Guidance Counselor Resume: Examples and Tips

As the name implies, a guidance counselor advises and helps students make good academic and personal decisions, providing assistance for setting career goals and support for emotional development. To do well in this role, you should be expected to have expertise in educational counseling, the ability to interact with students, and have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.

Use these resume tips and examples to create a distinguished resume that gets you the counseling job you want:

Average Rating

4.6/5 stars with 101 reviews

Guidance Counselor Resume Example

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class Guidance Counselor Resume

  1. Summary Give a quick overview (two to three sentences) of your work experience and skills, focusing on accomplishments and traits that match what the employer is looking for. For example: “Dedicated guidance counselor with 8+ years of experience mentoring high school students, in one-and-one and group settings.”
  2. Skills Break this section into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are abilities that you’ve learned over time, such as student registration and placement, crisis intervention and familiarity with school regulations. Soft skills are intangible traits that impact how you do your job, such as strong networking abilities, decision-making, leadership and a positive attitude.
  3. Work experience For each previous job, feature three to five bullet points describing your top achievements and responsibilities. Quantify your accomplishments, wherever possible, to give more context. For example: “Promoted school counseling services through 20+ external presentations, classes, and workshops”).
  4. Education List your highest academic degree, along with the name and location of the institution where you got it. Also mention any licenses, additional training or certifications that show your expertise, as well as professional affiliations, such as membership in the American Counseling Association or the American School Counseling Association.

See Why My Perfect Resume is a 5-Star Resume Builder

Find the Right Template for your Resume

Get your resume noticed by using one of these professionally-designed templates:


This simple, strong layout uses two columns to easily differentiate work experience from skills. The striking header font and contrasting colors ensures good readability.


This template neatly organizes each section using shaded headers, making for easy scanning navigation. The elegant font for the job seeker’s name adds a touch of class.


This design sets itself apart using bold colors for the header, while leaving plenty of leeway to customize each section.

Check out our complete assortment of resume templates in our resume templates section.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • DO focus on soft skills. While practical skills and certifications are important for counseling work, how effective you are will depend on your soft skills — the personal traits you bring to your interactions with others. Look for soft skills in the job posting such as “service-oriented” or “proactive,” match them with your own skills, and feature them throughout your resume. For example, you can use soft skills in your summary: “Dedicated and compassionate guidance counselor with 8+ years of professional experience.” For more in-demand soft skills you can use, see our Top Resume Skills page.
  • DO review your resume. Counselors need to set an example for students in terms of reliability and accuracy, so apply those qualities to your resume. Proofread your document a few times to catch grammatical mistakes. Make sure your information is appropriate for the job you want and correct. When you use our Resume Builder to create your resume, our tools can do the checking for you.
  • DO include job-specific keywords. It’s true: keywords are key when creating your resume. To feature the right keywords that get employers’ attention, scan the job description for the position you want and note the most important tasks and qualifications (e.g., “coordination of all standardized and college placement testing,” or “innovative problem-solving”). Come up with experiences and skills of your own that meet these needs, and feature them throughout your resume. For example, you could write “problem-solving” as a skill, or describe a previous work experience in which you helped manage placement testing in your work history section. For more keyword advice, see our article How to Use Resume Keywords Effectively.
  • DON’T make your resume overlong. Hiring managers only spend a few seconds to review a resume, on average, so keep your document short and sweet. Aim for two pages at most, and zero-in on top skills, strengths, and work accomplishments relevant to the position you’re applying for. Instead of long paragraphs, use bullet points and punchy phrases, and limit your work history section to the last 10 years.
  • DON’T forget to list relevant activities or certifications. Many schools require a license or certification to be a guidance counselor, so be sure to include this information in your education section. Additional non-professional experiences (such as volunteering as a camp counselor) or certifications in related areas can also improve your chance for a job opportunity, so be sure to mention them here too (or create a separate “Certifications and Activities” section if you have enough of them). Some examples:
    • C3 Conference-Career and College Readiness
    • Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
    • Foundations of Disaster Mental Health for Guidance Counselors
    • Counseling, K-12 certificate
    • National Certified School Counselor (NCSC) certificate
  • DON’T get too fancy with your resume layout. While it’s important that your resume make a good visual statement, going too far with unusual resume fonts and graphics can defeat the purpose, especially if it results in your resume being misread by recruiters or the software they use to scan resumes. Focus more on your content, and use a resume template for your document.