You love helping people and working with different personalities, which is why you’re working in the human services field.
The industry is huge because there are so many underserved communities, and thousands of applicants looking for jobs. So, if you’re ready for a new position, the first thing to do is get your resume in order.
This article (see our full resume sample down below) will help you craft a unique resume that will attract the attention of recruiters.
Resume objective for human services
Job opportunities for human services positions are varied, but many human services agencies are managed by state or local government, or run by non-profit organizations.
Many are part of the broader social assistance industries that help people in need find jobs, get healthy meals, learn new skills, and find shelter and housing.
Legal and victims assistance organizations (including the Federal Government) help people who have been the victims of crime and help rehabilitate those who are convicted criminals. Multipurpose human service organizations work with the aged, adoption agencies, and homeless shelters.
The varied nature of employers means that no one resume sample is going to cater to the multitude of possible jobs.
The Federal Government has its own Federal Resume Guide that should be used when applying for any federal position, including human services.
Like many other employers and agencies, they state that an objective statement at the beginning of a resume is optional. They also say a federal resume should not exceed two pages.
If you include it, an objective should specify what position you want, what value you can bring to the position, and how you will be able to achieve the job description.
Victim Assistance Program Manager with thorough knowledge of the Office of Justice Services Bureau of Indian Affairs legislation and policies. Ready to tackle tough problems and develop positive training programs and set new goals for victims of crimes.
Resume skills for human services
Human service workers are trained to work in a diverse environment using a core set of skills that can be applied anywhere.
According to the Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA), a non-profit healthcare educational institution, human services workers commonly feel that their work is important and meaningful, but warn that it can be overwhelming at times.
Because most workers in the human services industry work directly with people, the most important skills include communication and interpersonal relationships.
Having strong interpersonal skills helps human services workers communicate effectively when they talk about sensitive issues like drug and alcohol abuse, health issues, and poverty.
Compassion is important because they help people work – and live – through difficult times and stressful situations. Similarly, it is essential to have problem-solving skills.
Teamwork and collaboration are also important because other professionals are inevitably involved with cases.
In addition to working closely with people, there is inevitably a mountain of paperwork that has to be completed, which can be time-consuming. Also, because jobs are so intensely people-focused, there are often issues that arise after hours and at weekends.
This means time-management is important, and because of the paperwork, so too are organizational skills.
Compassion | Verbal and written communication | Interpersonal relationships | Time-management | Computer skills | MS Office Suite
Human services work experience
There are broadly two types of jobs in the field of human services. Those where you deal directly with clients, and those that involve giving administrative support to organizations that provide human services.
Job titles for human service workers who deal with clients vary from case workers and case managers to counselors, psychologists, and social workers, presuming they have those particular qualifications.
Administrative workers are commonly directors of some sort. They include development directors who supervise fundraising and sometimes supervise grant writers. Executive directors oversee the operation of human service organizations, and program directors design and implement human service programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, few human service workers do their job solely for an income. They enter the field because they want to help people in need and find solutions to community problems.
The Bureau collects data on the various occupations that are considered to be human services, including levels of employment.
Their stats released in May 2019 single out five industries within human services that provide the highest concentration of employment. The top is community food and housing, and emergency and other relief services.
Include any examples of human services jobs you have had, particularly those that are similar to the job you are applying for.
Sample Work Experience
City and County of Denver, CO
Social Case Worker – Human Services, 2018 – 2020
Provided services and advocacy to people of all ages while promoting family stability and respecting diversity. Overall, worked to create and strengthen connections to community resources.
- Committed to preventing abuse by providing substantial education, resources, and support to parents, families, and community organizations.
- Active on the intake team that investigates new allegations of abuse and neglect of children under the age of 18 years.
- Was co-opted to the Ongoing Child Protection team that provides services to children under 11 years.
- Testified in seven court cases involving child abuse and neglect.
State of Utah
Social Service Worker, 2016 – 2017
Assessed human service needs for children and young people. Recommended care or intervention, developed service plans, performed field investigations, compiled case histories, documented progress, and prepared various reports.
- Worked to keep children with their own families by assessing family needs, connecting them to relevant resources, and providing services to ensure they were safe.
- Investigated numerous abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases and determined what action should be taken.
- Instrumental in reuniting 27 children with their families after working with families to ensure they would be safe.
- Presided over hundreds of visits between children and their parents. Monitored behavior and reported concerns to the professional and clinical staff.
The State of Florida, FL
Human Services Worker, 2013 – 2015
Responsible for providing residential care. Assisted with enrichment activities and supported the treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, stabilization, and recovery of mentally ill people.
- Acted as a professional caregiver which included ward coverage and escorting residents to and from activities and appointments.
- Responsible for more than 30 people who were considered to be high risk and/or dangerous.
- Instrumental in substantially reducing the number of reports via the abuse hotline.
- Designed a program that succeeded in increasing the percentage of people agreeing to voluntarily attend psychiatric rehabilitation workshops and meaningful life activities.
Human services education
The qualifications required for jobs vary tremendously. Some human services jobs only require a high school or equivalent diploma, while an increasing number call for a degree in human services.
The subjects vary too and may include public and community health, family dynamics, social welfare, legal and ethical issues in human services, and human behavior in a social environment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms that educational requirements vary depending on the work performed.
In a comprehensive career outlook publication, Helping those in Need: Human service workers, the BLS states that many workers have post-secondary degrees.
These range from associate to master’s degrees, depending on the position.
Those with associate’s degrees often perform entry-level tasks that include interviewing clients and managing cases, as well as helping those in need connect with the resources they are looking for.
Bachelor’s degrees open up wider opportunities including the ability to provide clinical support.
The best human services jobs go to applicants with masters’ degrees. Their function commonly includes clinical work and counseling. They may be supervised by a professional counselor, social worker, or psychologist, or may be required to be licensed.
Monroe College, Bronx Campus, NY
Bachelor of Human Services, 2016 – 2019
University of Alaska Anchorage
Associate of Human Services (AAS), 2018 – 2019
Even if you’ve got a degree in human services you might want to learn more about the subject. If you do, there are several universities that offer free programs that include course materials, assignments, and lecture notes.
According to Study.com, institutions that include free online human services courses include the University of Massachusetts in Boston, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Open University, Tufts University, the University of Oregon, and The John Hopkins University.
Tufts has a program on promoting positive development among youth. John Hopkins has a program on cost-effectiveness analysis in healthcare, while the University of Oregon has a series of videos that focus on spirituality and human services.
The Open University has several courses on social work, while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a graduate-level free course that looks at housing and human service with a focus on the homeless, mentally ill, elderly, and both criminal and AIDS populations.
The University of Massachusetts has a course on substance abuse and the family, a vital element of human services. They also delve into collaborative consultation to show how some families may not be accessing service offered to them.
Many others provide courses for a fee.
There are also various continuing education programs that offer courses.
- Collaborative Consultation and Larger Systems
- Substance Abuse and the Family
- Housing and Human Services
- An Introduction to Social Work
- Social Work Learning Practice
- Promoting Positive Development Among Youth
- Spirituality and Human Services
- Understanding Cost-effectiveness Analysis in Health Care
The National Organization for Human Services (NOHS) offers certification for human service workers in collaboration with the Council for Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE) and the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE).
Considered to be premier certification in the field, the Human Services Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP) certification requires a practice-based exam that strengthens the visibility and credibility of human services careers.
Introduced in 2016, you need an accredited or state-approved degree at an associate’s level or above.
The certification is valid for five years and during this time certified human service workers need to clock at least 60 hours of continuing education.
Complete human services resume sample
We scanned through scores of human services job opportunities to find one that we could use to show you how to write a tailored resume for your chosen job. We chose one that was offered by the White City, Oregon Department of Human Services.
We loved the fact that the Department encourages applicants to make the best of their resumes. In fact, the advice given here is valid for all applications for all jobs!
The skills and requirements for this job are clearly specified. While they want two years of experience, if you’ve got an associate’s degree that took two years to complete, that’s also good. But either way, you will need the skills and abilities that are specified in the job posting.
Of course, if you have a higher qualification and/or more experience, you would be more likely to get the job.
Human Services Worker
Committed human services worker with seven years of varied experience in the field. Strong personality. Calm demeanor. Able to cope with anger and frustration. Strong and fit. Willing to do office work and go the extra mile.
Independent and able | Verbal and written communication | Good team player | Time-management | Compassionate and caring | Proven interviewing techniques | Valid OR driver’s license | MS Office
Oregon Youth Authority, OR
Group Life Coordinator, 2019 – 2020
Worked at the Camp Tillamook Youth Transitional Program helping them work towards placement in the community. Instrumental in ensuring youth continued treatment, attended school, and built their vocational skills.
- Worked with youth on community service projects, and supervised work crews and jobs in town to instill a work ethic.
- Administered medication to youth under the indirect supervision of medical staff.
- Prepared ongoing Youth Incident Reports after constant observation and evaluation of the young people involved in the program.
- Was forced to intervene on numerous occasions both verbally and physically. But during my two years in the job, we reduced these incidents by 50%.
Catholic Charities, OR
Human Services Senior & After-School Program, 2017 – 2019
Worked with older adults, including those with disabilities, and young people aged 5-18 years. Assisted with programs and services for youth and adult socialization activities, case management, and health and wellness programs for the elderly.
- Served as a backup driver for both programs.
- Assisted with meal reservation ordering and delivered meal services.
- Conducted home visits as required.
- Provided mentoring and served as a role model to youth enrolled in the program.
Hospital Services Worker, 2016 – 2017
Traveled between customer healthcare facilities proactively monitoring, collecting, and exchanging waste containers for the company. Interacted professionally with customer staff, ensuring service expectations were met or exceeded.
- Demonstrated strong communication skills and tact when providing customer service.
- Worked independently with very little supervision.
- Took responsibility for spreadsheets and the tracking of reports from other hospital services workers.
- Established a rigid collection and service schedule which is still in place.
Rogue Community College
Associate Degree in Human Services, 2014 – 2015
- Spirituality and Human Services online course
Human services is a vast and varied field that offers a wide range of different jobs. Before you start working on your resume, make sure that your skills, abilities, and experience match what is required.
Research what the employer’s mission is and make sure your own personal mission and goals suit the job. After all, human services jobs don’t follow a given path. They need passion and a special commitment to make them work.
- Education and qualification requirements are as varied as the jobs that go with them. Make sure that you can match yours to the job you are applying for.
- Your resume provides you with the opportunity to highlight your skills and experience and show employers or recruiters that you have a passion for the job. Use it wisely.
- Make sure you follow the instructions given in the job posting. Give them what they need and don’t waste precious space providing information that isn’t valid for the position you are applying for.
Tips from Experts
“A resume is as individual as the person creating it. The purpose of the resume is to pique the interest of the employer to call you in for an interview.“ – Linda M. Flynn, director, Career Services, College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University
“Try to keep your (human services) resume as short and simple as possible. Most of the time employers don’t have time to go through everything. It is really important not to make your career objective too long. Keep it to the point and really specific as well. This is where you introduce yourself and show what you specialize in.“ – Jasmine Ama, practicing social worker
“Human services are the foundation for well being. Just like constructing a house requires different materials, to construct wellbeing you have to have different materials. You have to have community support and resources. You need to have social interconnectedness and certain interventions. In New York, those materials for building wellbeing are provided by non-profit organizations.“ – Allison Sesso, executive director Human Services Council, New York
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are in the world of human services, you need to show in your job application that you have what it takes to add more value than the employers can even imagine.
The way to do this is to craft a unique resume that showcases you in a winning way. This is your opportunity to shine.