Social Work Resume Guide

Competitive Resume

Your resume is your chance to impress an employer with your skills and accomplishments. An industry-backed resume focuses on results, uses dynamic language, and appears organized, clean, and free of mistakes.

Content

Heading includes all first-order information the employer needs.

  • Include name, phone number, professional email address (instead of Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, or university email, consider Gmail), city and state/province, postal code, and full hyperlinks to LinkedIn and your portfolio (if applicable).

Summary section. Try to include at least three to five of the following:

  • Title of role pursuing (do not identify as a student).
  • Background experience that connects to the role you are pursuing.
  • Two to three transferable skills (e.g., logistics, task monitoring, communication;,project lifecycle management).
  • Years of related experience (keep below 10 years).
  • Accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards.
  • Training or certificates.

Skills section.

  • Includes industry-specific and transferable skills. Ensure technologies conform to standard spelling and style for the industry.
  • Focus on industry-specific skills and concepts you obtained in your program.

Experience clearly laid out with accomplishments highlighted rather than job duties.

  • Experience listed in reverse chronological order, with job title, job description, company name, city and state/province, and dates of employment.
  • If applicable, include previous field-specific experience.
  • Start every bullet with an action verb; don’t use the same verb more than once (see next section).
  • Cite accomplishments, recognitions, and/or awards (do not list job duties).
  • Bullets are concise, direct, and listed in order of importance.
  • Quantify work as much as possible (e.g., “managed five projects per quarter.).
  • Briefly define job role and team size where it provides context to the scope and depth of your work.

List education in reverse chronological order with locations and certifications.

  • List education at the end of the resume unless you don’t have much professional experience or you have particularly relevant degrees.
  • Include your completed program as the most recent item in education.

Pass the applicant tracking system.

  • Include standard heading titles (Summary, Skills, Experience, Education).
  • Spell out acronyms and abbreviations (abbreviated months are acceptable).
  • Use bullets instead of asterisks.
  • Avoid images, icons, or photographs.
  • Avoid colored text, columns, tables, text boxes, and graphs.
  • Use keywords that match the job description and align with skills required for each role.

Design and Format

  • Clean and simple design.
  • No template language or blank areas.
  • Design does not get in the way of necessary text/content.
  • Text fills the page without overcrowding.
  • Balanced margins, between 0.5”-1.”
  • No more than one page if new to the field, two pages if have relevant experience.
  • Name and headlines stand out.
  • Few (or no) hanging lines (where just a few words take up an entire line).

Consistent and Professional Text

  • Font size of 11 or 12.
  • Consistent and professional font style. It’s okay to use different fonts for the headings and body. Professional font styles include: Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Georgia, Helvetica, and Times New Roman.
  • Consistent use of bold, italic, and underline. Same bullet-point for all lists.

Correct Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation

  • Consistent punctuation throughout.
  • No grammatical or spelling errors.
  • No personal pronouns (I, we, he, or she).
  • No abbreviations or acronyms unless necessary.

Clear and Professional Tone

  • No jargon, slang, or superlative adjectives like “great,” “good,” or “awesome.”

Resume Templates

Here are templates and competitive samples that you can use to get started on creating your resume or CV. Simply save a copy of them so you can edit and adapt. Be sure to replace text in blue with your own, and follow the instructions in brackets when utilizing the templates.

Social Work Resume Template

Social Work Resume Sample

Social Work


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