Social worker resume example
Social workers find people needing individual or collective assistance and provide them with resources to meet those needs. They assess circumstances, strengths, and support networks and how such factors can help someone adjust to life's challenges and changes. Learn how to create a resume to land a job in this field.
Key sections to include in resume
As a social worker, it’s vital to create a professional resume centered around your credentials, work experience, and soft skills. These elements are what help hiring managers see that you’re qualified for the role you’re applying for.
If you’re unsure where to start, here are the key sections you should include in your resume, along with some social worker resume examples for each section.
This straightforward section includes only a limited amount of information. Make sure your name and contact details are clearly displayed, along with your current job title (if relevant to the job you’re applying for).
Example Header Section
Licensed Master Social Worker
Detroit, MI 48127
Your professional summary provides a concise summary of your background, personal traits, and accomplishments. Note the length of your experience, what you’ve done in past roles, and any accomplishments you’ve had in those positions.
Example Professional Summary Section
Passionate and dedicated social worker with five-plus years of experience helping homeless youth and those aging out of the foster care system obtain access to adequate healthcare. Specialize in using case management and advocacy skills to create networks of resources, including housing, education, transportation, skill development, and mental health services that help youth thrive. Implemented improvements to the case-management process that have reduced negative health outcomes for youth on my caseload by 25% on average.
This section of your social worker resume should provide details about your past roles in the field.
Starting with your most recent role, include information about your job title, the company or organization you worked for, the location where you worked, and the dates you were employed. Share specific details about your job responsibilities, quantifying as much information as possible.
Example Work Experience Section
Social Worker, YouthWorks Advocacy
Detroit, MI, 6/2018–Present
- Manage a caseload of 40 children on average, with monthly visits to youth centers and homeless shelters
- Administer reunification services in 300-plus court orders, including the supervision of parental visitation
- Write accurate and detailed reports and maintain case history records
- Advise families, guardians, and youth advocacy organizations on community resources
You must have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work to be licensed in most states. In this section of your resume, give details about any higher education you’ve obtained, listing the type of degree you earned, the institution that granted it, and your dates of attendance.
Example Education Section
Master of Social Work
University of Michigan
Bachelor of Arts in Child & Family Development
Western Michigan University
You must have a license to practice social work in any state in the U.S. Let the hiring manager know what type of license you have, where you obtained it, and when it was last renewed. If any special professional development courses are required for licensure, you can mention when you completed them.
Example Licensing Section
Master’s Social Work License, renewed December 2023
Michigan Board of Social Workers
- Human Trafficking Training, completed June 2022
- Implicit Bias Training, completed February 2023
If you’ve joined any professional organizations since starting your career as a social worker, make sure to list them in a separate section. Include the name of the organization, the date you became a member, significant roles you’ve held, and any events you’ve participated in.
Example Professional Organizations Section
National Association of Social Workers, member since 6/2018
Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare, member since 8/2020
- Secretary for the Detroit, MI Chapter
- Participated in a roundtable on life expectancy and health outcomes for underserved urban youth in August 2022
This section should detail the hard and soft skills you’ve developed over the course of your career. If the job description calls for particular skills that you possess, you can highlight them here.
Example Skills Section
- Beck Depression Inventory
- Time management
- Emotional intelligence
Hobbies and interests
You can use this optional section to describe what you do in your spare time. Feel free to include details about any languages you speak or organizations you volunteer with, especially if they’re related to the role or will help your application stand out.
Example Hobbies and Interests Section
- Languages: Native English speaker with full professional fluency in Spanish and limited working proficiency in French
- Volunteer Work: Serve on a monthly basis with Covenant House Michigan to provide resources and services for Detroit’s homeless youth population
Tips for writing the role-specific resume
Because there are so many laws governing the field, social work tends to be very traditional, without much room for creativity. As such, a hiring manager will expect a conventional resume and cover letter.
The best format to use to achieve this is reverse chronological. This requires you to list your work experiences from most recent to least recent and ensures that all your qualifications (such as your education and licenses) are highlighted in their own sections.
It’s important to customize any resume template you’re using for the social work role you’re applying for.
You can’t get hired as a social worker in any state without a relevant college degree and professional license. Tailoring your resume allows you to put your credentials front and center so the hiring manager can see that you’re qualified for the position.
It’s also important to customize your social worker resume sample for each position you apply for in order to highlight your soft skills.
In this line of work, it’s critical that you have great organizational skills, the ability to problem-solve, a knack for communication and building relationships, and are able to show empathy to others. Tailoring your resume lets you focus on showcasing these specific capabilities rather than other, more general skills.
Finally, make sure you quantify your achievements in each of your past roles to substantiate any resume or cover letter examples you use. Although social work isn’t necessarily about winning awards or hitting sales targets, including concrete numbers in your resume will demonstrate the impact you’ve made on others.
You can quantify your achievements by telling how many cases you manage or how many people your organization reaches monthly or yearly. If you have access to the data, you can also report by what percentage you’ve reduced negative outcomes in people’s lives.
Create a professional social worker resume that helps you get hired
Social work is a very traditional role focused on helping people in need. Therefore, any resume examples you use should be streamlined and professional with a reverse chronological format and focus heavily on your work experience and soft skills.
Because social work requires a specific set of credentials, you must ensure that your resume includes information about where you obtained your social work degree and license to practice.
If you’re trying to land a job in this field, using resume or cover letter templates can help you create an impressive application package that makes you stand out. Use Jobseeker’s templates and tools as a starting point to begin creating your social worker cover letter and resume today.