There are 38 million active social media users in the UK. But did you know the way in which you interact when using these accounts could be affecting which jobs you do and don’t get interviewed for? Prospective employers are checking our social pages more and more, they provide them with an insight to our hobbies, our friends, our relationships and how we spend our free time. If you want to make sure your profiles aren’t the reason you’re constantly being knocked back when you’re applying for jobs, make sure you’re not making any of the following mistakes:
1. You’ve used Facebook and Twitter to rant about your current job
Everyone has experienced a job they didn’t like, but airing this across your social media can have a detrimental effect; potential employers won’t want to worry that you’ll be posting negative comments about them next.
Solution: Keep your opinions away from the internet and away from the eyes of hiring managers.
2. You use bad language in your status updates
If you’re looking for a job in childcare, swearing and vulgar comments are a no go. Employers will want to ensure that you can set a good example to the children you work with and these types of posts are not what they’re looking for in their ideal staff member.
Solution: Run through your history of retweets, shares, likes and posts and delete anything that might offend an employer looking through your profile.
3.There are inappropriate pictures and videos of you online
Drunken photos might look appealing to your friends as a cheerful reminder of an eventful evening, but potential employers could interpret them negatively. You want any photos and videos of you to reflect someone an employer can trust and respect.
Solution: Change your privacy settings to ‘review all’ on Facebook, which means you have to confirm anything before it appears on your profile. You can go through and untag yourself from any inappropriate photos and updates, too.
4.You’ve linked your personal and professional accounts
If you’ve linked your personal Facebook page to your LinkedIn, be prepared that employers will be going through your profile. LinkedIn is an easy way to present all your amazing work experience and qualities to potential employers, so don’t let them be put off by a completely diverse personal account.
Solution: If you want your personal life to remain that way, unlink your professional accounts. You should also consider making your personal profiles private if you don’t want anyone you don’t know looking at them.
5.You spend too much time on social media
Employers want to see well-rounded individuals, with hobbies and interests outside of the internet. If you’re posting something every couple of hours, employers might think you’re using your phone all day to browse social media as opposed to using your time productively.
Solution: Restrict yourself on how much you post every day, so it doesn’t come across that you’re spending all your time on social media.
If you follow these 5 simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that social media doesn’t prevent you from landing your dream job in the future.
Looking for a job in childcare?
So, you handed in your CV and had your interview. They invited you for a trial run to work in the setting for a few days to see if they thought you were suitable – then it all went horribly wrong. You thought you had made a good impression, but they haven’t asked you back. Here’s what you might have done wrong:
1) You kept being late
You overslept. Then that train made you late. You lost track of time at lunch. There may be a variety of different reasons why you kept being late, but your time management is so important if you are serious about a job in childcare. If you regularly oversleep, ask Mum to wake you up. Trains running late? Phone ahead to let the nursery manager know! If you lose track of time, set a 5 minute alarm on your phone to warn you when lunch is over.
2) You language wasn’t acceptable
Working with young children means that your language needs to be impeccable: that means, absolutely no swear words. That also applies to talking with other staff members too; you need to remember to keep your language clean. If a parent were to ever overhear you, it could mean a complaint made against the setting or worse – a child being removed from nursery.
3) You didn’t listen
You need to remember that the nursery manager and other staff want to help you. They are experienced, knowledgeable professionals that you could learn a lot from, but you can only do this whilst you listen to what they have to say. Some young people fail their trial because they have not listened properly to instructions, or are always trying to talk when they should be listening and absorbing new information.
4) You argued with a member of staff
This is a definite no-no! Nursery staff are like a close knit family, so if you fall out with a member of staff it is likely to have a detrimental effect on how the rest of the team works. Bite your tongue if you need to, but avoid a full scale argument with another member of staff at all costs. If something is really niggling at you, ask to speak about it privately with the nursery manager at the end of the day.
5) You didn’t use your initiative
Nurseries like to employ team members who can think on their feet, and take the initiative if the situation calls for it. If you see another member of staff who looks like they could do with a hand and you’re not doing anything, ask them if they need help. If you see a spillage on the floor, mop it up rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
Making sure you avoid these five common pitfalls during your nursery trial will undoubtedly help you secure that dream job as a childcare practitioner. Good luck!
Want to start working in Early Years childcare?
Further reading for Tamsin Grimmer’s article:
“Why did someone stick those apples on the trees?” How mud kitchen play can help to combat Nature-Deficit Disorder
Children and Nature Movement: www.childrenandnature.org
Davy, A. (2019) A sense of Place: Mindful Practice outdoors. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Hanscom, A. (2016) Balanced and Barefoot. New Harbinger Publications.
Louv, R. (2010) Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Atlantic Books.
National Trust (2012) Natural Childhood Report. Quote from page 5. Retrieved from https://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/documents/read-our-natural-childhood-report.pdf
White, J. (undated) Making a Mud Kitchen. www.muddyfaces.co.uk
The sun has finally got his hat on and spring is in the air at last! Although we do our best to get our little ones outside throughout the winter, when the sun shines it feels a little easier. Outdoor play hit the headlines last summer, with a report published warning us that children do not go outdoors as much as they used to and that outdoor experiences actually boost learning.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? You probably remember when you were younger having more freedom, fewer or no opportunities to play on ipads, tablets, phones and gaming devices, and lots of time to play outside.
Playing outside is fun and children can learn lots, too. I was told of a city toddler, who, growing up in London had not seen an apple tree before, let alone an orchard. His mum took him to visit an orchard and he saw apples growing on a tree for the first time. He remarked, “Mummy, why did someone stick all those apples in the trees?”
We may smile at this naivety, however, a recent report from the National Trust found that one in three children could not identify a magpie; half could not tell the difference between a bee and a wasp; yet nine out of ten could recognise a Dalek!
Here are a few ideas of how you might want to encourage your children to go outside, play and learn this spring:
- Take advantage of the benefits of being outdoors – play can be bigger, noisier and linked to the natural environment
- Take all areas of learning and development outside e.g play games involving maths (number hunt in the garden, counting petals on flowers, finding shapes in the natural environment etc.)
- Grow fruit and vegetables to promote healthy eating, as well as demonstrate how plants grow and where our food comes from
- Teach children about looking after their world – environmental citizenship, through recycling projects, sourcing sustainable resources and sharing with them information about the natural world
- Go on a mini-beast hunt!
- Be a role model – go outdoors with your children in all weathers; invest in some good quality waterproofs and wellies for you and the children
- Practice what you preach – so during ‘Run to Rio’ events or ‘Golden Boot Challenges’ at school or nursery, do the 5K jog or walk to work!
- Get parents and grandparents involved in the setting by organising a camp-out, getting children much closer to nature!
- Create a mud kitchen in your garden or outside area
- Even the smallest yard is home for many birds and animals, so create a bug hotel or hang a bird feeder on the fence
- Ensure that outdoor learning is always an option during free-flow play
- Plan themes and topics that naturally encourage more outdoor learning – e.g. mini-beasts, weather, growing, lifecycles etc.
- Get involved with Forest School Education or Eco-Schools and Nurseries
- Browse the catalogues for ideas or invest, if you can, in some lovely resources to support you (cosy and muddy faces)
- Become a RSPB wildlife explorer and give nature a home
It’s so important for us to buck the trend of being sedentary and engage in more outdoor play. We can also offer parents and carers some ideas of how to get their children more active in simple and free ways:
- Go on scavenger hunts
- Try the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ challenge
- Visit our lovely beaches, forests and National Parks
- Go on wildlife hunts in the garden, play area or city park
- Share ideas for parents from Learning through Landscapes
So get your hat on, and whatever you do this spring – go outside!
About the author
Tamsin Grimmer is an experienced early years consultant and trainer and parent who is passionate about young children’s learning and development. She believes that all children deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and committed to improving on their current best. Tamsin particularly enjoys planning and delivering training and supporting early years practitioners and teachers to improve outcomes for young children.