Job Search Tips
Use the Career Education Center. You can makean appointment with a career counselor or use their drop-in hours in the first floor of the SOM building. Services include: resume review, job interview prep and career search strategies.
SSW is sponsoring several workshops over the semester on licensing, loan forgiveness, "Life after Graduation". Consult the blue brochure and the SSW Career website for more information.
Simmons Social Work Career Fair February 28 4-6pm brings together social work employers from across the region. Plan to attend to make contacts with future employers.
Network, network, network: Talk to supervisors, advisors, faculty, and agency colleagues about your career interests. Let them know you are job hunting and tell them about your areas of interest. Many of our students get their best job leads from supervisors and other agency colleagues.
Join LinkedIn: This is a great social networking site for professionals.
Start the licensing process in March. Contact ASWB at 1-800-527-2384 or www.aswb.org to request an application for the Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW). The initial application fee is $155. You can begin to complete the forms and collect references before you graduate.
Agency websites can also be fruitful. Almost all agencies have their own websites with job listings. Links to some of the major ones can be found here: Social Work Job Web Resources. Also, check websites for large employers: Mass. Dept. of Public Health (Google: Mass. Gov. Public Sector Jobs) and the Boston VA, US Air Force, Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Central/Western Massachusetts: There is a need for social workers in the central and western parts of the state. Your willingness to commute could open up new opportunities. Look into Worcester-based agencies such as YOU, Inc. and Seven Hills.
Fee for Service: If you can arrange for adequate and appropriate clinical supervision, consider a fee-for-service position. This can be a "foot in the door" approach to securing a salaried position at an agency. Also, you may be able to put together a package of a half-time salaried position with fee-for-service hours.
Per diem social work: While you are searching for a job consider doing per diem or temp social work. These positions sometimes lead to permanent placement and are always away of expanding your network and resume. One per diem agency is Social Work PRN.
Relocation: In some parts of the US there are still chronic shortages of social workers. Peruse national databases, including USAjobs, which lists VA and other government jobs state by state. Many other MSW schools also have job banks on their web pages which list jobs in other regions.
Remember, statistics are in your favor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a shortage of social workers particularly in the area of substance abuse and mental health. Also, Social work is one of the occupations most affected by baby boomer retirements.
The 2011 graduate employment survey results indicate that of those that responded to the survey almost 90% were employed in a social work position within three months of graduation—91% of the jobs were in full time positions.
Your experience at Simmons and the reputation of the Simmons MSW gives you a boost and a leg up for any clinical social work position. Remember when you are interviewing to emphasize your clinical training (2-3 day per week placements), many clinically oriented classes including assessment and diagnosis.