Work experience counts!
If you've completed a social work degree you will have had to have some work experience before being accepted onto the course. You may not think that work experience counts for anything, but it really is a great way to gain a thorough understanding of the field of social work. Relevant experience could include volunteering at a youth group or food bank, helping out at a local special needs school or doing a stint for a telephone advice service such as Crisis or Childline. Do bring this experience up in interviews and on your application form and try if you can to link it into answers. If you are asked the question, "how did you solve a problem in a social care setting?", for instance, you may not have had a formal job but you can certainly talk about how you resolved an issue when you were volunteering. For more details about the importance of relevant work experience, have a look at this Target Jobs article:
Formal qualifications not always necessary.
To work as a social worker in the UK you will need to complete a degree in the subject, however there are many social care jobs for which formal qualifications are not necessarily required. Working as a social worker assistant, for instance, is a job where employers will look more closely at experience than how many exams you passed. You will need to be adaptable and practical, as well as have empathy and plenty of understanding. Supporting the professional team, working as a social worker assistant is a rewarding job where your personality can shine through. The National Careers Service has more details on their website.
Working as a care assistant is another job where you can make a real difference to people's lives without having formal qualifications. Your work could range from helping the elderly to dress and wash to supporting a child with physical difficulties at school. A friendly manner and a great deal of understanding is required. For more details, click on the National Careers Service care assistant page here.
|Photo creidt: National careers service|