Housekeeping Skills Checklist: What Do Housekeepers Need?

Housekeeping jobs can be very rewarding and there are no significant barriers to entry, meaning that you can often start working without any prior experience. However, you will need to demonstrate that you have at least the basic housekeeping skills, and if you have not worked as a housekeeper before, you might be unsure what this could involve.

It does not help that job descriptions are sometimes vague, and may describe the housekeeper's duties as "maintenance" or ask only for "general housekeeping skills". This makes it hard to know whether or not you are right for the job, and harder still to put together a professional housekeeper resume that demonstrates your suitability to an employer.

Here, the experts at Nannies Matter explain what you should consider when preparing a housekeeping resume, outline the skills that are common requirements of many roles in this field, and suggest some practical questions you may need to ask before you start work as a housekeeper.

What skills do I need for housekeeping jobs?

Most housekeepers are responsible for the basic but important tasks that keep a household running smoothly. Additional skills may set you apart from other candidates and be attractive to particular clients, depending on their needs, but there are several requirements that are usually fundamental to a housekeeping role.

Below, we have listed some of the tasks that generally make up a housekeeper's day-to-day responsibilities. Common duties include:

  • Laundry

  • Vacuuming

  • Dusting and polishing

  • Preparing food

  • Cleaning surfaces

  • Changing bedding

This is only a general guide - each housekeeping job is different, and you should discuss each potential employer's individual requirements with them if you are invited to an interview. In this way, you can get a better sense of the specific skills you will be expected to demonstrate; however, you can also use the list above to ensure that you are capable of fulfilling the minimum expectations.

You may be able to find more detailed information in the job description of the role you want to apply for. However, these types of roles tend to be flexible - for example, many parents decide to hire a nanny for their children who will also undertake some general housekeeping, in addition to their primary childcare responsibilities. You can discuss this with clients to determine whether they have something specific in mind, but you should generally expect that these duties will be confined to the activities we have listed above.

How should I present my skills on my housekeeper resume?

Many of the duties a housekeeper will be expected to fulfil are household tasks, and it is reasonable to expect that most people would have some experience and ability to perform these tasks. However, clients will usually expect a much higher standard of quality from a professional housekeeper, and you will need to demonstrate that you can exceed these expectations. If possible, illustrate the skills you list in your housekeeping resume using examples from your professional experience, as this will give employers confidence in your capabilities.

If you are inexperienced in housekeeping, you should also consider how adept you are in each of these areas and determine whether you can perform these tasks to a professional standard. This may not be as straightforward as it seems - in a professional setting, you might need to know how to use specialist cleaning equipment, or be expected to use specific techniques according to your employer's preferences.

Some employers may give you a much greater degree of responsibility for maintaining their household. They may not know what specific duties they need you to fulfil, only that they want their home to be clean and tidy. In such cases, you will need to recognise and address problems yourself - clear communication with your employer can help you to understand the standards they want you to meet, along with their priorities.

Some employers may provide training on how to use particular cleaning equipment or the procedures they would like you to follow, but others will expect you to be self-sufficient and to bring your own expertise to the table. As such, if you have limited experience, it is best to be honest about this - emphasise the skills and qualities that qualify you for work as a housekeeper, but try to understand that this lack of professional experience will make you better suited to some opportunities than others.

Which skills look best on a housekeeper resume or CV?

While the list above contains some of the practical skills that you might need in a housekeeping role, there are also "soft skills" to consider. This term refers to personal (and interpersonal) skills that are not specific to one role or industry - these can include organisation, communication, a keen eye, strong attention to detail and other such skills.

These are all important skills to list on your housekeeper resume, because while many candidates for a particular role will share the same practical skills, your personal attributes are an opportunity to set yourself apart.

As we said above, the parameters of a housekeeping role can differ significantly and are determined by customer needs. However, this does not mean that employers will simply select the most important tasks from the list above. In many cases, housekeepers are asked to take on additional responsibilities, or even work in two roles at the same time. For example, it is common for employers to hire housekeeper nannies, whose duties include providing childcare in mornings and afternoons, and delivering housekeeping services during the day. This is both cost-effective and convenient for the employer, but it means that professionals need more than just housekeeping skills to do a good job.

If you are seeking a job as a housekeeper, you can browse our current vacancies, call us on 0800 121 4881 or use the contact form on this page to learn more about working with us.

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