Highlighting MASH expertise on your CV
By Gemma Raw
As social services continue to invest in multi-agency working, there are more career opportunities than ever before for specialist MASH social workers. But what should you include on your CV to make you stand out from the crowd?
1. Your experience
Your CV is the first opportunity that you will have to sell yourself to any potential employer, so you will need to ensure that your relevant experience is clearly referenced.
Start by highlighting your most recent expertise first of all – MASH teams will be looking for social workers with extensive child protection experience, so it’s important that you reference any key achievements.
Other areas you may wish to highlight include your assessment writing skills, whether you have previously chaired any groups and how you routinely deal with safeguarding referrals as well as working alongside other agencies.
2. Refer back to the job description
One piece of advice that we would always recommend is to ensure that your CV relates back to the job description. Whilst you can have a generic CV on file to work from as a basis, we would always suggest that you tailor your CV to each job application to ensure that it meets the relevant criteria of that specific job description.
If the advert has used specific language, try to use the same wording – after all, you don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity as a result of simply terminology.
3. Be concise yet informative
It’s a hard-balancing act – CV’s need to tell a story about your career highlights but they do need to be concise as hiring managers will not have time to read lengthy pages. Try to use subheadings or bullet points to reduce long paragraphs – not only will it help to direct the hiring manager’s attention to key points, but it will also enable you to focus your efforts on the areas which matter.
4. Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality
Often CV’s tend to lack any form of personality – don’t neglect the section on your personal attributes in a hurry to get the CV finished. Letting potential employers know about your hobbies and your outside interests is important – particularly in a profession such as social work where it can be difficult to maintain a positive work-life balance. Your outside interests can tell a hiring manager much more than you may initially think. For example, if you speak multiple languages and you are looking to work in a particularly multicultural area, your skills could be set you apart from other candidates. Don’t forget to include details of professional memberships, relevant training courses and ongoing professional development – it all helps hiring managers to build up a strong picture of you in their minds.
We have also written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your social work career.