6 Ways Babysitters and Nannies Can Be More Successful on Care.com
We looked at our data and came up with six tips for how you can increase your odds of getting a response on your next application.
So, you’re in the market for a new child care job. You’ve created your profile, set your availability, and maybe even applied to a few babysitter or nanny positions -- but you haven’t found the job that crosses off all of your boxes... yet.
To help you out, we took a look at our job and message data from May 2016 to May 2017 to see what successful caregivers were doing differently to get higher response rates to their applications. We found out that there were six specific actions that these caregivers were taking in order to set themselves apart – and, ultimately, set themselves up for success. Take a look at the list below and make sure you’re covering all of these bases with your own profile, too.
Help Parents Put a Face to Your Name
Families want to know exactly who’s applying to their job. If you don’t have a profile picture uploaded, we recommend that you do that now. Why? Our data show that child care providers who added pictures to their profiles were 9 percent more likely to receive responses from families than those who didn’t. It may seem like a small percentage, but it can mean big things when it comes to finding – and finally landing – a care job.
When it comes to selecting a profile picture, make sure you choose a photo that is:
- Clear (i.e., not grainy, pixelated, or taken from a distance)
- Just of you (i.e., no group photos!)
- Professional-looking -- It doesn’t need to be a professional photo; it just can’t be silly or inappropriate.)
If your photo is not just of you or looks pixelated, change it to a better image today. Even a simple, modest, and appropriate “selfie” can do the trick if you don’t have a photo on hand.
And remember: if you upload a photo of you and a child, you MUST get permission from the child’s parents before you post it.
Ultimately, being able to associate a face with a profile helps families get a better idea of who you are while they read your application. So, make the task a little easier for them by adding a picture to your profile – or updating your existing one – as soon as you can.
[RELATED: "Is Your Profile Picture Hurting Your Job Search?"]
Don't Be Shy -- Talk About Yourself a Little More
When you create your profile, you have the option to describe yourself, your child care experience, and even your hobbies and other interests. Many care providers are tempted to keep it short and focus on their child care experience, but our data shows that longer profiles actually work more in your favor.
In order to increase your likelihood of getting more responses, consider expanding your profile to 150-200 words. Profiles that hit this word count “sweet spot” were about 21 percent more likely to receive responses to applications than those that had only 50 or so words.
For example, try adding a little more information about why you became a babysitter, a nanny, or a mother’s helper. Do you have any child care-related certifications (e.g., first aid/CPR) or training under your belt? Make sure people know that! You can even share a bit more about your personality, too, so that parents get the full picture of who you are.
[RELATED: “12 Nanny Training Courses and Certifications”]
Highlighting your best qualities and experience goes a long way in attracting more families’ attention. That said, make sure you don’t get carried away and become too wordy – just stick to the 150-200-word range.
Ask for Reviews
If you have experience as a child care professional, your previous families or employers can leave you a review on Care.com. And our data show that getting a good review from a family can really help your chances of getting more responses to applications. In fact, if a child care provider had just one 4-star review on their profile, families were 5 percent more likely to respond to their application!
In order to get a review on your profile, ask your former employers to leave you a starred review. If they’re Care.com users, you can message them directly on Care.com or use “My Review Center” to request a review. You can also invite non-Care.com connections to leave a starred review via email or by sharing a personal link to your profile.
Ultimately, these reviews will help you show prospective employers that families enjoy working with you and have had positive experiences with you. Keep collecting reviews and you may just start to see your message response rate go up
[RELATED: “How to Get Reviews on Care.com”]
Apply to More Jobs
As they say, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Although this adage may not always ring true for every life situation you face, it certainly does when it comes to applying to jobs.
Think about it: When you only apply to one or two child care job posts on Care.com, you run the risk of not hearing back. But, when you apply to more jobs, your odds of a response – and, consequently, of getting hired – go way up! (As they also say, “The more, the merrier!”)
To this point, our data show that child care providers who submitted more than 16 applications increased their odds of getting a response by 12 percent, as opposed to those who submitted five applications -- or fewer.
Be resilient and keep submitting applications; the right job will eventually come along. You can also set up email or app notifications in the Care.com platform so that you’re notified when a new job is posted in your area. This handy little feature will help you increase your chances that you’re one of the first applications the family sees!
And this leads us to our next point…
Be the Early Bird
Our data also show that early timing of application submission is one of the most important ways to get noticed by families. In fact, child care providers who submitted an application on the same day that the job was posted increased their odds of receiving a response by 23 percent.
So, what can you do? For starters, pay special attention to new job postings each day, and apply to new jobs as they pop up. As our data show, waiting even two to three days can drop your odds of getting a response dramatically.
Make Your Application Count
As with any type of job, the information you include on your application is your best bet for getting an interview. Paired with your Care.com profile, your application adds more color to who you are as a care provider and as a person, and helps to explain why you’re a good fit for the family. Although keeping your application short may seem smart, parents actually enjoy hearing more about your qualifications.
In fact, our data show that job applications that were 200-250-words long (4-5 short paragraphs) were 54 percent more likely to receive a response than those that were only 50-words long. So, if you want to increase your likelihood of getting a response, make sure that you include a proper introduction, share a little bit more about yourself, and then explain why you believe that you meet each of the job requirements laid out in the posting.
If you want to learn more about what you should include in your application, read “11 Tips for Targeting Your Application to a Job Posting.”
At the end of the day, the most successful child care providers are the ones who apply to new jobs often and who know how to maximize their profiles and applications. The key is to always be active; you can’t find a new job if you’re not looking!
This analysis uses Care.com job and message data from May 2016 – May 2017 to compare responses that caregivers received after taking certain actions. The analysis shows which caregiver actions were correlated with higher response rates from members searching for a caregiver. For example, a caregiver was more likely to hear back about a job application when she had posted a picture on her profile. Unless otherwise noted, the statistics included apply only to caregivers in the child care space.