Writing a CV can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. In this blog, we provide you with advice and an example CV to help you create the stand-out CV to secure temporary social work roles.
The golden rule of CV writing is to keep everything relevant to the job you’re applying for.
A strong CV for a temporary social work position will highlight any relevant education, any additional annotations to a Social Work England (SWE) qualification (such as an ‘approved mental health professional’ qualification), work experience, and skills.
How to write a CV
There is more than one right way to create a CV, and choosing what to highlight depends on your own qualifications and experience. Some people will write a CV with a dedicated ‘skills’ or ‘certifications’ section, if they have less experience. Others will include relevant hobbies to give the employer an impression of who they are as people or to highlight transferable skills.
Introduce yourself: First, ensure your name and SWE number stand out and are clearly visible at the top of the page.
Start with a strong personal statement: Begin your CV with a brief statement that summarises your key experience and knowledge, and what type of role you’re looking for now. Don’t go into too much detail about experience or education – you can break these down in more detail throughout the rest of the document.
Emphasise your experience: After your personal statement, list your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. If your latest role wasn’t in social work, you can choose to list your experience in order of relevance instead. You can also include voluntary work in this section.
Roles and responsibilities: For each social work position, describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in a clear and concise manner, including key aspects of the role, such as working with specific legislation, or advocacy work. Always list the dates you started and finished each role or project.
Highlight your education: In the education section, include your degree(s), the institution(s) you attended, and any relevant social work courses or certifications you have obtained. Ensure you note the years and months you were studying.
Space-saving: Ideally, the CV should fit on two pages. If you’ve had a long career, you might choose to omit the least relevant or oldest roles, or your GCSEs, for space.
Proofread: Before submitting your CV, proofread it carefully to ensure there are no errors or typos. Additionally, have your Reed consultant review your CV to get a second opinion and catch any mistakes you may have missed.
What does a strong CV look like?
Here’s an example of a good quality CV:
[Social worker name]
Qualified children and adult social worker
A qualified social worker with 18 years of experience supporting children and young people.
Possessing an in-depth understanding of relevant legislation, procedures and techniques required such as the Children Act 1989 and Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Extensive knowledge of social work principles and their application to complex cases, group work and issues affecting the wider community.
Roles and responsibilities ranging from youth services and youth offending to supporting prisoners held in custody, ensuring safety, and working within adult social care settings at a fast pace.
County Council Hospital, discharge team member: June 2022 - present
Working in an integrated multi-disciplinary team which includes social workers, social care assistants, occupational therapists and a nurse.
Working within the ‘discharge to access’ framework.
Supporting safe and timely hospital discharges, assessing residents in step-down assessment beds, in people’s homes following discharge, or on the wards.
Working closely with our acute hospital trust partners, reablement service and care providers to ensure the needs of our residents are met as part of the discharge process.
Working with Mental Capacity Act 2005, Care Act 2014, Human Rights Act 1998 assessments.
Working with direct payments.
Council Children and Young People’s Justice Service, social worker: January 2015 - June 2022
Carrying out risk assessments and managing risks of reoffending.
Preparing reports for the courts before sentencing.
Providing support to young offenders to prevent reoffending.
Making referrals to other agencies like housing, or drug and alcohol misuse services.
Supervising young offenders on court orders, community sentences, and after release from secure institutions.
Helping young offenders into education, work or training.
Encouraging young people to take part in constructive activities.
Visiting young people in secure institutions.
County Council, First Response Children’s Duty, social worker: July 2013 - January 2015
Working with the out-of-hours social work team, who are responsible for dealing with all social-services emergencies and statutory duties which arise outside normal office hours.
Carrying out initial assessments of the presenting situations and establishing a safe and viable solution pending follow-up by the daytime services.
Responding to emergency situations and visits quickly.
Preparing reports for handover to daytime social workers and triaging the children and families to the correct services.
Carrying out assessments as approved social workers under the Mental Health Act 1983. The service is managed within children’s social care, although it covers all client groups and offers a countywide service.
HM Independent Monitoring Board, board member: October 2011 - January 2013
Ensuring that people in custody are treated fairly and humanely.
Listening to prisoners’/detainees’ requests and complaints.
Monitoring the range and adequacy of programmes preparing prisoners for release.
Youth Agency, trustee: March 2010 - September 2016
The board is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organisation’s project work, outsourcing delivery and corporate social responsibility programmes. They also support relevant policymakers in this sector to improve youth work around the country.
Community Development, project manager: November 2007 - August 2009
Overseeing all project areas of the organisation and delivering youth work/development, mentoring, de-radicalisation and substance misuse programmes.
Youth inclusion support panel, Leicester Prevention.
Children’s Project, social worker: January 2006-2007
Project worker working with eight- to 13-year-olds and their families referred to the programme to reduce offending and presenting case reports to a multi-agency panel of professionals.
Inclusion Programme, youth work apprentice: November 2003 - January 2006
Youth worker tasked with setting up and running diversionary programmes for eight- to 13-year-olds in project areas with socially excluded and disadvantaged young people.
De Montfort University – BA (Hons) Social work: September 2009 - July 2012
Regent College – A-Level ICT, psychology, business: September 2000 - July 2003
The Lancaster School – GCSE English, maths, science, art, religious studies, design technology: September 1995 - July 2000
By following this example and our CV-writing tips, you can create an excellent CV that highlights your relevant education, experience, and skills, putting you in a strong position to secure temporary social work.
To find your next temporary or temporary-to-permanent social work opportunity, contact a Reed consultant near you today.