Looking to work as an au pair in Sydney? Having a great resume and being prepared before you start your job search is key. Here are a few tips to help you find (and get!) your ideal job, and a brief guide to what to expect once you actually start work.
Determine the sort of position you want
The best first step in any employment search is to work out exactly what you want in a position. You might have availability only on certain days, and for set hours. You might want something close to home. You might want to look after just one child, or be happy with a large brood. Perhaps you are open to cooking, cleaning and other chores. It’s very important that you decide exactly what you are prepared to do, and anything you definitely aren’t. If you find after starting your search that there are very few positions matching your criteria, you might also need to consider if you’ve been too restrictive. In this case, it can pay to adjust your expectations a little.
Prepare a quality resume
Every prospective employee needs a quality resume. This should be a document that outlines your basic information (name and contact details including email and phone), education, employment history, and reference names and contact numbers. If you have interests or skills that pertain to your ideal position, such as a driver’s licence and/or first-aid certificate, include these details on the resume.
Think carefully about references
Parents are entrusting their children to any au pair they hire, so without doubt they will phone your referees to find out more about you. Think carefully before including someone as a referee. Ideally, your referees will generally be former employers, but you might also include others who can verify your skills, enthusiasm, trustworthiness and other assets. This can include instructors or parents who have hired you for regular babysitting.
Hone your skills
While a driving licence, vehicle access and first-aid qualifications may be requirements in many positions, extra skills such as nutrition education or a swimming instructor qualification might be the thing that lifts you above other applicants. If you have an interest in something that might be of benefit when caring for children, consider doing a short course to extend your skills, and give you a qualification for your resume.
Join an agency
One of the best ways to gain access to potential au pair jobs in Sydney is to join an agency that specialises in filling childcare positions.
Many parents will seek out such an organisation when looking for an au pair, and agency staff are able to put you forward for the most relevant positions and provide you with information and advice for your job search.
Be a professional
In any vocation, professionalism is a key ingredient. And that is equally applicable for au pairs. Even though this might be a far cry from an office job, you are an employee. So always be polite and professional at interviews, dress in an appropriate manner, and always, always be on time. Unless it’s due to circumstances completely out of your control, arriving late will give the impression that you aren’t taking the interview seriously, and therefore that you may behave the same way if you are hired. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive early, make sure you know how to get there, and if you are running late, call ahead to apologise and let them know what’s happened.
From a parent’s point of view, there is nothing more important than the care and wellbeing of their children, so parents are going to choose someone not just with the right qualifications and/or experience, but someone that also has a good rapport with the family. While interviews can be nerve-wracking, always be yourself and never promise that you would or could do something that you can’t. If the interview goes well, you may be asked to come and meet the children before the parents make a final decision. Use this as an opportunity to get to know the family, and see how comfortable you feel.
And once you have the job?
Au pair work can be incredibly fulfilling, however, do remember that positions may change quite a bit from one family to the next. Depending on the exact role, you might be caring for the children only at home, taking them on excursions or to appointments, cooking, cleaning, doing school pick-ups and/or providing a range of educational and fun activities. Discuss each role thoroughly at the interview so that you know exactly what to expect. Once you are in the position, make a point to discuss any issues with the family as soon as they come up. Good communication, professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication will all help you perform the role well, and ensure you’re an au pair that families will want to hold onto.
So are you ready to find au pair work in Sydney? Then why not contact Select Au Pairs today and see how we can help you find your ideal position.