Human Services & Social Impact

Find your niche among social change agents, educators, and program managers who use knowledge of social justice and community frameworks to address social issues.

Suffolk students pose for a photo while building a home in Cambodia.

Make your community better wherever you are, however you can. This Career Community connects you with professionals who channel their compassion every day to make a tangible difference in the world.

It’s ideal for students interested in psychology, sociology, education, mental health counseling, criminal justice, and nonprofit work.

Get Involved with This Career Community

Lauren Gray

Lauren Gray

Senior Associate Director, Career Communities
Human Services & Social Impact
Email Lauren Gray
Book an Appointment

Each Career Community is purposefully designed to introduce you to the influential employers who can help you define and find a purposeful career path. When you participate in one or more of the Career Communities, you’ll collaborate with faculty, staff, alumni, and employers and enjoy access to industry-specific job shadowing, networking events, speakers, panels, mentoring, and other opportunities.

Join a Career Community

Are you an employer looking to get involved with this Career Community? Email us or find more information here.


Further Information For This Career Community

  • ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Specialist
  • Activities Coordinator
  • Advocate
  • Case Manager
  • Care Coordinator
  • Clinician
  • Community Health Worker
  • Correctional Officer
  • Counselor
  • Development/Fundraising Associate
  • Direct Care Professional/Worker
  • Guest Service Specialist
  • Grant Writer
  • Housing Coordinator
  • Instructor
  • Intake Coordinator
  • Paraprofessional
  • Program Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Residential Program Assistant/Counselor
  • Navigator
  • Outreach Specialist
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Youth Worker

  • Familiarity working with the population served (for example: adults experiencing homelessness, individuals with mental health disabilities, at-risk youth)
  • Knowledge of community resources and referral sources (housing, medical care, substance abuse treatment, adult education, childcare support, etc.)
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of MS Office programs, able to learn new software and technology as needed
  • Good time management and organizational skills
  • Effective at maintaining accurate documentation and collecting data
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills, able to form strong relationships and set appropriate boundaries
  • Able to work well as part of a team
  • Thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexible, adaptable, and creative
  • Patient, caring, empathetic
  • Dedicated to helping others, passionate about making a difference
  • Commitment to social, racial, economic, and gender justice issues
  • Multi-lingual ability helpful
  • Driver’s license preferred
  • Able to pass CORI and background check

Connect with resume samples from this career community:

For resumes targeting human services & social impact opportunities…

  • Use accomplishment statements and include tangible results
  • Be as descriptive as possible while also being concise
  • Start bullet point descriptions with strong action verbs and vary your word choice
  • If your relevant experience is limited, mention knowledge, interest, and professional goals that connect to the position, industry, population, or special interest area
  • Tailor your application materials to the position by including key words, relevant skills, and industry terminology
  • In addition to technical skills, human services roles often focus significantly on personal skills, so be sure to highlight these qualities, especially those which are mentioned in the job description such as:
    • Written and verbal communication Interpersonal skills and relationship-building
    • Time management and organizational skills Patience, empathy, active listening Dedication to the mission of the agency or organization

Use your cover letter to:

  • Connect with the mission of the organization or agency
  • Convey your passion for the field you are pursuing
  • Showcase your dedication to serve the target population/ advance the issues being addressed
  • Thoroughly research each organization and specific department or program you are applying for
  • Mention your knowledge of programming they offer, who they serve, what their goals are, and how you can contribute to the work being done there.
  • Be sure to include examples about any relevant experience
    • Internships
    • On-campus work
    • Student organization involvement
    • Volunteer work
    • Course projects
    • Research studies

Personal experience or personal connection to the mission can be referenced but should be generalized without providing too many specific personal details (for example: as someone who has observed firsthand a family member who has experienced the challenges of living with a mental health disability, I am uniquely positioned to serve the clients at your agency). 

Check out our resume and cover letter guide for tips and samples to get started. For additional assistance, please schedule an appointment with Lauren Gray or visit Quinncia, an AI-powered mock interview and resume review platform.

  • Make a strong first impression and wear business formal attire, even if the environment is more casual
  • Practice your “tell me about yourself” response or “elevator pitch” – include information about your academic and professional background, and your interest in this particular job and company
  • Demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for the mission of the organization
  • Human services, non-profit, and social impact work is both rewarding and challenging, so be sure to convey through your answers that you are prepared to handle both sides of working in this industry
  • Be ready to answer situational questions that reflect the types of real life experiences you may encounter on the job
  • Review the job description to have a thorough understanding of what the job responsibilities are and anticipate typical situations and challenges you may encounter
  • If you do not have direct experience performing the job responsibilities listed, think of related or transferrable situations from your background, and how you handled them
  • Use the STAR format to share examples: Situation (set the scene), Task (what you were required to do, what was the challenge), Action (what you did to resolve the situation), Result (how it turned out). Always be the star of your STAR and highlight your unique contributions, rather than the team dynamic or outside support you got
  • Ask thoughtful questions which show genuine interest in the position and highlight that you did your research in advance
  • Always follow up with a personalized thank you note to every person you met with

Check out our page on Interviewing Skills. For additional assistance, please schedule an appointment with Lauren Gray or visit Quinncia, an AI-powered mock interview and resume review platform.

  • Best Buddies
  • Healthy Minds Alliance
  • Ramily Matters
  • Women’s Advocacy Club
"Given the competitive environment students face when graduating from a Boston college, having the opportunity to interact with employers on an ongoing basis throughout the student's college career provides a unique opportunity for the students to make connections that can hopefully benefit them after they graduate. It will provide the students with the ability to learn what is important to employers as the students look to determine what path to take. Even beyond college, these connections can benefit the student/alum as they move along their career path. I look forward to working with the Suffolk students who are interested in the Human Services arena."
Julie DeLilo, JD '03 VP of Human Resources at Making Opportunity Count