Looking for and securing a new post can be, at times, stressful and all-consuming. As well as your day-to-day job role, you are trying to sell yourself and your amazing skills to a new family. So how do you go about ensuring that you are prepared, up to date and presenting the best and most realistic picture of yourself?
Having worked with different families, it is likely that you will have gained a lot of experience of working with different children and different needs. Providing detailed information of your experience and the skills you have developed at each stage will encourage a new family to take you seriously as a professional, making connections between how your skills will help to support their child.
Your portfolio is the place to promote everything you have done. It is an opportunity to highlight your experience and present the facts of your key jobs roles to date. However, it is also a great way to provide your future employer with a sense of who you are as a person and how you look after and support children.
Top Tips - what to include in your portfolio:
☑ Training and Certificates = Placing certificates in your portfolio will demonstrate your skills to your potential new employer. If you have taken additional courses to support children with autism or to help develop speech and language, these things will make you stand out from the crowd. Sell yourself and show these clients what you can do.
☑ Contactable Referees = When working on your CV, it is always best to compile a list of contactable references/referees for agencies and potential new employers. It is protocol for most agencies to have email addresses for previous employers, and some potential clients also like to have telephone numbers they can call. Ensure that you inform people that they may be contacted and remember that the more recent employers will be the most relevant.
☑ Written References = This is where the client is able to learn about who you are. Written references from your previous employers will make a huge difference to your success rate. They will enable your future employer to read about your personality, how you fitted in with family life and the impact you had on the development of their child. To ensure you have a full portfolio, always ask for a signed written reference at the end of each job role and place this in your portfolio.
☑ Portfolio presentation = All content must be professionally presented and easily accessible by all. Remember that people are busy and will be looking at different portfolios so ensure that yours is organised, clear and paints a picture of the wonderful nanny you are.
Remember that once you have your portfolio organised, it is simply a case of adding to it. Stay on top of this throughout your job roles to collect a clear picture of your experience to date.