The “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Responding to Job Postings
Advice for Caregivers

The “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Responding to Job Postings

by Martha Scully

So, you’re looking for a nanny job and you’re really eager to start right away. At CanadianNanny.ca we get that – that’s why we've made it easy for you to access so many job opportunities at the click of your mouse. However, when using our service to find a job, communication is a huge component. That’s why we've put together the “Dos” and the “Don’ts” of responding to job postings.

DO | Be Professional – You’re applying to a job

Don’t treat this casually, you are applying for employment. Therefore, try to respond to a parent just as you would when applying for a job anywhere else – professionally . If you approach it too casually, you may find that your application is looked over, as parents feel that it reflects your ability to care for their children.

DO | Use Correct English

Ur not texting ur friendz – so use full words and sentences. The way you write can be a reflection of your personality as well as your intelligence, and parents want to hire someone who will be a positive influence on their children. If English isn’t your native language, feel free to start with something to let the parent know this, like “English is not my first language, so please be patient with my grammar and spelling.”

DO | Read the Posting Carefully

There’s nothing worse than applying for a job you later have to turn down because you’re not available or qualified for. Read the posting carefully and only apply if you meet their needs. This saves your time and the parent’s time, and helps you to find the right job for what you need.

DO | Proofread Before Sending

After you've written your note to the parents being as correct as possible, read over it before hitting the send button. Make sure you've spelling everything right, using a spell-checker if you need to. However, a spell-checker won’t catch if it you've used the wrong work of left out (a spell-checker won’t catch it if you've used the wrong word or left it out)

DO | Keep it Short

The reason parents are looking for a nanny is because they’re short on time. So, be considerate and keep your application short and easy-to-read. Put the details of your experience and qualifications in your profile, and write a brief note that specifically responds to the parent’s posting, directing them to your profile for the full information. You can also explain more if and when you meet them in person.

DO | Express Your Enthusiasm

Tell the parents through your words how much you love your job, but that doesn't mean that you have to overuse exclamation marks (!!!!). Reference a particular point in the job posting if it relates to you – I love walking and visiting the library for story-time – or reference some part of your experience – I was the primary caregiver for kids at camp 24/7, so I understand the demands of around the clock care.

DON'T | Avoid focusing on your needs

If you focus your application on why you need the job, it doesn't tell the parents why you’re the best person for the job. Try focusing your application on the family’s needs, like that you’re available any time for their needs, rather than saying that you want to work as much as you can to pay the bills.

DON'T | They’re not your IM or texting buddy

Avoid using slang, abbreviations, and an overly-casual tone when applying for jobs. If you’re using too much of this, a parent might assume you’re much younger than you are, or may use that as a reflection of the type of person you are. Try to put in equal effort into applying for the job as you would when you actually perform that job.

DON'T | Keep your life story to yourself

Instead of telling the parents your life story, try to tie it in with your skills. For example, “I feel I am qualified for your position as I have three grown children that I raised and therefore understand the demands of caring for three small children”, or “I enjoy reading in my spare time, and love reading stories to children during the day or before bed”.

DON'T | Leave your demands for later

When applying for a job, leave your demands (e.g. family must pay for gas or mileage when nanny using own car) until you've been chosen for the position, so you don’t seem inflexible or that you’re assuming you already have the job.

DON'T | You might not get a response

Parents are busy, that’s why they’re hiring a nanny. Keep this in mind and don’t get upset if you don’t get a response to every application you send in. It’s possible that the parent is choosing not to respond because they don’t need a nanny anymore, they've filled the position already, or just plainly forgot in the hustle and bustle. It’s not a reflection of you as a nanny – keep searching to find the right family to work for.

DON'T | Don’t harass them

While it’s appropriate to send a very brief note after your initial email to check in, it should stop there. We can’t control the way others behave, so if you don’t get a response, move on and assume they don’t need your services right now. There are many other great jobs out there, and if someone is interested in you, they will respond!

If you have any questions for us, please contact us at info@canadiannanny.ca.

See all of our Advice for Caregivers here!

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.