Professional Social Worker Resume Example + Expert Guide for 2024

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: August 22, 2023
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Social workers work with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, including children, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and those living in poverty. Social workers provide support, counseling and resources to those in need, helping them navigate through difficult situations such as abuse, mental health issues and financial struggles. They also play a crucial role in advocating for their clients and connecting them with various services and resources to improve their quality of life.

You have to write a great resume if you want to nab your dream job and we’re here to help with our expert guide for crafting an effective and impactful social worker resume. Our social worker resume example and pro tips will help you make the most of your great communication skills, adaptability and knowledge of social policies and systems so you stand above the competition.

Social Worker Resume Example Customize this resume

Start by editing this sample resume for a social worker or explore our library of customizable resume templates to find the best social worker resume template for you.

Social worker resume example (text version)

Rosie Chang

Los Angeles, CA 90001
(555) 555-5555
example@example.com

Career Objective

Dynamic social worker assistant with a resourceful and collaborative approach to supporting individuals and communities. Demonstrated ability to engage clients, identify strengths and implement goal-oriented interventions. Skilled in client assessment, crisis management and conflict resolution. Eager to contribute to a team-driven environment that promotes social justice and positive social change. Seeking a social worker position that leverages my passion for advocacy and commitment to social work principles.

Skills

  • Home evaluations
  • Social assessment
  • Technology proficiency
  • Case management
  • Cultural competence
  • Empathy and active listening
  • Problem-solving
  • Collaboration

Professional Skills

Client Advocacy and Support

  • Provided empathetic and client-centered support to over 50 individuals facing mental health challenges.
  • Assisted in securing resources and benefits for clients, resulting in a 20% increase in access to essential services.
  • Maintained detailed case notes, ensuring 95% accuracy and timely documentation.

Crisis Intervention

  • Responded effectively to crises and worked under the supervision of a licensed social worker, offering immediate support to clients in distress.
  • Implemented crisis management strategies, reducing emergency room visits by 15% among assigned caseload.
  • Collaborated with local law enforcement to develop a community-based crisis response plan.

Data Management and Reporting

  • Developed and maintained an organized and efficient case management system, ensuring data accuracy.
  • Prepared monthly reports on caseload activities and outcomes, meeting or exceeding deadlines consistently.
  • Implemented a streamlined data entry process, reducing error rates by 15%.

Work History

  • June 2019 – Current
    Urban Quality Living – Los Angeles, CA
    Social Worker Assistant
  • January 2019 – May 2019
    Horizon Health – Los Angeles, CA
    Social Worker Intern

Education

  • June 2023
    California State University – Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
    Master of Social Work Social Work
  • June 2019
    California State University – Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
    Bachelor of Arts Social Work

Certifications and Licenses

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) – (2024)
Certified Social Worker (CSW) – (2021)

5 essentials of a top social worker resume

  1. Contact details

    Add your contact information to the top of your resume so hiring managers can contact you. As our social worker resume sample shows, you should include your full name, city, state and ZIP code, phone number and professional email address. Optional: add your LinkedIn profile and professional website if you have them.

  2. Professional summary

    To be effective, your social worker resume summary should include your key qualifications, direct experience, job-relevant skills and accomplishments demonstrating your ability to perform the job. Your summary should be concise and focus on your most relevant and impressive qualifications. Include details about social causes, certifications, or awards to help you stand out as the strongest candidate. If you are applying for your first job in the field, choose a resume objective instead because it focuses more on what you hope to achieve in your career.

    Here’s an example of a great social worker resume summary:

    “Highly motivated and empathetic social worker with over five years of experience in providing support and resources to individuals and families in need. Skilled in conducting assessments, developing treatment plans and connecting clients with community resources. A strong advocate for social justice and passionate about empowering and improving the lives of vulnerable populations. Proven ability to build strong relationships with clients and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams. Seeking a challenging role where I can utilize my skills and experience to positively impact the community.”

  3. Skills

    Create a skills section on your resume to display your job-relevent hard and soft skills in a bulleted list so hiring managers can review them at a glance. As our sample social worker sample resume shows, it’s best to include both hard and soft skills, such as problem-solving, crisis intervention and cultural competence.

  4. Work history

    Whether this is your first job or you’ve been at it for decades, your social worker resume must include a section to display your job history. Starting with the most recent, list your current and previous employers and provide company names, locations and the dates you worked for them. Instead of listing your job responsibilities, make your resume shine by highlighting your measurable achievements for the job. If you’re writing a social worker resume with no experience, then showcase your clinical work, academic thesis, presentations and volunteer experience. 

    Your achievements as a social worker might look like this:

    • Increased client satisfaction by 25% through innovative communication techniques.
    • Secured $50,000 in funding for a non-profit organization through grant writing and fundraising efforts.
    • Developed and led a community outreach program that positively impacted the lives of 100 at-risk youth, resulting in a 40% decrease in juvenile crime rates in the targeted area.
  5. Education

    Always include an education section in your social worker resume. It should show the names of the schools you attended and the years that you graduated, from the most recent down.

    The educational requirements for a social worker job typically include a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work (BSW/MSW) from an accredited university. Many employers also require a state-issued license or certification, which involves completing a certain number of supervised clinical hours and passing an exam.

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Do’s and don’ts for building a social worker resume

  • Use measurable achievements to describe your technical project management abilities and experience. For example, “Developed and implemented a job readiness program for 20 unemployed individuals, resulting in 80% of participants securing employment within 6 months.”
  • Use action words such as mediate, monitor and evaluate to make your social worker resume stand out.
  • Tailor your resume to your target job.
  • Use keywords from the job description throughout your social worker resume.
  • Format your social worker resume so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
  • Lie about your social worker experience and skills.
  • Boast about your qualifications. Instead, display previous work achievements. Instead, highlight specific achievements like, “Coordinated and led a team of volunteers to provide monthly food assistance to 50 homeless individuals.”
  • Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
  • Add skills and experience that do not pertain to being a social worker.
  • Forget to proofread. Even the best social worker resume with errors may be disregarded.

Top 4 tips for acing a social worker interview

  1. Research the company.

    It’s vital to take the time to learn about the institution or company’s history, goals, values and people before the interview. Doing so conveys interest, passion and commitment — traits that can set you above the competition. 

    Some things to consider when researching an organization:

    • Mission and values: Look for an organization that aligns with your own values and beliefs. This will ensure that you are working towards a common goal and will allow you to feel passionate about the work you are doing.
    • Supportive work environment: A supportive work environment is crucial for the well-being of social workers. Look for an organization that has a positive and inclusive culture, where colleagues support and respect each other.
    • Resources and training: As a social worker, it is important to have access to resources and training opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge. Look for an organization that invests in the professional development of its employees.
    • Client-centered approach: The organization’s approach to working with clients should align with your own values and practice. Look for an organization that puts the needs and well-being of clients first.
    • Diversity and inclusion: A good organization recognizes and values diversity and inclusion. Look for an organization that celebrates diversity and has policies in place to ensure an inclusive work environment.
    • Ethical standards: Social workers are bound by a code of ethics and it is important to work for an organization that upholds these ethical standards. Look for an organization that has clear policies and procedures in place to ensure ethical practice.
  2. Practice your answers to potential questions.

    Practice really does make perfect. To practice for your interview, start by reviewing the most common interview questions, such as: “Why did you choose this career?” and some possible behavioral questions such as “Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.

    Make sure to also prepare for job-specific questions, such as:

    • Can you tell us about your previous experience working as a social worker?
    • How do you handle challenging situations with clients?
    • Can you describe a successful case or project you have worked on as a social worker?
    • How do you stay current with changes and advancements in the social work field?
    • Have you worked with diverse populations before? If so, can you give an example?
    • How do you prioritize and manage your workload in a fast-paced environment?
    • Can you describe your experience collaborating with other professionals, such as healthcare providers or law enforcement?
    • How do you ensure client confidentiality and maintain ethical standards?

    Write down two or three possible answers for each question, then practice answering them with a friend. 

  3. Ask questions during your interview.

    After the hiring manager and potential colleagues question you, they will likely ask if you have questions for them. Always have at least three ready for each person you speak with. Doing so shows that you’re interested and have been paying close attention.

    Some questions you might ask a hiring manager in a social worker job interview are: 

    • What are the primary responsibilities of this social work position?
    • Can you tell me about the population and community this organization primarily serves?
    • What are the current challenges or issues facing this community and how does this position address them?
    • What type of support and resources are available for the social workers on your team?
    • Can you provide examples of how this organization values and promotes diversity and inclusivity in its social work practices?
  4. Gather references ahead of time.

    Having professional references ready during your interview is a good idea if the hiring manager offers you the job. Bring a list of 2-3 former colleagues and a former manager willing to speak positively about your abilities to excel as a social worker.

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