14 Ways to Get Families to Respond to You on Care.com
Tips on how to improve your chances of finding a great job.
The most frustrating part of the job search is applying for a position you're perfect for, waiting anxiously for a response and then getting nothing but silence in return. Care.com is a great resource for finding that ideal job. There are lots of posted opportunities and lots of people looking for work. But believe it or not, most jobs on Care.com get about 40-50 applicants, and it's easy for families to get overwhelmed by great candidates. So how do you stand out from the crowd?
Here are 14 ways to improve your profile, your application and your chances of landing that dream job.
Trying to get a job as a pet sitter, dog walker or housekeeper? We have articles aimed directly at you: 7 Ways to Get Pet Owners to Respond to You on Care.com and 7 Tips for Finding a Housekeeping Job on Care.com »
Sign up for text or email job alerts and respond to new postings ASAP. Families tend to look at the first applicants rather than the last. Learn more about What is a Care.com Job Alert? »
Follow up once you've sent an application. In the "My Messages" section, look in "Sent Items" and you can see all the emails you have sent out. If it's a job you're really interested in, send a follow-up message to see if they have hired anyone. Re-state why you're a good fit. You may just have gotten lost in the shuffle and this additional message now puts you at the top of their inbox.
And did you know you can actually see when members are logged on? Care.com doesn't have a chat feature, but you can check if a family is currently on the site by looking at their "Online Status". If they're online, shoot them a quick follow-up email. They may have time to reply to you and you've now started a conversation with them, rather than remaining another random applicant. Persistence does pay off!
Want to see who has been checking your profile? One of the cool features about joining as a Premium Provider is that you can see who has viewed your profile. Maybe it's a member who has recently posted a job, which is all the more reason to reach out to them.
Profiles with reviews rank higher in search results and get more attention from families. When you've completed a job for a family, ask them to write a review on Care.com. Both members and non-members can leave reviews for your amazing services. Read up on How to Get Reviews on Care.com »
Advertise your services beyond Care.com. With over 1 million members, you never know who's on the site or who's looking for help. Tweet your profile link on Twitter or mention on your Facebook profile that you're looking for a job, with a link to your profile. You can't promote yourself on the Care.com Fan page with your contact info, but you can definitely do so on your own Facebook page. You may have friends looking to hire someone through Care.com, who may not know that you're also on the site.
You can be social on Care.com too. Post a thoughtful comment on an article or on Sheila's blog (she writes a new post every Tuesday). Families may see your comments and reach out to you about a job!
But while you're busy being social, make sure you stay professional too by keeping track of Your Online Reputation? »
Use keywords in your profile that people might search for or gravitate towards. Looking for a babysitting job? Incorporate words associated with being a babysitter. For example, mention if you're CPR certified, provide after-school care or have your own transportation. Include language like "I am babysitter who cooks healthy meals for children" and give examples of your favorite nutritious treats. If you're a certified tutor, put that in your profile instead of "homework helper". Using the right words and details can help more families find you when they search for specific traits they find important.
If you received an email from someone you didn't know and it just read, "Hi. Call Me.", you probably wouldn't be very eager to respond. Families feel the same way when you reply to their jobs. Don't copy and paste the same generic message to all families. Your response to a job post is essentially your babysitter or nanny cover letter. Personalize and customize it for this specific position. Say why you're a good fit for what they need, and provide unique details that illustrate who you are and why they would be lucky to have you. Give the family every reason to respond to you over other job seekers.
Respond to messages when you say you will. When you first filled out your profile, you said you would respond to a message in two days, one day, etc. If you aren't doing that, or if you aren't responding to messages at all, it will say so on your profile. Families feel more comfortable reaching out to someone who responds to 95 percent of messages than someone who responds to only 59 percent. Just like in school, good grades matter.
Need to update your response time? In your profile, go to "My Profile and Settings," scroll down to the third gray section called "My Services" and click "Edit Profile". Under "Availability," choose how many days it will take you to respond to a message. Then hit "Save and Finish." And stick to it!
Care.com has a whole library of resources! From what to discuss during an interview to how to handle background checks, we provide you with as much information as possible. Many people ask questions on our Facebook page and in the comment sections at the end of articles. Most of the time, we already have the answer in an article. If your job search is a struggle, check out some of our articles for tips and tricks. Read article comments and Facebook and blog posts. Maybe someone asked the same question that you have and has already gotten a response. Our members give great advice to one another.
If you're actively looking for a job, it may be a good time to upgrade to a Premium Membership. There are lots of perks to being premium, so you may want to upgrade for a month to find a job. You get job alerts before anyone else, a free preliminary background check and a highlighted profile, giving you more exposure and a better chance of being hired.
You're also allowed to contact families on the site. They might not have posted a job yet, but you can still proactively reach out to people in your area who have expressed an interest in things like finding a pet sitter. Briefly introduce yourself and what you have to offer, just in case they may be looking for someone who fits your experience in the future. You'll plant the seed early, and if they ever do need help, you'll come to mind first.
Ever heard the saying "looking for a job is a full-time job"? What does that mean on Care.com? Log in daily. Respond to a job, comment on an article, add references, etc. The more active you are, the higher your profile appears in search results. And no one wants to hire someone who last checked their account three weeks ago. That would worry a family, especially if they need someone ASAP. By logging in daily, you show you're serious about finding a job. Hundreds of babysitters are also looking for a job. If you aren't participating and searching daily, that perfect job is going to be snatched up before you log back onto the site!
Competition is stiff, but don't lower your standards just to grab a job. You shouldn't charge (and families shouldn't feel comfortable offering) two dollars an hour to watch four kids. That's not fair to you or the children. You are caring for a child's safety, providing educational activities and acting as a parent while the parents aren't available. Care.com has a disclaimer that families must pay at least the minimum wage (which differs greatly from state to state). Most families will pay an appropriate rate for a sitter or a nanny if that person has everything they're looking for. Talk with the family about a pay rate that you're both comfortable with, but if they offer an unreasonable salary, it's probably not a family you want to work for anyway.
Changes in seasons mean changes in a family's needs, and we see this often at Care.com. More families need help in the summer when school is out. If you have lifeguard training, tweak your profile in the summer to highlight that skill. If it's winter, talk about your love for skiing and how you would be comfortable going with families to the nearby slopes.
It's a good idea to search for jobs on Care.com all year round. And it's best to start looking for jobs early. Once summer hits, all of the college caregivers and those who are only looking for seasonal jobs sign up on the site and the competition becomes that much stiffer.
Fill out a profile that may be a bit barren. Talk about not only your favorite movies, but also your favorite movies to watch with kids. Maybe reminisce about your days as a soccer star or a ballerina, and you'll appeal to families who are involved with those activities.
Check out your profile strength. In the right-hand corner of your "My Care.com" tab, where you log in, there's a square that says "My Profile Strength." (Luckily, only you can see it, not other people looking at your profile.) If it says 80 percent complete, get your bar all the way to the finish line. Make sure your profile features these must-have items:
- Background check. That "On File" green check can make all the difference. It shows you're serious about being a sitter and have no skeletons in your closet. Plus, you'll appear higher on the search results page and get more exposure.
- Photo. What makes a great photo? Check out our article about uploading profile pictures on Care.com.
- Certification. Are you trained in CPR? First aid? Nursing? Lifeguarding? Dog training? You're being hired to care for a family's kids, seniors, pets and home. If you have the right certification, a family may be more apt to hire you. For inspiration, check out these 12 Nanny Training Courses and Certifications.
- Skills. Now is not the time to be humble. List all of the specific skills you've acquired. Use examples.
- Resume. Need help making a babysitter resume? Read our article and check out our sample babysitter resume template.
Above all else, don't get discouraged. We know the job search can be rough and that it takes a lot of time. So get noticed and hired with a stellar profile.
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