31 Days to a New Job

Increase your chances of getting a job by following this month-long plan of helpful tips and tricks.

holiday bow

When you're applying for jobs, timing is everything. Did you know that while summer is the busiest time of the year here at Care.com, with lots of new back-to-school jobs opening up, January is our second busiest season? In fact, last year there were twice as many jobs posted in January as there were in December!

Whether it's in child care, tutoring, pet care, housekeeping or senior care, we want to help get you ready for all of those new families and companies who need help in the new year. So we came up with a plan: 31 Days to a New Job. And guess what? There are 31 tips. One idea for each day in December to help land you a dream job in January (or any time of the year really).

Below are our suggestions to increase your job-finding chances on Care.com. Follow along, and you'll be ready for all the new jobs that are posted in 2014. And check in with us on Facebook and Twitter for a month-long campaign of how-to-get-a-job tips.

Are there any other tips you would add to this list? Share them in the comments section below.

And for more helpful tips and videos, check out our jobs page.

Day 1: Check Your Schedule
Update your availability with your schedule for January -- no one will be able to hire you if they don't know when you're free.

Day 2: Pick Interview Attire
Go through your closet to make sure you have neat and professional interview outfits -- stay away from jeans and sneakers and go for casual slacks and flats.

Day 3: Go Shopping
If you can't find anything to wear, head to stores or shop online for interview clothes and take advantage of holiday sales! Check out our Pinterest board for inspiration.

Day 4: Handle Forms
Did you know that most caregivers shouldn't get paid in cash? Learn why not. Then fill out the right forms now, so you'll be ready to get on the payroll for your new job.

Day 5: Look Over Old Applications
Read over any old applications that you've submitted to jobs. How could they have been better?

Day 6: Go Online
Friday is a popular time for goofing off and spending time online. Use that time wisely to clean up your social media profiles, so they're professional for when a potential employer looks at them. Remove old posts that a family or company might find offensive.

Day 7: Take Photos
It's the weekend, so have a little fun! Familiarize yourself with Care.com's photo guidelines and then arrange a mini photo shoot today with a friend, so you have new and polished-looking photos to feature in your profile.

Day 8: Upload Photos
Now add some of those new photos to your profile.

Day 9: Ask for Reviews
Make sure you have at least one review on your profile -- but the more, the better. If you're going to see any friends, family, co-workers or former/current employers at holiday parties, ask them to write a review for you.

Day 10: Update Your Voicemail
Listen to your voicemail message on your phone. Record a new one if it doesn't sound professional.

Day 11: Get Checked
Add a preliminary background check to your profile, so you stand out as someone employers can trust. Want to go a step further? Run an enhanced one.

Day 12: Draft a Contract
Create a sample contract just in case your future employer doesn't have one. It will help you agree on details and make sure you're all on the same page.

Day 13: Share With Friends
Happy Friday the 13th! Share your profile across your social networks today and help potential employers find you faster. Maybe someone you know will be hiring and today will be a lucky day for you. Just avoid any black cats!

Day 14: Handle Money
Update your payment preferences so you can accept credit card payments from employers through Care.com. It'll help you keep track of your finances in the new year.

Day 15: Deal With Stress
It's mid-month, are you feeling any holiday stress yet? Writing holiday cards, shopping for presents, cooking for family, managing your current job or finding a new one. Multi-tasking isn't easy. Use these tips to help you stay calm.

Day 16: Re-read Your Profile
Could it apply to anyone? Set yourself apart from other candidates by making your profile and application personal and specific. Instead of simply saying "I babysat for five years," add detailed fun things you did with the kids.

Day 17: Do Some Q&A
Research interview questions that employers may ask you and brainstorm answers.

Day 18: Look for Errors
Check your profile, cover letter and resume for common spelling and grammar errors.

Day 19: Be Safe
Sign up for First Aid and CPR training or a refresher classes -- caregivers with this education are 2.5 times more likely to be contacted by potential employers.

Day 20: Think up Questions
You made it to another Friday -- congrats, you're almost done! Put in your thinking cap today and write down questions to ask potential employers during interviews.

Day 21: Research Rates
Before you head out to any last-minute holiday sales this weekend, find out the going pay rate for caregivers in your area, to make sure what you're asking is not too low (costing yourself money) or too high (costing yourself jobs). You don't want to spend more than you can afford.

Day 22: Check Out the Competition
Look at profiles of other caregivers in your area -- they're your competition, so you want to make sure you stand out. If you were a prospective employer, what person would you hire?

Day 23: Join a Professional Organization
Sign up for groups for people in your industry -- like the International Nanny Association or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters -- to connect with fellow caregivers and pick up valuable advice.

Day 24: Take a Class
Sign up for a new class or certification that will help you become a better caregiver and appeal to more employers.

Day 25: Get References
Merry Christmas! You should have at least two references listed on your profile, like former and current employers. But if you're attending any holiday parties today, ask a friend or family member to be a reference for you as well -- these types of character references are important to potential employers. Tell people that references make great (and free) presents!

Day 26: Write a Sample Cover Letter
As you're recovering from your eggnog hangover, create a letter you can use when you message employers about new jobs. You'll need to personalize it for each application, but give yourself a strong starting point. Have other people read it over.

Day 27: Explore All Your Options
Think about working for a company. Instead of only applying to jobs with families, would you work for a business like a day care, in-home care agency or housekeeping company?

Day 28: Sign up for a Professional Email Address
You don't want to be contacting an employer from an email like xoxohottie@yahoo.com. That might give the wrong message. Stick to a combination of your first and last name.

Day 29: Prepare Thank Yous
Head to some after-Christmas sales and buy thank you cards, so you'll be ready to send them out to people you interviewed with in order to follow up.

Day 30: Prep for Interviews
While people are on vacation this week, arrange a mock interview with a friend to get some practice.

Day 31: Celebrate Your Success
Happy Near Year's Eve! While you're enjoying the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one, reminisce about all of the great things that happened in the past twelve months. And think about all of the wonderful things you're going to accomplish with your new job in 2014.

Congratulations on making it through the entire month! Post a comment below and let us know which tip was your favorite. And best of luck finding your perfect new job.

Tiffany Smith is an associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story!

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Comments (53)
Cheryl U.
Very good tips to follow. My favorite was the one about what to wear for interviews. I have been looking for help in this area and am glad it came from Care.com
Posted: December 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Carly S.
Great tips!
Posted: December 30, 2013 at 2:48 AM
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Tammy C.
Thank-you. I found all 31 tips very helpful and I will put them into good use.
Posted: December 29, 2013 at 1:08 PM
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Judith L.
Thank you I have some work to do!
Posted: December 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM
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Danielle B.
Great tips. Thanks again.
Posted: December 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM
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Abigail F.
These are wonderful tips! I look forward to putting them to use!
Posted: December 27, 2013 at 1:20 AM
Gabriela V.
great tips! I just had a job interview that the employer only want to pay in cash and also the amount that they was saying to pay on care.com is much lower than what they offered me. If I knew it I was not going to make it to the interview.
Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:34 PM
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Joseph M.
Have Care build in a system that required parents to recognize receipt of application and finmal dispositin.
Posted: December 25, 2013 at 7:52 AM
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Lydia W.
Thank you so very much for all the tips. It was very helpful, i will follow everything you say. Lydia W.
Posted: December 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM
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Mary W.
Thank you for the tips,i will use them at all times on my job interviews
Posted: December 24, 2013 at 6:12 PM
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Lucy K.
Thanks Care.Com for the helpful tips which I have read carefully. I have also been looking for a job and I sometimes feel like it's taking too long and mostly same jobs stay posted for a long time even though the dates might have passed. However am very very optimistic that I will find my suitable job with Care.Com because I love this site. My only problem otherwise have been the approval of my photo though I hope to post a new one during this festive season! Merry Christmas Care.Com family and best of luck!
Posted: December 24, 2013 at 8:25 AM
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Mary E.

Thanks for all the helping tips for the year. I highly appreciate them.God bless you. Amen.your friend.
Posted: December 23, 2013 at 9:52 PM
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Julie S.
Thanks for the tips ! :)- Happy New Year 2014 1 :)
Posted: December 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM
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Janett W.
Thank You gore the helpful Tips.
Posted: December 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM
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Tiffany W.
Thank you for the tips. I've actually already tried them all, so this helps me know that I am on the right track. I got a feeling I will get something soon.
Posted: December 18, 2013 at 11:24 AM
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Anesta C.
Great tips and advice. I would implement them.
Posted: December 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Member Care T.
Hi Jamie! Thanks for the feedback. We do state that all members must abide by state minimum wage laws. Further, we offer both families and the care givers the ability to post a range of how much they are asking for or willing to pay. Ultimately, pay rates should be decided during the interviewing process. We hope this helps, and wish you the best!
Posted: December 16, 2013 at 9:35 AM
Lisa Q.
Thank you,Lisa Q.
Posted: December 16, 2013 at 7:39 AM
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Grace E.
Still trying to get a job! Thanks for your helpful tips
Posted: December 16, 2013 at 7:36 AM
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Mary B.
Mary B Thanks care .com .I found your comments on landing a job.very helpful .I tried it and made changes. Mary
Posted: December 14, 2013 at 6:10 AM
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Marisabel V.
Thank you for all the great tips :)
Posted: December 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Ebony T.
Thank you , this is very helpful
Posted: December 13, 2013 at 6:03 PM
Member Care T.
Hi Loretta!
Thanks for the feedback!
We encourage all of our members to be courteous and respond to all messages that they get. Parents are also given an option of clicking a button to send an automated message letting the providers know if they are not being considered for the position. We apologize if this hasn't been your experience with the site, and if families have not been following up with you. We hope you continue your job search, and wish you all the best!
Posted: December 12, 2013 at 10:46 AM
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Jamie L.
Great information, but is there a way that care.com can block people from posting rates which are offensive to caregivers. I have worked in many daycare settings and have never been offered less then 11.00 per hour. And in the daycare setting a staff member is not required to perform major cleaning duties: cooking, and running errands, or even provide sick care. These service are great to offer, but a family should expect to pay a higher rate if they are interested in more then basic child care services.
Posted: December 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM
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Loretta A.
Today is Dec 11th and this is the first time I saw this list. Very interesting ideas, most of which I have already done. Maybe I'll have better luck next month since Jan is very busy. My problem is that I wish parents would answer applications from caregivers even if it is to say they are not interested. Could care.com put something like a box for parents to check that would inform a caregiver that they are not being considered for the position. It is very discouraging to apply for jobs and never receive an answer. As caregivers we are requested to respond to a message within a certain period of time,it would be helpful if parents did the same. Thank you for the tips.
Posted: December 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Anne Marie H.
thank you very much for your advise i will follow your advise anne marie
Posted: December 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM
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Fiqirete R.
Thank you care.com
I find tip #17, #20 and #27 very helpful.
Thanks for all the tips.
Posted: December 09, 2013 at 7:45 PM
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Carmina L.
It is very helpful tips. Thank you so much.
Posted: December 09, 2013 at 1:07 AM
Jessica M.
i thank all our friend on care.com
Posted: December 07, 2013 at 1:45 PM
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Shannon A.
I appreciate the advise ,I've applied many times mostly for pet care since that is the direction I'm interested perusing . I love helping people ,I was in the Dental field for 32 years,I am trying to find work through care. I've done the premier background check,update my schedule,I have references,etc.,I am a positive person and I know in time things will be flowing and I am looking forward getting hired in 2014,Thanks for the advise and the helpful hints until then I will keep applying for the positions that seems beneficial to both parties.Wish me luck and good luck to all the CARE FAMILY.
Posted: December 03, 2013 at 4:56 PM
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Debbie D.
Thank you for al the helpful tips. Now it's time to go thro my profile! I have faith I will find that nanny job soon!
Posted: November 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Denise R.
I find tip #2 and #16 very helpful.
Thanks for all the tips.
Posted: November 27, 2013 at 9:05 AM
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Sherry M.
Thanks for all the great advice! I think this will be helpful in finding a great nanny job. I appreciate all the helpful advice care.com gives us. Thanks, Sherry M.
Posted: November 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Albana B.
Thank you
Posted: November 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM
Karen P.
Thank you
Care.com for the advice. It will help me in my job applications.

Karen P. Thank you Care.com for your advice in how to get and accept jobs. They make me feel more confident in applying for the right job and the ways in which to write them
Posted: November 23, 2013 at 10:45 PM
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Emilie F.
Thanks for the tip on looking at local competitors' information in order to get inspiration and stand out from the crowd- I never thought of this (although I probably should have...)!
Posted: November 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM
Care.com Member Care
Hi Beth, Thank you for the concern. We always recommend families take their job posts down once they have found someone for the job. They default to be closed after 3 weeks, but sometimes families may choose to keep them open for longer. We recommend you apply to as many jobs as you can. There are also always new jobs being added to the site every day, so make sure to keep checking in! We hope this helps and wish you the best in your job search!
Posted: November 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM
Beth M.
I have also been concerned with so few prospects of new clients since same one's remain on the site far too long.

Posted: November 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Care.com Member Care
Hi Katherine! We just wanted to follow up with you and hopefully help answer your question!

The job start date is the date the family sets the job to start. Often times, families need someone to start right away, so they will post the job start date to be the same day they post the job. This doesn't mean the job has been filled, it just means they are looking to hire as soon as possible!

We always ask families to close their jobs once they've hired someone. When a job has been closed, it isn't even visible on the site anymore, that way you won't be wasting your time applying to jobs that aren't open!

We hope this helps clarify, and wish you the best in your job search!
Posted: November 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM
Olga Z.
Thank you to all of you at Care.com for all the valuable information. It is very helpful and I will try to apply everything that it says. Thanks, Olga
Posted: November 21, 2013 at 8:27 AM
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Ivonne T.
Hi my name is Ivonne Thompson, I am agree with your 31 points for to be successful getting a job. I have been looking for several months to find a job, but I have not been successful to take one. I have the same question Katherine G. is asking why are the jobs listed so long? and and they looks all the time for several months. Could you please explain how is possible? thank you for your time and tips.
Posted: November 21, 2013 at 1:23 AM
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Dora C.
Great tips that will be very helpful
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 9:55 PM
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Maria C.
Thanks care. Com for your help I'm going to put in practice happy holly day Maria campos
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM
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Luminita P.
Thank you. For. The. Information. Luminita. Pavel
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 3:48 PM
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Regina T.
Thank You for all of these helpful tips!I have used your website several times over the years and have always had success.
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM
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Katherine G.
Hi, my name is Kathy Grafinski, for the most part I am happy with Care.Com. I have had some pretty good job offers, but have not been able to take one. Sometimes the people get back to you but most of the time they don't, for what ever reason. The thing I don't understand is, the jobs are still listed on site that say what the start date is for the job, but its past that date. Do you still apply or what is the deal with this? I am confused. Please answer me on this, do not want to waste my time applying to empty jobs.
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 2:16 PM
Mary M.
Thank you

Mary McNamara
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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Louvenia R.
hi I am louveniaR. I am very happy with care.com I have some jobs it took about 3 weeks before people started contacting me it is kind of slow sometimes but I tell every body don't give up. you will meet a lot of demanding people, since I have been C.C I have gained 1 long term client and a few more come/go which I like very much hang in there everybody the right one will come along eventually
regards louveniaR.
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Nina Lee A.
Thank you for the useful information. Nina Anderson
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM
Cheryl U.
This daily list of things to do during the month of December to improve our chances for obtaining jobs is fantastic! As if we need one, this type of helpful information from Care.com makes it clear that it is the organization to be associated with to get good jobs.

Thank you very much Care.com!!!
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 8:26 AM
Margaret M.
Great ideas to make us more professional and successful. I an interviewing with a new family today. Since August, when I fisrt found Care.com, I have continuously found short and long term positions. Have ones coming up for the new year. Client moving into the area has contacted me. . You are helping me build a network of clients who value my skills. Thanks.
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM
Nicola J.
Great and valuable tips!
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM
Martha H.
Thank you my friends..! All the 31 points are really worth reading... thank you..I will follow exactly what you say..:)
Posted: November 20, 2013 at 8:01 AM
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