I recently manned our application inbox and was surprised / horrified / rapidly lost the will to live at the amount of terrible job applications I had to sift through to find anyone remotely worth sending the next stage of the application process to.
I noticed two main things:
A lack of childcare experience by applicants
Very few cover letters
If you don’t write a cover letter, then your CV has to be excellent. If you have no childcare experience but write a cover letter, then it’s almost guaranteed we’ll send you the application process and want to speak to you. Just read that again. People buy people.
A cover letter is a chance for you to tell the agency or family who you are and why you’d be brilliant for the role they’re advertising. It is one of the most important and powerful tools that you have as an individual applying for a position.
A cover letter provides you with the opportunity to really sell yourself and give an amazing first impression. It provides a place for you to say why you love the look of the job, and why you’re looking for a new position. If you’re not currently a nanny and work in a nursery, it provides an opportunity to explain why you want to become a nanny and transition out of a nursery setting. Or if you don’t have any formal nannying experience and your CV is all about working in an office, a cover letter enables you to tell the agency or family why those skills you’ve learnt in an office are transferable to working as part of a family. Finally, you might not have any formal nannying experience but in a cover letter you can include all of your informal experience, such as looking after cousins or nieces and nephews or the babysitting you’ve done in the village.
I also did some top-level research into Kaya Nannies who are currently working for us and found that over 90% of them had written cover letters specific to the role they were now working in. I think this is so telling as to how powerful a cover letter can be.
A cover letter doesn’t need to be pages long, it can simply be a couple of short paragraphs – as even that shows effort, consideration, passion and enthusiasm for the role on offer. You do need to pay close attention to spelling, grammar and layout though. Think of it as the outfit you’d wear to the interview. It’s got to talk the talk and walk the walk.
I’ve put together a template cover letter for you to look at and would encourage you to give writing a cover letter a go – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised as to the impact it has! Download it here 👉
One last thing to mention though is – don’t write (and send) a generic cover letter! When I was at university, I thought I could outsmart recruiters by sending a generic cover letter, and then I wondered why I had so few replies to my job applications. Now I sit on the other side of the recruiting bench I see why! It is so obvious if you’ve written a generic cover letter and to be honest for us, it’s pretty much an outright no if you do send one!
So, take an extra 10 minutes to write a cover letter, specific to the role you want and you’re so much more likely to get the job, or at least an interview.