Although there may be positions available, getting a job in the early childhood industry is competitive because there are always a lot of educators looking for work at any time of year. Students finishing their qualification or educators moving on from their previous jobs… Throughout the year, there will always be a number of educators looking to work in this industry. What can you do to stand out...You need an impressive resume!
What Is A Resume?
A resume is a document of your relevant, skills, experiences and education that should target the specific position you are applying for.
The aim of your resume is to interest the employer at the centre, in what you have got to offer, so you are offered an interview.
Writing A Resume
When applying for a job within a childcare centre, the director or management takes an average of 5-10 seconds to look through your resume. Within that limited time, they will decide whether or not to call you for an interview.
It's so important to make your resume stand out and to make sure you interest the employer.
So let's look at what you need to include on your resume:
- Contact Details - You only need to include what's relevant. Such as name, address, telephone numbers etc. You do not need to include your date of birth, your family details, religious background, marital status etc. Make sure that you have a professional email address. It's also advisable to add your LinkedIn profile URL.
- Career Objective - Write your career objective back to the job you have applied for with an overview of your key achievements. It should tell the employer what position you are applying for, the level of responsibility you want and where you see yourself in the future.
- Employment History - When listing your previous employment history, start from the most recent. Include, company/centre, location, position held, key skills/job responsibilities. Add years rather than months of when you started and finished. e.g. "2015-2016".
- Work Experience - For students who don’t have employment history to add in their resume, you could add your practical placement or voluntary positions you had held. Add the name of the centre/company where you did your placement, how long you were there for placement (e.g. 35 days) and highlight your responsibilities and your duties during your work placement. You could also include a brief summary of what you were required to do, what you did and how you did it, the results of your actions and what you learnt.
- Education and Qualifications - Start with the most recent and list the qualifications you have obtained, year it was completed and the institution where you had studied. You could also include short training courses, workshops, forms of accreditation etc.
- Referees - Include details of a minimum of two referees (former employers, supervisors from work placement, mentor etc.). Referees are used by future employers to speak about your skills, work role, personal attributes etc. Make sure you keep your referees informed so they are prepared. You don't need to include your referees on your resume you could just add "Contact Details Available On Request" and once you have an interview you could provide the employer the details at that time.
Aim to highlight your strengths, skills, experiences and achievements and only include information that reflects you positively. Your resume should show your employer that you have what they are looking for.
How Your Resume Should Look
Your resume should be easy for an employer to read quickly. The length of your resume should be 3-4 pages long . You don't need to include all your work and life history. Make sure it is relevant to the position you are applying for.
Here are some tips when writing up your resume.
- There are plenty of templates online that will enable you to fill in to create your resume. These are fine for you to use but make sure that the layout is professional.
- Include page numbers.
- Always check for spelling mistakes and ask someone to read over it for you.
- Adding a photo to your resume is up to you however think about how your photo may be perceived e.g. you could be inaccurately perceived as too young/too old/inexperienced/serious etc. Instead add it to another copy of resume to give to the employer after your interview so they remember who you are.
- If you don't have much experience working in child care, focus on what you have done rather than what you haven't. Highlight the specific, skills gained from your experiences.
- If you have had similar positions, list each position than do a summary of skills under this, rather than repeating similar duties and responsibilities.
Key Selection Criteria In A Resume
Employers will include the Key Selection Criteria which will need to be addressed and met when applying for a job position.
When responding to the selection criteria you will need to detail your specific capabilities for each criteria. It’s important to include specific examples or situations when you have demonstrated the behaviour, knowledge, skills and qualities asked for in the Key Selection Criteria.
Focus on outcomes that you have achieved and match these to the selection criteria. Use examples that show you have applied specific criteria to your work or life experiences.
For more details and responding to key selection criteria, read the following article:
Key Selection Criteria When Applying For A Job
Writing A Cover Letter
A cover letter should always be included when submitting your resume (unless it specifically says not to include one). It should include:
For An Advertised Job -
- Your name and contact details (home number, mobile number), and your professional email address.
- The job you are applying for (e.g. "RE: Application for Diploma Qualified educator position).
- List of your relevant skills and experiences (a short bullet list is fine). If the job you're applying for mentions "key selection criteria" you need to respond to all these items but remember to keep it short.
- Once you have listed your skills and experiences you need to explain why this means your suited to the job.
Your cover letter should encourage the employer to want to read your resume so at the end of the cover you could end it like this "I have attached a copy of my resume for your consideration. I look forwards to hearing from you about this application" .
For No Job Advertised -
- Mention you’re interested in their centre and working for them.
- Get to know a little about their centre/company and how your skills and experiences fit into their goals (find their website and go through the information).
- Let them know what you are hoping to get out of contacting them e.g. if there are currently positions available.
- You could end the cover letter by saying that you will contact them in a couple of weeks to follow up, however you are delighted to talk to them if they contact you before then.
When you have submitted your resume and cover letter, if you haven't heard back in a couple of weeks, you may contact them and ask them if they had received your application and their response. You may contact them through email by its best to call directly and speak to the directly.
With this guide, it will give you the confidence to write a resume so go on and apply for that position!
- Writing A Resume - Future Education, Melbourne Australia, 2012
- Resume Writing - Education, Careers QLD, 2013
- Writing A Cover Letter, Youth Central Victoria
I would like to inquire about the possibility of being able to join your team of Child Care specialists as an assistant at (name of the company/day care school). I passed by in person the other day and learnt that there is no current opening for such a position but was informed to submit my request formally in writing, just in case!
I have been working as a Child Day Care assistant for (number) years now, and am currently employed at (place of employment) where I have been for the last (length of time). I am very happy there but I now am looking for a change after I recently moved homes. My work is now unfortunately too much of a commute for me and I would much prefer to be closer to work to be able to make the most of my workday and personal family life.
(name of the target company) is only a 10-minute walk from my house making it a very appealing alternative for me.
I am extremely qualified in a wide range of fulltime, day care/child care responsibilities such as indoor or outdoor activity organization, diaper changing, keeping a clear and organized feeding and snack time schedule as well as starting a toddler out on their potty training needs. I am passionate about children and love being around them no matter what age. I have gained my experience through life rather than through studies but this has not so far hindered me in my career choice.
Many daycare centers tend to have a high ratio of child to child care assistant to maximize their earnings, but one thing which I highly admire at (name of target company) is you pride yourselves on specializing in smaller, more personal groups, with a maximum of (number) children per child care assistant.
I would like to thank you for your time today in reading my letter.
Please find enclosed my Resume and career history.
Looking forward to hearing from you.