After the fallout of the economy, many were forced to reevaluate how to get a job. If you’re a seasoned Social Worker or fresh from college, here are some tips to get a job in the social work field.
- Find Career-Specific Resources
- Consider Graduate School
- Work With Social Work Advocacy Programs
- Make Your Resume Stand Out
- Working and Interning Abroad
- Attend Seminars and Workshops
Job sites like Monster and Indeed may be great for finding a job in general, but sites like Social Workers.org will be much more tailored to professionals in the social work field. Also, looking into non-profit job searching sites can prove beneficial through resources like Nonprofitalent.
A good way to find new opportunities is to connect with people in your job field, not just locally, but around the country and world. The National Association of Social Workers likely has a chapter near you and they often have events that will put you face-to-face with other professionals in the field and could very well open up a new job. Additionally, joining their LinkedIn page will certainly put you in direct contact with these people and make getting to know them much easier. Social Work Chat also gives you a chance to speak with working social workers, letting you become more educated on issues, and more readily prepared for interviews.
Sometimes the best way to find a job is to invest in furthering your education. Social work jobs are divided into direct service, which requires a bachelors, and clinical, which requires a masters degree. Going after a Masters not only opens up more jobs upon graduation, but gives the social work field more time to recover from the economic fallout. Additionally, employment of social workers is set to expand by 19% between 2012 and 2022, so by graduation, there will almost certainly be more jobs available.
If you’re in between jobs, advocacy groups can be a great way to become involved with issues that are imperative to the social work cause. Volunteering your time for organizations, such as Social Work Reinvestment Initiative and the Council on Social Work Education, will look great on a resume and can also have an impact on the future of social work.
Focusing on relevant experience and job content is a great way to make employers take notice to what you’re capable of and helps sell the benefit of hiring you. By removing parts of job descriptions that will be useless to potential employers, it makes your resume more dense with content that is closely related to the job you’re applying for. Stay concise and on-point for what you’re talking about. Describe what groups you worked with closely the most; highlighting your experience with social, medical, and psychological issues very well may by the defining attribute to hiring you. In the social services field, it is also crucial to detail the social work skills you have put into practice before.
Here are some great headings for different experience you might have:
Human Services Experience
Community Organizing Experience
Program Planning Experience
Therapeutic and Advocacy Experience
Child Welfare Experience
Experience with Children and Families
Experience in Gerontology
Substance Abuse Treatment Experience
A great way to differentiate yourself from others when applying for a job is to emphasize your ability to adapt and perform in different environments. Since the social work field is expanding so rapidly, there is an increasingly large base of opportunities around the world for becoming further involved. Look into those opportunities to get a new worldview and increase job prospects upon your return home. Various international nonprofits are eager to hire social workers or those currently pursuing a social work degree to come abroad and help with projects. Initiatives such as Global Internships offers a variety of opportunities to volunteer abroad.
Going to conferences, seminars, and workshops is a good way to educate yourself on specific issues and better yourself as a social worker. As so many of these take place, there are almost always emerging opportunities to expand your breadth of knowledge. The specificity of the events will leave you informed on whatever issue they’re covering, which will provide additional conversation pieces for interviews with potential employers, better educate you on particular areas you may be interested in working in, and help build an impressive resume. Keep an eye on the CSWE calendar of events for upcoming conferences.