Social Worker Resume (Writing Tips, Sample, and Examples)

social worker resume sample
Created by Cake

As a social worker, you work to the best of your abilities to assist others for the greater good. Some of your responsibilities include: 

  • Initiating interviews to determine the client’s situation and difficulties
  • Preparing a personalized plan for the client and realistic steps to get to the goal
  • Providing relevant guidance, materials, and resources to support the client through troubles

A social worker might seem very similar to a counselor because a social worker often relies on psychotherapy; however, many factors differentiate the two. 

The main difference is that a social worker focuses on supporting the client with the right resources while a counselor focuses on offering the client emotional/behavioral support.  

To begin your journey in changing the lives of others, you will need to study up on how to create a professional social work resume (or a social worker CV). 

What format is the best for a social worker resume?

  • Chronological resume format:  
    • PROS: Organizes all of your experiences clearly
    • CONS: Not the best choice for someone writing an entry-level social work resume
  • Functional resume format:  
    • PROS: Focuses on your skills instead of work experience
    • CONS: Lacks specific context
  • Combinational resume format:  
    • PROS: Emphasizes both extensive experience and broad skills
    • CONS: Might be repetitive

Which format should a social worker resume be sent in? 

After spending some time working on your social worker resume, you will want to decide if you’re going to save your resume as a PDF file or a Word file. The very first thing is to check on the social worker job description for resume format specifications. Follow the instruction, if there is any.

  • PDF format (recommended): It retains the layout and formatting, but might not be readable by some ATS. 
  • Word format: It's more ATS-friendly. However, the formatting might alter when the employer opens your resume on other devices. 

How to prepare a social worker resume with no experience?

  • Advice 1: Use the skills-based (functional) format.
    When creating a social worker resume with no experience, you will want to turn the focus to your skills and knowledge by using the functional resume format. 
  • Advice 2: Include a career objective statement.
    A career objective for a social worker can be very beneficial in showing the employer what you plan to achieve throughout your career. 
  • Advice 3: Focus on your educational background.
    As a social worker writing a resume with no experience, you can also highlight the training you’ve completed and certifications you’ve earned.

What should you include in a social worker resume?

1. Resume Profile (Personal Information)

Make sure to list your full name, professional title, email address, phone number, and up-to-date address at the beginning of your social worker resume. 

2. Social Worker Resume Headline

Gather your most extraordinary achievements and knowledge to form a captivating social worker resume headline for the employer to stay interested in finding out more about you. 

Social Worker Resume Headline Example: 

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker Trained in Building Trusting Relationships with Clients

3. Social Worker Resume Summary

Take what you have included in your headline one step further with additional skills and accomplishments for your social worker resume summary. 

Social Worker Resume Summary Example: 

  • USC Masters Alumni with 3+ years of experience helping clients with a variety of life challenges, such as mental health issues, substance abuse, family troubles, etc.. Knowledgable in psychology, criminal justice, and psychotherapy. 

4. Social Worker Resume Objective

Alternatively, if you are looking to craft a social worker resume with no experience, incorporate a few relevant social work skills with what you are seeking to complete throughout your social work career. 

Social Worker Resume Objective Example: 

  • Caring social worker experienced in client communication and guiding clients to address personal problems in a comfortable environment. Seeking a role at Care Co. as a social worker to assist more clients. 

5. Social Worker Resume Skills

While each social work position will require different skills, the most wanted social worker skills for a resume will fall under soft skills. 

Social Worker Resume Skill Examples: 

  • Empathy
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Case Management 

6.  Social Worker Resume Work Experience

Even if the work experience you have is not directly related to social work, make sure to include it if it can demonstrate the interpersonal skills necessary to social work on your resume.  

Social Worker Resume Work Experience Example: 

Social Worker
Seasons Health, Arizona
Jan 2019 – Present

  • Provided group counseling sessions for a group of 15+ people weekly and gained trust from participants.

7.  Social Worker Resume Education

For the education section of your social worker resume, make sure you list the degree type, major/minor, name of university/college, and years of graduation. 

Social Worker Resume Education Example: 

M.S. in Social Work
University of Southern California
2016 - 2018

8. Additional Information

Professional achievements, such as social work licenses, certifications, and appearances in conferences, demonstrate to the employer your commitment to gaining more experience and knowledge. 

Sometimes, your hobbies and interests can also show that you have the traits and skills that a social worker needs. You can include them on your resume too.

Additional Information for your Social Work Resume Examples: 

  • Certificate
    • NASW Social Work Credential
    • Certified School Social Work Specialist 
    • California Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Conference appearances
    • “Social Work and Mental Health”, SSWAA National Conference, 2019
  • Hobbies and interests
    • Teaching at Sunday School

5 tips on how to write a compelling social worker resume

✅ Tailor your social worker resume to the job description. 

For each social work position, the job descriptions will include different qualifications and you need to create the right resume for the social work position you apply for (e.g., a school social worker resume, a clinical social worker resume, or a medical social worker resume).  

Make sure that the contents you provide for your social worker resume match the social work job description. 

✅ Make your social worker resume concise.

The hiring manager only spends a short amount of time on each resume so write a social worker resume that is short but portrays you in the best light.

✅ Refer to online social worker resume samples or examples.  

Social work resume samples can benefit you throughout your resume-creating process. Use them as references for what you might want to include in your social worker resume or how to structure it. 

An LCSW resume example can help guide you with building your social worker resume. 

Keep the formatting of your social worker resume consistent. 

Having an unorganized social worker resume format can give off the wrong idea to the employer. Throughout your social worker resume, make sure that you stay consistent with the font, font size, spacing, etc..

✅ Pair your resume with a strong social worker cover letter.  

A social worker cover letter sample can be a useful guide if you are lost on how to start writing your cover letter.  Remember that your social worker cover letter is your chance to elaborate more on past experience and your job-related skills.

What social work resume template is the most successful one?

  • Should I use a resume template?
    • Yes, because you can spend less time on resume design and more time on what to include in you social worker resume. 
    • No, if you have an unusual career trajectory that won’t work with a template.
  • What is the best social work resume template?
    • If you are a fresh graduate, look for a resume template with an emphasis on skills/knowledge. 
    • If you are experienced, look for a resume template with an emphasis on work experience.
  • Where can I find free social work resume templates?
    • Cake - fully customizable resume templates with easy-to-use editing tools.
    • Microsoft Word or Google Docs - a variety of premade resume templates that you can edit in the word processing program.

Cake provides the best social worker resume templates & examples for talents to demonstrate your qualifications. Let us help you land the dream in social work profession with a strong resume (free download)!

Social worker resume sample

Cecilia Schuman

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Trained in Building Trusting Relationships with Clients 

Los Angeles, CA 90089
[email protected]


USC Alumni with 3+ years of experience helping clients with a variety of life challenges, such as mental health issues, substance abuse, family troubles, etc. Knowledgeable in psychology, criminal justice, and psychotherapy. 

Work Experience

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Beacon Health

Sept 2018 - Nov 2020 

  • Assessed 50+ clients with mental health issues and emotional troubles weekly.
  • Hosted 2-3 group therapy counseling sessions on different topics, such as mental health and substance abuse, monthly.
  • Discussed and developed customized plans for each client to ensure effectual progress. 

Social Worker
Beacon Health 
Jul 2016 - Aug 2018

  • Co-hosted support sessions to ensure client questions were resolved and clients were well-informed in the topics discussed. 
  • Prepared and coordinated 3+ rehabilitation programs weekly to support treatment plans for successful progress. 
  • Provided emotional support for clients.


M.S. in Social Work
University of Southern California
2016. 2018


Hard Skills:

  • Case Management 
  • Treatment Planning
  • Behavioral Analysis
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Mental Health 
  • LCSW Code of Ethics
  • Counseling Techniques 
  • Community Resources 
  • Referrals 
  • Behavior Change

Soft Skills:

  • Emotional Intelligence 
  • Empathy
  • Organization
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Patience
  • Time Management 
  • Active Listening
  • Communication


  • California Licensed Clinical Social Worker

--- Originally written by Jose Jessica Sun ---


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