Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Do You Make a Great First Impression?

Landing a Nanny Job in a Tough Economy

We have been discussing how to land a great nanny job in a tough economy.

Our first suggestions were:

1. Network with anyone who will listen and by all means possible.
2. Create a
standout resume.
3. Have stellar job
references, getting as many in writing as you can.
4. Be trained in
CPR/First Aid certification.
5. Get your
driver's license.
6. Take
nanny training courses or some early childhood education courses.
7. Make a professional nanny portfolio.
8. Learn how to swim.

Today we recommend making a great first impression. You only get one first impression so make it a good one.

When meeting parents for the first time think about what a mother and/or father would want a nanny they hire to wear.

If you think a formal business suit is the best thing to wear to a nanny job interview, save your money since it's not usually necessary. Parents don't expect you to work in a business suit therefore arriving to an interview in a suit might be a bit much. But, you shouldn't show up wearing sweats either. Dressing business casual and conservatively is best. Interviewees should choose clean, well-pressed clothes.

In-home job candidates should avoid wearing large jewelry, heavy make-up, clothing that exposes tattoos, cleavage, belly buttons, or that is very tight. Wear nice shoes with a low heel or simply nice clean sneakers. It's not appropriate for a nanny to wear high heels.

To make a good impression, do not show up to your first meeting smelling like cigarette smoke, coffee, cologne or perfume.

Be enthusiastic. Be friendly. Don't act nervous or stressed-out. Greet every member of the family, and their staff, with a big smile, a hand shake, and make eye contact. If you are meeting the children during the interview, consider getting on the floor to play with them, if the situation allows you to. Nothing looks better than you interacting well with the children on their level.

Here's what our readers said about how they dress on a nanny interview:

Be the Best Nanny Newsletter asked 740 nannies what they wear on a job interview. Three hundred and fifty-five nannies (48%) responded that they dress business casual when going to a job interview; 200 nannies (27%) answered that they wear a more formal business suit or a dress to nanny job interviews; and 44 caregivers (6%) responded that they feel comfortable wearing a nice pair of jeans like they might wear to work.

Tomorrow: Preparing for a Great Interview
What do you wear on a nanny interview?


Lisa said...

Several years I had an agent advise me to wear a suit. I didn't have one, as I never wear them anywhere. So I opted for a cardigan and skirt, to appease her. But when the DB took one look at me on his arrival for the interview he said you look nice but I do not expect you to dress like that for work. Since then we I get told to wear a suit by someone for an interview, I say no now. Westside Nannies in fact did a youtube video on this too, and it was nice to see that what they say alligns with what this article and I wear.

Melanie said...

Similar situation for me Lisa. I bought a casual pant suit and last minute a mother called me for an interview. I had just arrived home from my nanny job and was dirty and sweaty and she needed to meet me in 15 minutes. I washed my face, brushed hair and brushed teeth threw on a clean t-shirt and went on interview. I apologized didn't have pant suit on and the mother said she would have thought it was weird if I wore a suit to interview.

Your advice re business casual makes sense. Nicer than a typical work day but not for a corporate office.

Kristin said...

Usually I wear clean jeans or khakis and nice dress shirt. Not beat up jeans. Clean trouser type jeans and flats. In summer I've worn dressy sandals.

Eva said...

Clean, neat, but rather casual because they have to picture you working with their kids. Too dressed up and you aren't really dressed appropriately for the job. As long as you are clean and CONSERVATIVE then you will make a good impression.

Kathy in TX said...

Never wear jeans! You can certainly do better than that for an interview!! We try to look and act our best on an interview!

Farrah said...

I don't like when agencies make a big deal about what we wear on interviews. I am always neat and clean and I don't think wearing a suit would make the difference if I get a job or not.