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Top Social Services Resume Examples

Case Manager

Counselor Accentuate

Social Worker

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How to Build your Resume for a Social Services Career

Check out our professional resume templates and tips to scale up your career in the social services sector.

Career Track: Social Services Case Management

A social services case manager runs end-to-end administrative services that help meet the needs of individual clients. This is an in-demand profession; the 2019 Role and Function Study by the Commission for Case Manager Certification has reported a 50% increase in case managers among the social service workforce.

Case Worker Assistant $33,120 Median Salary

Resume Format: Functional

For this position, aim for a functional format, which focuses on your best skills. Highlight qualities such as multitasking and time management abilities, along with any relevant qualifications you have in social work.

Summary statement tip: In your summary statement, stress educational qualifications, like a certificate in a healthcare program, and any experience you have with administrative work. Highlight your knowledge of medical terminology and compassionate attributes that help you do the job better.

Skills to feature:

  • Proficiency in MS Office
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of legal processes and departmental policies
  • Understanding of medical jargon
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills

Get to the next level: To continue down the social services path, get a degree in social work or related fields like psychology or sociology. To become a case manager, you need to complete a master’s degree in social work.

Case Worker $44,934 Median Salary

Resume Format: Combination

The combination resume format strikes a balance in featuring your work experience and diverse skills, such as technical knowledge of databases and case management, and soft skills like communication and multitasking ability.

Summary statement tip: Your summary statement should be brief, emphasizing your advocacy skills and your educational qualifications, like a master’s degree in social work. In a few crisp sentences, mention your top attributes (e.g., hard-working, efficient) and your experience in the industry (e.g., “Efficient case worker assistant with 3 years of experience working in offices servicing 30+ clients a day”).

Skills to feature:

  • Empathetic
  • Excellent people and listening skills
  • Great advocacy skills
  • Database management skills
  • Time management
  • Knowledge of medical terms
  • Understanding of legal processes

Get to the next level:  To further progress in your career, obtain a license and then a certification for NASW Specialty Credentials like a Certified Social Work Case Manager designation. Acquire a master’s degree in social work to give your career added clout. Also look to get enrolled in specialized courses based on your area of interest, such as abuse prevention or occupational safety.

Case Manager $79,542 per week Median Salary

Resume Format: Chronological

As this is a more senior position, use the chronological resume format, which gives you room for an expanded work experience section, while still allowing you to display your skills and academic credentials.

Summary statement tip: In a few short sentences, encapsulate your years and areas of experience, as well as your best acquired skills, such as the use and teaching of advanced counseling techniques. Emphasize abilities like conflict-resolution, that show you’re an advocate for your clients.

Skills to feature:

  • Time management
  • Excellent communication
  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • Adept in conflict resolution.
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Autonomy
  • Management and delegation
  • Organizational skills
  • Advocacy skills

Get to the next level: To continue moving up in organizational leadership, continue to gain more experiences and training in your area of expertise, whether it’s patient navigation, population health, clinical health management or substance abuse. Take seminars such as those by the Case Management Society of America to keep yourself updated, and look to gain more experiences as a supervisor, trainer or administrator that you can add to your resume.

Career Track: Counseling

According to the U.S. News and World Report, substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors rank among the best social service jobs. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, counseling careers will witness around 22% increase by 2028.

Social Worker $47,980 Median Salary

Resume Format: Functional

For this position, use the functional format to highlight your skills and relevant education, such as a degree in social work. List qualifications like “ability to assess difficult situations” or “coordinating placement with community services,” which add value to your potential.

Summary statement tip: Emphasize what you can offer to the employer, and include any qualifications you have in the field (e.g., “Diligent social worker with experience working with underprivileged youths. Excellent communication and documentation skills”).

Skills to feature:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathetic
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Organizational skills
  • Proficiency in MS Office and/or database programs
  • Ability to perform well in stressful environments

Get to the next level:Advance your career by getting a master’s degree in social work and obtaining a practicing license. Also look to gain training and certification in management and administration. You can also expand your range by venturing into different types of counseling careers.

Counselor $42,840 Median Salary

Resume Format: Combination

Counseling requires both specific skill sets and some prior work experience — use the combination format to satisfy both needs. Mention soft skills like critical thinking, etc. along with skills acquired from work experience, like facilitating individual and group counseling sessions.

Summary statement tip: Emphasize your best soft skills, like empathy and verbal communication, as well as your educational credentials and job experiences. For example: “Diligent counselor with Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification, and three years experience working with substance abuse cases.”

Skills to feature:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Ability to empathize
  • Critical thinker
  • Efficient problem-solving abilities
  • Self-starter
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Guidance skills
  • Culturally sensitive and tolerant

Get to the next level: To upgrade your career, get an advanced degree in psychology, as well as a state license to practice. Also look to gain more experience in managing internal teams and processes, and collaborating with management to improve overall organization performance.

Career Counselor$54,560 Median Salary

Resume Format: Chronological

This format helps you to highlight your extensive experience in the counseling field, as well as skills that make you the right fit, such as experience in developing individualized plans for employment, and a deep knowledge of community resources.

Summary statement tip: Call attention to your top skills, as well as your top work experiences thus far. For example: “Skilled career counselor with excellent communication skills and 6 years experience developing successful action plans for 1,000+ high school graduates.”

Skills to feature:

  • Empathy
  • Action plan development and implementation
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proven ability in documentation
  • Knowledgeable about career paths and successful job-hunting techniques

Get to the next level:  Attain an advanced degree in counseling, and look to gain more experiences in areas such as vocational counseling, job retraining and other related fields. Also look to become a member of a career counseling organization such as the Career Professional and Adult Development Network, and make contributions on the subject to professional journals or publications.

Recommended Social Services Resume templates

Here are three professional, employer-approved templates you can use to create your own social services-focused resume.


The two-column presentation of skills and qualifications gives this layout a unique character that makes a strong impression on recruiters.


This design strikes a perfect balance between skill sets and work experience, with subtle use of spacing and colors for section headings.


This straightforward, classic layout can be easily customized for any format, and uses simple borders and fonts to organize information.

For more professional layouts you can use, check out our resume template page

Social Services Resume FAQs

1.How do you format your resume based on your career level?

For a position that requires less experience, like a social worker or caseworker assistant, use the functional format, emphasizing your skills and educational qualifications. Use the combination format for a mid-level position, like case manager, to balance your skill sets and work history. The chronological format is typically used for senior-level jobs, as it focuses mainly on your work experience and shows how you’ve advanced in your career path.

2.What are the qualities and traits that employers are looking for in this industry, and what you should emphasize?

Social services deal with the welfare of vulnerable children and adults; above all, empathy and compassion are major prerequisites. You should feature excellent communication, administration skills and experience in your resume, as this field stresses communication and support. You should also show knowledge of legal formalities and medical terminologies, since your work will involve providing client action plans that navigate both areas.

3.What other useful skills, certifications, or training are necessary for this job category?

Look to get at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or sociology. For higher-level jobs, obtain an advanced degree in Social Work or related fields, based on your area of specialization, such as career counseling or criminal justice. Getting a license to practice in higher posts is usually required. Also look to get additional vocational training that you can add to your resume, such as job retraining, and gain additional expertise through organizations such as the Case Management Society of America (CMSA).