A medical social worker resume that captures your empathy and keeps in mind the pulse of the industry will go a long way toward a healthy job hunt and help you reach your ultimate goal: that amazing new job!
You’ve come to the right place. Resume.io is a powerful resource for all job seekers, including medical professionals, as we provide resume examples for 300+ professions, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder. Let us help you getting a new job in your helping profession by developing a resume with the correct tone and style to attract the attention of recruiters.
This resume guide, along with the corresponding medical social worker resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does a medical social worker do?
- How to write a medical social worker resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a medical social worker resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a medical social worker do?
Medical social workers, also known as healthcare social workers, act as advocates for patients and their families. The healthcare system can be confusing, full of paperwork, regulations, difficulty terminology and decisions. All this while a person or their loved one is ailing.
A primary responsibility of a medical social worker is discharge planning, according to the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at USC. That encompasses ensuring that patients have an accommodating environment to return to and that services are in place for them to function well at home.
Medical social workers may interact with patients at any point in their treatment and the list of their responsibilities is long. The Center for Workforce Studies & Social Work Practice says they include:
- Psychosocial evaluation
- Explaining treatment options
- Exploring emotions related to illness and hospitalization
- Educating people about the healthcare systems and various professionals’ roles
- Finding funds for continuing medical care and equipment
Where do medical social workers work?
General medical and surgical hospitals employed 47,5900 of the 185,000 professionals working in 2019. That’s more than twice the number who were working in individual and family services (23,060). The other segments that employed medical social workers were home health care (20,740), outpatient care centers (13,730) and nursing homes (13,680).
Medical social work job market and outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the aging population will fuel exceptional growth in demand for medical social workers. A 14% increase in jobs from 2019-29 puts this career well above the average and even slightly about the expected growth rate for social workers overall.
Massachusetts, Missouri and Tennessee have the highest concentration of medical social workers by population and California, Washington, D.C., and Oregon pay the most.
Medical social workers earned a median of $57,630 and are mostly full-time employees. They may be on-call or work evenings, weekends and holidays to accommodate their patients’ schedules.
How to write a medical social worker resume
The goal behind your medical social worker resume is a healthy career advance, but how do you accomplish that? First, you look holistically at the document and understand what sections to include. Your resume sample should contain the following elements:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Think of the image you want to present to patients and their families and match that tone and style to your resume. The best resume samples maintain consistency and give recruiters a sense of your personality and how you handle emotional and complicated medical situations while people are under duress.
Not all medical facilities are the same, so investigate each prospective place of employment as carefully as you do the options for your patients. Then, get specific in your resume and job application as a whole.
Your medical social worker resume should aim for the following:
- Present an empathetic and efficient image
- Make clear that you understand the challenges of the particular job and show what you will bring to the workplace
- Target your future employer by using keywords and phrases that will keep you in the running despite Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) designed to filter out weaker resumes.
Manage the ATS
The ATS uses algorithms to rank resumes partly based on keywords and phrases employers tag to the position. To give you the best shot at getting into the hands of a person, follow these steps.
- Carefully review the job listing and highlight the requirements and attributes named.
- Examine your medical social worker resume for matching words and phrases.
- Tweak your language to mimic that of the job listing.
- Add important words and phrases that you had not included.
A couple of items to remember:
- Be honest. If you don’t have the skill, don’t fake it.
- Keep the tone and language consistent. Don’t cram words in or add anything that doesn’t sound natural to your resume.
Choosing the best resume format for a medical social worker
Nine times out of ten, a reverse chronological order resume format is your best bet. Employers want to see your most recent experience first when they peruse your employment history section. There are times, however, where you may want to use a different style.
Function resumes are reserved for those with detailed knowledge in a niche field, such as technical specialists. This style offers an expanded skills section where you can explain your deep proficiency or highlight experience with complex topics.
Congratulations if you have recently graduated or earned your social work license! You may want to consider the resume formats we suggest as chronological alternatives or hybrids.
In most instances, the reverse chronological order resume format is your best choice.
Resume summary example: diagnosing your strengths
As a medical social worker, you must have empathy for your patients and their families. Your resume summary, also called a profile, is the best spot to do so. While it may not be the first place hiring managers look, you can be sure that if your employment history is impressive, they will read more about you.
The key here is to open with a strong statement about who you are as a medical social worker. Follow that with one or two sentences that point out the pinnacles of your career and end by explaining why you want the job and how you will lessen your prospective employer’s pain points.
In your summary, answer the question: Why are you the best person for the job?
Get bogged down in details. Keep your sentences short and sweet.
See the resume example content for a medical social worker summary below.
Dedicated Medical Social Worker with a proven track record of helping patients to successfully navigate their medical care while working to achieve ultimate wellness. Adept in understanding different medical programs, and fiercely advocating for the rights of patients. Committed to helping patients and families during difficult times by ensuring that they get the proper care and resources to meet their needs. Adept in communicating effectively with other medical staff to enhance patient care and lead to the highest degree of wellness possible.
Employment history sample: a healthy career
Where do hiring managers look first on your medical social work resume? Most likely, it’s your employment history. It’s the heartbeat of your resume sample since it details the story of your successful career and hiring managers want to know where you are now and what you’re doing. That means using reverse chronological order, but it also means doing a lot more than reciting your job duties in a dry statement.
Do that by livening up your accomplishments with strong, action verbs. Focus each bullet point on a career accomplishment or success. Employers like data-driven information, so tell them how many patients you serve, what the outcome of their cases was and how you helped get needed services to families.
Use the employment history resume example text below as a guide.
- Provided formal assessments of patients prior to designing an individualized program to meet their needs.
- Identified and advocated for appropriate and beneficial patient resources.
- Communicated with medical staff, families, and patients to ensure the highest level of productivity possible.
- Helped patients and families to understand medical literature as it applied to them.
- Counseled clients and family members during difficult times.
- Established a level of trust between myself and patients.
CV skills example: the backbone of your resume
Your CV skills section is a great place to optimize for the ATS! It’s also an optimal section for pinpointing the attributes and skills you have that make you perfect for the job. Your goal here is to highlight the top qualities you have that are also high on your prospective employer’s list.
Be aware that there are two types of skills employers seek on a CV: soft and hard. As a medical social worker, you are focused on your empathy and communication. Those are soft skills. But you also have medical knowledge and detailed knowledge of how the healthcare system works, the regulations and paperwork involved and how to negotiate health insurance issues. Make sure you also highlight these in your CV skills list.
Having trouble choosing which skills best describe you? If you are a visual learner, try a word cloud. You can pick from among the many free word cloud apps. These applications take the words or, in your case your resume perhaps, and turn them into a piece of art that emphasizes the words you used most often.
It’s likely that your most commonly used words are also the ones that will give recruiters a strong picture of who you are as an employee and medical social worker.
See the resume example content for a skills section below.
- Medical Knowledge
- Strong Communication Skills
- NASW Code of Ethics
- Strong Multitasking Skills
- High Level of Compassion
- Crisis Intervention
- Social Welfare Policy
Medical social work resume education example
The education section of your medical social work resume is a simple listing of your degrees, licenses and certifications. All social workers need at least a bachelor’s degree in social work. Clinical social workers will also have an MSW (master of social work) degree. If so, you may leave out your high school diploma.
Licensing requirements vary by state, but be sure to list any licenses you have earned. You can find a list of each state’s regulations at Social Work Licensure.
See resume example content below for an idea of the formatting of your education section.
- 2006-2009 NYU, Master of Social Work NY, NY
- 2002-2006 NYU, Bachelor of Social Work NY, NY
Resume layout and design: capture their attention
Don’t underestimate the need for a professional-looking resume layout and design. We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions do count. Take the opportunity to wow your future boss by creating a polished, easy-to-read layout.
Here are some key tenets of resume design:
- Make sure your contact information stands out. You want that hiring manager to be able to contact you without a hunt.
- Yes, you have a lot to say, but leave your margins ample and avoid big blocks of type. If it’s not easy to read, it may not be read at all.
- Go for eye-catching, but stay on the conservative side of flashy. You want to be remembered -- in a good way.
- Make sure you spellcheck and grammar check. The best design won’t get you very far if your text contains errors.
Consider using one of our resume templates to save you the tedious task of formatting for perfection.
Key takeaways for a medical social worker resume
- Your medical social worker resume should maintain a calm, cool and collected tone in line with your professional style.
- In an empathetic career, your ability to figure out what your prospective employer wants will stand you in good stead.
- Word clouds and job listing reviews will help you target your resume sample so you sail past the ATS.
- Use Resume.io’s online builder, guides and examples to help you create a stellar resume!
Get inspired by more related resume examples from the medical industry:
- Lactation Consultant
- Marriage and Family Therapist
- Health Care Administration
- Dental Receptionist
- Nursing Student
- Nursing Home
- Occupational Therapist
- Behavioral Therapist
- Art Therapist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Child Psychologist
- Medical Support Assistant
- Pharmacy Technician
- Physician Assistant
- Clinic Coordinator
- Medical Receptionist
- Physical Therapist
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
- Medical Science Liaison
- Dental Assistant