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Featured resume example: counselor

Counselor Resume Example


Address: City, State, Zip Code
Phone: 000-000-0000
E-Mail: email@email.com


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.


COUNSELOR 09/2014 to Current
Company Name, City, State
  • 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.
COUNSELOR 06/2010 to 08/2014
Company Name, City, State
  • Organized clinical interventions and treatment plans for patients suffering from chronic pain disorders.
  • Partnered in design of wellness psycho-education group series.
  • Involved clients’ family members in planning social service programs.
COUNSELOR 08/2006 to 05/2010
Company Name, City, State
  • 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


Master of Social Work
University of Central Arkansas – City, State
Bachelor of Social Work
Arkansas Tech University – City, State

Top 4 characteristics of a best-in-class counselor resume

  1. Summary Your summary 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.”
  2. Skills Mention skill sets relevant to the job and your experience, such as counseling, intervention, assessment and evaluation, case management, empathy, critical thinking, strong 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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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Find the right template for your resume

Choose from these three employer-approved templates to save time on designing your resume.


This template has a clean, no-fuss layout, with distinctive placement of section headers and resume content. The hint of color added to the page header offsets the remaining black and white sections.


This template’s color section headers make for easily organized content, and create a trendy yet professional look.


The use of colors and bold fonts give this template a modern feel, while still allowing enough white space to ensure readability.

Browse through a full range of resume layouts on our resume templates page.

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.

Counselor resume FAQ

1. What are the skills you should emphasize for this specific job?

A counselor should be adept in counseling, assessment, evaluation, intervention and development of treatment plans abiding by industry laws and regulations. In addition to these attributes, look to feature these skills in your resume:

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Time management
  • Leadership skills

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

Most positions in this field require at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After completing a specified number of hours of clinical experience, you can also become a National Certified Counselor (NCC) to prove your professional credibility. Depending on your field, the following certifications can also upgrade your counselor career:

  • Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • National Certified School Counselor
  • Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior
  • Contemporary Theory in Couple and Family Systems
  • Master Addiction Counselor
  • Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services

3. How should you format your resume?

If you are an entry-level candidate with no on-the-job counseling experience, opt for the functional format, highlighting your academic training as well as the skills you’ve already attained. You can include non-counseling jobs if they showcase skills relevant to the counseling field. For example: team collaboration and constructive feedback, or daily activity planning and management for students or patients. If you have a few years of experience, build your resume in the combination format, which focuses on both the work experience and skills relevant to the counseling field, including, active listening, team management, critical thinking and decision-making skills. And if you are an experienced counselor, choose the chronological format to put the spotlight on your extensive work history.

4. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

As a counselor, focus on additional academic training, such as a master’s degree or doctorate in counseling. Also look to gain certifications based on your area of specialization, such as Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior or Master Addiction Counselor and Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services training for a substance abuse or mental health counselor position. Stay on top of the latest research and development in counseling techniques by becoming a member in some of these organizations, and listing them on your resume:

  • American Counseling Association (ACA)
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)
  • International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC)
  • American School Counselors Association (ASCA)
  • Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)

An active membership also boosts your opportunities to network with established professionals.