Counselor Resume Examples and Tips
A counselor helps individuals cope with and overcome life difficulties in areas ranging from professional and personal relationships to substance abuse and mental health. This role involves active listening skills, and expertise in treatment plans and devising coping solutions, while maintaining high standards of professionalism and confidentiality.
Browse through our resume examples and tips below to help you build an impactful resume for a counselor position.
Featured resume example: counselor
Name: KENNETH GATES
Address: City, State, Zip Code
Diligent Counselor exercising competency in broad subject-matter counseling therapies, SUMMARY including substance abuse, grief and domestic violence. Knowledgeable in youth and adolescent development, including social, behavioral, emotional and cognitive strategies.
- Led 10 educational seminars and lectures at local community mental health centers to expand awareness of mental health symptoms and issues.
- Worked with prescribing professionals to get patients necessary medications.
- Used cognitive behavior therapy to assist youth in recognizing and redirecting poor habits.
- Organized clinical interventions and treatment plans for patients suffering from chronic pain disorders.
- Partnered in design of wellness psycho-education group series.
- Involved clientsâ€™ family members in planning social service programs.
- Led day treatment groups and therapeutic activities to teach functional living skills and address behavioral issues.
- Kept abreast of new and developing information in mental health field by regularly attending professional conferences and workshops.
- Developed and implemented treatment plans and modified when needed.
- Psychotropic medications knowledge
- Case management proficiency
- Communications theory
- Learning disability awareness
- Mental health support
- Skilled in intake interviewing
- Intervention planning
- Adept at conflict resolution
Top 4 characteristics of a best-in-class counselor resume
- Summary Your summary statement should convince the recruiter of your potential as a counselor. Use relevant adjectives and career highlights to describe the essential qualities you can bring to the position. For example: “A compassionate counselor with five years of experience in case management and substance abuse treatment. Proven record of developing effective treatment plans and introducing community well-being services.”
- Skills Mention communication skills and leadership skills. Also highlight specialized skills required for the specific position. For example, for a school counselor job, mention skills such as student assessment, grief management and academic and career counseling.
- Work History Document your work experience with proven achievements rather than listing generic tasks. Quantify your accomplishments, showing that you’ve taken a proactive role in helping people. For example: “Provided counseling to 1500 students of varying age groups” or “Implemented a quarterly psycho-education program for 200+ adults dealing with depression and substance abuse.”
- Education Start with your highest qualification, followed by other relevant courses and training. Include specialized counseling certifications such as National Certified counselor resume example (NCC), Certified Clinical Mental Health counselor resume example (CCMHC), and National Certified School counselor resume example (NCSC).
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Do’s and don’ts for your resume
- Proofread your resumeA minor grammatical mistake or a typo is enough to sink any chances of getting a job with many recruiters. Use online tools like Grammarly to check your resume for errors. Print your resume and read out loud to spot the mistakes. You can also get a fresh perspective by having a trusted friend and colleague proofread your resume.
- Update your resume regularly Make sure you update your resume regularly with your new skills, experience and credentials. For example, if you recently gained experience in substance abuse treatment and performed individual and group psychotherapy sessions, add this experience to your resume. Also add any certifications you’ve acquired or are in the process of completing. Finally, don’t forget to update your contact information — something that can be easy to overlook.
- Include your achievements and professional affiliations Awards and other recognitions give you an edge on other applicants, so don’t shy away from mentioning your academic and professional accomplishments. For example: an award such as ACA Graduate Student Award of Excellence, or “Top Counselor” recognition at a previous job. Also, mention professional memberships, if any, in groups such as the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists (NACBT), the American Mental Health Counselors Association, or other related organizations.
- Avoid repetition of facts For a time-pressed recruiter, repetitive information is disappointing. Make sure you are not repeating the same facts in multiple resume sections. For example, mention your training as a Certified Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist (CCBT) or Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) in the education section, but not both your education and skills sections. Instead, focus on specific abilities acquired from these certifications in your skills section, such as stress management, preparing treatment plans or caseload management.
- Avoid irrelevant information Don’t include each task and responsibility from your previous jobs. Instead, zero-in on work history details that are most relevant and impactful for the job you’re applying to. Also, don’t resort to including irrelevant work experiences, such as a part-time job at a café, to “fill out” your work history section. Instead, focus on buffing your skills section with a wider range of technical and soft skills.
- Avoid a distracting layout Flashy designs and wild experiments with font styles and colors will only result in a distracting layout that may put off a recruiter. Stick to a clean and professional design, and concentrate on featuring the right set of qualifications rather than getting a flashy look.