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Tips for writing a great social work CV

By Gemma Raw

Your CV is usually your first introduction to your future employer. Therefore, it needs to make a good impression. It is important that your CV is clear and easy to read, whilst remaining relevant to the role you are applying for. Here are some tips to help you produce a great social work CV. 

Length

We’ll always review your CV when you upload it. Your individual social work consultant will carefully review what you have included and make recommendations, if they feel it will improve your chances of being offered a role. 

Even though we are pretty good at deciphering your core skills, it’s important you strike a balance between providing enough relevant information and making sure that your CV is easily readable. 

Two to three pages of A4 is a good length. If you find your CV has expanded beyond three pages, look at the layout and make a decision as to whether all the detail you have included is relevant to the job you are applying for.

Already have a great CV? Register with Sanctuary today!

Layout

Clear headings make it easier to divide your CV into logical sections. Include a short summary of your experience at the top of your CV, in bullet-point format if you wish. 

Use headings such as professional profile (adding a bit more depth to your summary), education & training and relevant date-ordered experience. 

Avoid creating your CV in PDF format. It needs to be saved in MS Word (or similar) and avoid using boxes or tables. Decorative fonts are also a big no-no. They’ll be auto-formatted by Sanctuary Social Care anyhow. 

For ease of reading, we recommend using familiar professional fonds such as Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman, in either 11 or 12 point. Anything smaller will be hard to read. 

Personal details

This should include your full name, a contact telephone number and an email address. Your email address should appear professional, so if it contains a nickname or is hard to remember, change it.

Education

This section should be in chronological order, starting with your most recent professional qualification.

List your education and training with dates and the name/location of the university or training programme where you took the course. If it’s not clear what the course is about, include a brief bracketed summary. 

Professional experience 

This should also be in chronological order, starting with your most recent social work employment.

For each job, state the job title, the employer, the dates you worked there and the location. Then provide a short summary explaining your primary duties and highlight any experience relevant to the role you are applying for. If you are a locum social worker who has held lots of different roles, you might want to simply list your key responsibilities rather than going into any great depth. 

Edit your CV for each job 

Every job is different with individual requirements. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your CV is tailored to the job application, allowing you to highlight the relevant experience for that particular job.

Ask a friend

We would always recommend asking a friend or family member to read through your CV before you submit it. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot any spelling mistakes which you may have missed.

If you are not sure how to write your CV or what experience to highlight for a particular job, get in touch today!