Counselor Resume Guide + Tips + Example
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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 or explore our 40+ resume 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 2024)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LCP) – (Updated 2024)
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.
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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.