Writing a CV for Social Workers
If you’re pushed to do better for yourself and for others, then social care work could be the career for you. Social care is challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding, and with over 110,000 social care vacancies across England, there’s never been a better time to get started.
Some jobs will require you to send a CV and cover letter, whereas others will ask you to fill out a form instead. Even when submitting a form, your CV will act as your main point of reference, so it's important to make sure it’s perfect. You’ll not only use a CV during the application process, but you'll also use it for reference when you get through to the interview stage.
Gather all of the information you need before you get started. This includes academic achievements, dates of previous employment, contact information and referees.
Research the company to try and find out who their ideal candidate might be. You’ll get clues from looking at the ‘about us’ section of their website, their social media accounts or their blog. It’s also a good idea to research the company on LinkedIn, as you can often find out more about existing staff members and their skills on there.
Read the application form in full before you start filling it out. Make a note of when the deadline date for submission is, and put that date in your calendar.
Writing your CV
Include your name, phone number and email address in the header section of your CV.
Write a few sentences about yourself and why your skills and personal attributes make you the perfect candidate for the role.
Include details about your employment history in this section, describing your main duties and responsibilities in each role. You should tailor each description to elaborate on your experience that is most relevant to the specific role you are applying for. Volunteering and experience of caring for relatives at home is also a valuable asset that the employer will want to know about.
You’ll need to include the name of the qualification or course you studied, the name of the educational institution, the year you completed the course, and finally your grade (or predicted grade if you haven’t completed it yet). Include any other relevant training here too. For example, you could include details of work-based training, short courses and other qualifications such as First Aid.
It’s important to demonstrate your personality and interests, as this will help you stand out and show the employer that you’re proactive. List and activities or societies you take part in. Activities cover everything from arts and crafts, drama, general interest, specialised interests, languages, politics, religious and cultural groups and sports clubs.
Most people write ‘References available on request’ at the end of their CV, however, some employers will ask you to submit them along with your application. References can be given by a teacher, a manager, or someone you have worked with or volunteered for in the past.
Polishing your CV until it’s perfect
Hurrah… You’ve written the first draft of your CV! Now it’s time to polish it.
Rewrite sentences to improve the overall tone. Try to use descriptive words to create a sense of energy. Words you could use include ‘delivered’, ‘achieved’, ‘produced’, ‘planned’ and ‘inspired’.
Be concise. Delete any words or sentences which repeat the same meaning. Space is precious. Use it wisely.
Ask somebody else to check your CV for you. Even the world’s best-selling authors will miss grammar and spelling mistakes. It’s difficult to spot your own errors. A fresh pair of eyes will solve this problem!
Think about the layout of your CV. Is the information formatted clearly? Look at example CVs for inspiration.
You're not obliged to give details of your age, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation on an application form, and shouldn't be asked for them. Only provide information that you feel will support your application.