Build Job Search Skills

Polish your cover letter and resume


Networking is simply an information exchange between you and another person.  It involves establishing relationships with people who may help you advance your career in many ways.  Among the ways networks help is by providing “inside information” on what jobs may become available or trends in the field, names of others to contact about employment or informational interviews. Stay connected with classmates, supervisors, faculty, co-workers and other social service providers through social media.  If you are shy, networking may be more difficult for you but it is still important to do.  Practice in a smaller venue to build your skills for job fairs and conferences. Here are online UW resources about Networking  and Networking for Shy People and there are quarterly in-person UW workshops about this topic.

  • Check out University of Washington School of Social Work Alumni group on LinkedIn.
  • The UW Career Center’s Career Guide booklet contains a variety of resources to assess your strengths, plan informational interviews and create your job search tools (e.g., resume, cover letter, networking plan).  Tip:  Update your resume as you learn more about the specific type of job you want.
  • Review an online UW Interviewing Tips & Strategies workshop.
  • Get Networking advice for making the most of connections at job fairs, formal gatherings or conferences.
  • Use social media to find jobs and opportunities  using LinkedIn, facebook and Twitter.  Control your professional identity online and make contacts in the field.  Your online identity may help human resources professionals and recruiters to connect with you.  LinkedIn tips sheet.  How to open a Twitter Account. How to open a Facebook and open a LinkedIn account and create a good LinkedIn profile

Find Jobs

Sign up for the UW-SSW jobs listserv even if you are not currently looking for a job.  This will allow you to see what employers are requiring for qualified candidates and also, what desirable skills they may list.  These desirable skills, although not absolutely required to perform the job duties, may set you apart as the ideal candidate if you possess them. You may see your ideal job posted and this will allow you to plan to gain the skills needed to attain that position. 


  • In addition to attending quarterly job search skills workshops at the School of Social Work, you can review an online UW Interviewing Tips & Strategies Workshop. The Career Center offers mock interviews which can be videotaped to allow you to build skills.
  • You may gather career ideas through informational interviews with SSW Alumni to see how your interests may connect with a job field.  Sign in with your UW NetID and see which alumni have offered to meet with students to share information about their specialized area of social work.
  • MSW students should become familiar with licensure requirements for LICSW and LASW to plan for professional development.  You may want to ask a future employer whether supervision for licensure is offered on-site at their agency.  Addt’l info on NASW-Washington chapter website.

Salary Negotiation