Counselor Resume Guide + Tips + Example
Advance in your career with a well-written counselor resume. Our guide can help you create an effective counselor resume to showcase your skills and present you as a desirable candidate.
Start by editing this counselor resume sample template or explore our 40+ CV templates to find the best one for you.
Counselor resume example (text version)
Little Rock, AR 72202
Diligent counselor exercising competency in broad subject-matter counseling therapies, including substance abuse, grief and domestic violence. Knowledgeable in youth and adolescent development, including social, behavioral, emotional and cognitive strategies. Focused on facilitating the exploration of issues and developing individualized plans and communication skills.
September 2016 – Current
Bradford Health Services – Little Rock, AR
- Lead 10 weekly educational seminars and lectures at local community mental health centers to expand awareness of mental health symptoms and issues, improving patients’ participation by 95%.
- Work with prescribing professionals to get patients the necessary counsel and medications.
- Use cognitive behavior therapy to assist youth in recognizing and redirecting poor habits.
June 2010 – August 2016
UAMS Medical Center – Little Rock, AR
Licensed Professional Counselor
- Organized clinical interventions and treatment plans for 30 patients suffering from chronic pain disorders.
- Partnered in the design of five wellness psycho-education group series.
- Involved the client’s family members in planning social service programs.
August 2006 – May 2010
Inspiration Day Treatment – Conway, AR
- Led 20 treatment groups and therapeutic activities per month to teach functional living skills and address behavioral issues.
- Kept abreast of new and developing information in the mental health field by regularly attending professional conferences and workshops.
- Developed and implemented treatment plans with a success rate of 90% and modified them 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
- University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR
Master of Science Mental Health Counseling
- University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR
Bachelor of Social Work Social Work
- Minor: Psychology
Certifications and Licenses
- Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) – (Updated 2022)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LCP) – (Updated 2022)
5 essentials of a top counselor resume
This section will have all the information needed to contact you for a counselor interview. The standard is: full name, city, state and ZIP code, followed by phone number and email address. Finally, add a professional website, LinkedIn profile, or any other professional networking profile.
Also called a professional summary, this is where you present your best skills and your related work experience for a counselor position. In no more than five sentences, you will let the recruiter know: how long you have been in the industry, one or two professional accomplishments and your job-relevant skills. Pick your best to grab the hiring manager’s attention.
Skills show what you bring to the table and how you work with others. To create a skills section that catches the recruiter’s attention, be sure to include keywords from the job description. Then, create a bulleted list of hard skills, like your assessment analysis and record-keeping abilities, and soft skills, such as cultural competence and empathy.
If this is your first job as a counselor, you can include transferable skills from other employment.
List your work history in reverse-chronological order to showcase your experience in the field. Add the company names, locations and dates of employment. For every job, include a bulleted list of three measurable accomplishments, like the amount of patients assisted, successfully assisting a diverse community through cultural competence and any training you’ve led.
If this is your first job, you can include other relevant work experience, like volunteer experiences, community services, professional projects and more.
Build the education section for your counselor resume by using bullet points. On each point, include the educational institution’s name, the degree conferred and graduation year. If your graduation date was 10 years ago or more, you can skip it. If you did not attend college, list your high school and any other post-high school course you’ve completed.
See why My Perfect Resume is a 5-star resume builder
Action words for a stand-out counselor resume
Use action words to add confidence to your counselor resume. The directness of these verbs adds strength to your skills and experience. Combine them with measurable achievements to create an effective resume for a counselor.
Here’s a short list of action words for a counselor resume:
Create a counselor resume quickly and easily with the help of our Resume Builder. It has all the tools you need, including editing and step-by-step guidance. Consider our expert suggestions as you build your resume and download the product once you’re satisfied with it. We have 800+ resume examples to help you create the perfect counselor resume.
Top skills for a counselor resume
Grab the recruiter’s attention by creating a skills section with your best ones. Use the job description to match the required skills to the skills and traits that fit you.
Your skills might include the following:
- Conflict resolution
- Intervention planning
- Microsoft Office
- Case management
- Active listening
- Psychotropic medication knowledge
Certifications for a counselor resume
Add value to your resume and career with certifications. Your resume for a counselor will stand out from the rest of the applicants if you are certified.
There are several certification options for a counselor resume, including:
- National Certified Counselor (NCC)
- National Certified School Counselor (NCSC)
- Masters Addictions Counselor (MAC)
- Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)
- Certified Professional Counselor
- Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)
- Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC)
- Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC)
Remember to verify the required licenses to practice in your state with your State Professional Counselor Licensure Board.
Counselor resume FAQ
1. How to write a resume for a counselor position?
Follow our tips from this guide to build your counselor resume. Start with the essentials by including the five primary sections:
- Contact information
- Personal statement or professional summary
- Work history
Ensure the information is accurate and then move on to additional sections, like:
- Certifications and licenses
- Professional memberships or associations
- Volunteer experience
Save or screenshot the job description and use it to match the skills and requirements.
This will help you catch the attention of a hiring manager by presenting yourself as the candidate they need. Use the sample for a counselor resume as a guide to build your resume. You can also create an effective resume quickly and easily with our Resume Builder. It provides step-by-step guidance and editable content suggestions.
2. How to write a counselor’s professional summary for a resume?
The professional summary is your introduction to the hiring manager. Chances are this is the first section of your resume they read. You need to make an impact fast.
Ensure your summary has all the necessary information:
- Open with your years of experience.
- Include your strongest job-relevant skill.
- Add an important achievement or two that could resonate with the employer.
- Always tailor your professional summary to the job description.
Five-year counselor with a focus on addiction treatment and rehabilitation. Experience in adolescent substance abuse and family therapy. Trainer for new hires and patient advocate in the judicial system. Licensed in Florida and Georgia.
3. How to write co-counselor on a resume?
When you’re creating your work history for a counselor resume, list every position. If you’ve held a position as a co-counselor, there are two ways to include this information in your resume. If your main position was as a co-counselor, list it as the name of your role and include your notable accomplishments in a bulleted list. If you’ve acted as co-counselor, but it was not the main position, you can include the role in the bullet points with the rest of your achievements.
Do’s and don’ts for building a counselor resume
- Use measurable achievements to describe your counselor skills and experience.
- Use action words to make an impact on your counselor resume.
- Tailor your CV to your target counselor job.
- Use keywords from the job description throughout your counselor resume.
- Format your counselor resume so that it is easy to read by ATS software and human eyes.
- Lie about your counselor experience and skills.
- Boast about your “incomparable” counselor abilities.
- Include irrelevant personal information such as your ethnicity and age.
- Add skills and experience that do not pertain to a counselor.
- Forget to proofread. A counselor resume with errors is unprofessional and will be discarded.
Top 4 tips for acing a counselor interview
Research the company or institution before your interview.
Research the company’s history, goals, and values through its official website, social media, and the news. This knowledge will show your potential employer interest, dedication and commitment — traits that hiring managers look for in every candidate. Plus, having a glimpse of the company culture before you arrive will give you an idea of what to expect on arrival so that you can feel confident.
Practice at home.
Prepare for any scenario by practicing an interview with the help of a friend or relative. Start by reviewing the most common interview questions, such as:
- Why Did You Choose This Career?
- Give Me a Specific Occasion in Which You Conformed to a Policy With Which You Did Not Agree
- Tell Me About a Time When You Were Forced to Think on Your Feet
Research online for other possible interview questions, write down your answers and then practice with your interview partner. Once you’re done, ask them for feedback and work with them to improve. Being prepared will boost your confidence and chances of getting a callback for a second counselor interview.
Pro tip: practice in front of a mirror. Remember to look at both your facial expressions and body language, which hiring managers will notice.
Be proactive and ask questions.
At the end of the interview, it’ll be your turn to ask questions. Prepare at least three that will help you learn more about a potential employer. You’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you.
Get started with these examples:
- What could you tell me about the company culture?
- Why did you choose to work here?
- What tools do you provide your counselors?
- How do you protect your counselors?
- Do you provide additional training to counselors?
Gather your references.
Contact former managers and colleagues to be potential references as you start applying for counselor positions. Your potential references should be able to vouch for your work ethic and skills. Explain to them where you are in the process and let them know they could receive a phone call or email. Also, request at least two letters of recommendation for you.
If this is your first full-time job as a counselor, you can request a reference from a mentor, former professor, community leader, volunteer coordinator or classmate that can vouch for your skills.