If you’re applying for a role in social work, you need to make a good first impression. Being a social worker is hard work, but also extremely worthwhile. So, what can you do to make sure your application is a certainty for the short list?
If you need some inspiration on what to include in your CV and cover letter, check out our handy examples. (Just remember not to copy them as exact templates.)
Cover letter example:
Dear Ms Name,
As a fully qualified [child/adult] social worker with [number] years experience, I feel I would be well-suited for the role of [job title] at [name of council or organisation]. Please find my CV attached.
The nature of my experience includes successfully managing a demanding caseload, which includes [elderly people/young children/people who have learning disabilities /mental health issues]. I have a [person-centred] approach to my work, which involves calmly and practically responding to service users to achieve the best outcomes. I am also experienced in coordinating care with other agencies, such as primary care practices and psychological services.
In addition, I have a particular interest in [...]. This stimulated me to lead a community project on [...]. As part of this, I had to liaise with [...] meaning that I have developed skills in [...]. I faced some challenges along the way, such as [...] and overcame them by [...]. The impact of the project overall was measured by/ has been evidenced in [...].
As shown by my experience in [social work/social work placements], I am enthusiastic about establishing what is best for the individual and always strive to do the best for service users. I am able to successfully manage a demanding caseload. I also have the enthusiasm and determination to ensure that I make a success of this role.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this application and I look forward to hearing from you in future.
CV and cover letter tips:
“The most important thing about your CV and cover letter is that everything you include is relevant,” says Craig Davis, head of social work for Sanctuary. “Don’t start going off on a tangent, or waffling – every part has to be tailored to the role you’re applying for.”
Tom Hawkins, director of Hays Social Care, adds that you should keep your cover letter short. “Don’t over-elaborate, and don’t repeat what’s on your CV. The key things you need to include are: the reason you’re applying, the reason you want to move on from your current employment, and the things that you have in your armoury that make you suitable for the job.”
As social work is a vocational profession, it’s also important that you evidence enthusiasm for the job. “Don’t be scared to sound passionate about what you do – why you do it and why you enjoy it,” he adds.
In your CV it’s also worth including any information that the hiring manager might need as a “tick box” exercise in the application process: such as whether you have an up-to-date DBS check, or registration with relevant social work bodies.
“Be as clear as you can in your writing,” says Hawkins. “So use bullet points to describe roles, rather than long and prosaic sentences. Try and start each bullet point with a verb, such as ‘created, managed, improved’ – this is a good way to focus info on what you did and the difference it made.”
As much as experience is important, it’s not the only thing hiring managers are looking for. “Some managers will look at someone who has less experience but is more enthusiastic – so be sure to get your passion for the work across in your writing,” adds Davis.
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Social Worker Cover Letter
Social Workers assist vulnerable groups and protect them from harm. Groups they work with include young offenders, seniors, disabled people, homeless people, substance abusers, and school non-attenders. Essential responsibilities of a Social Worker are interviewing people and their families, easing access to community resources, providing emotional support, referring individuals to other agencies and professionals, maintaining records, and giving evidence in court.
Sample cover letters for Social Worker put emphasis on the following qualities:
- Strong communication and listening skills
- The ability to interact with all sorts of people
- Flexibility and multitasking
- Resilience to stress and stamina
- Being able to stay calm in stressful situations
- Negotiation and networking abilities
- Computer literacy
Below appears an example cover letter for Social Worker showcasing similar skills.
For help with your resume, check out our extensive Social Worker Resume Samples.
Dear Ms. Williams:
When I learned of your need for a Social Worker, I hastened to submit my resume for your review. My experience coordinating and supporting various social work programs gives me confidence in my ability to significantly benefit your agency.
From providing transitional advice to at-need individuals and families to developing and establishing various programs, my background has prepared me to excel in this role. My ability to connect with patients and establish trusting relationships, along with my strong communication and leadership capabilities, position me to thrive in this position.
Consider the following highlights of my qualifications:
- Providing vital support to at-risk clients, assessing needs, developing treatment plans, counseling on significant transitions, coordinating with ancillary treatment providers, and completing required case documentation.
- Offering on-call 24/7 crisis intervention services, interacting with individuals from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
- Coordinating illness-related support groups—including those for cancer, early dementia, and diabetic patients—to encourage open communication and support.
- Utilizing superior organizational and interpersonal abilities to provide solutions and support in difficult and stressful situations.
- Possessing a Master’s degree in Psychology and Social Work from Nottingham State College; professional training in Managing and Adapting Therapy (MAP), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), suicide prevention, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS education.
With my dynamic experience in social work and my dedication to providing critical assistance to individuals in need, I believe I could swiftly surpass your expectations for this role. The opportunity to discuss the position in further detail would be most welcome.
Thank you for your consideration.
Henrietta B. Griffon