Your social worker resume should portray your strong interpersonal abilities, your empathy, tolerance, loyalty and professionalism. When you are writing your resume you need to present these special qualities convincingly as well as your proficiency in upholding strict confidential codes of behavior when managing your clients.
A social work qualification prepares you to work in a wide range of situations and you are possibly qualified to work in different areas such as case management, counseling or a more senior director’s role. Therefore you will need to target your resume to fit the particular position that is advertised and try to blend your skills with the needs of the company.
The ideal format for your resume is shown in the example which you will simply need to adjust for your personal situation.
Although this section may appear to be quite evident there are some points that you need to keep in mind. Include your name just as you use it on a day to day basis and not a format that perhaps is on your birth certificate but you never use.
Write your address fully and include a phone number that you are able to answer promptly, cell numbers are most commonly used for this reason. Your email is also an important inclusion and also should be one that you check regularly.
The highest qualification is listed first and then you work down to the least significant one. Record the issuing institution and year achieved.
This section is optional and is usually included by new graduates and people without work experience in the industry.
This is a vitally important section which can paint a very positive picture of why you should be selected for the job. This is your advertisement for yourself so use it to your greatest advantage. Summarize your experiences and strengths and what you can bring to the position.
You can use this example as a model and adapt it to your own experience.
- Organized and motivated professional, over four years experience in case work with socially excluded minority groups, exceptional communicator and mediator. Independent worker able to handle pressure and meet deadlines.
Professional Experience (Work History)
This is where you can emphasize the skills that are being sought in the job advertisement and show very clearly that you have them. Using dot points will be the optimum way to draw attention to the fact that your skills very closely match the job requirements.
Start with your most recent experience and include some of the points from the following categories.
- Your major work area eg residential, clinical, field etc
- Contacts with professionals from other disciplines
- Your involvement with major projects
- Any budgeting responsibilities
- Organization and planning activities
- Responsibility for adopting new procedures in your organization
- Building of relationships and assessing needs of clients
- Any achievements that were of particular benefit to your employer or clients.
You may have had a highly successful prevention rate of drug use with your clients. You may have worked with a very high case load. These are the types of things that will get an employer’s attention.
This is where you can list any extra education and training that you have received since your original degree. This might include professional development sessions offered by the workplace, short courses and seminars. This is very important in social workers resumes as it shows that you are constantly keeping up to date in your profession.
Activities and Associations
Record your membership of any professional associations and institutions and any extra or voluntary activities.
Remember to use key words that feature in the job advertisement and plenty of action verbs which are related to the specific position. This will help your resume appear in searches that potential employers are using to find their employees.