Licensed Clinical Social Worker Cover Letter

by Valerie Arendt, MSW, MPP

    Should you submit a cover letter when one is not required? The answer is yes. Cover letters are essential to getting an interview. They are a concise way to communicate your value to an organization, and hiring managers do use them to winnow candidates. Your cover letter should tell the employer that you are the perfect match for the position. Do this by using the language from the job description and organizational mission. It is essential to tailor your cover letter to the specific job.    

     Here are some basics for writing an interview-winning cover letter:

  • Salutation: Find out who will be reading your letter. This is essential. If it is easy to find out who will be reviewing applications and you don’t take the time to do this, they probably won’t take the time to read your letter.
  • Name of Organization and Position Title: The organization may have multiple openings. Be sure to indicate which position you are applying for.
  • Referral Source: If someone in or close to the organization suggested you apply for this job, mention that person in the cover letter. This will let the reader know you have a connection to the organization and will score big points.
  • Why do you want to work for them? You need to describe to your reader how the organization’s mission and goals are a good fit for you professionally. This shows them you know about the organization and have done your homework.
  • What can you do for their clients/organization? Sell yourself. Let them know how your experience and education is a perfect match for the position and a good fit for the organization. This is where you use the keywords from the job description to really hit it home that you are a candidate worthy of an interview.

    Below is a real job description with keywords highlighted. If you have the experience they are looking for, you should invariably use the same language in your cover letter.

Title: Social Worker

Job Details: Responsible for completion of psychosocial assessment of patients and families enrolled in Hospice. Will work as part of a team to address end-of-life needs, some counseling and emphasis on case management. Able to access homes in Moore & Montgomery County service areas. Must be able to take call rotation. Strong organizational skills needed.

    After a strong introductory paragraph, the body of your cover letter should be concise and address the two to four most important details from the job description:

My experience and areas of expertise are an excellent match for the requirements stated in your announcement:'

  • Hospice Assessments: As a clinician with St. John’s Hospital, I prepared extensive psychosocial assessments and treatment plans for patients.
  • End-of-Life Care: I provided counseling and accurate case management to more than 1,000 patients and their families over 7 years as a member of the St. John’s Hospital end-of-life team.
  • Home Visits: I made regular home visits to hospice patients in Moore and Montgomery Counties and was responsible for two on-call shifts per month.

    Close by stating that your experience and passion make you a perfect fit for the employer. Include the best way for them to contact you for an interview.

An engaging cover letter is a great way to get an employer to read your resume. With the following tips and social worker cover letter example, you will have the tools to create a more polished cover letter yourself.

  • Do use your cover letter to tell an engaging story. If social work has been your life’s ambition, use events in your past to explain your experience and passion for this kind of work.
  • Do not focus on what you expect to get out of working for a company. Hiring managers care more about what you can do for them, not the other way around.
  • Do highlight rare experiences that have made you a great employee. One way to do this is to mention people you have met in your time as a social worker who have had an impact on you.
  • Do not forget to look over an employer’s website before sending in your resume. This gives you a chance to understand the company’s voice so you can mimic that in your cover letter.

Social Worker Advice

Want to make a major difference in the lives of people in need? Consider a career as a social worker. Social workers work with a variety of people every day help to help improve lives and solve problems. Being a social worker is as much a calling as a job, but you’ll still need an outstanding cover letter. The cover letter examples below can help put you on the path to the meaningful career you want. Use these cover letter examples as a guide to writing and formatting, and create your own cover letter with confidence!

Cover Letter Tips for Social Worker

Finding jobs as a Social Worker means keeping the right mindset and putting to use some effective job seeking skills. The tips below can help keep you on track during the job hunt.

1. Stay positive. Having a positive mindset can help you keep things in perspective and remember that your unemployment is only temporary. You might consider joining a support group and connecting with others in the same position.

2. Set goals for yourself. Setting goals that can be achieved on a weekly or daily basis will help maximize your productivity. For example, you might try sending out a certain number of cover letters per week.

3. Keep an open mind. Although you may have had your sights set on a particular field or industry, keeping an open mind will allow more opportunities to come your way.

4. Connect with your network. Reach out to personal and professional contacts who could offer insight into the job market. This advice will be useful and you never know where your next lead could come from.

5. Make a presence on social media. Make use of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help expand your network.

Social Worker Job Seeking Tips

When it comes to finding jobs as a Social Worker, remember that your cover letter will work as your calling card. Keep your cover letter in top shape by following the tips below.

1. Don’t exceed two pages. With the exception of academics and doctors who might use curricula vitae (CVs), there is no need to write over two pages.

2. Do use bullet points for listing items and align the text flush left. These formatting standards will immensely improve the organization of your writing.

3. Don’t rely on generic language. Avoid the overly used phrases such as “team player” and “detail oriented,” as they take away from the originality of your writing.

4. Do introduce your work history section with a “Summary of Skills” section. Doing so provides an overview of your professional qualifications.

5. Do list your work history section in the following suggested order: title of position, employer, city and state of employer, and employment dates.

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