How First Timers Can Get Their Dream House sitting Job

By Andy Peck | House sitting

Tony and Meg's first house sitting experience will be in Thailand.

Tony and Meg's invaluable feedback explains how they managed to secure this great house and pet sitting opportunity and how you can too. 

"A concrete shack in Bolivia, a 5-star hotel in Paris, an overnight bus in Chile, an apartment in Croatia, tents on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, and a red-eye flight across the Atlantic... 8 months into our 1 year trip around the world and we have slept in a lot of different places. We spent most of the 2 years before our trip working hard in our corporate jobs to save money, but we are always working on ways to make it last longer.

We have bartered free places to stay in exchange for updating a companys non-native english website in Thailand, physical labor on an Italian Agriturismo, and for writing a review of a hostel in Berlin.  All of the different places we have slept and all of the different work we have done in exchange for a bed has finally led us to this - house sitting in Thailand

Stay in a Thailand villa for free, in return for caring for the owner's dog and house while they were away

Housesitting for one month in a beautiful villa on a Thai island while taking care of two giant German Shephards. The only reason it took us 8 months to secure a house sitting job is because it took us 7 1/2 months to get the courage to sign up to Luckily, during our travels we read a lot about the basics of house sitting so we were fully prepared to give it our best shot when we signed up. As first time house sitters, we did a few things to help us stand out from some of the more experienced candidates. Maybe they will work for you as well!

Treat Your Profile Like A Resume.
Coming from an undergrad business school, we know that a common mistake people make when creating their resume is just listing every single one of their accomplishments. A resume should highlight things that are relevant to the job you want, not just the job you are doing. The same is true with housesitting. Think hard about what your ideal housesitting job would be looking for from a house sitter.

Accentuate instances where you have succeeded in maintaining someones property.
But you have never house sat before? No problem. Reference good reviews on Airbnb and other apartment rental services. Get creative! Don't just tell people that you are responsible... show them. Many housesitting jobs also come with responsibilities for taking care of pets.

Dog sitting is part of the agreement

Highlight times where you have taken care of animals.
Pet owners are typically very protective of their furry family members, so don't just show that you can keep their animals alive. Show them that their pets will be loved as well.

For us, we referenced our time spent on an Italian agriturismo looking after dogs, chickens, and cats to show our experience taking care of someone elses animals. But we also made sure to mention our childhoods growing up with labs and retrievers and our desire to get a dog once we returned to the states. You do not deserve to watch over someoneas house, valuables, and animals just because you want to have a nice vacation. It is a job... albeit one with some pretty excellent perks!

Don't Be Too Formal - Show Your Personality

The reality of corporate life is that promotions, raises, and even layoffs are often decided between several fairly equal candidates. When faced with numerous deserving professionals, the candidate that is usually rewarded is the one that people like the most... the one they wouldn't mind (or even might enjoy) working with everyday. Don't hate the player, hate the game. Same for housesitting! You will be in someone's home, possibly for weeks, living with their pets and cherished items. If you were them, wouldn't you feel more comfortable having a feel for who these strangers in your home were? Wouldn't it be even better if you could actually sense if you might like them? Obviously.

Show your personality in your profile!

So without damaging the professional image you are trying to convey, inject some personality into your profile. Let people know what you are passionate about and why you are genuinely interested in housesitting. Even better? Offer to Skype at any time they wish. This is a great way to seem transparent to the homeowner and a great way to showcase your personality if you can connect on a call. You also get to see the homeowner and if you'd like to work for them (it needs to be a good fit for you both).

Be Flexible
If you want to get that dream housesitting job right out of the gate, you need to plan to adjust to the needs of the owner. Are you looking for a 2 week stay between October 7th and October 21st? Is there a great job posted but the owner needs 10 days from October 17th to October 26th? Make it work! Adjust your plans so that you can be a perfect fit for the owner. Maybe add a 4-day hotel stay after or before the housesitting job to get your originally planned 2 week vacation. The more flexible you are the more appealing you will be.

Sign Up!
Yeah, yeah...
Totally obvious and stupid. I know. But guess what? We talked for months before our big trip started and talked for months during our travels about housesitting... and did nothing. For some reason, we always felt like house sitting was for other people. Something, that while ridiculously awesome, was unattainable. And then we signed up for, and within 2 weeks had secured an incredible housesitting job on our first request.

One of many sunsets across the villa's pool will be enjoyed

So now we have the job and it starts any day. Will we love it? Will it be everything we expect? We can't wait to find out!
Written by Tony & Meg -
(House sitters in Thailand)

13 Responses to "How First Timers Can Get Their Dream House sitting Job"

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  1. Bethany ~ twoOregonians says:
    Aug. 26, 2012, 2:51 p.m.

    Way to go landing (get it? ;) ) a great house sitting spot. And great tips, too, about creating a profile. When I put together our profile for a work-trade site, I found the same things to be true - people really appreciated the formality and seriousness of a solid resume, and they also appreciated getting to see the personality behind the words. Once you gain experience and credibility, it seems like the opportunities snowball. Have fun with your two adopted German Shepherds and enjoy Thailand! :)


  2. Rob Making It Anywhere says:
    Aug. 27, 2012, 1:43 p.m.

    Fantastic post - there are some great tips in there that we'll be using when we start signing up for housesitting. I admit it though - I had to read it twice because the cloud of jealousy was blurring my vision the first time around :)


  3. Tony @ LandingStanding says:
    Aug. 28, 2012, 12:40 a.m.

    Bethany... love the pun! Totally agree about broadcasting a professional appearance. We tried to make it professional first and then go back and add in bits of our personality. Made it an easy way to do it. Have you two tried or thought about trying housesitting? We're excited to try out our first gig in a few days... definitely seems like something we want to do A LOT more of! -Tony


  4. Tony @ LandingStanding says:
    Aug. 28, 2012, 12:42 a.m.

    Thanks Rob! We've tried not to... but we love sending the link to the place to our friends to make them jealous! We are going to try more housesitting after this. Seems like the perfect way to travel if you're looking to take it slow and save money. Good luck getting your own gig! -Tony


  5. Megan says:
    Aug. 28, 2012, 7:01 a.m.

    wow! i never considered doing gonna try it out sometime. be nice to feel like im doing grand things for once instead of hosteling it up or opting to sleep in a car for the night.


  6. Tony @ LandingStanding says:
    Sept. 17, 2012, 1:41 p.m.

    You should totally look into it, Megan! It is not very often where you can find a very inexpensive (read free) sleeping option that actually might be more luxurious than any hotel you could try.


  7. R Wayne Branch says:
    Sept. 17, 2012, 4:01 p.m.

    I would add to this wonderful information that it was easy for me to get wide eyed about the first assignment. There is work to be done in exchange for the free stay. And sometimes there are costs that need to be factored in also. See Five Things To Know About House Sitting via @wordpressdotcom for a little me detail about my first experience house sitting in Costa Rica.


  8. Tony @ LandingStanding says:
    Sept. 22, 2012, 3:14 a.m.

    So true, Wayne. There is definitely work involved, but as far as our experience goes, the work has paled in comparison to how much we are enjoying the stay. We have become super attached to the two lovable dogs and are relishing access to a gym and swimming pools. We do have to wake up early to walk the dogs and maintain the Koi pond, but we usually get up early anyways. Thanks for adding some great insights to the conversation!


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