If Au Pairs try to find their Host Family with the help of an Au Pair agency they often have to provide a Dear Host Family letter. As soon as the Host Family selected several appealing profiles of potential Au Pairs, they normally will get the Au Pair’s Host Family letter.
There might also be sections on Au Pair matching websites which require a Dear Host Family letter. As Host Families may read lots of these letters, the most important question is, how to convince the Host Family that your are their perfect match?!
How to write a successful “Dear Host Family”-letter
Straight from your first draft of the Dear Host Family letter, there is one very important thing you should keep in mind: The letter needs to be kept as short as possible! If you write paragraph after paragraph after paragraph you will risk that the Host Family close your letter before reading it all as it feels too time intensive to read the whole letter.
You need to attract the Host Family’s attention with your accurately worded letter, describing your personality and ambitions in a summary instead of a long story. Unfortunately, this also means that there is not much space for creativity because you need to list important things about yourself. Hence, this will already take some space in your letter.
Therefore, you should really think about reasons why you would be the best match for this (or any) Host Family. If possible, try to personalise the letter matching the prospective Host Family’s situation and constellation. However, we believe that this is very often impossible as you might not have much information about the Host Family to whom your Dear Host Family letter will be forwarded.
We have compiled a list of steps and an example Dear Host Family letter to help you to write a successful Dear Host Family letter. The tricky thing about Au Pair applications is, that the number of applicants is normally quite big.
So you need to find a way to stand out, without necessary just write more information.
The very first sentences are very important and you should phrase these deliberately.
What is the first paragraph of a Dear Host Family letter supposed to contain?
The first paragraph should include a description about yourself and what you are currently doing. Write informative, bring some examples but keep it short.
“Dear Host Family,
thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
My name is Claudia and I am 19 years old. I am living with my mother, my 12 year old sister and two dogs in Hamburg, which is a big city in the north of Germany. My dad lives with his new wife and son half an hour away but I see him regularly. At the moment, I am in the last throes of my A levels and I will graduate in June.
In my spare time, I love to play tennis. The last three summer holidays I helped at a kids summer tennis camp and was assigned to teach the youngest group of children the basics of tennis. In between the short exercise lessons I was responsible for entertaining the children and we had lots of fun playing hide and seek, doing face paintings, colouring ins and many more games.
I also love reading, especially English novels. One of my favorite authors is Ken Follet and I can’t wait to have access to an English Library to browse through all the literature I like!”
How to convince the Host Family that I am the perfect match for them?
If you have some information about the Host Families receiving your letter, as for instance age and gender of the children or the location they live, you should definitely take advantage of these information to personalise your letter. You could for example highlight some child care experience which you have with children of this age (if you have – never make up a story or experience that you don’t have!). This will show the Host Family that you make the effort to write individual Dear Host Family letters.
On our page about Au Pairs we have a list of questions which you should ask yourself do decide if Au Pairing is something you will enjoy. “Enjoy” means not only for a couple of days or weeks, but for months as well. If you respond to some of these questions in this paragraph of your letter about your personal choice of becoming an Au Pair, you would reassure to the Host Family that your decision has been taken thoroughly.
If you have experience with children or even better with child care, this is the topic you should focus on next. Additionally, Host Parents like to read about either your experience of living abroad or, if you have never lived abroad, some reassuring sentences of why you think living abroad would be no problem for you. Giving an outlook how living will be with you like (the easier the better) will be really helpful.
“I would love to become your next Au Pair because I love children and enjoy spending time with them. I am prepared and I am well aware of the fact that being like a big sister for your children comes along with responsibilities for them and it will not always be just play and fun. My calm and patient personality will help me to master more difficult situations for instance when the kids are tired or don’t want to listen to me.
I expect that in the first couple of days I will be exhausted at night because I guess taking care of children the whole time can be tiring. But I am sure that I will adapt to the new tasks and daily routine quickly and become a big help for you.
Living with me is really easy as I am not a demanding person. I do respect that the house is your house and that I have follow your house rules. If something works not quite as it should, I prefer to talk instead of ignoring things.
I have never spent longer time abroad except from holidays but I am used to not seeing either my dad or my mom for one or two weeks so I don’t think I will become particular home sick. And from the UK it is just a short flight home to Germany in case I wanted to visit my family in case you don’t need me on a weekend 🙂
I am really curious to hear all about you and your children. The information I have read so far sounds really interesting. I hope you like my letter and I can’t wait to hear back from you.
Thank you for reading my letter and kind regards,
The above is an example of a Dear Host Family letter is one that would we as Host Parents like and we definitely would arrange a Skype call with “Claudia”. If you try to follow the summarized ten easy steps below to write a convincing Dear Host Family letter we are sure that you will get lots of Skype requests and then you can choose, which Host Family you like to get to know better.
10 easy steps to write a successful Dear Host Family letter
- Introduce yourself briefly without going too much into detail. Include personal facts like:
- Country of origin and current home
- Who belongs to your household (also you may want to include siblings that already moved out)
- What you are doing at the moment
- Your hobbies
- Think carefully about the question, why you want to be an Au Pair and explain the reasons
- Describe how living with you would look like and include words like: honest, open, respectful, reliable, discrete, affectionate, dedicated, patient, responsible, trustworthy
- Bring examples for important statements
- If you have ever spent time abroad with or without your family, outline this experience
- Put the child care affinity before others! That you love to travel or explore different cultures is nice, but should not be your main motivation (at least you should not write that down if that is your main motivation)
- Don’t overdo it with how great your child minding is: You will win more sympathy if you can admit things, like you expect to be exhausted at night in the first few days
- Add pictures – ideally with children – to the letter: Pictures with a big smile!
- Avoid using numerous emojis throughout your letter. One here or there is ok though
- If you have preferences for the area, you should name it already as you don’t want to waste your time or the Host Family’s time for nothing.
And last but not least: If you know the native language of the Host Family at least a bit and if that is not English, it makes a good impression if you write some parts in their language. If this is impossible, write in English.
For every Dear Host Family letter written in English we recommend to ask someone with really good English language skills to proof-read your letter because spelling or grammar mistakes can easily be avoided.