What To Include in a Social Work Resume (With Template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 7, 2021

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.

Social workers help people overcome difficult situations in their lives. When applying for jobs in this fast-growing field, a clear and well-written resume can grab a potential employer's attention. A strong resume can also increase your chances of meeting for a job interview. In this article, we discuss what a social worker is, review what's included on a social work resume, describe how to write one, and provide a template to help you write your own.

Related: How To Include Your Accomplishments on a Resume

What is a social worker?

A social worker is a mental health professional who helps individuals with challenges in their personal and professional lives. Social workers address various issues in people's lives, including their home environment, professional lives, socioeconomic status and relationships. They evaluate their clients' circumstances and provide them with counselling and access to information and resources that may benefit them. They're concerned with helping clients of all ages and can work with children in schools or support ageing adults and their families. Specialized social worker skills can include:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

  • Interest in detail-driven research

  • Ability to empathize and understand others' perspectives

  • Active-listening

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Critical thinking skills and ability to evaluate unique situations

  • Perseverance and determination

  • Meticulous organizational skills

  • Emotional intelligence and sensitivity to the feelings of others

Related: Best Careers for ENFP Personalities

What's included in a social work resume?

When you write a social work resume, it can be beneficial to include specific information highlighting your professional experience and various qualifications. Your resume is an opportunity to show hiring managers that you have the education and training to succeed as a social worker. It may demonstrate that you have traits such as empathy and a desire to better people's lives. Consider adding details about your experience and education, examples of previous job duties and skills you possess throughout your resume.

Here's a list of things you can include on your resume if you're applying for a position as a social worker:

  • Header: At the top of the page, include a header that features your name, phone number and email address.

  • Resume objective: Your objective is the introduction to your resume. It tells the hiring manager what to expect from the rest of your resume. Your goal is to capture the employer's attention and make them want to keep reading.

  • Education: In this section, you can list your high school diploma and any degrees in higher education that you earned.

  • Work history: Include a section that highlights your professional experience and lists various job duties you can perform.

  • Certifications and training: As a social worker, you can pursue various types of training and certifications. Feature them on your resume to help illustrate your professional abilities.

  • Hard and soft skills: Social workers may benefit from possessing various hard and soft skills, so consider listing these on your resume to show the hiring manager that you're a good fit for the position.

Related: What To Include in Your Resume Skills Section

How to write a social work resume

Consider using these steps to help you write a social worker resume:

1. Select a resume format

Resumes can have different formats that depend on the style and the order in which you decide to list your work history and education. There are three primary formats to choose from, a chronological resume, a functional resume and a combination resume. Choosing the most beneficial format can depend on the amount of industry experience you have and your academic background and training.

If you're entering the field of social work or you don't have a significant amount of professional experience, you may decide to use a functional resume. A functional resume can allow you to highlight your unique skills before you list your work history, providing you with the opportunity to capture the hiring manager's attention with your abilities and competencies. Alternatively, if you have extensive industry experience, consider using a chronological resume, which lists your professional experience at the top of the page. You may also consider a combination resume format that highlights both your skillset and your professional background.

2. List your contact information

Once you've decided on a format, list your contact information in the top right, left or centre of the page. Include your name, email address and phone number. You may consider making your name a larger or different font so that it captures the reader's attention. Adding this information can help ensure that the hiring manager can quickly contact you regarding the status of your application.

3. Write a resume objective

A resume objective is a one to three sentence summary about you and your professional experience or skills. You can include details such as the company you are applying with, your experience, education, examples of previous job duties, skills you possess and career goals in your objective. It may benefit you to keep your objective short, but vital to make it easy for hiring managers to review and assess your qualifications and goals quickly. Highlight only the information that applies to the job.

Here are some tips for writing a clear and informative social worker resume objective:

  • Be concise

  • Show your worth

  • Capture their attention with your unique skills

  • List your strengths first

  • Explain how you can benefit the employer

  • Personalize the objective to fit the role

  • Include education and certificates

  • Share your ambitions

4. Add your professional experience

After you've featured a summary about you as a professional, you can add your work history to demonstrate your familiarity with the industry or position. This can be an opportunity to show how your professional experience prepared you with skills and competencies that may help you succeed in your prospective role. List previous employment as a social worker or other positions relevant to the field.

In addition to the job title, list the dates you worked and the company or institution you worked for. It may be beneficial to include a short bulleted list of various job duties you performed in your various positions. You can reference the job posting to identify the keywords and experiences that your prospective employer is looking for and add these to your resume if applicable.

5. Include your academic credentials

Highlighting your education can be an essential aspect of your resume. Most employers require social workers to have a bachelor's degree in a related field. Others may require some professionals, such as clinical social workers, to have a master's degree, so be sure to include your highest level of education. On your resume, list the title of your degree, your major, the name of the university you attended and the year you graduated. If you have limited experience in the industry or this is your first job following graduation, consider adding your GPA as well.

6. Highlight your hard and soft skills

Adding skills to your resume can help you differentiate yourself from other candidates and demonstrate your capabilities. Consider highlighting both your hard and soft skills to show your different qualifications and abilities. Hard skills are abilities related to social work that you've learned or received training in, including foreign languages, case management and care planning. Soft skills are innate or natural talents that you possess and continue to develop. Some soft skills you can feature on your resume for a social work position include empathy, verbal communication and attention to detail.

Related: 14 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land a Job

7. Feature your credentials

Social workers can receive a variety of training and certifications that prepare them for the responsibilities of their role. Some universities provide certifications in advanced social work practice, clinical social work practice and community development. You can also list any foreign languages you speak or your related volunteer experience. Adding these credentials to your resume can show the hiring manager that you're committed to your professional development and care about effectively executing your job duties.

8. Proofread for spelling and grammar

Once you've completed a draft of your resume, consider rereading it to catch any errors in spelling, grammar or clarity. An error-free resume may help you make a good impression on the hiring manager and effectively highlight your skills and experience. Consider printing out your resume and reading it aloud to yourself or a friend to check for mistakes and receive helpful feedback.

Social worker resume template

When writing your resume for a social worker position, consider using this template to get started:

[First and last name]
[Phone number]
[Email address]

Resume objective
[A one to three sentence description of your industry experience, professional skills and career goals. Consider mentioning the company or position you're applying for and what you may bring to the organization.]

Work history
[Job title]
[Name of the business or organization]
[Dates of employment]

  • [Job duty or professional task]

  • [Job duty or professional task]

  • [Job duty or professional task]

[Job title]
[Name of the business or organization]
[Dates of employment]

  • [Job duty or professional task]

  • [Job duty or professional task]

  • [Job duty or professional task]

Academic credentials
[Degree title and major]
[Name of university or college]
[Dates of attendance]

Skills and certifications
[Title of certification]
[Introduction for your list of skills and competencies]

  • [Hard or soft skill]

  • [Hard or soft skill]

  • [Hard or soft skill]

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