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Social Work Resume Examples for You to Use This Year

Showcase your dedication, patience, and empathy for social work using these social work resume examples.

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By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Tips for using our social worker resume example

Social work is one of the most demanding yet rewarding jobs in the world today. Helping and protecting vulnerable people and families requires dedication, patience, and empathy. This field of work can be highly competitive, depending on where you live, but a solid resume is always necessary to get the right job in social work.

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What to highlight in a social work resume

When you apply for a social work job, your resume is a representation of you as a job seeker. Recruiters will be looking at format and appearance as well as the content of your resume to determine whether you are suitable for the role. They will be looking for candidates who are organized, empathetic, and efficient; candidates who can manage large caseloads without sacrificing their mental health or the quality of their work. If you want to show hiring managers that you are this kind of candidate follow our tips below on what to highlight in your resume. Combine these elements with the right resume format and you will ensure that your resume passes applicant tracking systems (ATS) and impresses recruiters.


Relevant certifications

If you have certifications in mental health care, substance abuse counseling, or any field which will be beneficial to the role of a social worker, highlight them on your resume.


Professional affiliations

If you are an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) you should list this along with any other relevant affiliations.


Your top work experiences

Social work is a demanding role and hiring managers are always looking for experienced candidates. If you have a lot of professional experience you should make it the focal point of your resume.


Interpersonal and critical thinking skills

While you need a license and diploma to become a social worker, communication skills, empathy, and other soft skills are what make a great social worker. Provide examples of your interpersonal skills and critical thinking abilities along with work experience to stand out from other applicants.

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How to write your social worker resume

If you follow this basic structure you will create an effective social services resume that you can tailor for each new job application.

Contact information

A resume header should contain everything a hiring manager needs to contact you. You should include your full name, phone number, email address, and any optional details such as your LinkedIn profile. 

Resume summary

Directly beneath your header there should be either a resume summary or a resume objective statement. The first is a sum-up of the key qualifications, skills, and experiences that make you right for the job posting, while the second is a statement of your career goals and intentions. If you have a lot of work experience, a resume summary will be best for you. Those with minimal professional experience would be better served by a resume objective statement. 

Skills and certifications

Social work is a field which requires many professional certifications. As such, your professional certifications and social work skills are of the utmost importance whether you want to be a school social worker or you intend to work with adults who have substance abuse and mental health problems. Here are some examples of skills and certifications you can include: 


  • Case management
  • Risk assessments
  • Active listening
  • Knowledge of community resources
  • Crisis intervention
  • Advocacy
  • Discharge planning
  • Human services
  • Treatment plans
  • Facilitator

Certifications and affiliations

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Work experience

The work experience section of your professional resume will be key when applying for social worker jobs. You should present your work history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position. When discussing your previous roles, be specific about your achievements and use active language to take ownership of your actions and the results they created (e.g., “managed” or “oversaw” rather than “was tasked with”).



Social work is one field of employment where your education section will remain important no matter how many years of experience you have. This is because there is a requirement for all social workers to have at least one relevant degree from a Council on Social Work (CSWE) accredited program. Examples of the kind of educational credentials a social worker will need are:

  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)

Overall, this basic structure for your resume can be used to create as many versions of your resume as you need, tailored to fit individual jobs. If you want to save time and really stand out, use our Resume Builder, which features a wide range of expert-designed templates that are in line with formatting guidelines.

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FAQ: Social work resume examples

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Yes, you should include a cover letter with your social work resume if you want to get called back for a job interview. Your cover letter provides a way to address the recruiter directly and can be used to provide context and additional information. A great cover letter can also make up for gaps in your resume. Consider cover letter examples to get inspiration and help you stand out from other applicants.

It is possible to write an amazing social work resume with limited experience. All you have to do is focus on your relevant skills and academic experience. This will be particularly effective if you can provide examples of times when you have used those skills or you have earned high grades in your classes.

You can change your social worker resume to suit other job applications by reading the job descriptions carefully. The job posting will include all of the details that you need to edit your resume. Review the skills, experience, and qualifications that are listed. Highlight these elements, or similar skills and experiences, in your resume to increase your chance of getting called in for a job interview.

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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