• 22 February 2021
  • 14 min read

How To Get A Support Worker Job

  • Ese Kanayo
    Project / Support Worker
    • Mat Martin
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Richard Gill
  • 0
  • 696
Play video: "The people that succeed are the people who are not afraid to sell themselves you really have to sell yourself"

Support Worker, Ese, explains how to successfully apply for a job as a Support Worker. She uses her own experience to explain tips for CV Writing and succeed at Support Worker Interviews.

Topics Covered In This Article


Bank Support Worker Jobs Can Help You Gain Experience

Locum Work Is Great For Networking

Consider Working For A Charity

CV Tips For Support Workers Applying For Jobs

Explain Your Roles And Add Detail To Your CV

Include Buzzwords In Your CV

Look For Jobs Where You Can Win Promotion Internally

Support Worker Interview Tips

What To Mention In Your Interview

Words To Use To Describe Yourself During A Support Worker Interview


Today's video is going to be about a specific Healthcare related job. How to get a Support Worker job.

I am a Support Worker for a homeless charity.

In today's video, I will be covering first of all, pre-graduation advice I would give for somebody who is trying to build their CV to apply for a Support Worker job in a few years from now, or a few months from now.

And finally, I will be going through interview tips that genuinely helped me to land the job that I have today.

If you have been searching high and low, near and far you have finally arrived at your destination.

What Do Support Workers Get Paid?

What Do Support Workers Get Paid In The UK In 2021?

Support Worker Pay

The reason I call this pre-graduation advice is because a lot of you guys may be in the middle of your degree when you're watching this video.

But of course, if you are post-uni or you haven't gone to uni and you are just looking for a Support Worker video that's going to help you get the job this advice should be of help to you as well.

Bank Support Worker Jobs Can Help You Gain Experience

My number one piece of advice to actually find things to put on your application that can help you move forward with finding Support Worker jobs is to start off in a Bank Support Worker position.

Basically for a whole year before I started searching for Support Worker jobs full-time and part-time. Banks position is a zero hour contracts usually you're not expected to come in for set days within a week. It's very flexible if you are a full-time student or even a part-time student.

Is very flexible if you're currently doing another non-Support Worker related kind of role.

The reason I would advise somebody to scout for these types of jobs first is because they are easier to get than fully fledged full-time or part-time Support Worker jobs.

And for that reason, even if you've never worked in that kind of environment before you may have a lot of transferable skills from previous places of employment or volunteering activities that you have done.

If you would like to know how much Support Workers get paid we've written an article about that here.

If you're at university or doing anything in general, where you have enough time and you can afford to do so I would recommend volunteering with a client group that will be similar to the type of client group you would want to be a Support Worker for.

This isn't the be-all end-all like for me, I was a Support Worker for young people in a bank position, so that is like it was typically those aged 16 to 21.

And the job I'm doing now is still working with a different client group the youngest is in their late twenties.

It is an adult population and their needs are more specific to substance use than anything.

So, I did not actually have specific experience with a client group I'm working with before I landed my job.

It's not the be-all end-all if you don't get experience related to that but it can be helpful.

Locum Work Is Great For Networking

Another reason I really want to advocate for trying to scale out locum roles, things like that is because, it will give you a great opportunity to network.

So you'll probably be covering a shift with another permanent member of staff that is literally doing the job that you want to do.

It will be a great opportunity for you to ask them specific questions.

• How do you manage a caseload?

• How do you risk assess a client?

• How do you document this on your systems?

• How does it work?

• What type of paperwork do you have to do with over three months, or over a month, or within a week?

• What type of external professionals do you liaise with?

• And how do you typically do that with your specific clients?

• Asking them specific questions like that is what you can use to figure out what aspect of your CV you want to highlight when you're applying for Support Worker jobs to show that, "I know how this system works "and this is how my CV is tailored to your system."

It's gonna be quite difficult to get to grips with the systems that Support Workers work in if you're not asking them specific questions or not able to ask them specific questions so bank positions maybe an excellent avenue for that.

Consider Working For A Charity

I'm also quickly going to talk about where you can find these bank positions.

I'm just gonna off the top of my head list some homeless charities where they offer Bank Support Worker roles:

• Evolve

• Single Homeless Project

• Centrepoint

• St Mungo's

• Housing First

Don't just type in the word, 'Support Worker.' You might wanna also type in the word, 'Project Worker.'

My official job title is actually not Support Worker even though I do the same things that a Support Worker would do.

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Do you have any questions for Ese?

Ask Ese questions below

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And that's just because different organizations call the same roles different things it's nothing deeper than that.

CV Tips For Support Workers Applying For Jobs

Moving swiftly on to CV tips.

Honestly, if you have something more relevant to the role you might wanna put that at the top of your CV.

So under the Personal Description section next section is, Work Experience. You might not want to go in chronological order you might wanna say, "Okay, my most relevant experience is."

And then work your way down to the least relevant type of work of volunteering experience you've had. But there are different ways to structure a CV and it doesn't always have to be in chronological order from which job you've done most recently.

You might want to use the CV Builder here on Nurses.co.uk. Just Join Nurses.co.uk and you can get started on that in your own time.

It is important to still put a timescale and let the employer or potential employer know how long you've done different roles.

I still kept mine in chronological order just because my most recent form of employment was the most relevant experience as well.

So it's really up to you.

Explain Your Roles And Add Detail To Your CV

Whenever you want to explain a certain type of role that you have done don't just list down activities that you've done.

So, an example could be saying that you have helped children do their GCSE homework as a tutor, for young children with disabilities.

Specify what it is about the activity that had a positive impact on the people that you were working with.

Over 70% of my tutees obtained grade B or above in their maths GCSEs when I helped them with their GCSE homework.

That is something that would let the employer know that not only have you done various things but it's made some kind of impact.

Include Buzzwords In Your CV

Of course you want to keep it brief you don't wanna have eight bullet points for one job you really wanna focus on the specific tasks in that job that may be most relevant for your potential employer.

The people that are viewing your CV at the end of the day, they're human beings.

What they're looking for are people who have the skills that they want.

So the best way to make sure that you get shortlisted or to improve your chances of getting shortlisted is to include the buzzwords.

Look For Jobs Where You Can Win Promotion Internally

My final tip, before we go onto interview advice is if you are in the phase of looking for jobs you haven't landed interviews yet I will recommend looking for Support Worker jobs where the type of career progression they offer within their organization, within that company is something that's good for an aspiring psychologist or whatever job you want to move on into, afterwards.

Because what I find is that a lot of the time, I'm not sure how good or how bad this is but a lot of the time it can be easier for you to move up from your position when you're moving up within your organization rather than when you're applying externally to another organization.

So what I mean by this is some Support Worker roles out there are available. And within that organization, there may be other roles where once you've become a good Senior Support Worker you can move on to other roles.

Maybe they're AP roles within the same organization it may be a lot easier for you to make that move rather than applying for AP roles to another non-NHS organization or even within the NHS.

So, that's something to bear in mind that's something I wasn't really actively thinking about when I looked for my jobs. And if I was to do it all over again I would definitely prioritize looking for Support Worker jobs with that opportunity to move on to an even more psychologically related role.

Support Worker Interview Tips

Finally, interview tips and advice.

So, when I was looking for Support Worker jobs I actually already had a friend who had a Support Worker job.

And one of the best advice that she gave me was to make sure you know the company's values.

Now this isn't because the company is going ask you: "What are all eight and a half of our values in chronological order, please?"

They're not gonna necessarily do that... they might do!

I don't know these people that are interviewing they like to plot twist left, right and center.

But, it's because even if they don't ask you that question what's really going to make you stand out compared to other candidates is when they ask you a question "Okay, what relevant work experience do you have for this role?" You can tailor your answer to the values that the company has.

If you can tie in 'Relevant Work Experience' so maybe you wanna be a Support Worker for teenagers okay, here's the time that I was working with a young population and I did a fun, engaging activity with them this proves that I've got good people skills, I'm engaging.

What To Mention In Your Interview

I'm also now gonna go through the types of work experience throughout your other roles that you might want to specify in your job interview because these are Support Worker job description criteria.

Different types of skills that they might expect from someone they will hire as a Support Worker.

So the first one is...

• Managing caseload

Can you think of a time you've ever managed a caseload of clients? Maybe at university you were a welfare officer for one of your societies. Your caseload would have been all the people in the society that needed welfare check.

• Health and safety

Can you think of a time where you have been involved in managing health and safety regulations at an organization you were working at? Maybe you've done a building health and safety check as a locum Support Worker.

• Risk management

And this is a big one. This is a big fat juicy one, okay? Risk assessing people. So can you think of a time where you have had to assess someone's risk basically? A time where you have had to be involved in crisis management. Specific, like niche knowledge and understanding of the client group related to this specific job. You know any background information about types of challenges that may arise in ex-offenders or people who have experienced different types of abuse.

• Using IT

One thing that can really set you apart and proving that you are very good at the IT element of this role is if you've had that locum position, that bank position you've asked someone "Okay, so how would I record an incident on your system? "What is your system code? "How do you use it?" And then, you go to that interview for that same company, another day and you say, "I'm actually familiar with using INFORMS to do various things like, incident reporting." How to write up a risk assessment. How to do a support and safety plan. Things like that.

• Written and verbal communication

So this one should be fairly easy for a lot of people that's a very transferable skill from any sector that you're coming from. Don't be afraid to use your undergraduate university experience, if you've got that to talk about your written and verbal communication that's totally valid.

• Budgeting

Budgeting is another one. So maybe you're gonna be working with clients who need support with managing their finances, and so on. Has there ever been a time where you have done some kind of budgeting role within a society at university? Have you been a treasurer at society? That would be very relevant, good experience to talk about.

• Don't be humble

Finally, but not leastly. This is something that you may find you need to remember not just during the interview but also when you're writing your cover letter. Don't be humble, okay?

This is not the time in your life to be humble. Being humble will not help you, will not get you points. The people that succeed are the people who are not afraid to sell themselves you really have to sell yourself. And specifically, you're selling yourself through the type of language you use.

Words To Use To Describe Yourself During A Support Worker Interview

So I'm gonna talk about some words that we might commonly use to describe ourselves because we're so humble.

You might say things like, "I'm good at" "I'm all right in" "I'm okay with" "I'm fairly decent with"

So there's certain words that you just want to banish those might be those words, depending on the context.

Other words you might wanna consider:

• Excellent

• Sufficient

• Highly skilled

• Exceptional

It sounds like "How can I call myself exceptional at something"?

Or "highly skilled"?

Actually think about it. If you've done something for three years throughout your undergrad degree why would you not be highly skilled?

Let's actually challenge these thoughts.

Why would you not be highly skilled? You ARE highly skilled.

And I think, sometimes we're so humble and we're trained through culture to be so humbled that we don't say things as it is.

You wanna sell yourself and use language to show confidence in your abilities and your skills.

And, isn't just about knowing everything but being assertive to also ask for help and advise. "Hey, I don't know this." "Can you help me with X, Y, and Z?"

They're looking for that kind of person.

So, that's everything that I have to share about today's video.

Of course, if you've got any other questions or suggestions as a Support Worker yourself that you want to leave in the comments section below feel free to.

If you liked today's video don't forget to give it a thumbs up.

About the author

  • Ese Kanayo
    Project / Support Worker

I have been a full- time Support Worker since September 2020. Prior, I was in a bank Support Worker position across multiple charities that support homeless young people across London. Outside of work, I study a part time Master's degree at Kings College London. This course is about early interventions for psychosis. I hope to soon put some of what I have learnt in the course to practice through a clinical placement.

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  • Ese Kanayo
    Project / Support Worker

About the author

  • Ese Kanayo
    Project / Support Worker

I have been a full- time Support Worker since September 2020. Prior, I was in a bank Support Worker position across multiple charities that support homeless young people across London. Outside of work, I study a part time Master's degree at Kings College London. This course is about early interventions for psychosis. I hope to soon put some of what I have learnt in the course to practice through a clinical placement.

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