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Employers will read a vast number of CVs and applications from potential candidates. Here are a few useful pointers that will help sharpen your social work CV ready for your next position.  

Demonstrate your expertise with facts

Whilst your CV needs to be concise, it’s still important to avoid the overuse of sweeping statements. Just as an example, if applying for a child protection role, instead of saying you’ve “gained a strong working knowledge of child protection” consider using a series of impactful statements. For example, you could state that you’ve “held an average caseload of X child protection cases over a period of X months or years”, “received specific training on recognising the signs of abuse and neglect”, or perhaps you “have the skills needed to perform the function of a ‘designated person’ or ‘child protection officer’”. 

Core skills

Make sure that you fully convey exactly what skills you have, remembering that your CV needs to ‘tell a story’ of how you have developed as a professional within your specific area of expertise. If you are applying for a role in adult social work, you might wish to consider mentioning the specific skills you have that enable you to deliver social work that is in line with the Care Act, for example. Likewise, as a children’s social worker, you will need to show that your skills and experience mean you have a full grasp of your legal responsibilities under the Children and Families Act 2014. 

Employment history

It almost goes without saying that for each role you’ve held, you will need to include the employer’s name, position (s) held and dates of employment. The most important element to each of these roles will be describing what your specific achievements and accomplishments were. If you managed a team, don’t be afraid to embellish your point with more facts. Say how many people you managed and what the results were – perhaps your team helped reduce caseloads or achieved a greater working relationship with other agencies. 

Less is sometimes more

You will need to strike a balance between including all your relevant experience, and keeping your CV brief. This can be a challenge if you have held a number of positions, but remember that you do not need to go into detail with all the roles you’ve held. A bullet-pointed list under each position will suffice. 

Ideally, two or three pages of A4 are best. If you have expanded beyond this, look to see where you have made duplicate points or where you could alter the template to condense the wording to the desired length. 

Ask Sanctuary 

We have more advice on how to structure your CV within our Careers Hub, but if you are unsure about any aspect of your CV or what experience would be ideal to highlight for a particular role contact your Sanctuary consultant who will be able to advise you. 

If you are not already registered with Sanctuary, but would like to find out more about available positions, you can register online

Email a friend
Frances Jaji, 20 April 2016, 02:55 PM
I have struggled to make my CV short and specific. I have experience of both adults and children and sometimes I just want a child services post?
Sanctuary Social Care, 20 April 2016, 03:03 PM
Hi Frances,

If you could please email your CV to we would be happy to have a look at it and give you some advice.

Kind regards,

Sanctuary Social Care
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