The use of photographs can enhance your application no end. However, not all photos are created equal! Stay one step ahead of other candidates by reading our recruitment team’s advice on integrating photos into your CV and job application to help you find that perfect role. A photograph on your CV can be a useful opportunity to give a good first impression of yourself as a professional nanny, governess or tutor and help the recruiter remember your application.
This post will explain, firstly, how to select a primary photo for your professional nanny CV that shows you are both professional and presentable. The second part of the post will explain how to use additional photos to enhance your application: supporting photos to be sent with your CV, cover letter and references or copies of qualifications/ certificates. Disclaimer – Including a photo on your CV can be considered unethical in some countries and cultures. This post assumes that you have done your own research on whether including a photo or photos is acceptable for the role you are applying for. In our experience, most private employers want to visualise how you could fit into their daily family life – you may even be living in the family home, so naturally they want as much information about you as possible. However, if you think including a photo may be detrimental to your application, do not include one. Remember that a link to your LinkedIn profile in your cover letter is an acceptable alternative.
Tips for your primary CV photo
1. Dress sensibly
Our general advice for your nanny CV photo is to dress as you would dress for your first day on the job. Presumably you would not be wearing a suit and tie for most childcare positions (unless you are a VIP tutor). Usually a smart, clean shirt, a polo or a smart blouse should be fine. Fairly neutral colours tend to work best. You should avoid wearing anything garish, clothes that look worn or have holes in them and any slogans or outlandish images. As in your passport photo, try to keep your hair tidy and off your face. If in doubt, ask the agent or agency if they think your attire in the photo is suitable.
Make sure your future employer can see that you will be pleasant to work with and that hiring you will be a good experience with a smile. Try to make your smile as genuine as you can (perhaps ask a friend to take the photo and to tell you a joke) and of course, remember to brush your teeth!
3. Framing and positioning
Demonstrate your common sense by positioning yourself in the centre of the frame. You should not be located too close to the camera and equally not too far away. Imagine a passport style headshot to get the idea. Take the photo in a setting that is easy on the eyes – preferably inside, against a neutral colour white or cream wall. Avoid busy backgrounds, mirrors, or anything that may confuse the image. Photos taken in nightclubs are a no. Also, avoid photos with other people; even if they have been cut out of the original image this the photo will still come across as strange. Please do not have other people’s arms around your shoulder or other body parts in the photo, and avoid photos that were obviously taken at weddings!
4. Lighting – no filters, not too dark
All you need for your governess CV photo is a clear image and good lighting. Don’t submit photos that are too dark and do not get tempted to use Instagram filters; this should be an original image. Poor lighting, wearing sunglasses and not directly facing or looking at the camera are general ‘no-nos’.
5. Ask for help taking your CV photo
As previously mentioned, it is better to take a photo specifically to use on your nanny CV than to find an old photo and try to make it fit. Ask a friend who takes good photos to help you take the photo – avoid selfie mode. Of course, if your friend has a professional camera or at the very least a high-quality phone camera this will be beneficial and will save you time and effort.
Tips for supporting photos to accompany your application:
You can embellish your application using additional photos to show potential employers your suitability for the job and any other extra-curricular talents you have. Additional photos tend to be particularly beneficial for nannying, governor or governess positions, where the family can visualise your skills or abilities and understand how you can fit into their everyday life. Up to 5 photos can be a great addition to your cover letter, but do not include more unless you are specifically asked to. Make sure the photos are clear and high quality.
Disclaimer – You must always have parental/ guardian permission before you include photos of previous employers or their children in your application
1. Photos of you with previous charges or students
Photos with previous charges or students can demonstrate your confidence and ability for working with kids. Perhaps photos from a kids’ club you used to help out? Working on arts and crafts with children? Or even photos working in a school or on a course, if that’s something you’ve done? These types of photos tend to go down very well with parents who want to visualise how you might work with their own children.
2. Photos of you demonstrating sporting or extra-curricular skills
If you possess any sporting, musical, technical or otherwise extra-curricular talent, this can be well-demonstrated through photos too. Indeed, photos with previous charges where you are playing a sport or game, swimming, cycling, teaching chess or playing an instrument can be a huge plus for your application.
3. Photos to help the family understand who you are.
Whilst the above photos would be the ideal complement to your application, some families may also wish to find out a little bit more about you as a person before you begin working with them. A family photo at your own home could help them to picture more about your background and home life. If you are unsure as to which photos are suitable additions to your application and which are not, the advice of someone from the agency placing you may be invaluable.