When using house-sitting sites, pay close attention to tips they provide on what to include in your profile. Highlight what makes you trustworthy and a good pet caregiver. Carefully read information provided by homeowners so you know what you are getting into, and make clear in your profile what kinds and numbers of animals you are willing to care for.

Here are other tips for writing an attention-getting profile:

• Post a picture. My husband and I used a nice homey picture of ourselves in front of our fireplace.

• Give the homeowners personal information that would demonstrate trustworthiness. For example, our profile told homeowners that my husband and I were longtime homeowners, and that I was a retired attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice.

• Share information on your experience with animals.

• Make people feel confident that you can handle the unexpected. My husband taught employees how to fix Washington, D.C., subway cars, and as a child often helped his grandfather, an electrician. Our profile noted that my husband can fix just about anything.

• Finally, list lots of references, especially if you have previous experience in house-sitting. Many listings on the sites we used stated a required minimum number of references to even be considered for their house-sitting gig.

Eleaner Loos