8.) Your Profile Photos and Other Photos.
Now let's talk about your au pair application photos. This is a sensitive issue that may leave a few bruises. If you survive this part, you'll do just fine :-)
These three questions kept recurring in my mind as I went through some au pair profiles on line: "Is she applying for an au pair job or for a modelling job?", " What's with the seductive look?" and "Does she honestly think one can't see that she staged her child care photo sessions?" Which leads me to a few facts and tips ;-) :
Fact N° 1: If you are applying for an au pair job, modelling is not included in the terms of service.
Tip 1: Provide profile photos where you appear happy, smiling or even laughing (reasonably ;-) ) Be sure to include a head and shoulders photo of yourself. And, Smiiiiile pleeeeease :-) !
Fact N° 2: Your au pair profile will be viewed by a potential host couple or a potential single parent. Super sexy dressing and seductive facial expression may lead to misinterpretations concerning your motives and may generate some doubts. Such photos may give your potential hosts the feeling that they are not to trust you with their partners ;-) (along the lines of you you may turn out to be a source of competition, a home breaker in disguise). Such photos may also give them the feeling that flirting and finding a mate is really more your thing and au pairing is just but a cover story...
Tip 2: Provide photos where you are decently dressed and have 'normal' facial expressions. Yes, I am aware that what is considered decent dressing varies from one society to another, but hey, you can find the right balance! Also, you could, with the the help of a friend, try selecting a number of photos where you did not necessarily 'pose' for the photos. It could be a photo of you and some friends or family where you are clearly visible, and where you would point yourself out in the caption (if it is an on line application).
Fact N°3: In general parents are used to and have a feel for children's photos: they definitely see through most staged child care photo sessions.
Tip 3: There is no need to venture into a super staged photo session with you feeding some kids, helping with their homework or skipping rope with them! (Believe me, you see a lot of au pair profiles of this kind on line, which of course radiate fakeness). 'Normal', effortless, photos like the ones someone took of you and your niece or nephew, or the ones someone took at the nursery school where you volunteer, would do just fine!
Lastly, it is worth noting that you may be the most experienced nanny, older sister or brother who has cared for her/his siblings since... forever. However, unknown to you, you may have one of those looks that makes people think "Gosh, I really can't picture her/ him with a child". That is why it is always advisable to provide at least a photo of yourself in the company of children. But really, do refrain from the staged 'See-how-I-love-children' kind of photos!
Step 9: Financial Costs Involved when Preparing Your Au pair Application
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