Social Worker Job Search Tips

A social worker job search requires some patience, but it also requires a good knowledge of your sector, to be effective. The social work job market and career environments are quite unique in terms of job hunting. In social work job hunting your current work is a qualification in itself. The degrees of experience and practical specialization in particular fields tend to drive the job search as much as your qualifications.

Social Worker Job Search Online

Fortunately, social worker jobs are well represented on professional and sector job sites, as well as the big job boards. The professional sites may be specialist or general sites, and you can find work like basic “social worker” jobs, counselors, etc. easily on the big job boards.

That said, finding jobs in your own area can still be tricky and time consuming. Social worker jobs tend to become more advanced and specialized as your career progresses, so you need to search for jobs which are at your level, and on your career path.

Demographics and social worker job searches

The demographics of the society have a major impact on social worker job hunting. There were over 640,000 social worker jobs in the US in 2008. That gives some idea of the range and diversity of the work. The majority of social worker jobs are in the major urban areas. That means that your job search has to factor in a competitive job market and a range of options related to the job market. Realistically, in a sector where job vacancies are relatively few and staff turnover is slow, you need to consider multiple job opportunities.

For example, if you’re a specialist in drug rehabilitation, you may also need to check out related fields when job hunting, like counseling jobs. You would also be familiar with other types of work like case management in this field.

The most straightforward search method in this situation is to use your strongest skills as search terms. This allows you to focus on specific social worker job types, and relates directly to your own area of expertise. Be patient with this approach, because it will find the types of job you need.

Other Social Worker Job Search Options

There are some other possibilities created by the nature of the social work environment:


Social worker jobs form such a large part of the employment market that specialist recruiters are available in some areas.

Many large non-profit organizations have very good hiring programs and can also help with advice about recruitment in their areas of social work.

Cold canvassing

Those with experience in social worker jobs will recognize that cold canvassing of employers is a realistic job hunting option, which may well result in your getting work helping manage the caseloads. It’s also a good way of getting in contact with prospective local and regional employers. 

Counselors and case managers have practical job options across a range of types of social work. These jobs usually require people who can hit the ground running, and relieve the pressure.

Social field worker jobs are also frequently under staffed, and experienced people are often desperately needed, and very much appreciated. You’ve got a good chance of being put on a “call back list” and called back soon.