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Disability support workers play a vital role in the lives of people living with physical disability and mental health issues. Providing physical and emotional support, they enable people to live their lives in the most independent way possible. Doing so requires a unique combination of skills, experience, and training.
The first step in applying for a disability support worker job is to create a CV that highlights your strengths and accurately documents your qualifications, talents and experience. Our free disability support worker CV sample is an invaluable tool that gives you an insight into what information you should include and how to format your CV.
To make things easier, we’ve paired that with step-by-step guidance on each section of your disability support worker CV – along with a choice of CV templates and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from current and prospective disability support workers.
Here, you will learn how to write a CV for a disability support worker, including:
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Sample disability support worker CV
Disability support worker CV format
If you do your research, you’ll probably come across a few different CV formats for your disability support worker CV. Thankfully, it’s quite a simple choice in most cases. The reverse-chronological CV format is the most popular amongst UK recruiters, and typically suits the experience profile of most disability support workers.
As the name suggests, it works by listing your experience in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent role. The overall structure of the CV looks like this:
- Contact details – Name, address, email, phone number
- Personal statement – 3-4 sentences to introduce yourself
- Work history – Include 3-6 duties for each role
- Skills – A bullet-point list of your top competencies
- Education – Include anything that’s relevant to the role
- Additional sections, such as interests or achievements
Alternatively, a skills-based format is sometimes used by candidates without much experience to focus on. In this case, your skills section follows the personal statement, with each ability expanded on in more detail to shift the focus. However, this would only be suitable for entry-level disability support worker roles, where training is provided by the employer – given that most other jobs will require sufficient experience.
Adding contact details to your disability support worker CV
Contact details are one of the most important parts of your CV. Thankfully, they’re pretty simple to get right. To start with, place them at the top so they’re easy for recruiters to spot. Then, make sure you include:
- Name – You’d be surprised how often it’s forgotten!
- Address – Including your town or postcode for clarity
- Phone number – One that you actually use
- Email address – Ensure it’s work-appropriate
Example of contact section for disability support worker CV
23, Anyroad, Anytown
Start your disability support worker CV with a personal statement
Disability support workers vacancies attract lots of competition, so it’s important to start your CV on the right foot with a strong personal statement. Also known as a professional summary, this single paragraph aims to summarise your capabilities, personal qualities and background to a recruiter – with a view to making them read on.
Our advice here is to:
- Write in the third person to shift the focus from you to what you offer
- Keep it concise with 3-4 sentences
- Use plenty of positive adjective like “caring”, “patient”, and “reliable”.
- Mention job-specific competencies that fit the job description, such as “one-to-one support”.
- Highlight any specialisms you have, such as age groups or types of disability
Example of personal statement for disability support worker CV
An experienced and qualified disability support worker with excellent communication skills and a caring and patient personality. Reliable, well organised, punctual, a team player who is also able to work on own initiative. Supports clients to live as independently as possible by implementing effective programmes to help develop skills and abilities that allow them to participate in their local community. Comfortable working in one-to-one-situations with people of varying levels of disability and all ages. Seeking a role with a quality support provider where I can continue to help people reach their potential and lead fulfilled lives.
Adding experience section to your disability support worker CV
Experience is a crucial part of any disability support worker CV. When it comes to supporting people with disabilities, you can’t take any chances. Recruiters want someone who can hit the ground running – and your experience is how you show you’re up to the task.
Roles should be listed starting with the most recent, or your current job. For each job, you’ll need to include:
- The start and end date
- Job title, employer and location
- A brief list of duties
The best advice here is to make sure those duties don’t overlap and repeat one another. If you’ve covered financial assistance and life skills in one job, for instance, it’s better to focus on personal care and medication in another. This will provide a more well-rounded view of your experience and abilities for recruiters, which is important for a job with such diverse requirements.
Example of work experience for disability support worker CV
1/8/2012 -1/6/2013 Disability Support Worker – Private Home, Southampton
- Carrying out personal care duties including showering and bathing, dressing, toileting, assisting with mobility and providing feeding assistance.
- Providing assistance with medication, documentation, shopping and domestic duties as required.
1/7/2013 – 1/5/2014 Disability Support worker – DSW Care Ltd, Portsmouth
Providing personal and practical care for adults with learning disabilities who require extra support.
- Assisting with all personal care and mobility needs.
- Promoting the mental and physical activity of service users by supporting them in household tasks, hobbies, outings and holidays.
- Performing domestic duties including cleaning, laundry and preparation of meals.
1/8/2014/ – present Disability Support Worker – Spectrum Care, Salisbury
Supporting female and male adults with complex needs and challenging behaviours to develop independent living skills in accordance with their individual care plans.
- Teaching life skills..
- Organising outings and holidays.
- Communicating with care managers on behalf of clients.
- Assisting clients with money management.
Top skills for your disability support worker CV
Disability support worker duties and responsibilities are wide-ranging to say the least. Your CV skills will need to show that you’re up to the task. Here are some must-haves and desirables to include:
Essential skills for disability support workers
- Essential care skills
- First aid
- Physical assistance
- Behavioural support and crisis
- Quality of life enhancement
- Documentation and record keeping
Desirable aptitudes to set you apart
- Full UK driving licence
- Food hygiene certificate
- Respite care
- Physically fit
- Problem solving
- Good listening
Outlining education on a disability support worker CV
While experience is important, it’s much better with the strong foundations that education provides for disability support workers. Ideally, you should have a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. This is an essential requirement for most recruiters in the care sector.
That can be backed up by in-work training and – in some cases – this alone may suffice. However, it may see you put on a lower pay grade and, naturally, recruiters will lean towards candidates with the formal qualifications. You can also list your school qualifications like GCSEs to back up fundamentals like English and Maths.
When listing education or other qualifications, there are a few key things you’ll want to include:
- The school, college, university, or other training institution or awarding body
- The year the qualification was awarded
- The qualification level, such as BTEC or GCSE
- The subject or course title – not required for high school
Example education section for a disability support worker
Southampton College of Further Education, 2012
BTEC Level 3 Diploma
Health and Social Care
Southampton Secondary School, 2009
Do disability support workers need a cover letter?
As with most roles, disability support workers can benefit from pairing their CV with a cover letter. That said, it’s important to know how to write a cover letter and what to include for the best results.
Rather than simply repeating or rewording your CV, your cover letter should expand on specific competencies or experiences and how they make you the ideal fit for the job at hand.
If you’ve previously worked with elderly disabled clients and this role involves the same age group, for instance, you can spend a paragraph detailing how your experience has prepared you for the role.
Disability support worker CV tips
Highlight your specialismDisability support covers a wide range of needs and ability levels. As such, it’s important that your CV demonstrates which needs you can support. That could be age groups, ability levels or specific mental or physical disorders. If you don’t have one specific area of experience, you can mention that you’re “capable of supporting a range of disabilities and ages”, for example.
Tailor your CV to the type of support requiredThe requirements for supporting elderly patients with mental health disorders will vary greatly from those helping children with physical disabilities. As such, it’s important to tailor your CV to the disability support worker job description. Read through and pick out key criteria, then see how you can match up your own aptitudes and experience.
Showcase personal qualitiesDisability support isn’t just about competencies and experience. It also calls upon the right kind of person. You can show this in your CV by including personal qualities in your personal statement, such as “caring”, “dedicated”, “energetic”, and “self-motivated”.
Keep it concise and relevantWith so much to pack into a disability support worker CV, it can be easy to waffle and end up with a CV that runs onto several pages. Remember how busy recruiters are. Keep your CV to one or two pages using bullet points, short sentences, and by only including your last three jobs.
Your disability support worker CV questions answered
What should be on a CV for a disability support worker?
A disability support worker CV can include anything that shows your aptitude for the role and its requirements. In an ideal world, you’ll have specific experience as a carer or support worker – but you can also include other roles to demonstrate transferable skills like record keeping, problem solving, or communication.
What is the job description of a disability support worker?
While roles may vary, a general disability support worker job description includes:
- Supporting people living with disabilities in their day-to-day lives
- Assisting with personal hygiene and dressing
- Completing domestic tasks like food prep and cleaning
- Accompanying clients on days out, shopping trips, and hospital appointments.
- Offering companionship and emotional support
What is the most important role of a disability support worker?
Above all else, the most important role of a disability support worker is to provide support. Your role is to enable clients to live as independently as they can, by supporting them however required. That could be physical, emotional, or even educational support.
What makes a good disability worker?
A good disability worker will have:
- A strong foundation from their training, such as a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
- Experience working with the relevant disabilities and age groups for the job they’re applying to.
- The right personal qualities, including a caring nature, positive attitude, and self-motivation.
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Build your own disability support worker CV
You’ve seen our CV examples and read through all the best tips. Now it’s time to put it into practice. On our online builder, you’ll find a choice of pre-made CV templates with the right structure for your disability support worker CV. That’s paired with a selection of professional content tailored to your duties and competencies.