What skills should I possess to be a social worker in the US?
A professional in social work requires a dynamic set of skills as it is a demanding job profile. So, if you are looking for skills to equip yourself with, then you are in the right place.
Here you will find some trending and highly suitable skills for social worker jobs in 2022.
Social workers are all-rounders and wear many hats during their service, including being an organizer, advocate, counselor, facilitator, adviser, therapist, administrator, caretaker, clinician, etc.
Though social work requires an undefined range of skills, knowledge, and expertise, you can excel in this profession with the right set of fundamental social work skills.
Read on to clear your doubts around social work skills through the following FAQs:
- What are social worker skills?
- What makes a good social worker?
- How to improve social work skills?
- Where to highlight social work skills?
- Are social work skills essential?
What are Social Work Skills?
Social workers deal with diverse tasks in everyday life to help society run in harmony. Social working requires a combination of skills including communication, critical thinking, active listening, and social awareness.
You can develop these skills through online training or a full-time diploma course. However, you need to put the theory to test for becoming an excellent social worker with refined social work skills.
Also Read: What skills to put on a resume?
What Makes a Good Social Worker?
Here is the social work skills list that will help you grow as a social worker in the United States:
The process of understanding something by someone else’s perception can be termed as empathy. It is one of the important strengths of a social worker, and every social worker must have this quality to perform duties efficiently.
Communication (both verbal and non-verbal) skills are essential for every social worker. During your service as a social worker, you will have to deal with many people and communicate with them to understand their problems. Hence, communication is one of the essential skills to be a successful social worker.
Social workers need to be good at multitasking, as they usually work on more than one task or project at a time. They have many responsibilities, in addition to managing multiple clients for reporting, documentation, collaboration, and billing. This is why a social worker must have excellent organizational skills to grow steadily.
The ability to analyze information collected from unbiased communication and observation can be called critical thinking. Social workers must be good at collecting information via observation, research, and interviews. You should also know how to connect dots to identify the root cause and resolve the issue.
Active listening is one of the essential skills for social workers as they need to listen to their clients carefully and understand the issue. Paying attention and asking appropriate questions will help you build trust with your clients.
Social working can be stressful and exhausting sometimes. Hence, you should be engaged in activities that help you maintain a better work-life balance. Self-care means practices that can reduce stress and improve your health for better personal and professional performance.
As a social worker, you will have to deal with people from different cultural backgrounds. Hence, you must know and respect different cultural beliefs and practices across the country.
Social workers deal with an array of hurdles during their service period. Hence, they need to be patient enough to understand every issue with a calm and focused mind. Then take some time to get the solution for that problem without affecting anyone’s personal beliefs.
You need to consistently learn throughout your life to be a successful social worker. As a social worker, you should have a professional commitment to social ethics and values. You might face times when you are exhausted and irritated, but you need to be calm and keep going steadily to address your duties as a social worker.
Social workers also require advocacy skills to fight for their clients wherever required. Sometimes, you will have to argue for your clients being a social worker to help them get their rights and required resources, especially when your clients are vulnerable and can’t fight for themselves. Hence, advocacy is one of the demanding skills of a social worker.
Social workers must be good at gathering information via different sources. Sometimes clients will give you incomplete information, which you will have to complete by joining dots, researching, and interviewing related persons. Hence, you must be a good information collector to become a social worker.
As a part of organizational skills, time management is equally essential for a social worker. As a social worker, you will be juggling multiple tasks at a time. Hence, it will be difficult for you to manage them if your time management skills are not good.
How to Improve Social Work Skills?
You can learn these skills through an online training course or a full-time social work diploma. However, you need to work by yourself to improve your social work skills.
You can follow these steps to improve your social work skills in 2022:
- Make a list of your current social work skills
- Ask your colleagues for feedback on your work
- Practice consistently on your weaknesses
- Attend online seminars and take online courses
Where to Highlight Social Work Skills?
You can showcase your social work skills and achievements in your resume and LinkedIn profile to benefit during the recruitment process.
You can make a separate section to showcase your key social worker skills in your resume. Moreover, we suggest you read the job description appropriately and pick skills from that as well to add them to your resume.
Are Social Work Skills Important?
Social worker skills are vital if you apply for a social worker job in the United States. Apart from that, even if you are applying for a non-profile job, these skills will showcase your dedication and willingness to help society, which might be a positive point for you in the selection process.
The social work resume skills above can help you become a successful social worker in 2022. However, the skills of a social worker need to be polished continuously for better career results in the United States:
You can use the below-given steps to improve your social worker qualities and grow better:
- Make a list of your current social work skills and the skills you want to develop
- Ask your clients and colleagues for regular feedback to improve your work
- Practice continuously on your weak points to strengthen them and get better results
- Leverage online resources to improve your social work skills
The above-given characteristics of a social worker can help you bag a social worker job in 2022. Additionally, you can check out Hiration’s 360-degree Career Service Platform to build your social work resume, cover letter, and portfolio in easy steps.
It comes with 24/7 chat support for ease of operating experience, and our career experts are always available to help you at firstname.lastname@example.org.