Housestay Vacay: Writing a Compelling Housesitter Profile

 

Fall leaf peeping trip?  Someone else’s home for the holidays?

 

I’ve written a few posts like Job Relocation Exploration & How to Still Go Out of Town While Out of Work and Ho Ho Home for the Holidays about using house & pet sitting as a way to both save money and sanity (by having your own space!) on vacations.  

Saving money can be especially important if you are unemployed, and have lots of TIME for a getaway, but your budget is a concern.

Just like applying for a standard issue job that needs a compelling cover letter and resume, you need to write an attention catching sitter profile to get a pet/housesitting gig, as the competition is pretty strong.

I realized that writing this housesitter profile is very much like writing a stand-out cover letter in your job search.

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One of my summer house/petsits in the mountains of Colorado (and Guinness my charge/playmate)

Attention getting housesitting profiles and cover letters both:

Communicate genuine enthusiasm for the opportunity and mention specific reasons why (referencing details mentioned in the ad is a good way to do this, though there may be other reasons to mention as well)

“Show don’t tell” – when you say you have a particular skill or trait, it’s one thing to say, “I’m great with dogs.” or “I provide excellent customer service”.  It’s another to say “Pet owners often comment on how quickly their dogs warm up to me, & exhibit trusting behaviors” or “Honored to receive multiple thank you letters for “above & beyond” customer service from happy customers”.  In the personal interviews in both of these examples you can then go into more detail about these stories to further “prove” what you are saying to illustrate even more specifically that you can do what you say you can.

 

Me & Stella in Madison, WI last summer while visiting family for 1 month -- longer than I couldda lasted without my own place to call home for 4 weeks!
Me & Stella my new pet sit friend in Madison, WI, July 2011, while visiting family for 1 month — longer than I couldda lasted without my own place to call home for 4 weeks!

 

Address the specific needs/requirements in the ads & how you can meet them.  A housesit ad requiring “handyman skills” may be addressed by mentioning DIY projects you’ve done at your own home, for a friend, or other housesit jobs, for example.  In a job ad that says experience with a certain software or population of clients, for example, even if included in your resume, it can be helpful to the reader to have that special skill mentioned upfront in the cover letter as well.

Put yourself in the position of the home/pet owner or employer:  what additional qualities or information might be useful for them to know that may not be mentioned in the ad?  For example, with housesitting, some home owners require a background check, though as of yet I haven’t encountered one.  Still, since I have 15+ years of social work and teaching experience, I’ve been being background checked since I was 23, and I mention this in my profile.  It offers a bit extra peace of mind to the reader, even if they don’t ask for one.  Maybe you are applying for a social media/marketing position for a yoga studio.  Though it’s not listed as a requirement or even a “plus” in the advertisement, if you yourself are also a yoga practitioner, mentioning this offers a like extra ‘something’, an insider’s understanding to their target market, the ‘lingo’ and atmosphere of a studio & other useful insights that another candidate that doesn’t do yoga wouldn’t have.  These details can really help spark interest from the reader!

 

You can get a sample cover letter here.

 

Want some feedback on your house/petsitter profile or cover letter?  You can view my housesitting profile and profile writing info sheet here!

 

Lemme know!  I’ve successfully written both for self and clients for many years.

 

2 thoughts on “Housestay Vacay: Writing a Compelling Housesitter Profile

    • Shannon Terry says:

      Oh, darn! I’ve had that happen… are you sure, though, you don’t want to rewrite it?? I’m joking (mostly), thanks for the kind words! Come & visit often, & may all future (positive, right?) comments stick!

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