How to become a Carer
Getting started in a Care Assistant Role
You’re set on a career in the care industry but you’re not sure how to go about securing your dream job. So, just how do you become a Care Assistant?
From thinking about your relevant background to acing the interview right up to your first day, we’ve got you covered. Below are the steps you need to take in order to become a Care Assistant.
It’ll be worth considering that each company may have different requirements.
Your background and skills
The care sector can be a great career path that has no set entry requirements. Employers will expect good literacy and numeracy skills but as long as you have the willingness to learn, you will receive all of the relevant training you need to become a Care Assistant. You can view more information on what makes a good care assistant here.
Some key skills that would come in handy as a carer include:
- Being a great communicator
- Having a flexible approach to work
- Being a hard worker
- Being sensitive, respectful and compassionate
Preparing to become a Care Assistant
With those key skills in mind, you may want to write a CV. Take a look at our blog How to Create a Great Social Care CV which covers everything from transferable skills to what a recruiter doesn’t want to see. (Although you don't need a CV to apply with Cera!)
You may need to send a cover letter too - you’ll want to write one for each role you apply for.
Your cover letter is a great opportunity to stand out and make your application a lot more personal. Whether you have worked as a Care Assistant previously, been an unpaid carer or don’t have any care experience at all, you will want to focus on relevant experience, your top-notch people skills and your hard-working nature.
It’s important to do your research before applying for a job to really understand and get a grasp of what they are looking for. In your cover letter, let the recruiter know why you would be a perfect fit for, not only the vacancy but the company too.
Your cover letter doesn’t need to be more than one side of A4. To grab the reader’s attention, start with your most relevant points at the top and work your way back from there.
When searching for Care Assistant jobs, think about the titles you are looking for. For example, some good keywords are Care Worker, Support Worker, Carer etc.
Preparing for your Care Assistant interview
Once you have secured the interview, practice makes perfect. We have a blog on the Top 10 Social Care Interview Questions which will help give an idea of what could be expected.
Make sure you do all of the necessary preparation to feel as confident as possible - and remember, an interview is an important time for you to ask questions as well.
Training to be a Care Assistant
If you get an offer for a place you will then need to go through some training. We spoke to Mark, Head of Learning and Development at Cera, who explained how Cera’s training programme works:
‘At Cera, we offer free training to help you into our Social Care roles. We give you access to e-learning courses that cover the Care Certificate, Food Hygiene Awareness, Oral Health, Medication Awareness and Positive Behaviour Support. These courses are endorsed by an awarding organisation called NCFE and you are able to download and keep your certificates.
“The e-learning takes between 6 to 12 hours to complete. It doesn't have to be done all in one go and you can complete it over a number of days.
‘Once this has been completed, we will invite you to another completely free day's training at one of our training centres. It’ll last from 9 am to 5 pm - with a break for tea and lunch, of course.
‘Here we cover the practical activities you will need training on, such as First Aid, Moving and Handling, Medication and much more. At the end of this day, you will have completed an assessment and could be ready to start your social care career straight away.’