Palliative Care Social Worker Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Palliative Care Social Worker resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Palliative care social workers are part of a growing field that focuses on the needs of people living with serious illness. And while their job description may vary depending on their setting and scope of responsibilities, social workers in this field share a common goal: to help people manage their physical pain, emotional distress, and spiritual concerns.

If you’re interested in working in palliative care but don’t know where to start with your resume writing, here are some tips and an example for reference.

James Smith
New York City, NY | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Dedicated palliative care social worker with over six years of experience in end-of-life care. Skilled in providing emotional and practical support to patients, families, and caregivers. Proven ability to navigate difficult conversations and manage crises.

Columbia University School of Social Work Jun '10
University of California, Santa Barbara Jun '06
B.A. in Psychology
Company A, Palliative Care Social Worker Jan '17 – Current
  • Provided social work services to patients and families in the Palliative Care Unit, including assessment of psychosocial needs, education regarding disease trajectory, treatment options, prognosis, and end-of-life care planning.
  • Collaborated with interdisciplinary team members to provide comprehensive palliative care for patients and their families.
  • Assisted with patient/family teaching related to diagnosis and treatment plans as well as other issues that may arise during hospitalization such as financial concerns or family conflicts.
  • Participated in quality improvement activities within the department and participated on cross-functional teams when needed (e.g., Quality Improvement).
  • Maintained current knowledge of community resources available to support patients and families facing life challenges by attending educational programs both internally at the Hospital and externally through professional organizations such as The Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (HPNNA)
Company B, Palliative Care Social Worker Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Collaborated with hospice team to ensure that patient’s needs were met and their quality of life was maintained
  • Assessed patients’ psychosocial needs, including financial concerns, family issues, and end-of-life care planning
  • Developed individualized plans for each patient based on their unique circumstances and goals
  • Provided emotional support to patients and families during the dying process
  • Managed a caseload of ~30 palliative care patients in collaboration with two other social workers
Company C, Social Worker Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Conducted home visits to assess client needs and develop service plans.
  • Collaborated with community partners to connect clients with available resources.
  • Provided crisis intervention and emotional support to clients experiencing difficult life circumstances.
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker (CHP-SW)
  • Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement

Industry Knowledge: Hospice, Palliative Care, Hospice Philosophy, Death and Dying, Hospice Ethics
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, WordPress, Google Drive, Google Docs, Dropbox, Constant Contact, SurveyMonkey, MailChimp
Soft Skills: Communication, Leadership, Teamwork, Empathy, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Judgment, Self-Managing

How to Write a Palliative Care Social Worker Resume

Here’s how to write a resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

When you’re writing bullet points, it can be tempting to focus on the tasks you performed. But that’s not always the most effective approach.

Instead, you can use your bullet points to showcase your key responsibilities and the results of your work. So rather than saying you “provided counseling services to patients and families,” you could say you “provided counseling services to patients and families experiencing grief and loss, resulting in a 95% satisfaction rate among patients.”

The second bullet point paints a much clearer picture of the type of work you did and the results of your efforts. And it also provides a specific number to demonstrate how successful you were.

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you apply for a palliative care social worker role, your resume is likely to go through an applicant tracking system (ATS) that scans it for certain keywords. The ATS looks for keywords related to the position, like “end-of-life care” or “hospice care” in order to determine whether your experience is a match for the job. If you don’t have enough relevant keywords on your resume, the ATS might discard your application before a human ever sees it.

To make sure your application makes it past the ATS, use this list of palliative care social work keywords as a starting point:

  • Palliative Care
  • Hospice Care
  • End-of-Life Care
  • Mental Health
  • Social Work
  • Social Services
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychosocial
  • Case Management
  • Psychiatry
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Working with Adolescents
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Working with Children
  • Geriatric Care
  • Mediation
  • Group Therapy
  • Trauma Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Community Outreach
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer Management
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Social Work Research
  • Microsoft Access
  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Personal Injury Law

Showcase Your Technical Skills

Palliative care social workers need to be proficient in a number of software programs and systems in order to effectively do their jobs. These might include case management software, electronic health records (EHR) systems, and palliative care databases. Additionally, palliative care social workers need to be comfortable using technology to communicate with other members of the healthcare team, including doctors, nurses, and patients.


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