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should I care - shocking spelling, grammar in nanny CVs

(60 Posts)
chandellina Mon 13-Jul-09 22:16:55

My son is only one so I care much more about a nanny's nature than her grammar, but I am still pretty shocked by some of the CVs I've been getting from otherwise qualified and experienced nannies. Do they not have someone proofread their CVs, or even run a spell check? Am I being snobbish or is this a sign of unprofessionalism?

Mintyy Mon 13-Jul-09 22:21:05

It is absolutely a sign of being slapdash and not caring very much. I would not trust anyone who could not be bothered to put together a decent cv.

(I would also be tempted to send them back, corrected in red pen, saying why I had not selected that person for interview! But then I am just like that grin).

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 13-Jul-09 22:26:30

It could also be a sign of dyslexia. Just because the CV's poor, it doesn't mean they won't do a good job caring for your child.

chandellina Mon 13-Jul-09 22:27:55

I have been really annoyed by the ones from young girls, because I feel they should really make the effort to go the extra step (we're talking about spell check here - nothing too strenuous) to demonstrate their "maturity." But I just got an appalling CV from a somewhat older woman and it actually made me feel a bit sad and as if I should see her anyway!

starmucks Mon 13-Jul-09 22:30:15

Depends. If English is their mother tongue, it's slapdash. If not, I would be more forgiving.

chandellina Mon 13-Jul-09 22:32:12

I am absolutely sympathetic to something like dyslexia. but why not then have a friend or family member take a look? I honestly don't know whether or not to think anything of it. Doing a good job caring for a child is a completely different skill set than writing a good CV. But attention to detail, and presentation, are important for a successful childcare career, i should think.

PixiNanny Mon 13-Jul-09 22:32:50

Haha, ironic that you say that, we're discussing this over at NJ and most of us think it's quite important too! As I said there, if a CV/advertisement is badly spelt/grammatically wrong, it gives you the impression that they don't give a damn about the job they are applying for. It doesn't take much to use a spell checker and ask somebody to proofread it! Especially if they have something like dyslexia!

chandellina Mon 13-Jul-09 22:33:17

The non-English speakers have actually turned in great CVs. It's the English ones that have been the worst! hmmm...

senua Mon 13-Jul-09 22:33:44

I can see that you want a nanny for her nurturing ability, not her grammar and spelling, but it is possible to be nurturing and literate.

nannynick Mon 13-Jul-09 22:46:10

You need to keep in mind that part of the nannies role is education. Therefore having a nanny with a good academic background may well be something that you want. If they present a CV for a job badly, then that may give the impression that they are not very academic.
Previously on here we have had discussions about what non-nannying qualifications nannies have... what schooling they have had. Some nannies who post on here are educated to degree level, others are not (like me, as I didn't do a degree... have an HND though).

When applying for a job, the covering letter/e-mail and CV are very important as they get you through the door as it were. A good CV will get you an interview whereas one with bad spelling, unexplained gaps in work history will put you to the bottom of the pile.
Nannying I feel is like any other job... applicants should be presenting the best of themselves when first making contact with their potential employer.

nannynick Mon 13-Jul-09 23:04:14

Looking at that NannyJob message thread... I love this:

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

I can read that, can you?

With a CV however I would expect it to be proofread several times which should result in most errors of that type being detected.
I feel grammar is different though you learn grammar at school. While my grammar may not be perfect by any means (I didn't do that well at GCSE English) I do feel that I can compose sentences reasonably well most of the time (wine makes it far worse though wink). Certainly when composing a covering letter for a job application, or producing a CV I would take extra care over it... you wouldn't write such a document the same speed you write a Mumsnet post. Would you?

If you have a choice of interviewing a nanny whose CV is correctly spelt, well laid out vs a nanny whose CV has poor spelling and is a mess, which would you interview first? I feel most parents would interview the nanny with the well laid out CV first.

PixiNanny Mon 13-Jul-09 23:33:59

nannynick: if you were drinking wine before writing a CV I would certainly hope it was proofread before passed to prospective employers grin

What amazes me is the people who think that it's okay to have a CV that has spelling errors in it. I mean really, it's still an effing CV! This is your first chance to impress somebody, why the hell wouldn't you make an effort?! Every other job expects it of you!

People always seem to get lax when it comes to their children, it worries me.

lucykate Mon 13-Jul-09 23:40:28

dh has shown me tonight some emails from his students, these are students studying for a degree, the spelling and grammar were appalling. his graduating 3rd year bought him a present and couldn't even spell tutor correctly, they'd written tutour.

LynetteScavo Mon 13-Jul-09 23:43:46

A nanny's accent would be more imoortant to me than his/her spelling, tbh. It would drive me insane if s/he dropped Hs and Ts.

PixiNanny Mon 13-Jul-09 23:55:59

Ergh, my Dad used to get so annoyed at me as a child if I dared say "wa'er". I learnt quickly not to use it grin Thing is though, that sort of thing can be indicated in their writing, I know that most of the girls I went to school with speech appallingly and cannot write simple sentences for the life of them.

Would is surprise you for me to tell you that of those who didn't go get up the duff within a year of leaving school, most of them went on to be nursery nurses?

PixiNanny Mon 13-Jul-09 23:56:43

Correction: spoke appallingly


SOLOisMeredithGrey Tue 14-Jul-09 00:00:41

I would be a little more interested in their spoken English tbh. That is going to be the first thing your Dc hears/deals with...good written English would come a very close second though.

catepilarr Tue 14-Jul-09 00:26:04

'The non-English speakers have actually turned in great CVs. It's the English ones that have been the worst! hmmm... '

british people make completely different mistakes than foreigners i found. foreigners make more grammatical mistakes rather than wrong spelling.

once i worked for a family where the mother - a journalist - didnt know how to spell february.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 14-Jul-09 08:26:02

when sending a cv/covering letter/putting a job advert up then you MUST check, double check and check again for spelling etc

most cvs are usually done on a computer and all have speelchack wink spellcheck grin so i really dont understand how nannys or anyone for that fact can send off a mispelt cv

to me it shows imcompetance incompetence and if i were an employer I would think if they cant be bothered to get a cv right, then can they be arsed to look after my child properly?

its nothing to do with dyslexia - just sheer lazyness on cvs

where on forums, many a time i have mis typed rather than mis spelt a word and guess as MN is a fast posting forum, mistakes get made and of course you cant edit

pmsl@mintyy - now that would be funny - but it also might help the nanny next time, so maybe you should grin

chandellina Tue 14-Jul-09 08:50:08

the nanny i've liked best had a handwritten CV, of which she hadn't brought a copy I could keep. (nor of her references, though she gave me the names and phone numbers to write down.)

wasn't too impressed with that either. maybe she doesn't have a computer, but she does have a teen aged son and an adult step-son so surely she could have gotten their help??

i don't know how some of these ladies are getting jobs.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 14-Jul-09 09:34:18

a handwritten cv - see again that wouldnt impress me

i always carry a few spare cvs and ref with me so that i can leave them with the family so that they can have a look over them in their own time rather than speed reading at an interview

"i don't know how some of these ladies are getting jobs"

they obv arent or you wouldnt be interviewing them grin

luckylou Tue 14-Jul-09 09:50:20


I'm a qualified English teacher and a qualified proofreader. My CV and application letters are well written with no spelling, grammar or punctuation errors.

I've been looking for a nanny job unsuccessfully for months.

Posh accent too...


MuffinToptheMule Tue 14-Jul-09 09:54:22

I am currently applying for jobs. I have tailored my CV for each job and I have written different covering letters. On average I spend between 2 and 3 hours on a covering letter and one hour tweaking my CV to include words used in the job descriptions.

I think sending a sloppy CV to a prospective employer is both unprofessional and lazy. If a person is dyslexic then surely they would have someone check their CV and covering letter. If I were in your position then I would definitely think twice about inviting people with sloppy CVs for an interview.
A lecturer at university constantly told us when we were writing essays, 'people will always be more willing to listen to your big ideas if you can get the small things right.'

I think this can also be applied to CVs. If you make so many spelling and grammar mistakes then people will focus on these and not on your actual qualifications and work experience.

Maria2007 Tue 14-Jul-09 10:09:56

Tbh, yes, I think it would bother me. When we were looking for a nanny, I simply dismissed all the cvs which looked non-professional. By that I mean even things like badly laid out cv, let alone spelling & grammar errors. For me those things are very important, as is good English. In the end of course we hired someone through a personal recommendation who didn't give us a cv, but that's another story . Good luck, hope you soon find Mary Poppins!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 14-Jul-09 10:11:43

I would dismiss anyone who can't try and spell correctly. This person could potentially be staying long enough to be then helping your child learn to write and spell and if they can't, then they won't be able to teach your child properly.

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