January often encourages us to consider fresh starts, including looking for a new job. Whether this will be your first role in the sector or 50th, if you are considering a job as a care worker, a solid CV is vital to your success.
Create a strong personal statement
While CVs can be full of detail and important qualifications, they can be quite static as a format. Adding a personal statement is your chance to inject some personality and really sell yourself. “Often the best CVs are those which have a powerful opening statement, which is short and concise but explains what experience they have and what they might be looking for in a new role,” says Roop Bhumbra, a director at Hays Social Care.
“If you’ve not worked in care before, make sure you have an amazing summary explaining the reasons why you want to get into care,” advises Mark Jenkins, recruitment team leader at Anchor.
List all work experience and highlight your achievements
Due to regulations, all candidates working in the health and social care industry must provide a full employment history. Even if you were working in a cafe, travelling abroad or unemployed, all work – and all gaps to the day and the month – need to be accounted for.
When listing work experience, it’s important to state the type of support you were involved in: was it in mental health or dementia care, one-to-one home care or in a residential home? “This will help the recruiter know if people can hit the ground running or are used to working in a certain environment,” says Kim Corsinie, head of resourcing at care provider Dimensions.
Make your work history stand out by highlighting your achievements. Corsinie advises candidates to always show the outcome of their actions.
If you’re lacking in relevant work history, Jenkins says it’s worth outlining the reasons you want a career in care. “Include any voluntary work in the sector or if you’ve looked after a family member,” he says.
Flag up your education and training
If you haven’t got the skills, talk about how you’re interested in learning more and gaining experience
If you’re experienced in the care industry, include all the training qualifications and courses you’ve completed. “This helps the person shortlisting to see what you’ve done over and above the mandatory training,” says Corsinie. It is also worth including the date the qualifications are valid until, she says.
Employers will want to see that your mandatory training is up to date and that you hold the Care Certificate in particular as this is now very desirable, says Bhumbra. “If your area of expertise is working with children or young people, all employers and recruiters will be looking to see that you hold, or are working towards, a QCF [Qualifications and Credit Framework] level 3 for Children and Young People’s Workforce course, so be sure to detail this on your CV and job application.”
Many recruiters use software to sift through CVs, so it’s important to include keywords. Terms such as “care worker” and “support worker” tend to be the most effective, say recruiters. However, if the ad is more specific – for example, if the employer is looking for a care worker in the dementia field – include the fact that you’ve supported people with dementia.
“If you haven’t got these skills, talk about how you’re interested in learning more and gaining experience,” says Corsinie.
Spice up your CV with active words
Active words leave a stronger impression on potential employers. “Using phrases like ‘was involved in’ and ‘assisted’ implies that you were more of a bystander than an instigator,” says Bhumbra. “Use strong action verbs such as ‘crafted’, ‘maximised’ and ‘improved’. Take credit where credit is due – it should always be ‘I’ and not ‘we’.”
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Corsinie believes you can impress your future employer by looking at their values – often found on their website – and explaining how you can demonstrate them. “For example, our values include ambition, courage and integrity,” Corsinie says. “If you can say you’re ambitious and that you achieved a good outcome with somebody or developed a support plan for someone, then that shows you’d fit into our company.”
Consider adding hobbies
This is not always necessary, but if you lack experience or have a hobby that’s relevant to the role, include it. Corsinie believes including hobbies can help match candidates with the person who needs care. “If you have a shared activity, make sure you put it in the CV or covering letter – or suggest that you’re willing to take on different activities. It’s about personalising your CV,” she says.
Triple check for spelling and grammatical mistakes
Spelling or grammatical errors can hamper your chances of landing a job. Always run a spellcheck and make sure it’s UK English not American English. Then ask an eagle-eyed friend to read your CV. CVs also need to be factually correct. “Ensure that your CV is up to date with your experience, training and that your employment dates are accurate,” says Bhumbra.
Perfect your style
Most recruiters prefer two-page CVs. “Also make sure that it is as clean and as well laid out as possible, using white space to make it easier for the employer to read,” advises Bhumbra. “It’s also recommended to use professional fonts such as Arial 10pt.”
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Example Healthcare Personal Statement
I believe that health and well being play a vital role in people’s lives, therefore I have always admired people that work in the health industry. Growing up as the child of a nurse, I truly have a high regard for the people that help make a difference in the lives of others. I am also very much a people person and my desire is to work in a role that allows me to interact with people and help them with their well being. The thought of this excites me greatly as I long to make a positive impact on other people’s lives and believe that I will gain great job satisfaction from this.
Having previously studied fashion, I ultimately didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t what I had expected. I have taken the time out to decide on my new career plan and have come to realize that my passion lies in helping others. I am now dedicated to gaining the knowledge to be able to do this. I now know that I want a career in a field that is health related. I believe that if I am successful on this course I can use my knowledge to help others and will gain immense satisfaction from giving something back to the community.
I have been working in Zara for the past year as a Sales Assistant. Through working in retail I have gained confidence, which is important in everyday life. I have also honed my organisational, teamwork, customer service and communication skills. I believe that these skills will help me in my career in health sector through enabling me to create strong relationships with patients and colleagues and allowing me to organise my workload effectively.
During my spare time I enjoy socializing with my friends, eating out at restaurants and going to the cinema. Going out with friends allows me an opportunity to make new friends and meet new people. As a very sociable person I would relish the chance to utilise these skills in a professional context. As you might imagine, I am also concerned about my own health and fitness, therefore I enjoy dancing as I find a very enjoyable way to keep fit.
I am really looking forward to the challenge of university. I am applying as a mature student, partly as I want to improve my job prospects, but also due to having taken the time to reconsider my previous academic decisions. My choice of degree and university has been researched thoroughly and my knowledge of what the course entails means that I am confident that this is the right course for me. I believe I will achieve my ambition of becoming qualified in the health industry. I am fully committed to all the challenges ahead. I hope with my positive attitude and determination I can reflect this in my study and, ultimately, in my career within the field.
We hope that this example Healthcare Personal Statement provides you with some inspiration to help you write your own personal statement.