Jacaranda Tips provides a lot of information that will help you understand the social system in the UK; how to apply for jobs with us and what you can do to prepare.
There are tips about HCPC registration (was GSCC registration) or the relevant professional registration for Wales (Care Council for Wales) and Scotland (Scottish Social Services Council); information on "qualified" and "unqualified" jobs and some useful vocabulary and terminology.
Also, you will find information on planning your move to the UK and a wealth of suggested reading to prepare yourself for your new job.
- Social Work jobs in the UK
- How Jacaranda will help you to get a job
- UK Social Care Councils
- Overview of the social system
- Qualified or "unqualified" work
- Important things to know
- Writing a good CV
- Writing a good application form
- Useful reading
Reading Jacaranda Tips will give you a good understanding and hopefully answer a lot of your questions when considering to work in the UK in the social sector.
When writing your Curriculum Vitae there are some valuable points to keep in mind. Remember, the person reading your CV doesn’t know you, so you need to explain what you can do, what you want to do and what experience you have. They are also likely to be busy, so write concisely.
Please send us your CV in Word, not in pdf - this is because the formatting in pdf files gets reorganised in a very unhelpful way if we import pdf format files.
PLEASE DON'T WRITE MORE THAN 3 PAGES!
Pay special attention to the section on Work History. There are differences between the systems in the UK and your country and it is important to explain exactly what you have done. Start with the client group you worked with e.g. families or young people in care or homeless adults etc. Then say something about the basis of the work you did; was it an open or universal service? Was it a state intervention? Was it a privately owned service providing services to the state? etc
If you are able to give us a clear picture of your work experience, including internship or student placements and voluntary work, as well as paid employment, it will enable us to assess your suitability for jobs.
PLEASE DO NOT USE TABLES OR FRAMES IN YOUR CV - and please send it to us in Word, not in pdf.
For whom are you writing your CV?
The person reading your CV is usually busy and wants to understand quickly and easily what you have to offer and how that matches the requirements of the job.
What are the requirements of the job? If you have a Person Specification and a Job Description you should look at what is required and present your matching experience. This is very important.
If you are writing your CV with no special job in mind, write it with your own career goals in mind.
Don’t make assumptions about the things that you know well and others may not e.g. “Caritas” is well known to you, but it is not known in the UK, so a one-line explanation may be useful.
The order: In general be sure to put the most important items at the top of any lists, e.g. lists of responsibilities. What will be most relevant?
In any given section, make sure there are no gaps in dates – sometimes it is worth using a one-line description to explain why it looks as though there was a gap of 6 months between your jobs e.g. private travel, job seeking etc.
This is a very succinct description of yourself, your education, experience, career goals and other relevant information. Start with your qualification, then give an overview of the number of years' experience you have before and since you qualified. Be specific about the time you spent in each type of work i.e. the the clients and settings. Include any interesting additional training of substance e.g. systemic family therapy.
Here is an example:
A fully qualified Social Worker with 1 year pre-qualifying experience in a residential children's home; 5 years’ post-qualifying experience in statutory children and families services (state). A focus and interest in substance misuse and child protection. Currently studing systemic family therapy part-time. A desire to put skills and knowledge gained in Germany and USA to good use in the UK for a minimum period of 2 years. A team-player and able to work well individually. Full, clean driving licence.
Can you see how much information we have in a matter of seconds? Please do not copy this example, it is intended to give you ideas only.
This should include your address and contact details, including telephone numbers and email address. Please include your landline phone number and Skype address.
The British education system offers a degree of 3 years’ duration in Social Work. Included are 200 days of practical experience. How does your qualification compare? Did you have a specialist subject? It might be worth listing the core subjects you studied.
You can include practical placements, paid jobs and voluntary work in this section.
You should show the exact dates of your employment e.g. September 2002 – March 2004; the name of your employer and a brief description of what they do; your job title and a list of your responsibilities. It is easier on the eye if you write a list of responsibilities, rather than a paragraph. Let’s look at each of these points in a little more detail… this section is important.
Name and description of your employer: is this a state employer or private? If it is private, is it governed by legislation? Describe in no more than one line or sentence the function of the organization.
Job title: make it clear what your role was. State the capacity in which you worked e.g. practical placement or employed. How large was the team/who were you working with?
e.g. Social Worker (team of 11 Social Workers and Senior Practitioner)
Responsibilities: have you worked in accordance with laws and statutory requirements? Were you responsible for carrying out assessments and developing care plans? If you weren’t responsible, were you in contact with these processes? If so, mention it. If you are applying for a job in statutory Social Work in Children's Services, please be aware that experience in writing reports for court and giving evidence in court is highly valued experience here in the UK and should mention it explicitly, if you have it.
The lists should not be repetitive and should be a maximum of 7 - 9 points (this is a guide only). Please be concise!
In this section you can include e.g a full, clean driving licence, languages that you speak (this is NOT so important that you need to include it in your profile), any special skills such as playing an instrument etc. You could also include your interests in this section, or you can create a separate section for it. (Only do this if you have something interesting to say – almost everybody likes “meeting people” and “reading”).
Language: If your first language is not English, be aware that the person reading your CV find words in your language difficult and most likely won’t understand them at all. These words can form a barrier to overall understanding. Is this what you want…? Use as much English as you can. Leave out place names where they are not relevant, but do include the country. Even if you are quoting project titles, translate them and write the actual name, underneath, in smaller font. Make the experience of reading your CV an easy one, not complicated.
How long should it be?
In English there is an idiom: how long is a piece of string? It means that there is no definitive answer. There is not a rule for the length of a CV. It needs to say enough, but it also needs to be concise. Ideally it will be 2-3 pages.
Choose a font type and size and make sure that you are consistent in its use.
AGAIN, PLEASE DO NOT USE TABLES OR FRAMES IN YOUR CV and please send your CV to us in Word, not in pdf. Thank you!