Direct Support Professional CV: Comprehensive Guide

Direct Support Professionals are dedicated persons engaged in direct support to their clients with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Their work is epitome of commitment and the direct support professional resume is special resume that needs special care in its writing.

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In this guide, we shall take you through the end to end of direct support professional resume that would help you for preparation of your resume as direct support professional.

If we look at the direct support professional resume from the eye of hiring managers, we can have insights and inputs to prepare the resume that clicks an interview call. We shall enlist what a hiring manager looks for in direct support professional resumes - the most prominent of it being the direct support abilities.

We shall also look for and list out the direct support needs of the users i.e. the persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities so that we can prepare a comprehensive and complete resume of direct support professional.

Experienced direct support professional can have a lot to tell us about the resume and we shall list out bonus tips for direct support professional resume obtained from perusal of some of the best direct support care givers who have given the best direct care over the times consistently.

Professional resume writing guidelines

Direct Support Professional CV

Direct Support Professional Resume sections are listed here and the important contents of the sections are provided so that you should prepare the best resume to have the interview call and subsequent offer letter. Your resume should preferably be of one page.

Hiring managers expect for following attributes in direct support professional resume -

Capability of effectively dealing with the family members, acquaintances, co-workers and supervisors

Capability of handling health care service providers and pharmacists as direct support professional

Capability of dealing with persons having developmental and intellectual disabilities and successfully providing direct support as well as direct care including taking personal care of behavioral support plans and meal planning as well as meal preparation for them as direct support professional

Capability of having versatility to deal with persons from different backgrounds, cultures and communities as direct support professional

Capability as support professional to recall, to connect and integrate, to act timely for daily living support, money management, light housekeeping duties, general safety and safe environment, making the surroundings the least accident prone and for handling eventual emergencies during direct support and direct care

Capability of record keeping like vital signs record, patient care record and other medical records to help and facilitate medical and other requirements, particularly managing medical appointments - counselor, therapist and doctor appointments and other scheduled appointments, to service users with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities while providing direct support

Skills like counseling skills including active listening - empathy - compassion, communication skills, interpersonal behavior skills, decision making skills, problem solving skills etc. while providing direct support and direct care as well as while looking after patient care, personal care and personal hygiene

Educational requisites like high school diploma or degree in social work, developmental work, disability work, psychology etc. need to be mentioned that enhance your profile in terms of knowledge and skills learning for direct support. You may include in own resume any first aid training certificate and patient care training certificate, assisted patients care training certificate that you may have which would add value as direct support staff able to provide personal care.

Resume may preferably include qualities of direct support which you may also have or which you have cultivated from tips from the work experience of senior and successful direct support professionals from their telltale anecdotes particularly depicting resilience, limits of involvement and completely detached yet fully caring approach with positive attitude towards the cared ones while providing direct support, ability to assist patients

Capability to adhere to HIPPA guidelines while you provide direct support to your clients in their difficult times and to manage meaningful relationships

All this may be summarized as professional summary appropriately in the resume

In addition, you need to keep these professional resume guidelines in mind when writing your direct support professional resume or CV:

  • Always make sure that your resume has accurate information and language, that means there should be no spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes or factual mistakes as it can lead to your impression being unprofessional. To ensure that you avoid such situation, you should always proofread your resume twice. In case, you are not confident about your own proofreading, you can easily find sources and sites online that provide proofreading services for free, such sources also provide suggestions for the corrections that need to be made. Apart from these, you can also ask your colleague or friend or anyone you know who has good command on language to proofread your resume carefully.
  • Your resume should have maximum power words, action words, action verbs and more to ensure that your language and content have good and desired impact on the reader. Your resume should have details that are important and you should quantify them so that the impact of the info increases.
  • The language on your resume should be formal and professional, you should avoid any hint of informal language on your resume. You should use third person and past tense throughout your resume, in each section to ensure that the language of your resume has formal undertone. This is one of the essential trait of a professional resume.
  • Your direct support professional resume should be labeled well and professionally with your first name and last name along with the term 'Resume' or 'CV'. This will help the reader learn what exactly are they looking at and it will provide the clarity as to who (name) are they looking at on the resume.
  • Your resume should be saved in the most compatible document format to ensure that anyone who is reading your resume can open it and read it. Your resume will be viewed by many people on various devices, platforms, mediums and much more and not all of them will be compatible with the document format that your resume is saved in. To ensure that your resume is saved in compatible format, you should always save your resume is PDF document format or Microsoft Word document format.


As a direct support professional, it would be prudent to do research from job markets, means of job search, from our website and from links that we generally provide on our website, from articles like this one, and about the geographical area that you have decided to work in, job situation of direct support staff and best hiring organizations working in that area employing direct support staff and the best pay according to your profile

This research would help you to have the best resume prepared for you as per your profile showcasing your capabilities, specifically for everyday tasks to provide excellent customer service.

The same care that you exercise while serving your service users may be put into preparing your resume so that you have the best opportunities at best returns for serving your best clients for direct support.


There may be different formats in direct support professional resume but generally the sections contain your direct support accomplishments, direct support skills and qualifications that relate to your direct support attributes as direct support professional apart from your coordinates.

Your abilities in providing direct support to your service users with intellectual and developmental disabilities or mental illness, particularly in daily activities, must catch the eye of the hiring organization to fetch you the interview call and for interviewers to land you the offer letter of your coveted job.

There are 3 most preferrable resume formats that you can choose from:

  • Functional resume format: This resume format focuses on education and skills section and that is why it is suitable for those professionals who may not have extensive or significant professional experience. Meaning, this resume format is suitable for freshers and recent graduates in the field.
  • Reverse chronological order resume format: This resume format is named in such a way because in this format the experience section is written in a way where the experiences are described in reverse chronological manner, meaning latest experience first and then walking back to first experience. This resume format is suitable for most professionals who have significant or extensive work experience, seasoned professionals with exhaustive work history also prefer this resume format.
  • Combination resume format: As the name suggests, this resume format is a combination of above two formats. This resume format is also known as hybrid resume format. This resume format focuses on skills, education and experience section which also allows for the description of transferrable skills and aspects of experiences. Most professionals looking for a career change or role change often choose this resume format to best highlight the important parts of their resume.

Direct support professional resumes sample outline

Direct support staff resumes may begin with the one line brief covering the job title and then you should proceed as per sections outlined hereunder. Then the resume may contain the sections in this order while the experience or work history as direct support staff may be provided in reverse chronological order to capture the last or current status first to be read by the concerned.

Direct Support Professional CV

Contact info section

Direct Support Staff needs to be accessible and available to the users of service, similarly your resume must contain a section about your coordinates in bullet points as can be seen in support professional resume sample or support professional resume examples so that you are available and accessible readily for any communication from the employers. Clear well written details are a must and ought to be stated at the beginning of the resume.

As is the case in most jobs, the coordinates may include your postal address, email, phone numbers, mobile numbers or WhatsApp numbers etc. This may also be fortified with relevant personal information to make your identity click with the reader and interviewer.

Most importantly, make sure that the info mentioned in this section is accurate because if it is not accurate the hiring managers will not be able to reach out to you and you will miss out on many good opportunities.

Resume summary

Professional summary would help to have the essence of your profile at a glance for the concerned. Direct support staff in engaged in personal support and personal care, this ought to be the key in this summary.

This may contain abilities and skills like - doing running errands, of doing grocery shopping, that you are accustomed and you served meals well, telling about the incidences and examples you maintained records of various types, that you are deft at providing support in daily living, in maintaining daily hygiene, you are well versed in transporting patients, in understanding prescribed medications as well as in administering medications, conducting therapeutic activities as explained by therapists, that you have skill of taking wound care, in carrying out recreational activities, and apart from these hard skills, you have the other skills, that you are good at developing rapport quickly and and to ensure client about fulfilling needs, quick to break ice unlike new employees, and also to work in team with other staff members. Your humane qualities must find equal mention in this summary.

Professional experience/ work history

Direct support staff work history may be stated from the latest job downwards to the previous jobs.

It should contain details of technical skills like you provided transportation as and when required including in emergencies,

that you are best at providing support in daily life, that you are able to carry out day program as per schedule and in time, that you are always interesting and cheering when you accompany individuals,

that when you served meals, you used to help raise required set up and arrangement in dining space or serving space to maintain appetite of the users,

that you always focus on quality care and that you understand the technique to avoid monotony in daily living to make it interesting while you perform as direct support staff,

that you have the acumen to make the daily activities not boring, you know how to make these activities meaningful and interesting in a new way each day.

Always mention in clear terms like -

Provided home based support to a client patient who had paraplegia of traumatic origin

Conducted weekly or periodical grocery shopping

Prepared and served meals as per the diet plan given by nutritionist

Helped in daily activities like bathing, hair combing, grooming, nail cutting

Managed laundry, housekeeping and minor repairs

Accompanied in social events, managed transportation and helped organize and conduct daily religious prayer session

Organized indoor games sessions - selected games that clients were able to participate effortlessly and provided support in playing and enjoying

Cheered service users for each new achievement that added to their capabilities of daily living and motivated the clients to adhere to therapy plans

Maintained clean safe surroundings so that the spaces add to optimism and positive attitude as well as help avoid accidents and reduce vulnerabilities or proneness to accidents

Managed record keeping for daily physiotherapy, diet plan, vitals temp pulse blood pressure chart and ambulation along with intake and output charts

Used to measure blood pressure and record the findings regularly

Helped clients connect with resources for specifics services and enabling utilization of available resources and their services and support

Used to help clients for managing their posts on social media to facilitate them connect with peers and friends

Helped create positive support from neighborhood for the clients

Assisted the clients in building positive and meaningful relationships with service providers, therapists, nutritionists, caregivers and others who come in contact for various reasons and purposes

Helped biofeedback on controls achieved by following plans of treatment and therapies so that clients become as independent as possible

Helped clients to remain connected with their communities

Your professional experience history should be written in reverse chronological order and you should mention certain details for each experience such as the name of the employer, your employment period and your role or designation during the employment.

Education section

This is the primary and essential section of your resume even if you are an entry level directs support professional. Relevant educational diploma, degrees and certificates must be mentioned here in this section along with related details.

These may be any of the following - each of these accolades are likely to increase your chances of getting hired significantly. Not only that, but each of the qualifications is likely to get you more in terms of pay.

First Aid Certificate

Disabilities related educational qualifications

Behavior technician certificate

Basic life support for health care provider certificate

HIPPA compliance related qualifications or learning

Then you may have diploma or degree in psychology, social work, customer service management, your own fitness related qualifications and awards, science degree with humanities subjects, certified medical assistant, CPR certificate, nursing related qualifications etc. Sometimes holders of diverse degrees like accounting and business administration may also be fit for these jobs depending on their aptitude and additional qualifications.

Skills section

📌List of relevant skills for your direct support professional resume: Direct support staff should have following skills -

It is very important for direct support staff to have technical and managerial skills as listed above in work history, experience section, new entrants may learn these technical skills by practice and observation

Looking to the kind of services required to be rendered by direct support staff, they ought to have all soft skills - Communication skills, interpersonal behavior skills, creative thinking skills, analytical thinking skills, problem solving skills, decision making skills, empathy, self-awareness, stress coping abilities and emotion coping

Direct support service is skill intensive service and you need to be abreast with skills - skilling should be a regular part of your professional upkeep.

Skills section is important because it helps you highlight your key skills that make you competent for the role of direct support professionals. You should make sure that you include a balanced blend of soft skills, hard skills, technical skills and key relevant skills for your role of direct support professional.

Bonus Tips

Direct Support Professional CV

Your direct support professional resume should appear as neat and clean as yourself having the best of personal hygiene always and while you appear at the interviews, this vouches that you provide best direct support in terms of personal hygiene to your service users with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Direct support staff is personified and exemplified qualities - qualities like empathy, compassion and many other virtues like patience and resilience combined with optimism and devotion in personal care services. Employers expect you and your resume as well as your cover letter and your interview talks and demeanors to radiate these virtues as direct support staff.

Direct support staff is also the personification of personal hygiene, first aid and personal care.


When you are writing your resume, you should make sure that you use the relevant keywords throughout your resume, in each section. Companies, whether big or small, across the globe use software such as applicant tracking system which helps them scan and filter the job applications they receive on daily basis. Since, job application is online these days, the HR department receives hundreds and thousands of job applications and sorting through all them manually can be very time consuming and tiring which is why companies use AI driven software to scan and filter the job applications they receive including resumes and cover letters. The parameters for this software are none other than the relevant keywords and job descriptions and that means you need to make sure that your direct support staff resume has all the relevant keywords mentioned throughout your resume.

People often make a common mistake of randomly chunking the keywords anywhere and you must avoid this mistake as it can be highly unprofessional when realized by the reader. You should make sure that you use the relevant keywords in a meaningful and sensible manner throughout the resume and that will not be difficult because you will be easily able to incorporate the relevant keywords in the details of your resume in each section such as resume summary, experience section, skills section and education section as well as extra sections.

Here we have prepared a specially curated list of relevant keywords for your direct support staff resume. You can also add more words from your research and make sure that every important keyword is included on your resume.

📌List of relevant keywords for your direct support professional resume:

Health wellness related terms and general terms

  • daily hygiene
  • personal hygiene
  • therapy related activities
  • vital signs
  • mental illness related support
  • developmental and intellectual disabilities
  • medicine administration
  • doctor appointments
  • scheduled appointments
  • maintenance of records
  • patient care
  • behavioral support plans
  • safe environment
  • recreational activities
  • personal care services
  • problem solving skills
  • meaningful relationships
  • positive attitude
  • grocery shopping
  • light housekeeping duties
  • money management
  • meals preparation, meals serving, meal planning
  • daily life, daily activities
  • logistics skills
  • direct support


Your best written resume should preferably include references that are directly connected with your achievements or qualifications.

References preferably ought to be senior professionals in the direct support field with whom you might have received coaching or your educational qualifications. These can be also be previous service users or officials of previous hiring organizations and team mates with whom you have worked in the past.

Please see that two to three references are provided. Make sure that the people you have chosen as your references, have a positive feedback and view about you, both in personal and professional manner. You should mention their email address and phone number along with their name and designation. Before you include these details, you should ask their permission and take their consent as well. In case, they are not comfortable with their information being on your resume for everyone to see, you can also mention 'References will be provided upon request' and provide the details to verified employers/hiring managers.

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Cover letter

Your best resume must be sent having best cover letter.

Cover letter should contain highlights of the skills and achievements in nutshell to have the employer compulsion to look at your resume in completeness. Do focus on preparing the best cover letter. You can refer to our guide on importance of cover letters to be attached with resume.

Your cover letter should be personalized and customized and effective enough for the reader to be compelled to invite you for an interview. The cover letter is where you can use slightly informal tone and include more details, in addition to reiterating what you have presented on your resume.

You can talk about your inspiration for joining the profession and choosing the career path, you can talk about your journey so far and you can also mention your future goals and plans. This will help you reflect your passion and dedication and that is something that every HR manager will be on the look out for.

You can also reiterate your skills, education and experience along with notable accomplishments and achievements. This is your chance to highlight your experience, exposure, knowledge and skills even more efficiently. You can also include instances and examples of your expertise and skills that help you paint a comprehensive picture for the hiring manager.


Direct Support Professional CV

To conclude, as direct support professional you should have the best resume along with best cover letter to land you the best interview call and best job. You may use our website, we recommend you to use our resume builder functionality that is available on our website. This resume builder is akin to ChatGPT and would help you to have the best resume as direct support staff.

In addition, you can also check out our resume examples, resume templates, resume writing guides, job search guides, LinkedIn guides and much more including cover letter guides and samples and examples. You can make use of all of it and we are sure you will find something useful because we have curated a comprehensive collection for all the roles, designations, occupations, professions and much more across all the A to Z industries.

Now that you know all about writing a direct support professional resume, you are now ready to write your own direct support professional resume! We are sure you will ace it and get many job opportunities. Best of luck!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the job description of a Direct Support Professional?

Generally the hiring organization provides detailed job description and you should for it in the advert as well as in documents attached with the email. Your resume becomes more relevant and better once you synchronize your resume with the job description. Job description would contain certain general and specific details of qualifications, skills and work experience. Direct Support Professional job descriptions may be available as samples from other job related sources. You may refer to our website for understanding the job as a whole and you may refer to our article and other information available on our web resources that would help you adequately.

What is an example of direct support experience?

Please refer to our notes in this article. Direct support professional resume example can be easily obtained from this guide that elaborates on education, on work history and references etc.

What is an example of a professional statement for a CV?

A professional statement can be like this - A successful direct support professional trained in support for disabilities with 10 years experience. In addition, you can add some background and talk about your most impressive and notable accomplishments. Make sure to use maximum action words and quantify the details with numbers so that the impact is more efficient on the reader of your resume.

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