Many people new to the nanny world are under the mistaken assumption that a nanny is just a babysitter who works longer hours. But new nannies quickly learn that a nanny is a skilled professional and the nanny market is increasingly competitive. Moreover, you’re taking care of someone else’s children, so earning your employer’s trust and demonstrating your competence as a childcare provider is of paramount importance. A nanny portfolio is an excellent way to stand out above the crowd, to highlight your skills as a nanny, and to convey a sense of professionalism that may gain you a higher salary. Nanny portfolios can be taken with you as paper copies to a nanny interview, or can be displayed online. Online portfolios are particularly beneficial because they allow families to learn about you before they even meet you. Here’s how to create a nanny portfolio that will guarantee you a great nanny job:
What To Include
A basic nanny portfolio should include your resume, a list of references, a letter to prospective families, and an overview of any unique skills you bring to the job. However, the more information you can convey to families, the better. Some other things to consider including are your discipline philosophies, activities for kids, nutrition information, information about hiring a nanny, letters of recommendation, and photos of you with previous charges.
How To Present Your Portfolio
If you’re building a paper portfolio, have a polished, attractive, and professional looking copy that parents can page through at interviews. Make sure to protect the pages to make it durable. Otherwise, if you interview a lot, your portfolio will quickly be damaged. Make a smaller, more basic copy of your portfolio including your resume, references, and letters of recommendation to leave with the family. This will help them to remember you and give them more of an opportunity to learn about you after you’ve left.
If you have the time and ability to build a website, this is the ideal way to present your portfolio to parents without making them feel pressured to page through it quickly before the interview is over. Organize links to relevant information and include contact information. For the purposes of safety and privacy, you may want to make your online portfolio password protected and send the password to families only after you have screened them. If you are unable to do this, or want to use your portfolio as a marketing tool, do not include photos of previous charges without the permission of their parents; do not list reference name and contact information, and do not include your home address or full name. Instead, simply provide an email address and basic information about your nannying experience. Doing otherwise risks the safety and privacy of both you and previous families.
Building a portfolio can be a lot of work, but a portfolio gives you job opportunities you might not otherwise have, conveys your professionalism as a nanny, and may get you a higher salary offer. Perhaps most importantly of all, it wil encourage you to think about your experience during the job search, which will make you better prepared for interviews and more prepared to talk about why you stand out!