When writing your social work cover letter, focus on how you can help the hiring organization’s clients address and overcome life challenges. Also, emphasize your related skills like crisis intervention or program development. This guide will help you write a cover letter that gets you interviews for your next job as a social worker.

Social Work Cover Letter Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level
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How To Write a Social Work Cover Letter

A great social work cover letter usually has five sections, outlined below. When possible, connect each section back to your defining skills and the employer’s hiring needs. The following advice and examples show what to include in your cover letter so it’s optimized for each job application.

1. Heading

At the top of the page, include your resume contact header, the date, and any contact details you have for your recipient. To set a clear professional focus, add the title “Social Worker” to your contact header. (Note: Feel free to omit this section if you send your letter as an email message and your contact information is part of your signature.)


Malachi Barrett
Social Worker | [email protected] | (123) 456-7890 | 555 Home Ave., San Francisco, CA 90123

February 8, 2024

Katherine Skinner
Senior Hiring Manager
United Health Systems
(654) 321-0987
[email protected]

2. Salutation

Whenever you can, address your recipient by name – it’s the quickest way to signal you’re sending a job-specific letter and not a boilerplate. If you can’t find the recipient’s name, use a variation of “Dear Hiring Manager” so your greeting is still tailored somewhat to each job opening.


Dear Ms. Huang,

Dear Social Work Hiring Manager:

Dear RE Family Services Manager:

3. “Hook” or introduction

Catch the reader’s attention by starting your letter with a clear example of your success as a social worker. Choose a highlight that shows your dedication to helping people navigate life changes and problems. In the social work cover letter sample below, see how the applicant cites her high youth turnaround rate as a preview of the impact she’d make at the hiring organization.


As a lead case manager with increasing levels of responsibility, I continually maintain an agency record of youth turnaround rates through consistent client motivation. My commitment to building up youth from difficult circumstances drives my success in social work. I would love to bring that same passion to Crossway Center as a licensed senior social worker.

4. Body paragraph(s)

Use the main section of your letter to tell why you’re drawn to this social work job or employer. For example, maybe the role involves connecting parents to child care options and resources, a key focus of your past work. Or maybe the organization’s stated mission and values resonate with you.

Following this explanation, cite a few more of your main skills or achievements, possibly as bullet points.


United Health’s reputation for outstanding patient care and effective protection of vulnerable clients appeals to me as a professional and dedicated social worker. My extensive knowledge and warm communication style make me an ideal candidate. Examples of my recent achievements include:

  • Efficiently planned for high-risk patient discharges to reduce hospital readmittance by 24% in 2023
  • Acted promptly on feedback received during patient conferences to improve satisfaction ratings by 40% in three months
  • Received praise from senior colleagues four times in 2023 for correctly identifying and intervening in neglect cases

5. Call to action

Finally, request an interview for the social work position. Consider briefly restating your commitment to helping individuals address challenges in their lives. To end your cover letter, use a simple closing like “Sincerely” or “Best regards” and then your name.


I would like to explain further how my leadership experience can help the RE Family Services advocate team improve outcomes for even more vulnerable children and their families. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to arrange an interview.


Brent Larson

Social Work Cover Letter Tips

1. Highlight your defining strengths

As part of your letter’s body text, add a short list of bullet points to show your success in key work areas for your field, such as teamwork or program development.


In my 15-year career, I have demonstrated the qualities you are looking for in a senior social worker, including:

  • Collaboration: Over the past eight years, developed innovative youth programs with fellow case managers, resulting in 50 successful substance abuse treatment referrals
  • Effectiveness: Motivated 80% of potential high school dropouts to complete their diplomas during my current position
  • Leadership: Supervised 10 case managers for four years, earning Employee of the Month multiple times for exemplary service and work ethic

2. Show you can adapt to each person's circumstance

Social work often requires sensitivity to the unique complexities of a person’s life situation. Feature this skill on your cover letter if it reflects your career background and the social work jobs you’re pursuing.


My proudest career accomplishment was increasing health care plan adherence for clients on my caseload by 56% in 2023. My commitment to providing personalized health education and a sensitive approach to client care made this achievement possible. I am excited to offer the same excellent service to patients at United Health Systems.

3. Mention your other relevant traits

Desired qualities in social workers also include compassion, patience, organization, and resourcefulness. Consider which of these traits best describe you, then give an example or two of how you’ve shown them in a work setting.

Social Work Text-Only Cover Letter Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Brent Larson
Lead Family Services Advocate | [email protected] | (123) 345-6789 | 789 Address Rd., Billings, MT 78901

February 10, 2024

Chelsea Huang
Senior Hiring Manager
RE Family Services
(678) 901-2345
[email protected]

Dear Ms. Huang,

In 2020, I developed a risk assessment model that improved child neglect detection by 60% and was replicated across multiple counties. This work earned me a shortlisting for an NASW Social Worker of the Year award. I hope to use my excellent assessment skills to create supportive and effective family treatment plans to benefit RE Family Services’ clients.

I understand that RE Family Services is seeking an individual with extensive experience in parental education and the ability to lead teams of advocates to improve vulnerable children’s lives. My 9+ years’ experience and commitment to child welfare are perfectly aligned with your organization’s core values. My recent accomplishments include:

  • Successfully supporting numerous families to access benefits and housing assistance.
  • Designing and delivering a child safety education program for parents that reduced accidental injuries of vulnerable children by 65%.
  • Training three new advocates to support at-risk families with household budgeting and healthy meal planning.

I would like to explain further how my leadership experience can help the RE Family Services advocate team improve outcomes for even more vulnerable children and their families. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to arrange an interview.


Brent Larson

Social Work Cover Letter Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a cover letter for my job search?-

Yes, in most cases. Job postings today usually require or allow you to send a cover letter along with your resume. While not every hiring manager reads or prioritizes them, a well-crafted letter can only help you stand out from other applicants. It will also help you clarify what points to emphasize during the interview.

What’s the most important part of a cover letter? -

Any explanation you give for why the specific job opening or employer interests you. These details distinguish the cover letter from your resume and other application materials and can help you get past applicant tracking systems. They also set the stage for a good interview discussion about how you fit the role and the office’s work culture.

How can I make my cover letter introduction stand out?-

When possible, network. Start your letter by citing any connections you have with your recipient. If someone at the organization alerted you to the job, use a line like "I was excited to hear from your colleague [Name] about [organization]'s new social worker position." Or, if you've already met your recipient, mention that with a line like "It was great speaking with you at the [event] last month."

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