How To Get A Job in A Care Home

To be successful in a care home requires a mixture of valuable soft skills, hands-on training and qualifications. Our blog series provides all the essential information you’ll need to move into this caring sector. 


Essential Qualifications and Skills for Care Home Jobs

The qualities and qualifications needed in care vary from role to role. There’s no clear answer to which combination is needed, as many homes run their businesses differently. So, we’ve written focused articles on qualifications and the skills needed to work in care. Please read Skills You Need as a Care Worker and How to Get a Job in a Care Home with no Experience to learn more. 


Finding Care Home Job Opportunities

When looking for a new job the obvious place is recruitment websites. The Social Care People is a specialist recruiter; an organisation dedicated to finding brilliant opportunities in the care industry. The sister company, Not-For-Profit People, find the perfect roles for people who want to work in charity or the public sector. All the roles and clients this group of companies works with are exclusively in the not-for-profit and care sector, cutting down the time your job hunting takes.

Other ways to find opportunities are local job boards, the library, the local paper, The Job Centre and by going directly to care homes near you. Although visiting care homes can be time-consuming, it gets you in front of people and gives you a feel for a place. Call up some care homes near you and ask about a meeting with the manager, or where they advertise their jobs.  


Crafting an Effective CV and Cover Letter

There are a few things you can do to ensure your CV stands out:

  • Make sure it’s been proofread by someone else to avoid typos or mistakes. You don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons. 
  • Include skills that are relevant to care work. Areas like interpersonal skills, communication, problem-solving and time management are all worth mentioning. 
  • Consider any awards and achievements you’ve won and make note of what attributes helped you get there.
  • Highlight your qualifications, relevant experience, volunteer work, and certifications.

With a cover letter use a professional tone, but personalise it. Make sure you include your hobbies and interests and any work experience that makes you better qualified to work in a care home. Use the advertised job description as your guide and give examples of when you’ve utilised those relevant skills. The more effort you put into a cover letter the greater your chance of getting an interview. Keep it concise, no more than one side of A4.   

Claire Fry, Head of Sales at Ashberry Healthcare added, "Whilst working in a care environment can be demanding it can also be rewarding.  Experience is not always essential, first and foremost you need to care about people.  Care homes continually look for people who will make a difference and enhance the wellbeing of their residents.  To stand out from the crowd a covering letter to supplement a CV can sometimes be desirable. It can emphasise a person’s character as well as just listing their work experience." 



Preparing for a Care Home Job Interview

Interviewers are looking for people with personalities that will represent their home well. They want to hire teams that will instantly make the residents and their families feel safe and at ease. So displaying a positive personality in an interview is vital. Make sure their first impression of you is one of confidence and warmth. 

Plan what you’ll wear and how you’ll get to the interview in advance so that your interview preparation time is focused on forming your questions and answers. We’ve got lots of tips on what questions might come up and example answers in our Preparing for an Interview article. 


Understanding the Role and Responsibilities

The day-to-day responsibilities in a care home can include providing personal care (e.g. getting dressed, bathing, supporting oral hygiene), developing care plans, administering medication, encouraging stimulation through activities, and most of all companionship and emotional support.  

The importance of understanding the emotional and physical needs of residents is one of the most vital skills within a care setting. It is what will make a difference to a resident’s day and have them feeling seen and heard. Happy residents will result in a thriving business and more career opportunities.

To learn more about the full extent of roles within a care home you can read What Jobs Are There in a Care Home.


Volunteering and Gaining Experience

The value of volunteering in care homes, or related settings, allows a unique insight that can only be gained from being in the environment. A clear understanding of what the beating heart of the care home is needs lived experience. The personal benefit of volunteering lies in you knowing what it’s really like, confirming that it would be a good fit for you and your career. And for potential employers, you’re showing commitment and willingness.

Any employer will recognise the professional experience gained from volunteering and you can explain the skills that will have developed whilst in the setting. You’ll understand the pressures on the team and the routines, that can help impress the hiring team, improving your chances of getting a role above others.

It doesn’t have to be hugely time-consuming. It could just be the offer of an hour a week to support residents with a befriending service. Make sure you give this kind of work experience consideration when applying for jobs.


Starting Your Career in a Care Home

A few considerations when starting your new career:

  • Background checks – having a reference from a previous job or from a tutor will be expected. A DBS check will also be conducted to review any criminal record. 
  • Health screenings – working in a care home can require physical strength and some homes require a doctor’s letter to begin work.
  • Compliance requirements – The Care Quality Commission monitors and regulates the care sector to ensure minimum standards are maintained. They have put together detailed regulations, which care homes must comply with both regarding their staff and residents. It’s best to review their latest policies before you start work.
  • Laws and Legislation – It’s advised to be aware of The Social Care Act, which states all the laws and legislations around running a care home. It is a mammoth piece of work though, so we found a summary of the act.


What to expect in the first few months on the job

Starting a new job can be intimidating, but keep in mind everyone has been there, so embrace the initial challenges. Your team will want to support you on your journey to understanding systems, routines and individuals. Whilst you’re making this first impression on your colleagues keep offering to get involved and support them too. For successful career advancement, a good attitude will get you far. 

By keeping abreast of all the work that needs doing you’ll discover opportunities for training and continuous learning. Take care of everyone around you and they will reciprocate, leading to a brilliant career in the care sector.


Register with Social Care People today. 

As experts in the industry, Social Care People can find you your next position in care.

Register as a candidate – Let Social Care People help you find your next role.


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