If you’ve been toying with the idea of signing up for Care.com and providing services as a care provider, but haven’t been sure how to start, don’t worry. It’s a fairly simple and straightforward process to go from complete newbie to employed caretaker on Care.com. We’ll take all the insecurity and mystery out of the process for you with this step-by-step guide.
This article will walk you through what Care.com is, how to sign up, how to search for and apply to jobs, and how to decide whether you need to invest in a premium membership. We’ll even cover the types of jobs available on Care.com. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to get your first job on Care.com, so keep reading.
What Is Care.com?
Care.com, Inc. is one of the largest gig economy online platforms for finding in-person work. The website has 22 million members in nine countries. A new job is posted every 30 seconds by one of the 6.4 million active monthly users. In the United States, Care.com has a reputation for being an easy place to find everything from a sitter for date night to a senior caregiver for elderly family members to a dog walker in your local area.
If you’re looking to pick up work as a full-time or part-time care services provider, Care.com is a great place for you to start (and probably finish) your search!
How to Sign Up
It’s easy to sign up for Care.com. Just navigate to Care.com and click on the red “Join Now” button at the upper left-hand corner.
When you change your answer to the question “What would you like to do?” to “Apply to jobs,” the form will change to the one below. Fill out the form with your first name, last name, address, zip code, email, and a password.
You’ll also need to select which services you’re planning to offer. You’ll only be able to choose one service you offer for now, but can add additional choices later.
You’ll be asked to set up your complete profile for the service you’re providing. You should upload a friendly photo of yourself, summarize your experience, and indicate your hourly rate and whether you’re looking for full time or part-time work.
It’s a good idea to make yourself look as friendly and professional as possible. Here’s an example of a great profile photo:
Use your personal blurb to go into more detail. Talk about your relevant education and work experience, list relevant references, and accumulate reviews from previous employers, friends, and family, and note any extra details like how far you’re willing to travel and whether or not you smoke.
If you plan to provide multiple services, simply repeat these steps and create multiple profiles.
How to Search for a Job
To look for a job, start by logging into your Care.com account. Once you’re logged in, go to the Care.com homepage and scroll all the way to the bottom. You’ll see the different categories and find the ability to click on the sorts of jobs you want.
Select the type of job you’re seeking. If it’s Child Care, you’ll see a list of jobs hiring near you that looks like the screenshot below. While our list has jobs located all over the place, your jobs list will be local to you because you logged in. If you forgot that step before, log in now to see jobs in your local area.
You can also search by sub-categories of jobs.
Click on a job listing to see details. If it looks good, the next step is to apply.
How to Apply
Once you’ve found an active job listing that looks appealing, you can apply by clicking the link that says “Apply for Job.” Clicking the link enables you to send your application directly to the family that is seeking help as a message. (This image says “Join to Apply,” but yours will say “Apply for Job” if you’re logged in to your Care.com account.)
Take a few minutes to compose a well-written message to the care seekers letting them know why you’d be perfect for this job. Consider it an informal cover letter that will encourage them to look at your profile and hire you instead of anyone else who applies. Let your personality and experience shine through.
Free Membership vs Premium Membership
While signing up for a Care.com account is free, ponying up for a premium membership will expedite your job search process and Care.com credits can ensure more of your applications are seen.
Free Care.com Membership
A free Care.com membership will allow you to create a profile on the website and browse for potential jobs. You’ll be able to apply to those jobs and be seen when care seekers are browsing caregiver profiles. If you’re patient and willing to apply to multiple jobs, you can get by with a free Care.com membership.
Premium Care.com Membership
A premium membership on Care.com comes with several benefits that can speed up your job search and help you nab those great jobs everyone wants.
As a premium member, your profile will be displayed at the top of search results. This is beneficial as many care seekers choose to browse care providers instead of reviewing applications to their job post.
You’ll also get instant alerts about any relevant new job postings and to be able to see when an employer views your profile.
Care.com provides all its premium membership care providers with a free basic background check, which makes you look more credible in the eyes of care seekers and saves them the cost of running one on you.
A premium membership as a care provider costs the following:
- 6 months: $10 per month
- 3 months: $15 per month
- 1 month: $20 per month
If you provide a short-term service or want multiple clients, it’s not a bad idea to sign up for a multi-month premium membership and to splurge on some Care.com credits.
Care.com allows care seekers to limit the number of applications they need to go through. In those instances, it’s really helpful to have Care.com credits you can use to purchase one of the five application slots for that job.
This tends to happen for those really good jobs that know they’ll be inundated with applications and that need to hire someone quickly. Having just five candidates makes the screening process easier for the care seeker and increases the odds that you’ll be the one hired for that position.
You can purchase credits right on your profile page for the following prices:
- 10 credits for $9 (only $0.90 per credit)
- 25 credits for $19 ($0.76 per credit — save 16 percent)
- 50 credits for $29 ($0.56 per credit — save 36 percent)
You don’t have to pay Care.com a penny in order to apply to jobs. However, if you’re serious about finding great work quickly, the money invested in a premium membership or Care.com credits (or both) can pay off.
Types of Jobs Available on Care.com
There is a wide range of jobs available on Care.com. The options include:
- Child Care Center
- Family Child Care (In-Home Daycare)
- Special Needs Provider
- Private Lesson Instructor
- Senior Care Provider
- Pet Care Provider
- Errands and Odd Jobs Provider
Many of these options have subcategories. For example, pet caregivers could provide services as a dog walker, dog groomer, dog sitter or some combination of those three. Or they may only work with cats or birds.
Get Started With Care.com
That’s it. You’re ready and have no reason to procrastinate any longer. If you’ve been thinking about picking up some extra money by working as a babysitter or tutor, or switching careers and becoming a nanny or running an in-home daycare, now is the moment.
Sign up for Care.com right now and get started. Setting up your account and profile will only take a few minutes and from there you’ll be able to start browsing and applying for jobs. Your new hustle or career doesn’t have to cost a penny if you start with a free profile and upgrade once you’ve landed your first job.
You’re ready…now get started!