The Best Ways to Get a Social Work Job*





*This is a collaborative post*

If you’ve trained at a university to learn how to do social work, and emerged with all the right qualifications, you’ve worked extremely hard. Whether you’ve followed a Bachelors course or converted your existing skills to qualify for Social Work later in your studies, you will have studied not only the ‘how’ of social work but also the law covering your interventions.

Unfortunately your journey isn’t over. To make sure you get the best value from those skills, you need to know how to turn your qualifications into a job.

The social work service is always looking for more people, so the issue at hand is not finding social work jobs but making sure you find the right one for you.

As long as you have the relevant experience you should be able to find a job in the area you’d like to work, using your skills in a way you find valuable and interesting. The most important thing is knowing how to look.

Studies

To begin with, any Social Work degree or training programme will include elements of work experience placements. Maintaining the contacts you make there will be key to your early success: in a field where everyone has similar qualifications someone who has seen you work and is able to vouch for your skills and dedication is absolutely vital.

You can turn successful work placements into your first jobs, which will allow you to accrue the experience you need to take your pick the next time you are looking for work. It’s not true to say “it’s not what you, it’s who you know” but you cannot undervalue strong references and recommendations to help you stand out from the pack.

Specialist Recruiters

If you’re more experienced and looking for your next social work job it’s looking for a specialist recruiter to connect you with the services that will employ you, especially if want to move geographically.

Not all recruiters are created equal. Finding one who specialises in Social Work or NHS provision means you are dealing with experts who understand your skills and are better practised at putting you together with employers and services that will value them.

Remember that recruiters work for you, rather than you working for them. Don’t be shy about letting them know your needs, and providing feedback if you feel the relationship isn’t working. Having a clear idea of what you want and being unafraid to communicate it is the key to finding the job you want. 


*Contributed by a third party



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