Have you been filled with fear at the thought of writing a social work, personal statement for a job interview?
You may be a newly qualified social worker and as you’ve probably never written anything like a personal statement for a social work job before, it can be scary!
But remember, nobody knows you better than you know yourself.
You now have the chance to show that you are the ‘one’ for the job.
Most often, employers may ask you to write a covering letter or a personal statement as part of your application.
It is important to refer to the person specification or job specification and craft your personal statement for your application to shine!
11 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Writing a Social Work Personal Statement
Here are my top 11 tips on how to write a social work, personal statement without fear!
1. Start with a killer opening
Starting with an attention-grabbing opening is crucial.
But don’t overthink this or go overboard.
Be succinct and draw your reader in.
For example, start with why you are interested in the course.
Make your sentences short and make your writing come naturally.
Do not waffle and make your statements relevant.
2. Prepare your social work, personal statement in advance
Start getting words out on a blank piece of paper as soon as possible.
Focus on the positives and think in detail.
Explain why you fit in and what you bring into the mix.
Do not write the personal statement the night before your submission.
It will be too rushed and you will surely have many grammatical errors/poor editing.
Make sure you spend time on it as it is an important document.
Go through questions you may be asked.
Ask a friend or family member to proofread it for you so you can present a high-quality document.
3. Know the parameters
You may be asked to use a specific font, spacing, or margins.
They may even have a word limit. Make sure you follow all the requirements.
This will also show to the recruitment team that you follow instructions.
So, follow all the basic instructions.
4. Don’t use the same personal statement more than once
You should tailor your personal statement to the social work role you are applying for.
Refer to the job description and person specification.
Explain how your experience and skills meet their requirements.
5. Explain why you are applying for the role
Show that you have thought about why you are applying for this social work role.
Tell them how you came across the role.
Did you attend a careers event or talk to someone?
6. Get excited
Be excited about what you are writing about and make it show on paper.
Tell them how incredibly excited about the role you are applying for – tip is to stay positive and to learn the social work job interview tips here.
7. Back your statement with facts
Get some evidence down and back up your statements with facts.
For example, “I have carried out a mental capacity assessment for a service user on finances, the outcome was that the individual lacked capacity”.
Following this, a best interests decision process was followed, “I have received training in strengths-based approaches such as the 3 conversations model when working with vulnerable adults”.
8. Back up your interest
Things that back up your interest in the role.
For example, have you read any social work books?
Have you volunteered for any organisation?
9. Skills that will help you cope with the role
Highlight skills you have that will help you cope with the role such as communication, attention to detail, organisation and being a good listener.
If you get stuck, ask a friend or family member to tell you about the qualities they see in you (that can be fun!).
In addition, these 13 essential social work skills will help you get unstuck.
Think about the following;
What makes you unique? What makes you think you stand out?
Example, don’t just say “I have enjoyed working as a volunteer”.
Say, I have enjoyed working as a volunteer for X organisation and I really liked the team work. It motivated us to complete over 20 referrals each day”.
Have an introduction–be authentic.
Chunky middle paragraph where you provide evidence to prove your interest in the social work role.
Also, sprinkle in some stuff about your skills and qualities to prove that you are actually an asset.
The end bit–this is where you add the personal touch.
Tell them you are unique and that you fit in and how!
- How to craft your social work personal statement
- Understand the social work role.
- Social work job interview tips you should know of
- 13 essential social work skills
11. What to avoid
Verbal diarrhoea–don’t waffle, make sure you are relevant.
Showing off–don’t be arrogant but certainly highlight your achievements.
Avoid flowery language – use plain English and avoid the use of jargons.
Don’t copy–when you are found out, it will look really bad.
To recap, you have got to show the panel you are the ‘one’ for the job.
Show how excited you are.
Be authentic, focused, and enthusiastic.
You will get it right in the end, and eventually you will have a great personal statement that tells them all about you.
Finally, and most importantly, examine your spelling and grammar and ask a friend or family member to proofread for you.
Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Writing a Social Work Personal Statement
- Start with a killer opening
- Prepare your social work, personal statement in advance
- Know the parameters
- Don’t use the same personal statement more than once
- Explain why you are applying for the role
- Get excited
- Back your statement with facts
- Back up your interest
- Skills that will help you cope with the role
- What to avoid