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Social Work and Welfare

a guide to careers in social work, housing and community work


  • Have a clear idea of the positives and negatives of working in this sector
  • Look at the skills/attitudes you will need and match them to your experience
  • Try to build your experience and knowledge accordingly through volunteering, part-time work or work shadowing

Applications and Interviews

  • In the public sector, most applications will be competency based. Try to make headings covering each section of the person specification and show how you meet each one from your skills and experience
  • Keep your additional information section succinct and to the point

Skills a Social Worker Needs

Social workers need to:

  • be able to work under pressure
  • deal with very challenging behaviour
  • organise their own workload
  • be understanding of other people’s lifestyles
  • work with people from all walks of life
  • be happy visiting people where they live

You'll also need

  • organisation skills
  • empathy (able to see things from other points of view)
  • relationship-building skills
  • resilience
  • problem-solving skills
  • motivational skills

Taken from Health Careers - Social Worker

Skills Required

More national job profiles from NHS Employers:

Housing and Community Work Skills

  • Ability to build trusting, respectful relationships
  • Non-judgemental attitude, combined with tact and sensitivity
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Patience and resilience along with a calm, caring approach
  • Understsanding of different cultures and backgrounds
  • Good organisational skills
  • If you work with young people, an interest or skills in areas that may interest them, such as sports or the arts

Current Awareness

Being aware of news, developments and issues in the sector can help you at interviews. Here are some news sources to try: