A well-written resume is a gateway to landing your first job.
But if you’re just out of college and fresh to the job market, your experience section might look barebones. You might worry about showing off your skills to potential employers, but there are ways to express your work experience, even if it isn’t directly relevant — like babysitting.
Babysitting is a common job for high school and college students. It can provide you with a flexible schedule, part-time work, and time to study when the kids fall asleep.
Taking care of kids between classes doesn’t just help you fund your studies. It’s a professional experience that provides you with transferable soft skills potential employers look for on a resume. Regular babysitting demonstrates your work ethic, trustworthiness, and self-management skills.
Highlighting relevant soft skills can transform a casual gig into a formative and valuable experience that sets you apart as a serious job candidate. Here’s how to put babysitting on a resume and include all the right details.
Can you put babysitting on a resume?
You can put babysitting on a resume, but it depends on how consistent your experience was. It’s best to include work experiences that weren’t just one-offs. Babysitting over a few months encourages you to learn and improve your skills, but if you only worked a couple of shifts, it might not have been a valuable enough experience to write down.
A good way to check in with yourself is to ask the following questions:
If someone asked about this experience in a job interview, what would you say?
What skills did you learn or fine-tune while babysitting?
Were there any situations where you had to solve a problem or deal with a difficult situation on your own?
Did babysitting help you grow as a person?
If you consistently babysat, you probably learned a few important lessons. Maybe you developed persistence with a picky eater, tapped into your creativity to help a child with their math homework, or learned how to manage your time. These skills would provide valuable insights to a hiring manager filling an entry-level position.
How to make babysitting sound good on a resume
Is babysitting a job? Of course. According to career aggregate Zippia, there are nearly 50,000 babysitters in the US, and the average age for these professionals is 37. Babysitting isn’t just for teens — it’s a valid profession that earns its place on your resume at any age.
Writing an effective resume when you don’t yet have a lot of work experience might make that blank page feel extra daunting. But you can write about babysitting if you frame it the right way.
The first step is analyzing the job posting and aligning the requirements with your skills. The rest will come quickly once you connect the dots with your babysitting expertise.
Here’s how to build a resume with babysitting in mind:
Hiring managers now say a resume summary is outdated. Your skills and experience speak for themselves, and you don’t need a few extra sentences at the top of the page. In its place, write a short headline that describes both your objective and your strengths. If you’re applying for a marketing position, your headline could be “Digital marketer with social media experience.”
2. Work experience
Clearly title your work history section with headings for each past experience. Format these with bullet points to make the information easy to read and skim.
For babysitting, include the following bullets:
Your job title: If you aren’t sure what to put for babysitting on a resume, there are plenty of options. You could use the titles childcare provider, nanny, or caregiver. And when it doubt, you can just write babysitter. It’s accurate and concise.
Organization: If you worked for a service or daycare provider, include the name of the company. But if you worked for a family, skip this information or indicate that you were a freelancer.
Dates of employment: Even if you babysat for multiple families over time, write down the total number of months or years. This saves space and best represents your experience.
A babysitter job description: Include your responsibilities, highlighting relevant transferable skills. Be specific about what you did. If you tutored kids, helped parents manage their schedule, or assisted a child with special needs, write these down so hiring managers can better understand your expertise.
This section gives you the chance to describe and reinforce skills you learned while babysitting. But remember to carefully prioritize the skills in the job description you’re applying for. If another experience, like an externship, mentorship, or college course, provided you with more relevant skills to the job posting, give them more priority.
You should also be as specific as possible and use action verbs to give your words more context and energy. Communication is a broad skill that leaves a lot of guesswork for the hiring manager. Instead, say you “cultivated active listening and empathy skills to give quality care and attention to young children.”
4. Other sections in your resume
Creating balance in your resume will help offset a lack of experience and show that you’re a well-rounded person. Here are other sections to include:
- Education: Includes the name of your college or university, program or degree, and date of graduation. If you received good grades, write down your GPA or honors.
- Relevant certifications: If relevant to the job role, include professional certifications with the dates you acquired them.
- Professional interests: If you have professional goals or projects you’re interested in working on, and they’re relevant to the position, write them down. Employers will appreciate your eagerness and passion.
Resume examples for babysitting experience
If you aren’t sure how to work babysitting into your resume, here’s an example to use as a template.
Let’s imagine a recent communications graduate applying for a position as a community manager. The job posting is for a work-from-home job that requires strong time management skills, workplace flexibility, and teamwork.
Community manager with strong people skills
[start date to end date]
Built creative and effective learning solutions to help children with schoolwork and nurtured teamwork to finish household responsibilities.
Managed the full-time school schedule and extracurricular activities of [number of children].
Cultivated a flexible and adaptable work style and self-managed quick decisions on behalf of my employers.
Each section complements and reaffirms the other, establishing this person’s communication skills and suggesting its relevance to a community position. Even if the experience doesn’t highlight community management, it demonstrates a young creative with strong problem-solving and teamwork skills.
Keep in mind that this is just an example, and to make your resume stand out, you’ll need to include more than one point of experience. If you’re stuck, try volunteering, applying for internships, or asking your network to refer you to positions they know are hiring. Using a resume builder can also help your applications look more professional.
4 resume mistakes to avoid
Now that you know how to include babysitting experience on a resume or job application, it’s time to ensure the rest is up to par. Here are four common mistakes to pay attention to when writing your resume:
Don’t overshare: Your work experience and skills section should be relevant. Even if a skill or task is important to your job, avoid erroneous information. Skip details like “changed diapers for twin babies” or “monitored potty training,” unless you’re applying to a position that requires those skills.
Don’t oversimplify: Don’t underestimate the value of your babysitting experience. You worked hard, and after all, parents trusted you with their children’s lives. Emphasize the skills, responsibilities, and achievements you gleaned from the experience. It might not always seem like it, but they can translate to a professional work setting.
Be professional: Use language that reflects your professionalism, career aspirations, and work ethic. Babysitting is a real job, and you should present it as such on your resume. And be respectful about revealing private information about your babysitting clients. Don’t talk about the specifics of their special needs or other potentially sensitive information.
Find ways to connect the dots: If you pursued babysitting training or certification that isn’t directly relevant to the job, find a way to connect. A job posting may not require first aid or CPR certification, but you can list it to show your initiative.
6 types of skills to highlight
In 2021, education non-profit America Succeeds analyzed over 82 million job postings and found hiring managers look for strong, durable skills, also known as soft skills. Unless you’re pursuing a career that involves caretaking or childcare, the most important part of your babysitting experience isn’t the experience — it’s the skills.
Here are six important babysitting skills to highlight on your resume:
- Interpersonal skills: Taking care of children requires building rapport with the whole family to create a comfortable and trusting space. These could include showing compassion or empathy, building trust, and respecting boundaries.
- Communication skills: Babysitting requires you to adapt your communication skills to young children, and in some cases, communicate difficult or uncomfortable information to parents. These skills include conflict resolution, positive feedback, and initiative.
- Organizational skills: If you babysat while in school, managing a class schedule along with your job requires you to juggle several responsibilities, and those time management skills are vital. Write down prioritization and adaptability.
- Emotional skills: Dealing with children and parents is a sensitive job that requires you to stay in control of your emotions and keep a level head. Your skills include stress management, emotional awareness, and emotional intelligence.
- Leadership skills: When taking care of children, you’re in charge. Babysitting requires you to lead the pack and keep everything moving smoothly. That requires confidence, setting boundaries, and being a positive role model.
- Critical thinking skills: Being in charge of children may put you in situations where you need to think fast and make informed decisions about safety, emergencies, or behavioral issues. This includes learning how to analyze risks or problems.
How to list someone you babysit for as a reference
When a hiring manager examines your resume, they’re paying attention to your skills and experience to judge whether you’ll fit the job and company culture well. And if you do a good interview, they may ask you for references to confirm their impression.
If you worked for a babysitting service or provided care to a family, both can provide valuable insight into your work ethic and soft skills. They can be fantastic references, especially if you thrived on the job.
It’s always good etiquette to ask permission ahead of time and make sure they’re comfortable with acting as a reference. Speaking to your past clients first is also a good opportunity to fill them in about the job you’re applying for and let them know what potential employers might ask.
Here’s the contact information you should ask your references for:
Name of babysitting service, if applicable
First and last name of manager or client
Preferred days and times for contact
Show pride in your babysitting job
Babysitters provide a valuable experience fit for a professional resume. Even if babysitting isn’t directly related to the new job you’re looking for, you still learn valuable transferable skills that will pique the interest of a potential employer. The trick is finding commonalities and clearly connecting the dots.
Now that you know how to put a babysitter on a resume, it’s time to start your career. Be sure to think carefully about your skills, ask for references, and be prepared to sell yourself in the interview.