What do you say when you apply?

I followed the instructions that I was given. Sigh. will try again.

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I tell them why we are interested in sitting for them and what our rough travel plans are since we almost always come from overseas and people are often concerned about that.

I mention the pets by name, discuss our relevant experience and why we’d be a good choice to sit them.

I read the listing carefully and mention our relevant experience for any responsibilities they require (lawn/garden care etc).

I then ask them to check out our profile and to let us know if they’d like to have a video chat or phone call etc.

We try to sound enthusiastic and positive and generally, I save my questions until followup messages or for the interview process.

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I second what @Kelownagurl said, we do the same.

On the other side of the coin, we were HO who needed sitters on 3 occasions last year. I could not believe the slap-dash applications I received. A one-line application saying: ‘please see my profile’. NO. You need to write an enticing application, like a cover letter for a job application, whereas your profile would be your CV/resume. Offer the information on a silver platter. Then I suddenly understood why we got nearly every sit we applied for (back in Australia in 2019/2020)…because our applications were very thorough.

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Hi Blondce, and welcome!

I would mention the pets by name if you haven’t already when applying. And also something that I didn’t realise straight away is you have to actively state which dates you are available for them to show highlighted in turquoise on your profile. At the moment you don’t have any dates highlighted. Dates available should look like this:

I always have mine highlighted for the next year, and then when I get a booking, it crosses those dates out.

The photos of you with pets (and the kids) are great. Maybe include more photos with pets.
Good luck!

Where do I do that? If I am applying for a sit, shouldn’t the assumption be
that I am available?

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You would think, wouldn’t you?!

But it will confirm that you are available if you edit the dates.

But also if you are not showing as available, your profile won’t show in available sitters when Home Owners search. Once you’re visible you will no doubt get lots of invites from HOs.

Go to your dashboard, then “My Sitter Profile” then click “Manage availability”.

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So I get a thing that asks me to enter date by date. Should I see something like your screen shot?

No the dates will all be as they are now; all with white backgrounds, and you click on the first date you are available and then click again on the last date you are available. So in my case; a year from now.

And then those dates turn turquoise.

@Blondce here’s an excellent post by one of the forum members that deals with this topic:

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I greet the whole names of anyone mentioned in their advertisement, family members, pets.
I also mention that we would care for their pets (individually named) and do what they ask of like go for two walks a day etc.
I always refer to my 100 % positive feedback and reviews highlighting my experience.

I always mention roughly the ETA of time I would arrive and when I would leave.

I also finish off with “Please feel free to ask any questions you have of me”.

I have noticed some house owners have specific requests with responding to them like “If you are interested, please respond by telling me your favourite book and why”.

I read the whole advertisement to make sure I meet what they are looking for. If there is opportunity for flexibility, I ask them to consider that too.

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Hello, I posted on this topic yesterday through a different thread. For what it’s worth, I’ve copy/pasted it here:

The other “tips” I’d say is: go short on the application and long on the bio. Utilize humour. Show your personality. Tell a brief funny relatable pet story. Do you know something neat about their area? Do you have a good memory to share of having visited their area before or a humours reason why you want to? Never underestimate the attraction of possessing local knowledge.

In my humble opinion, I get the feeling that homeowners will invest time in a well crafted bio if your application is clean and to the point, friendly, and phrased more like an invitation to read more about you, rather than a laundry list of things you’ve done.

I guess that’s about all I can think of! (and I’m certainly no expert on the subject ; D

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I really don’t understand this and have never done it! You have to “make” yourself available on there or the assumption is you’re not? We must have been lucky on booking sits for a full year….:face_with_raised_eyebrow: #veryconfused

I don’t agree with this as many HO don’t read a sitter’s profile (bio). Put maximum effort & info in to both your application and profile. It’s ok if some info is repeated, as again, your profile isn’t always read. A HO will always read your application first and first impressions are what count.

Tailor each application to the sit by mentioning the pets names and how you will fulfill the responsibilities mentioned. Talk about your sitting experience, your professional background, any hobbies/interests and why you want to do that particular sit. Offer to have a video call with them to discuss the sit further to ensure you are a good fit for each other.

Have a look at some experienced sitters profiles for some ideas for your own profile. Happy, smiling photos of you with pets are crucial for your profile.

You are right in saying that by applying you are available so don’t worry about the availability calendar too much as many sitters don’t use it (there are many forum threads on that). The calendar will automatically block out any confirmed THS sits you have.

Don’t get disillusioned as it often takes several applications to get a confirmed sit. Try applying for some local sits to get you started.

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That’s fine if it works for you withut filling in the dates. There are a few reasons why sitters are lucky. For example; many HOs don’t even bother reading full profiles including the dates. Many who do look at the dates are confused by them and think if the dates are showing (with white backgrouds) that’s when you’re available.

Many sitters never fill in the available dates, and the applications can overide this.

But the way I see it is; I might as well maximise my chances of getting picked. So I fill in the dates.

Hey there, not sure about the date part of your post…that may have been directed for someone in the feed?

I guess we agree to disagree :upside_down_face: When it comes length of bios and applications etc., I have to go on my career experience in marketing and promotions that says the best practice is a neat and tidy app that is enticing, and longer bio that is content and context rich.

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Love this @Leftcoastofcanada great advice, it obviously worked for you …

I have actually written to the pets … it’s worked every time

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I think you may be right (but I’m not sure) for home owners are searching for sitters. If a home owner puts in a set of dates and ask for sitters who are available, maybe that’s what happens.

But I don’t think it matters if you have your available dates set up on the calendar when you apply for a sit. I think from that point, the conversation is open between the home owner and the sitter regardless of what your calendar says.

Maybe a moderator can chime in on this?

Thank you! I made the same assumption.

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I know eh?..me too! The homeowner responded to my application and i replied by writing to their cat: Dear Mollie, I’m not sure you know this but your Mom is considering me as your new pal for when they are away…isn’t that exciting?!"…

It’s fun and approachable and can start the video meet-up later on a lighthearted note.

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Excellent advice, very on point. As someone now with several desirable sits under her belt, I’ve tweaked my profile from studying other successful sitter’s profiles, with short, informative paragraphs, but I also hit all the high points in my application.

And you’re right, many owners don’t read the profile. I applied to an amazing sit today and got confirmed within five minutes, based on my application only. There’s no way they even had time to read my profile.

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