Chronological or Functional Nanny Resume?

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resumeOne of the toughest parts of putting together a great nanny resume is knowing where to start. You’ve got to find a way to present your experience, your skills, your goals and your qualities seemingly all at once, plus you have to make room for a personal statement about the role of childcare in your life.

How can you make sense of a mountain of information?

Pretty easily, it turns out. There are two main ways to format a resume — chronologically and functionally. Each one has its own pros and cons, and learning their strengths is the first step in knowing which one is right for you.

Chronological Resumes

A chronological resume is just what it sounds like: a summary of your work experience arranged as a timeline, usually starting with the most recent job and working backward from there. Each job entry includes the employer, the location, your duration there and relevant information about your duties and successes.

Pros: Chronological resumes are a popular choice in the corporate world, and they’re used by a majority of job applicants. They’re also the kind of resume most HR associates or hiring managers expect. There’s a reason for the popularity. A Chronological C.V. is clean and orderly, and it’s easy for the reader to instantly understand where you’re working right now and where you were before.

Nanny resumes can benefit from the corporate template, and they can use them to talk about job history, location and achievements as they walk the reader through each employment listing. They’re a great way to appear professional, driven and focused on your career.

Cons: Despite the popularity of timeline resumes, there are some drawbacks. By arranging your experience by year, you risk highlighting jobs that you only held for a brief period of time. This can sometimes turn off potential clients, even if your short tenure at a particular job had nothing to do with a failure on your part. A series of quick jobs can make you look unstable or like a risky hire.

Chronological resumes can also emphasize gaps in your employment history, whether it’s a gap between childcare positions or a longer period of time when you didn’t have a job at all. There’s (obviously) nothing criminal about not having a job, but gaps between jobs will need to be explained to potential employers.

Also, because the template is inspired by the corporate world, chronological resumes can occasionally feel less personal. The reader’s given a series of jobs, but often no emphasis on particularly important ones, and it can be easy for major accomplishments to get buried toward the bottom of the resume simply because they happened two or three jobs ago.

Functional Resumes
A functional resume is one that’s built on your individual strengths and experiences, using your personal accomplishments as a starting point. Instead of jumping in and discussing your current or most recent job, a functional C.V. begins by discussing your skills and talents (e.g., “Nanny with 14 years of experience, International Nanny Association member,” etc.).

Pros: A functional resume is the best way to come out swinging with your strengths and skills. It’s your chance to grab the client’s attention with your aptitude and experience, and from there you can take them on a tour of your work history. A functional layout also makes it easier to promote your relevant licenses and certifications (like CPR) instead of listing them at the bottom in a section touting all of your skills, like you’d see on a chronological resume.

In addition, functional resumes allow you to start out by talking in a big-picture way about similarities between your jobs and what you’ve learned. For instance, if you’ve had several jobs in which you cared for young boys, you can use a line like “Experienced caregiver for young males.” It’s a way to provide the reader with a broad look at your work. Because of this, a functional layout also lets you downplay potential flags, like jobs you only held for a short time or unexplained gaps in your employment record.

Cons: It’s hard for a reader to reconstruct an exact work history from a functional resume. Your qualifications and work highlights are easy to read, but your career path can be a little tougher to understand, since your jobs will be relegated to a short list toward the bottom of the document. This doesn’t necessarily look like you’re hiding something, but it might have the appearance that you’re more eager to talk about what you know than where you learned it. This kind of layout also makes it difficult, if not impossible, to link achievements (raises, expanded duties, etc.) to the corresponding jobs. For a client looking for those details, a functional resume might be a turnoff.

There’s good news, though: You aren’t tied to one format. We offer a variety of resume templates, including chronological and functional resumes, and it’s a good idea to try them both out and see which one works best for you in the field. You can always change between them, too. Whichever you pick, though, the goal’s the same: to showcase your skills and make a personal connection with the client. How you do that is up to you.

Thanks to Felecia Huber

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