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28/06/2022  •  Career centre

Does your social work CV include these five key skills?

If you’re currently looking to boost your CV to stand out to employers, look no further. This article will cover the five key skills that all top social workers show.

Top tips on writing a social work cv

Be resilient

Social work can regularly involve dealing with loss, grief and upset, sometimes on a daily basis. These issues can take their toll and make the role demanding and emotionally draining at times, contrasting with the high sense of moral reward. Employers look for those individuals that are capable of bouncing back, showing both the patience and resilience to not let setbacks get the better of them. When writing your CV consider mentioning an experience which you found particularly challenging and demonstrate how this developed your personal and emotional resilience.

Think critically

At times important and potentially life changing decisions must be made as a social worker. For example, you may be looking after a potential adoption case or arranging suitable care for an elderly person; these tough decisions are often impacted by available resources and the law surrounding that particular issue. By demonstrating on your CV that you are able to think critically about situations using your emotional and interpersonal intelligence you will immediately stand out to employers. Think back to a time where you have used critical thinking in order to make an educated decision and be sure to include it in your CV to really boost your chances of employment.

Show your adaptability

Great social workers must have the ability to remain flexible and adaptable in an ever-changing, emotionally intense work environment. Children’s social workers will handle on average 25 cases – with some figures reaching 50. Mention an experience on your CV where you have had a wide variation of service users with many different issues, requiring you to use your initiative and act under pressure.

Communication is key

Being able to work with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds is vital. The ability to successfully speak to someone on both a professional and personal level will enable you to excel in your role – making both you and your service user more comfortable. Clear communication will also allow you to build a level of trust with your service user and any of their family members involved too. Employers are always scanning CVs to find potential social workers with strong written and verbal communication skills, so provide an example of how you developed yours and ensure that your CV is concise, grammatically correct and is structured well.

* Bonus: Be sure to include any experience/qualification with another language! *

Manage those hours

Time management. The skill we all say we have, but how do we demonstrate this on paper? Social work is built on juggling responsibilities, performance targets and service users’ needs, so being able to show to employers that you are able to effectively manage your time and prioritise important tasks will set you apart from others. Think of a time where you have had to juggle a number of tasks at once, the strategy you used to effectively achieve a balance and the outcome of this planning. Make it clear to employers how this experience developed your time management skills, which will give you that edge over others.