How to update your social care or social work CV for the new year
Adding your most recent experience and training to your social care or social work CV is an essential way to keep it up to date. Make sure your CV showcases your skills in the best possible way. Words by Sarah Gill.
13th December 2011
Updating your CV is an essential part of the process of applying for a new job in social work or social care, but even if you’re not planning on looking for new employment the new year is the ideal time to update your CV with recent information. Of course it’s easier said than done, you come home late from a long shift and the last thing you feel like doing is updating your CV, but it’s such an important thing to do and so vital to making your CV successful at getting you an interview.
Here are some simple things you can do in each of the key areas of your social care or social work CV to enhance your skills and experience simply by looking at your daily tasks and analysing the additional responsibilities you have. Many people, especially in the social work sector, find that the work they actually do goes above and beyond their job description with additional responsibilities, extra work load and possible extra personnel to manage. All of these factors show different aspects of your professional capabilities are all valuable assets on your CV.
This is one of the most important parts of your CV, and should be one of the first sections after your name and contact details. You should always give our current job title in full, as well as your employer’s name and the date you started your employment. While this may not have changed since the last time you worked on your CV, you can update the responsibilities you have and the tasks you undertake. Adding in those extra responsibilities and the extra work load you manage on a day to day basis shows the person reading your CV that you are committed, flexible, and passionate about the work you do. You may not feel that way about it sometimes, but it’s definitely a positive in your favour that your are willing to undertake extra tasks in order to support and contribute to your team.
It is easy to forget the little things you do on a day to day basis that are over and above your job description, so try to keep a note of the extra work load you manage so you can add it to your CV when you come to update it.
If you’re a qualified social worker working in a social worker job, then you need to include your GSCC registration number either in this section or at the very top of the CV next to your address and telephone number. Obviously this may not have changed since the last time you compiled your CV, but simply moving it to a more prominent position can make a big different to whether your CV achieves an interview request for you.
Continuing Professional Development & Training
CPD is essential to your career and recent training is a really positive way to show an employer you’re serious about your career and developing your skills. Whether you’ve received external or internal, accredited or in-house training, it’s still valuable on your CV. Make sure you list the course material covered, the dates of the course and the award you achieved (if any). You don’t need to have been awarded a certificate in order to include the training on your CV, all training is valuable especially if it updates your skills in areas you’ve previously qualified in such as manual handling or managing aggression.
If you haven’t received any recent training you can always mention somewhere in your application your training plans for the forthcoming year. Seeing that you are a motivated and committed candidate is essential for an employer, and two qualities that will definitely count towards getting you an interview.
It’s unlikely this area of your CV has changed if you’re only working one job at a time. If you’re working bank shifts at an organisation alongside your current main job and you’ve now stopped this, you could move this into previous employments. It’s still a very valuable experience to have undertaken and you should definitely go into detail about the responsibilities you had and the work you were doing.
It’s important to go into detail about your previous roles in the social care and social work sectors, but especially your previous roles that are similar to the job you want to apply for. If you’ve had other jobs before moving into the social care sector then it’s less vital you include these if you’re pushed for space. Never make your CV longer than 2 sides of A4 paper, so jobs you did before you were in social care can take a lower priority in order to fit everything else in.
There will still be skills you gained from these jobs that will be transferable into your social care or social work career, but they can be listed in a short bullet point list underneath the date, job title and employer name of each of your previous employments.
Get your CV and cover letter ready to send
Don’t forget that if you are going to use your newly updated social care or social work CV to apply for a job, you will need to craft a brilliant covering letter to go with it. Your covering letter should summarise the key points in your CV that make you the ideal candidate for the job. Point out your current job, responsibilities and CPD and relate them to the person specification and job description of the position you’re applying for.
Space your covering letter into well formed paragraphs - there are few things which candidates do which is more off-putting that opening a job application to see a long block of text in a covering letter. Be direct and specific but offer enough detail to entice the employer into opening your CV.