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Counselor Resume Example & Writing Guide

  • What is a counselor’s job?
  • Why use this counselor resume example?
  • How to write a great counselor resume
  • Which skills are relevant for a counselor resume?

Your resume is the first contact you’ll have with an employer when looking for counseling jobs. So, it’s vital to craft a resume that helps you make a great first impression by demonstrating your skills, showcasing your education, and highlighting your past work experience. We’ll help you get started with a few tips and a counselor resume example.

What is a counselor’s job?

There are many types of counselors, but they all share the same basic goal of improving the mental and emotional well-being of their clients. These professionals conduct routine counseling sessions, provide crisis intervention care, refer patients to specialists, maintain patient records, and determine proper courses of treatment. Counselors may work in private practice clinics, schools, family service centers, hospitals, outpatient medical facilities, or substance abuse clinics. 

Why use this counselor resume example?

When writing a new resume, it’s often helpful to have a little assistance. This is especially true if you’re writing your first resume or looking for your first counseling job. In this example, you’ll notice the formatting is straightforward and uncluttered, with plenty of white space. We want to ensure the hiring manager can quickly find the information they’re looking for. 

Further, even though this counselor has several years of experience, we put the education and certifications up front. This is because these qualifications are often required for certain roles. 

Read on for more tips on formatting your resume, as well as guidance on what to include. You can reference the example resume when writing your own. This will help you format your document properly and help you decide what to include if you get stuck.

How to write a great counselor resume

Writing a top-notch counselor resume doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are a few tips that you can use to simplify the process:

  1. Begin with a compelling summary that outlines your qualifications and key skills. In this example, you’ll see a brief power statement followed by a bulleted list. 

  2. As mentioned above, the proper educational credentials are essential for counseling jobs. Make sure to feature your degree(s), specialized training, and certifications in a prominent place on your resume.

  3. When listing your competencies and describing your experience, be sure to focus on both hard or industry-specific skills, as well as soft skills that highlight your job-related personal characteristics.

  4. Integrate job-related accomplishments into your resume. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to describe your accomplishments in a compelling way. To format these, include a bulleted list after each job description paragraph. 

  5. Make sure to include a professional header at the top of your resume document. This should feature your name in a large font, along with your email address, phone number, city, state, and professional website (if applicable).

Which skills are relevant for a counselor resume?

Counselors need a diverse mix of skills to excel in their work. Here are some key skills that you can list on your resume:

  • Substance abuse treatment

  • Case management

  • Active listening

  • Diagnostic assessments

  • Reporting and documentation

  • Conflict resolution

  • Empathy

  • Family counseling

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy


Summary example

Compassionate counselor dedicated to helping individuals and families find pathways for coping with and overcoming psychological, emotional, and behavioral traumas as well as chemical dependency.

  • Well versed in utilizing numerous counseling methods, including strategic, structural, solution-focused, Gottman, and Trauma-focused CBT to assist families, individuals, and groups.

  • Expert in conducting intake, risk, and diagnostic assessments for children, adolescents, and adults to develop treatment plans, provide case management, and offer referral services.

  • Broad experience in treating the following: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, sexual abuse, trauma, PTSD, behavior management and modification, crisis intervention, and dual diagnosis treatment.

Employment history example

Counselor at City of Waldorf, Waldorf, MD

2017 - Present

Provide counseling, advocacy, case management, and referral services for youth and adult survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Perform intake and risk assessments. Offer counseling for clients facing substance abuse, eating disorders, self-destructive behavior, depression, anxiety, trauma, and suicide. Address issues related to crisis response, fear, isolation, relationships, immigration status, and employment. Collaborate with clients to establish goals, recognize triggers, develop coping and safety plans, and use program and community resources. Closely monitor changes to physical, emotional, and social needs, rapidly responding to distress and intrusive emotions, including flashbacks, dissociation, and numbing. Employ grounding techniques to help clients rebound and return to pre-crisis-level functioning.

  • Designed and delivered 40-hour of crisis intervention, counseling, and advocacy training for volunteers. with an emphasis on theoretical and practical aspects of trauma-related counseling.

  • Effectively build trust with victims and their families, employing best practices and counseling techniques to promote cooperation and participation in forensic exams, police interviews, and court proceedings.

  • Actively involved in the multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) collaborating with the Attorney’s Office, Victim/Witness Assistance Program, Police, Child Protective Services, Child Advocacy Center, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners to advocate for victims.

Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist at City of Waldorf, Waldorf, MD

2014 - 2017

Delivered educational presentations on sexual violence prevention aimed at reaching adolescents. Developed, coordinated, and implemented training programs for at-risk youth as well as victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. Served as a key resource for early identification and prevention of sexual violence, including case management, counseling, and program development.

  • Led educational activities and presentations on sexual violence prevention for groups and individuals through community centers, recreation centers, and schools.

Victim Advocate / Victim Advocate Education Training Specialist at Victim Support Association, Baltimore, MD

2010 - 2014

Performed assessments in person and via telephone for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; provided crisis counseling, case management, and referral services. Created and presented educational materials designed to prepare Victim Advocates to support US Army sexual assault programs. Partnered with soldiers, family members, communities, and team members to develop strategies for preventing, handling, and reporting incidents of sexual assault. Updated case reports and client records. Maintained community resource and referral services databases.

  • Provided 24/7 advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while maintaining compliance with regulations and guidelines for both on- and off-base responses, reporting, and case management.

Residential Counselor II at Child & Family Services, Baltimore, MD

2007 - 2010

Counseled and case-managed at at-risk youth in a residential program. Assisted youth in the development of life skills, academics, and community integration while offering a safe space to discuss sexual assault, domestic violence, and substance abuse issues.

  • Provided leadership and direction for volunteers within the Sexual Assault Center (SAC) and Domestic Violence Program, including recruitment campaigns, staff training, and volunteer scheduling.

  • Developed, fine-tuned, and implemented policies and procedures for crisis services.

  • Led operations, staff, and case processing for a 24-hour crisis hotline.

Education example

  • Master of Science in Marriage & Family Counseling at Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Master of Science in Behavioral Psychology at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology & Speech Communications at Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas

Skills example

  • Professional Counselor-Resident

  • Marriage and Family Therapist-Resident

  • Trauma Focused CBT

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor

  • Crisis Intervention Techniques

  • Domestic Violence Intervention Techniques (DVIT)

  • SHARP Certification

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