I'm a recent college graduate and because I have been mainly a full time student with little job experience ( and because I need the money) I decided to apply for a part time job until I could find a job related to the degree I have.

Part of the reason I have little job experience is because when I began college, I was working as a nanny for my brother to his two kids. Can I put that under the 'Employment History" section on the job application? Or does it look bad because I worked for family?

I'm not trying to use this family member as a reference ( that's a whole other section), I just want to know if I can/should account for my time by listing this nanny work.

  • Is the experience (or skilled gained thereof) relevant to the position you're applying to in your opinion?
    – kolossus
    Sep 26, 2014 at 15:32
  • I think so. I had to be organized, multi-tasking was something I had to learn. Patience, work ethic. I would think all those skills would be relevant to this job( really almost any job).
    – LisW
    Sep 27, 2014 at 3:04
  • If those skills are completely generic (generic does not mean less important) then I would argue they are actually relevant for a specific position. Since virtually every job you want will require you to be organized, patient and an ethical person.
    – Areks
    Sep 27, 2014 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


Being a nanny to your brother's kids counts as being a nanny, and being a nanny counts as a job of being a nanny. You could give your brother as a reference - I personally would prefer his spouse as a reference if she has a different last name, especially if she is not enclined to give you a break for being your brother's sister. If your sister-in-law says that she is especially picky about you because you are a known quantity to her and she does not want to take a chance on somebody else, that's a plus. At the end of the day, it boils down to who is taking best care of her children. If she can can make that point as your reference and drive home that she can't afford the luxury of hiring you as a nanny just because you are her sister-in-law, you're not in bad shape :)

  • My brother's wife doesn't normally use her maiden name but I guess I could still put it down. The reference section asks for your relationship status though. Should I put that she is my sister in law or should I just put former boss?
    – LisW
    Oct 3, 2014 at 5:24
  • @LisW If she would have fired you if you didn't perform, she was your boss. If she says that she is also your sister-in-law, she should add that she was exacting in selecting you as the nanny. Oct 3, 2014 at 7:33
  • Okay but should I mention her relation to me first or let her be the one to do it? I just don't want it to seem like I'm attempting to hide anything.
    – LisW
    Oct 3, 2014 at 7:56
  • @LisW Let her be the one to do it. Ask her not to volunteer the information but to disclose it if directly asked i.e. "Are you a family relation?", and IMMEDIATELY say that she was tough on you because you are family. Back in Saigon, the ethnic Chinese merchant families used to apprentice their kids with each other. If they apprenticed their kids within the family, they might be too indulgent on the kids - with predictable, negative consequences - or they might be too tough and unnecessarily tough on the kids. I am pretty sure that your sister-in-law was not being indulgent with you :) Oct 3, 2014 at 8:30
  • :D It sounds likes you know my sister in law because she has DEFINTELY never been in indulgent with me. Thank you though, I was having a hard time choosing between her as a reference and my academic advisor.
    – LisW
    Oct 3, 2014 at 19:40

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