Have you just completed a degree in social work? Or perhaps you’ve been in the mental health field for many years already and are looking to be promoted or to hop jobs to something better? Regardless of your current career position, if you want to land the job of your dreams, it’s important to have an effective, detailed, current resume to use for all your applications.
Although you may feel comfortable enough chatting with recruiters or potential managers in interviews, you may struggle to know how to present yourself just as well in a written document. Since your resume is the first hurdle you need to jump over in the application process, it’s necessary to put together a document that gets results. Read on for some tips for a top social work resume you can follow today.
Use a Good Layout
Most people don’t spend nearly long enough considering the format they use for their resume. The layout is the first thing readers notice when they open your document, so it needs to look professional. Since recruiters in your industry typically have to look over hundreds of social work resumes per day, they prefer to receive documents laid out in a scannable way.
This means you need to break up big blocks of text with headings and bullet points and keep sentences concise. As well, always put the most important information about yourself in the first section (e.g. Profile or Summary), so as soon as they start to read your document, they see straightaway how you could be a good fit for the role.
When it comes to the design of your resume, use a common font that’s easy to read. Choose something like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri, and make it in a decent size, such as 11- or 12-point, so no one has to squint to take in each word. Furthermore, don’t try to be “cute” or too creative in your layout. Steer clear of using lots of colors or crazy graphics, as this just doesn’t come across as professional.
Show Readers Exactly Why You’re the Best Fit for the Role
To stand out from your competition, you must make it clear that you have all the requisite qualifications, knowledge and skill and would excel in the position.
Be sure to include specific details (concrete numbers and percentages work best) about your past responsibilities and achievements during your career. Also include all necessary information about your education and other qualifications, whether you have completed an online master’s degree in social work and/or training in specific computer programs, etc.
Tailor your content accordingly. You will have a template resume you work from, but don’t just send the same document to each potential employer; instead, tweak things as needed. Read over the job ad multiple times to look for areas important to the hirer.
Also make sure you research the company to find out its company culture, key values, history, important products or services and so on. The more you know, the more you can tailor your resume to show how you will fit in with the team perfectly and be able to hit the ground running.
Include keywords and phrases in your document to get a reader’s attention. This will help you get better results if the company uses recruitment software to automatically sift through applications. After all, resumes that don’t include the inputted search terms are usually immediately rejected.
Ensure the Document Is Error-free
Finally, never submit a resume you haven’t proofread carefully first. Many applicants are put on the “no” pile straightaway because their document is full of errors, which gives the impression that they don’t care about getting the job and don’t have any kind of attention to detail.
Read over your resume to see if you can pick up on issues such as typos, spelling and grammatical mistakes, missing or repeated words, strange changes to formatting or sentences that don’t make sense. As well, it is wise to have someone else look over your resume for you. People coming at your document with fresh eyes are more likely to spot errors than you are.