Social Worker Resume Example

Learn how to write a great social worker resume by following our bulletproof resume writing guide. Need help writing your resume? Hire Leet Resumes to write it for you free of charge.

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Written by Marc Cenedella
Leading expert on resumes
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on July 17, 2022
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How to Write a Social Worker Resume Template

You’re used to things changing from one moment to the next and approaching your social work with equal parts professionalism, resilience and optimism.

It’s a job that can be physically, emotionally and mentally taxing to the human spirit and abundantly fulfilling all at once.

Encapsulating the diverse and specialized skills you apply to provide quality care is hard to do on a resume and you might be wondering where to even start.

Not to worry, we’re here to help.

This article will show you how to write a Social Worker resume that highlights your professional skills and the intangible qualities that bring connection and healing to people at their most vulnerable.

Included is a Social Worker resume example so you can see the exact format and structure of the concepts we mention.

You’ll also read expert tips along the way to help your resume stand out from the rest and help you get the Social Worker position you deserve.

So sit back and enjoy this step-by-step guide on how to write a resume template for your social work.

Why a resume template?

No two cases are ever alike, and neither are two roles in social work.

While you could have a stock care plan for every patient and client, it takes a customized plan that’s tailored to fit their needs to truly inspire, empower and mentor them to success.

The same goes for your resume. Your future employer isn’t looking for a generic resume with your BSW, ability to write a care plan and attention to detail. They want to see the specific skills and work experience that apply to their open position whether that’s in a school, hospital, government office or rehabilitation facility.

That’s why the objective is to write a custom resume template that can be tailored toward each potential employer. This approach will give you more interview requests and job offers.

Prefer to have the work done for you?

Leet Resumes will write a custom Social Worker resume for you, and they’ll do it for free. (Seriously!) Tips are always welcomed and appreciated.

How to Format Your Social Worker Resume

There are five sections in your Social Worker resume:

  • Professional Headline
  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Keywords

Expert Tip: Keep your resume format simple, clean and uncluttered. Fancy fonts, columns and colors will only distract your reader from the qualities and experience that make you a great hire for their service program.

Now let’s cover what to include in each section and put your attention to detail, excellent communication skills and organization to use!

Name + Contact

Start with the basics with your full name at the top of the page in a slightly large and legible font. Underneath, add your contact information: phone number, email address and location (just city and state will do). Be sure to include a professional email address that you check regularly. There are few things more awkward than spelling out your hobby email address to the clinical director or starting your first email with “Sorry for the late reply.”

Professional Headline

This is a brief (three-five words) professional status to let your recruiter know immediately what kind of social work you do.

Here’s a Social Worker’s resume example to show you what this looks like:

Multilingual Entry-Level Social Worker

Here’s another:

Experienced Clinical Social Worker

To write your own professional headline, start with a slightly flattering adjective that puts you in a positive light (diligent, committed, detail-oriented, energetic, etc.).

Then add a description of your role and level of experience. This might include words like senior, assistant, veteran, manager, or director.

This is also the place to add the specific field you specialize in, if any: school, nursing home, clinical, substance abuse, etc.

Professional Summary

It might feel weird to think of advertising your social work career, but that’s essentially what a resume is: an advertisement of your skills and experience to attract interviews.

In your professional summary, you’ll highlight the key reasons you’re a great fit for the open Social Worker position in just two to four lines.

In the resume example, you’ll see how this is formatted. These are lists of keywords and phrases, not sentences.

Expert Tip: No one wants to read paragraphs on dozens or hundreds of resumes. Make it easy for your recruiter by leaving paragraphs off your resume all together.

Here’s what to include in each line of your professional summary:

Line One: the job titles you’d accept for your next job. Think of which industries are most appealing to you, which roles you’re qualified for and be sure to include the exact job title of the position you’re applying to.

Line Two: the skills and attributes that qualify you for these roles – specifically the job you’re targeting.

Expert Tip: reference the job description for the job you’re applying for. You’ll find the skills, experience and qualities they’re looking for to fill the position. Use this as a guide to determine which skills to highlight in your professional summary.

Lines three and four are completely optional, and most Social Workers won’t have the content to fill them. Not because they’re not great at what you do, but because there is little official recognition and awards for Social Workers. Nevertheless, if you have the accolades, here’s what to include:

Line Three: list your career achievements. This might be how many at-risk youth you’ve helped throughout your career or successful programs you introduced and implemented.

Line Four: your promotions, awards and successes.

Again, the last two lines are optional. You’ll have plenty of space in the next section to show the impact you make on individuals and a community through your social work.

Still enjoying writing your resume?

If you need a break from the paperwork and reporting, try Leet Resumes. They’re the experts behind this resume example and guide who can write your Social Worker Resume for you…for free.

Work Experience

Your work experience is the place to showcase the accomplishments and achievements that come from your adaptability, genuine care and intuition.

It’s a mistake to use this space to list the duties and responsibilities of case notes, court reports and behavioral models. This is a highlight reel of your positive impact in social work, not an instruction manual.

Start by following the resume example to list your previous work experience in reverse chronological order, complete with accurate details of your employer, dates of employment and specific job title.

Then add a bullet point list under each position with the following format:

Strong Success Verb + Measurable Data (Number) + Positive End Result

  • Strong Success Verbs imply the positive effect of your action before you share the details. These are words like mentored, advocated, educated, fostered or enhanced. Replace tepid verbs like managed, facilitated, or “was responsible for” for these powerful success verbs that truly show your positive impact.
  • Numbers are the best way to show your experience and how your work affects the lives of your clients. With this measurable data, your potential employer can visualize how successful you’ve been in the past and how you might replicate that for their community.

Look for numbers in:

  • Court Appearances
  • Cases managed each day/week/month or on average
  • Policies drafted
  • Healthcare providers or team members you’ve supported
  • Network of community services and resources

Your final bullet points should look similar to these:

  • Mentored 16 at-risk youth 3x per week to build self-esteem and connection to their communities.
  • Authored crisis and risk management plans for 5-10 patients a week in support of a team of 4 mental health providers.
  • Advised 200+ families on community and medical resources and referral programs with unique treatment plans for each.

Education

Here you’ll factually display:

  • Where you went to school
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree(s) you graduated with
  • Collegiate honors or awards

Anything outside of these four areas can be left off your resume, including: extracurricular activities and degrees you never finished.

Keywords and Skills for a Social Worker Resume

Unfortunately, there are no keywords for helping families reconnect, going the extra mile for dozens of clients or renewing peoples’ hope for the future. Your passion and authenticity will be apparent in the interview, but here are some keyword ideas for what to include in your resume to get that interview request.

Interpersonal Skills that bring your clients comfort and security in vulnerable times:

  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Active Listening

The Professional Skills required to manage your caseload, making sure each client gets the care and services they need:

  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Budgeting
  • Compliance
  • Case Assessment
  • Case Plans

Specific Tasks and Specializations for the job you’re applying for:

  • Prevention Services
  • Child Welfare
  • Home Assessment
  • Court Reports
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Grief Counseling
  • Intake/Discharge
  • Mental Assessment
  • CBT

Certifications and Licenses:

  • LSW
  • LCSW
  • LICSW

These are just a few suggestions to inspire your own keywords and skills. Choose whichever ones apply to your work and add in your own for your Social Worker resume.

Once your keywords are listed at the bottom of your page, your Social Worker resume template is officially complete!

Can someone else write my resume?

Yes! Leet Resumes will write your resume for you, and they’ll do it for free. (Though tips for a job well done are always appreciated!) Try it for yourself!

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