If you’re trying to find social work jobs online, you will need to have the right combination of skills, education, and real world experience to successfully serve your community.
But it is just as important to know how to format your resume to be read by a computer, to make sure it includes the right keywords and to know what niche job search sites to use. After all, it doesn’t matter that you’re the employer’s ideal job candidate unless they actually read your resume and decide to call you in for an interview.
Build a Search-Friendly Resume
Today, you need two versions of your resume with the same information formatted in different ways. You should have a beautifully formatted copy of your resume printed out to hand to potential employers during interviews.
But you also need an electronic copy of your resume formatted to be read by computers, not people. Lose the bullet points and careful spacing and reformat the whole document as plain text (.txt). Pepper the document with keywords used in the employer’s job description, and computers will recognize that you have the right experience for the position – and that you know it.
Social Work Keywords
The best place to find the keywords you need to include in your resume in order to get the attention of the screening computer is in the job descriptions of your target employers. However, there are some buzzwords associated with social work that show up repeatedly in social work job descriptions and are thus fairly likely to get the results you want.
Some of those words are: advocacy, outreach, fundraising, program development, treatment, diagnosis, counselor, and case manager. While using some general keywords makes it easier to customize your resume for each job, you should still pull keywords from the description for every position you apply for.
Social Work Job Sites
In addition to standard job search websites like Monster.com and Idealist.org, there are a number of useful job search websites specifically dedicated to social work. The National Association of Social Workers’ Social Work Career Center is a great place to start. The New Social Worker Magazine’s Social Work Job Bank is a great resource offered by a social worker in the spirit of service to other social workers. Socialwork.com, socialservice.com and socialworkjobsearch.com are other websites that serve the same specific niche.
Once you have properly formatted your resume for the Internet, liberally peppered it with social work and job-specific keywords, and submitted it to all the right career search sites, keep at it! Re-formatting your resume can’t guarantee you’ll land your dream job, but it does significantly increase the odds that potential employers will consider you seriously as a candidate. And making potential employers aware of your interest and qualifications is always the first stop to a long and rewarding career.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Joshua John on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2tor — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of Southern California which provides a Masters In Social Work degree online.
Social work jobs online image from Shutterstock