For the team at The Robert Hanselman Domestic Staffing Agency, this has proven to be one of the most unusual times we have ever experienced, much like the rest of our society. As we prepare for a comeback, it is important to remember your greatest asset is you. As an advisor to domestic candidates and clients alike, we are consistently advising to make smart decisions and remember your long-term goals. How domestic employees and employers react during this time could have long term impacts for them in the near and far future. If you find yourself becoming uncertain of your employment security, or if you have been affected by the recent economic impact, the best place to focus your energy is your resume.

Very soon, we will be back to a form of normalcy and commerce will begin again, hopefully even greater so than when this mess all started. For you, as a domestic staff member, if that means you are starting your career search again, this is the time to spend your energy at home focusing on how to best market yourself for the type of job that you want with the type of employer you want.

When discussing previous employment with candidates, we strive to go beyond just knowing facts, but it is important to understand how you performed, enjoyed, and excelled in previous roles. Your resume should reflect what you enjoyed and did well, this is to serve as a conversation piece with your next prospective domestic recruiter or private employer.

For example, if you are a great elite nanny, private chef, household manager, or estate manager and you are out of work, remember the industry of elite domestic jobs also has its seasons. Target the East Coast, nobody will be ready for a vacation like those who have a home in the Hamptons, with that will come household jobs. Do research on different summer hotspots that boom with visitors and vacation homeowners during the summer months. If you live in Florida, you may find that a Florida based family spends their summers in the Hamptons and is looking for a new elite nanny for their children once quarantine is over to travel with them. The options are endless and require a unique individual such as you, ready to be flexible and professional.

We are confident that this summer and fall may be one of the greatest we have seen as people are yearning so greatly for human interaction. Plenty of families have second home all over the country that they will be eager to visit this summer to reconnect with loved ones. Are you ready to join them and perhaps meet one of your greatest employers of all time? Let’s get that resume in order!

1) Think about what you are targeting. If you are a flexible domestic professional with transferrable skills that will apply to different job titles, you should have a tailored resume for each job title that speaks to your domestic skills. Search job postings and take note of what they are asking for. Find the common keywords used most in these postings and work them into your resume. With technology of today, view your resume as a google search. If a domestic recruiter or private employer were to search for your resume in a database using relevant keywords, would you be on the top of the stack for results?
Example: If you are seeking to be a nanny to the elite, consider what your next employer may be searching for and telling their recruiter they are looking for. Normal qualifications may include “CPR certified” “bilingual” “au pair” “teacher” “nursing” “therapy” “fitness” “active” “first aid” “clear driver’s license”

2) Put those keywords to use in your resume. If I am an elite nanny, I will have sentences under past jobs such as:

  • “Cared for two children under the age of 8 focusing on education and helping them learn French, which I am fluent in.
  • “Certified in CPR for both adults and infants, maintain recertification on a yearly basis.”
  • “Drove three children between the ages of 8 and 13 to school on a daily basis, clear driver’s license.

3) Next, let’s quantify your entire resume as much as possible. This answers black and white questions a prospective employer may have and opens the door for more meaningful conversation during an interview.

  • “Worked on a three-nanny team in shifts to provide round the clock childcare to four children under the age of ten.”
  • “Balanced daily care for three children ages six, nine, and thirteen.”
  • “Effectively communicated with two chauffeurs, the household manager, and private chef to ensure scheduling, care, meal, and transportation needs for the two children were met consistently.”

4) When working on your resume remember the following questions:

  • How many (how many staff, kids, principles, guests, rooms, square feet, acres, homes)
  • How often (child events, corporate events, dinner parties, vacations)
  • Emphasize the time period (two 10-person corporate dinners per week, one trip per month to vacation home in Hamptons, planned six birthday parties per year for 30-60 guests).
  • Answering these two questions for each bullet point of your resume will make you standout, save you time, and showcase your abilities and experience.

While you tweak your resume, look at it in detail and notice if there is anything on there that you actually do not enjoy doing (and hope you never have to do it again). Take it off. If you hated polishing silver, or the pressure of cleaning priceless artwork is too much to handle; do not showcase it on your resume. Showcase what you are good at and what brings you joy. This is a new season of realizing what makes us happy and perform at our highest level possible for our employers.

Finally, keep your files organized and your documents properly labeled for each version of your resume. They should read “John Smith Household Manger Resume” or “John Smith Estate Manager Resume” or “John Smith Butler Resume.” Now you will be more prepared than ever to take on your job search and stand out from the rest. As always Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency is here for you and thanks you for your continued support and trust yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

You know the feeling, you have been there before, when you get the mail and something besides a bill or junk mail greets you. This little spark of mail joy is different in shape from the rest, maybe an interesting color, and is labeled with someone’s handwriting. Receiving a thank you note from someone after doing something nice for them is such a small thing that has such a big impact. This impact is both effective in building personal relationships, as well as business relationships.


As a domestic staffing recruiter, this is a conversation I have had with many candidates and clients throughout their interview processes. Jobs like household manager, estate manager, and personal assistants are very intimate roles that require the ability from all parties involved to get along as they work in unique and personal environments. The power of a thank you note during a domestic staffing interview process is a great way to stand out and show your true colors of how pleasant and professional you are.


I asked a successful household manager that I placed with a family in Florida to write about this topic following a conversation we had. Below is his response:


            “As a household manager with a varied past working amongst extremely successful and professional individuals, I have studied their habits and practices to help me become better in my own personal life. It is common practice for wealthy and successful individuals to hand write thank you notes. Especially as people become more successful or famous, recipients feel even more appreciated as they know how valuable their time is. Our greatest assets are not measured monetarily, they are measured in real true relationships with people that support us, and we support them.



            My earliest memory of writing thank you notes was my confirmation. I was not allowed to spend any of my money I received until I wrote a personalized note to each person for each gift. My work as a household manager now I can exercise some of the similar practices; I view some tasks as favorable and some as not. When I was young writing thank you notes, I did not see it as a fun task, but I knew once I was done, I would have access to my money. When working around the estate as an adult now, I try to do the hard tasks first and then the fun tasks are more of a reward.


            Early in my career I spent time in business that was heavily relationship based on the product and client end. One tactic I used to find success was writing handwritten thank you notes to nearly everyone I would meet throughout my day from both ends of the business. You would not believe, how many people emailed and even called me because they were so happy to receive such a pleasant surprise. This also resulted in positive outcomes for me financially with business. Most of my competitors were just trying to meet their numbers, I was trying to meet numbers and build a good reputation.


            Before joining the domestic professional industry, I worked in luxury hospitality environments amongst extremely high net worth individuals and celebrities. This is where I learned that words are powerful. One hotel I worked at as a concierge was very high touch with our guests, we provided an at home environment that was highly personalized. I have never seen a hotel go through so many stationery cards, but it always resulted in smiling and returning guests. With so many repeat and referred guests, I took any chance I could to put a note in their room prior to arrival with an amenity. We also collected data on what kind of wine and snacks they liked, to use for next time.”


Another house manager that I placed told me about how he used to work for families during holiday seasons to throw their parties. He would do everything from set up, cooking, bartending, and helping with clean up. After each gig, he would go home, pour a glass of wine, and write a thank you note for hiring him to assist with their party and include his personal business card. Through this simple task, he was memorable and received many referral calls from others that wanted his help with their holiday parties.


If you are working temporary domestic jobs, still carry thank you notes with you to write and leave with each of the people you worked with, noting something special you liked about them or thank them for something they taught you. Feel free to include a personal business card, that way they will remember to call you first next time they need help or if they are asked by a contact looking for employee referrals.




It is very common in the yachting industry that most crew members carry personal business cards on them whenever they go to a networking event. In an industry with such high turnover due to unusual work environments and global travel, a good captain or chief steward should have a wealth of contacts to call upon. Many of my great housekeepers and house managers come from the yachting industry and will appreciate your preparedness and ability to network and communicate.


If you are too mobile or do not have access to thank you notes, you can find online alternatives. One of my favorite tools is the application “TouchNote.” It allows you to create a postcard or regular card right from your phone. The company will then print it, post it, and mail it for you. One candidate I placed also swears by this type of thank you and communication, he used it heavily during his time working on yachts. He could send a postcard from anywhere in the world and personalize it with a picture of his travels. During his time freelancing, he would send a picture of him on a postcard working with a smile to his recruiter that placed him on the yacht, thanking them for their help.


In conclusion, go beyond a text message or an email and make a lasting impression. You can still buy a pack of thank you notes at the local dollar store. If you have the means and really want to step up your game, utilize one of the many online stationary services and get personalized stationery made. The options are endless and our resources of creatively expand each day.


The Robert Hanselman Domestic Agency strives daily to continue matching domestic candidates and clients than share similar values and professional characteristics as described above. We work in an exclusive world and place the highest value on our relationships and reputations. If you are seeking employment in a domestic setting, please visit our website to see current openings and register with us today. We are excited to continue finding domestic staff for our clients and have domestic professionals ready to interview with you. This would not be an appropriate post without ending with a THANK YOU to our great candidates and clients past, present, and future.