to proofread. Anything else will make you seem inexperienced to parents. Don't give parents a reason to delete your message or overlook your profile!
  • Don't write a novel.
    When you're trying to tell a parent about yourself, focus on your child care experience, not simply your personal background. Writing about your background is great, but it should always be related to why you want the job or why you are qualified for the position. ("As a parent of a sweet 2 year old myself, I understand what it takes to care of an energetic toddler. I love to play sports with active kids..." instead of "I'm a mom to a 2 year old and love to do sports").
  • Don't make demands.
    When you are first applying for the job you should not be stating your demands ("I require an hourly rate of $15, every Friday off, and will not take care of the pets"). Parents may feel that you are not flexible and not interested in their needs. This will get your message or profile ignored. There is a time to discuss these things at a later time.
  • Be patient when you don't get a response.
    Please give parents enough time to respond to your message. Parents can be quite busy in the hiring process. If you don't get a response right away, give the parent at least a week before you contact them again. Be polite when you do so. Do not contact parents more than 2 times. If you don't hear back from the parent after contacting them twice, it might just mean that the parent found a better fit for the family or their needs changed and they are not looking for a caregiver anymore.  
  • Don't harass Mom and Dad.
    We just touched on this topic in the previous bullet point. If you have contacted a parent and have not heard back for 1 week, it is acceptable to follow with a short professional note. Do not contact the parent more than 2 times. If the parent does not respond to your 2nd message, move on to another position.

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