The Social Work Job Hunting Process

Posted by Amanda Rowan

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September 30, 2015 at 9:24 AM

 

What is the best way to find a job as a social worker? This can be a challenging process, especially for new grads that haven’t had much experience in the field. One of the issues in the field of social work is that there actually isn’t a great single resource for jobs, which is something most people find out pretty quickly. Although there are some general tools that can help you with your job search, you are really going to have to develop your own resource bank. This article will describe a few routes you can take to make some headway on your social work job search.

Traditional Resources

Starting off your job search may be easiest with some of the more conventional resources such as the career services department at your graduate school. Two of the main online job sources I would recommend are:

  • Socialservices.com
  • Idealist.org

These websites offer some general job postings in the industry and can serve as an asset during your search. Another thing to be aware of is that some agencies do post with the local major newspaper. You could do a search, for example in the L.A. Times, to see who is posting for social service jobs.

One of the things I found out pretty quickly in regard to job searching is that a lot of agencies don’t actually post on big public sites and they will choose to post internally instead. This can make things more challenging because instead of being able to look for jobs in a single place you have to search for the different places these companies are posting their jobs.

If you still have access to your book about the internship sites at your school then you can use that as a resource because those are all agencies that will hire social workers since they are obviously needed to supervise interns. You have the option of going through that list and making note of places that you would be interested in working for and then visit their website to view any posted job opportunities.

Using Your Network

The most important resources you will have during your job search are the people in your network as well as the people who have already been there. By reaching out to these individuals, you can find out where the best resources are.

When you reach out to people who are already established in the field they are going to know people at other agencies and will be able to find out more easily who is hiring and help you get on the inside track. Talking with your peers and staying connected with them will help you find out if they have already gotten jobs and where they’ve been hired. It really is true in any job, even in social work; it’s really who you know and the contacts you have to get your foot in the door.

If there are particular agencies or interests that you have you can also look them up and contact them directly. When you do this let them know that you have a professional interest in this area and list any experience you have and express that you would love to be part of their team if they are hiring at any point in the future. Even if they are not currently hiring you may have the opportunity to do some volunteer work, which will at the very least give you some valuable experience and possibly lead to employment potential in the future. All these efforts will function to support your career goals and will hopefully pay off down the road.