by Michelle LaRowe
Editor in Chief
Recently I had a chance to catch up with Donna Shannon of The Personal Touch Career Service. I’ve called on Donna to present at several nanny conferences I’ve helped organize over the years and when it comes to job searching in the private service industry, she most certainly knows her stuff. From common mistakes nannies make when looking for a new position, to what to include in an online profile, I’ve asked Donna for her best career advice for nannies.
eNannySource: What’s the biggest mistakes nannies make when looking for a new nanny position?
Donna: One of the biggest mistakes nannies make is not using all of the recruitment tools available to them. It’s not enough to be listed with one or two agencies. Instead, nannies need to work all of the angles. This includes using online sites, listing with multiple agencies, and using their own network.
For example, Facebook has actually become much more important when finding a job. Many agencies are announcing their open positions in their status updates, instead of paying for advertising. Make sure to follow all of the major agencies in your area. But that’s not the only thing that social media can do for the job seeker; some people land new jobs just by asking their online network if they know of any openings. And of course don’t overlook LinkedIn.com as well – there are some very good nanny groups currently going on LinkedIn.
eNannySource: For nannies who are using online recruiting sites, in addition to or instead of traditional agencies, what can they do to make themselves stand out? Are there any key things they should include in their profile?
Donna: First and foremost, they need to make sure their profile is complete and that there are no spelling or grammar errors. I know that sounds simple, but spelling and grammar issues are one of the first reasons that candidates are disqualified from a potential job. It shows a lack of attention to detail.
Next, they should be sure to include a strong skill set, as well as any specialties that they have in child care. Some examples may include working with special needs children, caring for twins/ multiples, tutoring older children, and experience as an infant care specialist. Many parents look for nannies with specialties.
eNannySource: What’s your 3 best tips for creating an awesome resume?
Donna: Including a comprehensive skill set is absolutely essential. This can win a job, plus shows how flexible the candidate is. Next, don’t use an “objective” statement. Instead, write a strong profile which explains why you are a great candidate. Finally, don’t be afraid to show your passion for this work. Parents want to hire someone who loves to work with children – be sure to let them know that you do.
eNannySource: Is a cover letter important?
Donna: Cover letters are essential as well. The advantage is that you can completely customize a cover letter to the job, as opposed to making constant changes to your resume. Plus, using one is standard business practice.
eNannySource :What’s your best piece of advice for nannies currently job searching?
Donna: Don’t give up and leave no stone unturned. The right family is out there for you, and you don’t know where they may be looking right now. The people who get hired the fastest are those who use multiple job search methods.
eNannySource: Tell me about your book?
Donna: Updated for 2012, How to Get a Job Without Going Crazy features the latest techniques for the modern job search.
- (Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Resumes
- Opening Doors with Creative Cover Letters
- Finding Jobs Online
- 7 Tools HR Uses to Cut You
- Interview Tools and Tricks
To learn more about Donna Shannon and The Personal Touch Career Services visit www.personaltouchcareerservices.com.
About Donna Shannon
In 2005, Donna left her corporate recruiter position at Rocky Mountain PBS to join the Starkey International Institute for Household Management. In her new role as the Placement Specialist, she worked directly with candidates to help them gain management positions in some of the most luxurious private homes in the United States.
In 2009, Ms. Shannon established her own business, The Personal Touch Career Services (formerly known as Coyote Visions Employment Solutions). Today, Donna is one of a handful of career coaches in the United States who works specifically with the private service industry.