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  • 27 January 2011
  • 8 min read

Create a social care CV

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

We see hundreds of CVs each week. A good CV needs to be brief, clear and honest. In this article we'll help you create just that. You can then upload it to SocialCare.co.uk and apply successfully for jobs. 

Who’s reading your CV

A CV is an overview of your career. It’s not your memoirs. It’ll be read by a recruiter and they’re impatient people with little time. What’s worse, like us, they’ll be looking at hundreds of CVs each week.

Don’t TRY to make your CV stand out. Just lay out your skills and experience clearly and let that do the talking. You’re not in design, advertising or PR. A social care worker’s CV only needs to concentrate on the facts.

Follow the advice of our SocialCare.co.uk team experts and you’ll have a CV that’s shockingly easy easy to read, beautifully laid out, and with all the important information, and nothing else.

You don’t want to fool anyone here. You want them to employ you because you’re right for the job.Simple.

As you’ll have gathered, there's actually nothing complicated about CV writing. Just remember these important four rules:

1. contact details

2. key skills

3. employment history

4. good English

1. contact details

Full contact details please!

No missing out your phone number (after all, you DO want to find a job don’t you?)

You’re online right now, this is an online thing. Please enter your email address.

So, first things first, at the very top of your CV, enter all of your contact details: phone, address AND email).

Let’s imagine how your CV will look

JULIE JOBWRIGHT

Address: 9 Acacia Gardens, Tooting, Merton, London, SW25 789

Mobile: 01234 5678910

Email: john.doe@emaildomain.com

2. key skills 

Think keywords - "social worker"... "residential support worker"... "drug and alcohol"...

Most job boards like SocialCare.co.uk have a CV search. By thinking carefully about your choice of keywords your CV will appear frequently when employers are searching for candidates.

In short, you’ll be headhunted. Consider the words that most accurately describe you in terms of what you do in your job. For instance “referral and assessment”, “family support”, “fostering”, “adoption”, “mental health services”, “brain rehabilitation”, “learning difficulties”, “IV therapies”, “oncology”.... you get the idea.

You then make sure you get these words into your CV. Easy.Returning to our example nurse, Julie Jobwright, again... Let's imagine that Julie is a social worker in a job working for her local authority specialising in fostering. Julie should ensure she puts these kinds of words throughout her CV: "social worker", "social services", "local authority", "fostering care", "children", “family”, “GSCC”, “CRB”.

A recruiter searching for registered social workers in the field of fostering for their county council will find Julie because her CV closely matches their search criteria.

Oh, it’s worth entering your most important keywords high up in your CV. So....

JULIE JOBWRIGHT

Address: 9 Acacia Gardens, Tooting, Merton, London, SW25 789Mobile: 01234 5678910

Email: john.doe@emaildomain.com

Current Job: Social Worker - Fostering and Adoption

Current: Jobshire County Council

Experience: 9 years

Desired Job: Senior Social Worker - Families

We like to see a personal statement too. We’re old fashioned like that. And it saves us time. Our eyes get drawn through a personal statement, picking up the key points. Sometimes, it’s all you need to know before you want to speak to the candidate.

And while you’re at it, why not make your qualifications and any registrations with regulating authorities clear as day, right at the top, in capitals.

This is what Julie’s CV could look like:

JULIE JOBWRIGHT - GSCC REGISTERED, QSW

Address: 9 Acacia Gardens, Tooting, Merton, London, SW25 789

Mobile: 01234 5678910

Email: john.doe@emaildomain.com

Current Job: Social Worker - Fostering and Adoption

Current: Jobshire County Council

Experience: 9 years

Desired Job: Senior Social Worker - Families

Personal StatementI’m a fully trained, qualified, registered and experience social worker. I have experience working for local authorities, specialising in adoption and foster services. Currently employed as a team leader. My duties include referrals and assessments. I have experience of liasing with other social care personnel including support workers, reviewing officers and nursing staff. I have in-depth knowledge of the needs of families and children in my field and the requirements of children who are “looked after” or in care.

3. employment history

In CVs, we think, there's only one way to describe your employment history and that's in reverse chronology with your current job first, and your first ever job (or voluntary work at the end).

This is where you can also include your duties and responsibilities.

Remember, be brief. Use bullet points to force you to be brief if you need to.Let’s look at our growing CV example.

JULIE JOBWRIGHT - GSCC REGISTERED, QSW

Address: 9 Acacia Gardens, Tooting, Merton, London, SW25 789

Mobile: 01234 5678910

Email: john.doe@emaildomain.com

Current Job: Social Worker - Fostering and Adoption

Current: Jobshire County Council

Experience: 7 years

Desired Job: Senior Social Worker - Families

Personal StatementI’m a fully trained, qualified, registered and experience social worker. I have experience working for local authorities, specialising in adoption and foster services. Currently employed as a team leader. My duties include referrals and assessments. I have experience of liasing with other social care personnel including support workers, reviewing officers and nursing staff. I have in-depth knowledge of the needs of families and children in my field and the requirements of children who are “looked after” or in care.

Career HistoryOct 2005-now

Jobshire County Council

Qualified Social Worker - Fostering and Adoption

Ensuring that work with foster carers responds to the needs of the children placed and considers the role of the foster family. Make provisions so that practice with foster carers develops towards an equitable working partnership. Identifying both good practice and weaknesses in service delivery.

Jun 2003-Oct 2005, Brooks Nursing HomeResidential Support Worker

Provide primary basic careWorking with children who present challenging behaviourHelp clients develop meaningful relationships

Provide stimulation and a sense of self-worthPrepare reviews and attend meetings

4. good English

This one’s easy. Easy to get right. Laziness gets it wrong.Your CV should be how you would like a stranger to see you. If you want to be seen as illiterate and only capable of spelling English in txt language, that’s fine. It’s your choice. But it may win you few jobs. In social care it’s important to be able to write legible reports and records.

So it’s an industry where standard literacy rules will apply.So, some right good tips on proper English, like....Use a spell checker.

Use short sentences.

Use a common font type (Verdana, Lucida Grande, Arial).

Space out your CV.Don’t write lengthy paragraphs.

Use any software that can save as a .doc file (Microsoft Word). Everyone can open a .doc file.2 sides of A4 is ample. If shorter, fine. But don't blindly follow the "must be on one page rule"

Explain any gaps in your employment historyInterests are only worth noting if they're interesting (everyone likes reading, socialising and going to the cinema)References - just say 'on request'Keep your CV up to date!

If you upload your CV to a job board, make sure you login to the jobs board and keep your CV and Profile up to date.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

I'm fascinated by the career choices we all make. It speaks about who we are. People choose to become a nurse or work in medicine or care for one of two reasons. One: simply, they always wanted to be a nurse or social worker or doctor. Two: even more simply, they want a job which helps people. In our blogs I want to explore these career choices: the ones that put other people first.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder, Niche Jobs

I'm fascinated by the career choices we all make. It speaks about who we are. People choose to become a nurse or work in medicine or care for one of two reasons. One: simply, they always wanted to be a nurse or social worker or doctor. Two: even more simply, they want a job which helps people. In our blogs I want to explore these career choices: the ones that put other people first.