Residential Counselor Resume Examples and Tips

Residential counselors work at dorms, shelters, summer camps, group homes, rehabilitation centers or residential care facilities, providing therapeutic care and counseling to residents while supervising day-to-day needs such as housekeeping and meal preparation. This position focuses on emotional support and companionship and requires flexibility, empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence and excellent interpersonal skills.

Use our resume examples and expert tips below to create a resume that moves you forward in a residential counselor career:

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Resident Counselor Resume Example

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

  1. Summary In the few short sentences of your summary statement, provide a rundown of your best skills and work accomplishments, presenting evidence for why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. For example: “Dedicated and passionate Residential Counselor with comprehensive experience in individualized activities and behavioral assessments,” or “Compassionate Residential Counselor well-versed in helping residents navigate social and interpersonal problems in assisted-living settings.”
  2. Skills Split this section into two categories: practical skills such as crisis management, program planning and case management, and soft skills such as organizational abilities, active listening problem-solving, multitasking and a compassionate attitude.
  3. Work History Stick to work accomplishments that directly address what the specific employer is looking for, with three to five bullet points for each previous job. For example: “Counseled 50+ students on weekly basis to identify and resolve social issues.” As a general rule of thumb, only refer to work you’ve done within the last 10 years.
  4. Education List any academic credentials you have in important areas such as psychology, social work or human services, as well as any advanced courses, certificates, or training programs you’ve undertaken that show you’ve made the effort to broaden your knowledge and skills, e.g., Certified Residential Counselor Core Training (CRCCT).

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Find the Right Template for your Resume

Give your resume a professional look with these employer-ready templates:


Featuring a four-quadrant design, this template neatly organizes information to grab the recruiter’s attention. Bold, capitalized resume fonts are used for section headers.


This dual-column layout makes it easy to customize your work experience and skills sections. The subtle color header highlights the job applicant’s name and contact details.


This template will catch a recruiter’s eye thanks to the header’s prominent font and colorful border. Section headings are arranged on the left for easy navigation.

Pick from dozens of more designs on our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • DO emphasize soft skills. Residential counselors make an impact by using soft skills to relate to students and residents — make sure you feature skills such as leadership, organization, emotional intelligence, time management and conflict resolution prominently in your resume. Also show how you’ve used these skills in previous jobs. For example: “Used caring, attentive approach to identify and resolve resident problems, needs and issues.”
  • DO quantify your work achievements. Give your accomplishments more weight by describing them using statistics and metrics. “Managed social activities and guest speaker events for students” doesn’t tell employers much about your capabilities. On the other hand, writing “Managed 12 social activities and guest speaker events per semester for 150+ student dorm” certainly does.
  • DO be specific about your accomplishments. Anyone can say they have counseling experience in their resume, or worked in a residential setting. To truly stand out, explain what makes your previous responsibilities and achievements special. As mentioned above, use numbers and metrics to give employers a good idea of what you can do. Single out achievements that are difficult to attain, such as receiving recognition for your work (e.g., “Voted Residential Counselor of the month by students, from a pool of 50 candidates”). Above all, feature accomplishments that answer the most important question: “Why should we hire you?”
  • DON’T make your resume too long. A resume stuffed with irrelevant info or long-winded sentences won’t hold a hiring manager’s attention. Keep your phrases and bullet points short and sweet, and focus only on skills and work history that directly relates to the position you are applying for. Shoot for a resume that’s two pages long at most.
  • DON’T forget to use strong action verbs.  Instead of using passive phrases like “was responsible for” when describing your work accomplishments, use strong action verbs which characterize you as a take-charge, proactive person, such as coordinated, implemented, monitored, supervised, delivered, maintained, developed, planned or established. For example, instead of writing “Tasked with handling extracurricular and recreational activities,” write “Supervised extracurricular and recreational activities.”
  • DON’T forget to proofread your resume. Don’t ruin your chances for a job by letting a silly typo or grammar error mess up your resume. Review your document a few times, clean up mistakes, and make extra-sure that the information you’re providing is up to date and accurate. You can also use our Resume Builder, which has built-in tools to help spot errors.