Drug Alcohol Counselor Resume Examples & Templates

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: August 08, 2022
  • 30% higher chance of getting a job‡
  • 42% higher response rate from recruiters‡

Drug and alcohol counselors have the overwhelming responsibility of helping others master the perils of addiction. But, when entering the job market, counselors need to put themselves first, finding the time to create a winning resume. Resumes provide an opportunity to draw attention to your particular skill set, work experience, and career highlights. Get it right, and hiring managers will scramble to get you in the door for an interview. The greatest challenge you’ll face in the application process is making yourself stand out. As a counselor, make sure you add specifics to the highlights section. If you have experience in group counseling, describe the sizes of the groups, the types of therapy you’re familiar with–or how you’ve used patient databases. To be sure that your resume is on its way to greatness, check out our awesome drug and alcohol counselor resume samples.

drug and alcohol counselor resume example

substance abuse counselor resume example


Drug and Alcohol Counselor Resume Questions

1. How do you write an objective statement for a drug and alcohol counselor resume?

In general, most resumes employ a professional summary as opposed to a resume objective. However, there are some instances in which an objective statement is appropriate. These include making a career change, applying for a first job, and returning to work after a long time away. An objective statement includes relevant skills, the goal of the applicant, and the name of the specific job the applicant is applying for. If you feel a professional summary fits your situation better, consult the drug and alcohol counselor resume sample.

2. How do you list certifications on your drug and alcohol counselor resume?

 Most jobs require drug and alcohol counselors to have certain certifications and/or licenses. If you have many certifications, it is best to list them under their own section so the hiring manager can easily read them. If you only have one or two, place them in the education section. Include the title of the license or certificate, the location where you earned the credential, and the year you gained the certification.

3. What format should your drug and alcohol counselor resume be in?

If your resume looks good, it can make an important impression on the hiring manager. If you have experience in the role, a chronological format is typically the best choice, as it focuses more on your past work history. In this structure, start with the header, and then include your professional summary, work experience, skills, and education sections. When listing your work history, begin with your most recent position, and go backward. If this is your first position, you may want to use a functional format, in which there is less focus on work experience and more on your relevant abilities and education. The drug and alcohol counselor resume sample demonstrates a more traditional format.

4. How do you optimize your drug and alcohol counselor resume for an ATS?

To help narrow down the number of applicants they have to consider, many hiring managers use Applicant Tracking Systems. Generally, an employer submits certain keywords and other criteria, and an ATS scans each resume and ranks them based on how they match the requested information. Some things you can do to help you pass include using keywords found in the job description, incorporating industry-specific jargon, and keeping a simple look to your resume. Make sure you include a header and avoid misspelled words. If you wonder how a strong resume looks, consult high-quality examples.

5. How do you list schools in a drug and alcohol counselor resume?

Most jobs in this industry require a certain amount of education, so it is important to include all relevant degrees and schools. After listing the name of the degree, list the name and location of the school. There is no need to include graduation dates unless you are a recent graduate. Additionally, you don’t need to include your high school information unless this is the only education you have. Check out the drug and alcohol counselor resume sample to see how this section looks. Our resume builder also helps you build a personalized document.

6. How many bullet points do you include with each job on a substance abuse counselor resume?

Bulleted lists capture the reader’s eye. This is why they are good for spotlighting your skill set, job history, and successes. When you use a bulleted list, don’t overdo it. Adding too many can overwhelm the reader to the point that he or she loses interest your resume. To avoid this problem, career advisors recommend six bullet points per job listing.

7. How do you write the experience section of your substance abuse counselor resume?

Recruiters expect to see a work history that’s relevant to the job you are applying for. They should be able to view position titles, company names and locations, and dates of employment at a glance. To keep this section concise, focus on the last 15 years of your workforce experience. At the start of each sentence, use power verbs, such as “interview,” “counsel,” “teach,” “review,” and “wrote.” If you are not sure how much information to include, try our resume builder. It is an easy-to-use resource that helps you complete sections with no writing needed.

8. How do you highlight soft skills on a substance abuse counselor resume?

Soft skills play a central role in your day-to-day tasks. Whether it is active listening, problem-solving, or compassion, bring your best qualities to the forefront. You can do this by placing them in key areas on your document. Like our substance abuse counselor resume sample, you can reference your attributes in the professional summary, skills, and job experience sections.

Even the most perfect resume can benefit from the context a winning cover letter can add. So find out how to your own great Drug and Alcohol Counselor cover letter today by using our examples and writing advice as a reference. Show Resume Text

Resume Text

Carlos Neels

123 Fake Street
City State, Zip Code
Cell: 000-000-0000


Untiring Drug and Alcohol Counselor compassionately treating patients with a wide range of drug and alcohol abuse problems in a supervised environment. Updated on advances in addiction diagnosis and treatment. Astute observer of human behavior with well-developed listening, comprehension and communication skills.  


  • Sound understanding of drug and alcohol abuse disorders
  • Considerable experience conducting one • on • one and group sessions
  • Proficient in database management to enter and access patient information
  • Knowledge of traditional and alternative substance abuse treatments
  • Sympathetic attitude towards others
  • Ability to maintain trust of patients

Work Experience

February 2013 to Present Company Name — City, State Drug and Alcohol Counselor

  • Perform initial treatment evaluations.
  • Schedule required blood tests for program participants.
  • Update and review patient records, including notes on individual and group sessions.
  • Dispense medications in a supervised setting while confirming that patients take their medications as directed.
  • Make plans for aftercare programs once patients are discharged from the center’s inpatient treatment program.
  • Coordinate with other members of the treatment staff to evaluate patient progress and make recommendations for treatment plans. October 2008 to February 2013 Company Name — City, State Drug and Alcohol Counselor
  • Conducted initial patient interviews.
  • Held individual and group counseling sessions.
  • Invited family members to be a part of some of the therapy sessions in an attempt to show patients how their addictions were affecting their loved ones.
  • Recommended patients for transference to inpatient treatment programs when outpatient treatments failed to be effectual.
  • Closely monitored patient progress and made necessary changes treatments and therapies.
  • Responded to questions from patients and family members.


2008 University of California, City, State Master of Science, Psychology 2005 University of California, City, State Bachelor of Science, Behavioral Sciences