In my home country, the Netherlands, final exams are over, and everyone done with school is looking at three months of doing nothing before the rest of their lives begin. Many of them will be going on to uni next year but there are also a lot of people that are taking the year off. And what is one thing that you can do during a gap year? That’s right, you become an au pair.
I used AuPairWorld to find my host family – as did almost every other au pair that I’ve met so far. And this post is all about how to make your profile really stand out to find the perfect host family.
First of all, AuPairWorld is free for au pairs. Host families can sign up for free as well, but won’t be able to contact potential au pairs without paying a small fee (around 40 euros). It’s extremely easy to sign up. There are four steps that the website will take you through.
This is where you fill in all your basic information. Your name, age, what languages you speak, if you smoke, etc.
In step 2 you are going to have to fill out what country you want to go to and for how long. If you don’t have any plans for the summer, you can even go somewhere for a few weeks! (If you do that, make sure that you get time off in the evenings and during the weekend, because otherwise, you won’t really get to experience the culture in whatever country you want to go to.)
AuPairWorld will also ask you if you are willing to work with disabled children, in a home with a single mum/dad, if you would be willing to do some light household tasks and what aged children you are looking for. Make sure you really think about what you are going to answer and don’t just put an age group from 1 – 14 because that just makes it seem like you haven’t thought about what you want from this experience at all.
This might just be the most important step because this is where you have to write an introduction about who you are and why you would make a good au pair. Show off your personality in this step, but don’t go crazy. If you write that you like to go out every weekend and get really drunk, you will scare away potential families.
Think about what you want from your year as an au pair. Do you want to travel? Do you want to go to school in a different country? Maybe you love kids, and you want to spend all your time with them.
Write about why you want to be an au pair. Talk about children, even if it is just one sentence. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t say anything about taking care of kids and just talk about all the things they want to do once they are in the country of their choice. Be honest about everything in your profile. Don’t say you love children if you hate them.
Also, make sure to mention that you have a hobby. That way, the host family doesn’t have to worry about you just hanging around the house and watching tv all day, getting all depressed. This was one thing that my host mum thought was really important.
You’d think this is an easy one: your profile picture. For me, it wasn’t. I absolutely hate taking pictures of myself (and usually use the same picture for at least two years before I change it). You have to, again, make sure that the pictures give the family a good idea of who you are. Don’t just post selfies, but also post a picture of you and your friends. Or a picture with kids that you sometimes babysit (if you ever do that).
An important thing to keep in mind with the photos: host families can use your photo to Google you and find your social profiles. Make sure those aren’t filled with pictures of you going crazy (or that they, at the very least, are on private).
Once you have submitted your profile, it can take up to 24 hours for it to go live, since AuPairWorld has to review it, and that’s it. You’re ready to start looking for a host family!