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Outreach workers spend most of their time in their community, often working with a specific population such as at-risk youth, or with specific clients who can benefit from receiving services and other forms of aid. Some outreach workers also reach out to clients and prospective clients with phone calls or e-mails. They must be fluent in relevant policies, procedures and regulations. When reviewing a resume, a prospective employer will likely weigh a candidate’s experience more than other factors.
Experience and Qualifications
Some employers require their outreach workers have at least one or two years of relevant experience. This experience demonstrates your ability to perform the job. It also tells a prospective employer that you know and are comfortable performing the duties expected of an outreach worker. Some employers want their outreach workers to already be familiar with the area they’ll be working in. The Manhattan-based Center for Urban Community Services, for example, expects its outreach workers have a basic knowledge of Manhattan and its public transportation system. A prospective employer may also want you to be able to be fluent in more than one language, such as in Spanish, especially if you will work with non-native English speakers or those who don’t speak English at all.
Prospective employers want to know that you at least have a high school diploma or GED. Having a bachelor’s degree, such as in human services or social work, can also help you succeed as an outreach worker. You may also want to include your GPA and list any relevant extracurricular activities, such as if you volunteered at a local social or health agency or at a hospital.
Certification, Licensure and Membership
Since you’ll spend much of your day on the road, a prospective employer may want you to have a valid driver’s license. You may also need to provide proof that you have car insurance. You could include this information to supplement information you provide about your education and experience. You should note any relevant certification you’ve earned. A prospective employer may also let you earn this certification after being hired. The Oregon-based Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, for example, requires its outreach workers to pass the in-person state certification exam within 30 days of hire. You should also list any professional memberships you have or organizations to which you belong.
To succeed as an outreach worker, you must have impeccable written and verbal communication skills. You should be able to work well on your own and with other people. You should also be able to evaluate any needs your clients or prospective clients have and succinctly explain the services that may be available to them. A prospective employer will want to know that you have a proven track record of doing this, and you can use your resume to highlight times in your work history when you’ve done so. You should tailor the skills section of your resume to the skills the prospective employer requires of its outreach workers. Having strong time-management and organization skills can come in handy.
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William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.
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