Communication and management are among the skills most often mentioned in recent social services job postings, according to a LiveCareer analysis of job ads and resumes. Job seeker resumes are mentioning these skills as much or more than job ads, which bodes well for those on the hunt in 2021.
Social workers, case managers and others in the social services are in high demand as instances of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation have risen during the pandemic.
Evergreen skills in communicating with patients and managing caseloads are as important as ever.
LiveCareer pinpointed the skills listed most often in job ads, including the precise wording of each skill.
This data-based approach reveals the terminology employers expect to see on social services applications, and can help guide job seekers in refreshing their resumes.
Top hard, soft and remote work skills that will help you land social services jobs
LiveCareer analyzed job ads for social workers, case managers and behavior technicians. Here are the skills that rose to the top.
Found in 51.71% of social worker job ads
Look for words like social and friendly.
- Management skills
Found in 44.02% of job ads
Look for words like manage, oversee, conduct, supervise and direct.
Found in 44.02% of job ads
Look for words like communicate, articulate, voice and talk through.
Found in 34.62% of job ads
Look for words like professional, experienced and qualified.
- Strategic thinking
Found in 31.87% of job ads
Look for words like plan and strategize.
Found in 21.37% of job ads
Look for words like effective, goal-oriented and results.
- Case management
Found in 39.38% of job ads
Look for software like Casewatch Millennium and Client Track.
- Working with children
Found in 39.19% of job ads
Look for words like patience and endurance.
Found in 36.32% of job ads
Look for words like instruct, teach and train.
Found in 26.88% of job ads
Look for words like teach, instruct and guide.
Remote work skills
- Project management software like Teamwork (found in 3.42% of job ads) and Monday (found in 5.13% of job ads).
An experienced case manager resume example
How to add skills to your resume
Read the job description, understand what the employer is seeking and use the exact wording of the skills listed in the job posting.
1. Weave a few important critical soft skills into your summary statement.
Example one: Social worker
Motivated social worker with comprehensive knowledge of social justice issues and systems affecting marginalized communities. Passionate about developing and facilitating programs to support communities in need. Collaborative and analytical with proven ability to build strategic partnerships, advocate for clients and seek results for communities in need.
Example two: Case manager
Coordinated delivery of optimal patient care to diverse patients through effective monitoring and treatment organization. Skillfully conduct assessments, update documentation and complete ongoing case reviews to strengthen support. Well-versed in enforcing strict controls to quickly identify and resolve concerns. Experienced in working with children.
2. Create a separate skills section. Make sure to include both hard and soft skills.
Example one: Behavior technician
- PTSD specialist
- Client transportation
- Activity monitoring
- Crisis intervention
- Working with children
- Employee management
Example two: Counselor
- Dual diagnoses expert
- Psychotropic medications knowledge
- Conflict resolution
- Peer counseling
- Mental health support
- Intervention planning
3. Lace skills throughout top achievements in your work experience section.
Example one: Volunteer
- Helped with office tasks including taking messages, scanning documents and answering phone inquiries.
- Worked with program supervisors to implement changes and better serve target groups.
- Volunteered with groups and organizations to help make measurable differences for program recipients.
Example two: Social worker
- Interviewed clients, families or groups to assess situations, limitations and issues and implement services to address needs.
- Helped clients develop new coping mechanisms and techniques to drive behavior modification.
- Developed and planned Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan to identify cause of problem behavior, formulate strategies to address behavior and teach new behavioral skills.
How to grow this skill set
Employers are going to want to see you continuing to build your social services skills. There are many options available to you, including:
- You can further your career in social work by getting a specialization in a certain area. Certifications worth pursuing include hospice and palliative care, gerontology, case management and children, youth and families.
- Read up on the impact COVID-19 has had on your profession. The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) has put together a helpful guide that includes syllabi, slide decks, accreditation updates and field guidance related to the pandemic.
- Get actively involved in LinkedIn Groups and other online forums (such as the CSWE Career Center) where social workers are talking about key issues in the profession and sharing job opportunities.