How to Write an Oncology Social Worker Resume (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 5, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When working in specialty areas in social work, like oncology, writing a strong resume can help candidates get an interview with their ideal facility. This requires including specific sections and details that hiring managers can notice and appreciate. Learning about what to include can help you if you're hoping to pursue a career in oncology social work. In this article, we discuss the steps you can take to write an oncology social worker resume and share a template and example you can use when creating your own.

How to write an oncology social worker resume

Here are some steps you can follow when writing an oncology social worker resume:

1. Include contact details

Companies refer to your resume to see how they might contact you. At the top of this document, you can include your name, phone number, and email address for them to quickly access. You can also include a specific title with your name, like your master's degree or doctorate if it showcases your expertise in oncology or social work. Consider proofreading your contact information to ensure it matches other application documents, like your cover letter or online application.

Related: Social Service Worker vs. Social Worker: What's the Difference?

2. Write a professional summary

You can use a professional summary section to highlight your key qualities in oncology or social work. Consider including one or two skills along with your top achievements that show your impact in this role. You can use your skills as modifiers. For example, you might describe yourself as an empathetic, detail-oriented social worker with experience managing a certain number of cases per year. As this can be the first section a hiring manager might read, you can use this opportunity to share why you are a better candidate than other applicants.

Related: How To Become a Social Worker (With Definitions and FAQs)

3. Describe your education

You can list the school where you earned your degree, the degree name, and the year you earned it in your education section. Most positions in this field require at least a master's degree in social work. These often need to be from schools that have accreditation with an oncology organization. Some might only require a bachelor's degree in the field. Specialized classes, like ones that focus on oncology, can help showcase your knowledge in this particular area.

4. List your previous responsibilities

In a professional experience section, you can list your previous roles, the companies for which you worked, and the duration for each. Under each previous role, you can list some of your key responsibilities. Consider listing the tasks you managed and the results to show the effects of your involvement. You might use specific metrics, like how many cases you've managed or relevant data to support your claims. Consider reviewing the job description and including the most relevant responsibilities in this section.

5. Add your skills

You can list your top soft and technical skills in their own section. This can be a simple, bulleted list, or skills separated by pipes. Some of the skills you might include in this resume include:

  • Counselling: Many oncology social workers assist their clients through difficult times as they or their family members handle cancer diagnoses. Counselling can show you have the empathy and active listening skills needed to assist clients through difficult times.

  • Multitasking: You can expect to work on several cases simultaneously, which can involve strong multitasking skills. This involves managing different sets of case files, having multiple conversations, and sometimes travelling to various locations.

  • Detail-orientation: Detail-orientation is key for this role, as you observe and handle both quantitative and qualitative data through observations, conversations, and assessments. This skill allows you to recommend the best services needed for clients.

  • Assessment abilities: An essential part of this role is the ability to assess clients to better understand their needs. This requires strong observational skills, data analysis, and problem solving to devise the best treatment plans.

Related: Writing an Effective Social Work Resume Skills Section

6. Mention your certification

Though some jobs may not require a certification, it can help to mention this here. Many master's degree programs include certification upon graduation if the school has the necessary accreditation. If you have a bachelor's degree in the field, you might pursue this certification to show you can meet the specific needs of clients dealing with cancer.

Related: What Does a Gerontological Social Worker Do? (With Careers)

Oncology social worker resume template

Templates can help you ensure you include all of the relevant information for your resume. These might vary depending on if you have additional degrees, certifications, or roles you want to include. Here's a template you can use when writing your resume for this role:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]

[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [Province]

Professional Summary

[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as an entry-level professional]

Education

[Degree], [Major] | [Date of graduation]

[Name of School or University]

[Certification Name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Experience

(For the most recent role, list 5 experience items. For previous roles, list 3.)

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]

[Company Name] | [City], [Province]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]

[Company Name] | [City], [Province]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Skills

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Related: What Are Social Workers? (With FAQs and Job Descriptions)

Oncology social worker resume example

When writing your resume, it can be helpful to see an example you might mirror when writing yours. Here's an example you can use when creating your oncology social worker resume:

Joanna Martine

437-221-1122 | joanna.martine@email.com | Toronto, Ontario

Professional Summary

Experienced Oncology Social Worker with high empathy, expertise in assessment and treatment development, and counselling for clients with a terminal illness. Manage over 50 cases annually with experience working directly with patients and families.

Education

Master of Social Work 2018

Toronto School of Oncology Social Work

Oncology Social Work Certification, Board of Oncology Social Work – 2017

Experience

Oncology Social Worker | 2017–Current

Toronto Social Workers Association | Toronto, Ontario

  • Counsell clients with various types of cancer on mental and physical treatment resources

  • Assess the needs of over 50 clients and families annually

  • Write treatment plans for each client

  • Document and escalate any situations causing harm to clients and families

  • Help execute treatment plans to improve overall quality of life

Assistant Counselor| 2015–2017

Toronto Cancer Treatment Center | Toronto, Ontario

  • Provided counselling services to cancer patients and their families

  • Managed paperwork and case files for patients

  • Assisted counsellors with follow-up directives

Skills

Empathy | Counselling | Observation and assessment | Treatment plan writing | Problem solving | Critical thinking

FAQs about becoming an oncology social worker

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about this role:

What are the experience requirements?

The experience requirements can vary depending on the position for which you apply. For example, a role that handles very difficult situations or might have more cases to manage than other positions may require additional years of experience. Some companies might hope you have several years in social work, even in a general area, to ensure you have knowledge and experience in the different aspects of the job, like assessments and treatment plans.

Related: 16 High-Paying Health Care Jobs (With Duties and Salaries)

Can I use this experience to transfer into oncology?

You might require additional medical experience and education to transfer into oncology. This often involves more scientific knowledge that can help you diagnose and treat patients with cancer, even in a supportive role. You might get more administrative roles in an oncology office with these skills, as you can develop more knowledge of the terminology in the field and experience working with patients that can help in office settings.

Related: How to Become a Radiation Therapist: A Complete Guide

Can I work as a general social worker after working as an oncology social worker?

Depending on the position requirements, you might be able to make this change. As oncology is a specialized area, general social work can include a lot of the same tasks with less expertise in a particular area. Consider reviewing several job descriptions to see if you have the experience, skills, and education required to pursue this alternative career path.

Explore more articles