Hi ladies! Welcome back to another ‘How To’ post. I’m going to try and write more often for you and provide you with some practical tips to get the most out of your au pair experience. I’m starting back up with some helpful advice on the good ole application video. It is a must, so you might as well get some tips from this seasoned veteran.
The video is either dreaded by applicants or it’s your favourite part of the application. Some au pairs choose to not do one at all. Please, please, please: don’t do this. For me, this was and is my favourite part of the application. The application video is one component of the online application that you have to complete. It goes alongside your pictures, detailed information about you, your childcare experience, your education and your interview answers to complete your application. Together it gives the families a complete picture of who you are.
I have been told that the video is often one of the first things that host families look at. And according to families, it is one of the most important aspects of the applications. They LOVE watching our videos. So it is very important to make a good impression and show off your amazing personality. It is your first shot to show these families who you are and give them a glimpse into your life. I have been told by multiple families how much they enjoyed my videos and it was one of the best videos they had seen. So here are my top tips for a knock out video!
If you haven’t familiarised yourself with a movie producing program or something similar, then invest in one or use one that’s already on your computer. For Windows, Windows Movie Maker should do the trick. If you’re an Apple user, iMovie is also a great choice. My advice would be to play around with the program, make a few slideshows or movies beforehand so you get to know the features of the program. Make use of all the techy features.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
With the internet out there, and many many thanks to YouTube, we have an endless supply of resources. Do a YouTube search of “au pair application videos” and I guarantee you thousands of videos will pop up. It is the best way to get ideas on how to be creative and what not to do. I’ve heard a lot of the German videos are very similar so maybe stay clear of how they tend to structure their videos to stand out from that crowd. You’ll soon learn what you like in videos and apply that to yours. Make notes of what you don’t like and stay clear of that.
SHOW OFF YOUR PERSONALITY
This is your time to shine! Show off who you are. What are your skills, hobbies, interests? Film yourself doing these or throw in some pictures to show the families who you are. You can’t always get a good understanding of who a person is on paper, so show them who you are through video.
DON’T BE #BORING
Families look through A LOT of videos. They do their research. You will be looking after their prized possessions – their children. I can’t tell you how many videos I have seen of girls that just sit in one spot and talk for 3 minutes. This is a sure fire way to make families lose interest very quickly. It is fine to sit and talk. I get it, you need to, to some extent. But break it up. Add some music, videos or pictures to break up your sitting and talking. There obviously needs to be a certain amount of talking in the video for you tell them about who you are but be smart of how you structure it. Like I said, be creative, for example make use of voice overs while showing pictures or videos. Or simply change locations of where you are talking to keep them engaged.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR CHILDCARE EXPERIENCE
Some families skip the written part of the application and go straight to the video. Therefore, it is important to make sure you rehash your childcare experience and why you enjoy looking after children. I covered topics like how many hours of childcare experience I have obtained, where I got my experience, what I enjoy doing with children, and the ages of children I have looked after.
SETTING IS EVERYTHING
Don’t film yourself trying to explain how much this experience means to you and how you gained your childcare experience with trucks driving past in the background, a construction site happening next door, or the television blaring in the background. No, I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it, I’ve watched it, I’ve listened to it. It is distracting and they probably won’t even be able to hear what you’re saying. Think about your setting, look at the background and do some test shots to make sure you are happy. It’s all in the small details.
TAKE YOUR TIME WHILST EDITING
I know it is an exciting process and you want to get everything submitted and finalised and hear from families. But it is SO SO important that your video flows well and is in a logical order. Make sure the music isn’t too loud or overpowering. Is it appropriate music, does it fade in and out? The small things are what is going to make your video stand out. Yes, the families do notice, because if they love you they are going to show your video off to all their friends and family because they will be just as excited to meet the person that may be joining their family. So yes, they will watch it repeatedly. Get your own family or friends to watch it before you submit it to see what they think or if you should change anything.
DON’T FORGET TO GET PERMISSION
If you’re choosing to add pictures or videos of you with children that you have looked after (which I recommend) make sure you get permission off their parents or guardians to add these to your video. This is super important!
THIS COULD BE A DEAL BREAKER!
I’m not even kidding. If a family is undecided between two au pairs and you have one profile with a killer video and they get to know you better VS another profile with an average video, or even worse, one without a video, I know which au pair they will be more inclined to choose. It is SO SO important to spend time on this and show them you really care about this experience and you’re willing to invest your time in making your application shine.
NEED HELP STRUCTURING YOUR VIDEO?
If you’re struggling and not sure how to structure your video this is how I structured both of my videos:
🎈 Started off with some pictures and videos of me to some fun music. I showed some of me with children and animals (cause I love animals)
📌 Introduced basics such as name, age and where I am from, and my current job. Expanded on my role and what that entails
🏡 Then showed some more pictures but this time of my friends and family
👶 Highlighted my childcare experience
💁♀️ Showed more pictures and videos with children and used some voice overs to explain how my friends and family describe me
❤ Showed pictures of my hobbies while stating them with voices overs
🇺🇸 Finished up telling the families how excited I am to come to America and how I can’t wait to hear from them
I hope this has helped you guys out in making a video. It really is important and please make sure you add one to your application. If you need any help hit me up on my Instagram @stephteee or use the #askanaupair hashtag.