I’ve been fielding some questions on the facebook nanny job seekers page about ways to find a job. it occurred to me that a good starting place for that new group and the new job seekers LinkedIn group was to talk about a search strategy.
First, what is a job search strategy? It’s exactly what it sounds like, a plan of action for finding a job. Long gone are the days when we could just sit back and watch the job offers roll in. (Don’t you miss the good ‘ol days?) We have to work to get a great job in today’s market.
Here’s a quick overview.
Step One: job wanted outline. Decide in detail the kind of job you want. Don’t be so narrowly focused it’s a rare possibility but don’t be so broad every job fits into it. Follow Goldilocks’ lead and come up with a job wanted description that’s just right.
Step Two: documentation. Pull together the written or online materials you’re going to use to present yourself to prospective agencies and families.
Of course I highly recommend every nanny put together a job search portfolio. I’ve worked with a lot of caregivers and parents and by far, that’s the most effective way to jumpstart your search and stand out from the crowd. From that portfolio, you’ll have all the information you need to complete agency and online applications.
Step Three: agencies. If there’s a quality agency in your search area(s) that really puts its time and energy into finding you a great job, you’re a lucky nanny. Search its site and get familiar with how they do things (you always want to be prepared) then call or email them to get started. If you have the right agency, you won’t have to do much else. Unfortunately that usually isn’t the case.
Step Four: online sites. Some nannies love them, some hate them, most see them as a necessary evil. If you’re not in an area where there’s an exceptional agency or you don’t meet their standards for placement, consider placing a profile on one of the big online sites. But don’t rely on the site to sell you. You have to be proactive by putting your job search portfolio online and then pounding the pavement. (Nannies who buy my job search portfolio e-book get the option of uploading their completed portfolio to a dedicated site and being able to send families to a unique web page.)
Step Five: networking. Outside of a great agency, networking is the thing that will land you the most high quality leads. Network with other nannies and parents who are similar to your wanted employer or people who cater to parents similar to your wanted employer. I’m not talking about going door to door and handing out your information. I’m talking about networking through online groups, events and yes, some direct contact to targeted people. Your networking focus depend on the type of job you’re looking for. I’ll talk about this more in a separate post.
So what’s your job search strategy? Where are you stuck?