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Mental Health Counselor Resume: Samples & Writing Guide

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Our customers have been hired by:

Being a mental health counselor means that you’re there to help. But let’s swap seats for a moment.

Today, you’re the one in need. So let us help you present all your hard work and achievements to your future employer. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting your outstanding resume. 

This guide will show you: 

  • A mental health counselor resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
  • How to write a mental health counseling resume that will land you more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put achievements and skills for mental health counselor resume.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for mental health counseling roles to get any job you want.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

Looking for a different kind of resume in a similar field? See these guides:

Mental Health Counseling Resume Sample

Adriana A. Robinson

Mental Health Counselor

503-641-7187

adriana.robinson@email.com

Summary 

Passionate and dedicated mental health counselor with 5+ years of professional experience. Seeking to provide the Oregon Health & Science University program’s clients with personal counseling services that focus on supporting underserved student populations. In previous roles achieved a 92% satisfaction rate from students, faculty, parents, and staff at Lewis & Mark College and spoke at the Oregon Counseling Association Spring CE event about preventing and responding to suicidal behaviors amongst youth. 

Experience

Senior Mental Health Counselor

Lewis & Mark College, Portland, OR

September 2020–July 2022

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Provided personal counseling services for nearly 100+ students, faculty, parents, and staff, including crisis intervention, psycho-therapeutic, academic, and developmental counseling. 
  • Created 5 counseling groups and developed support plans for underserved student populations, including Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American, Latinx, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Multi-racial and other students of color, and LGBTQIA+ students.
  • Conducted monthly educational workshops focused on the mental health needs of historically underrepresented student groups.
  • Provided phone consultation services related to psychological issues that focused explicitly on at-risk students or students failing academically. 
  • Maintained appropriate documentation for all services, using the SimplePractice practice management software.

Key Achievements: 

  • Organized a series of 5 workshops focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) topics to define the scope of inclusive communication and behavior in a school setting.
  • Achieved a 92% satisfaction rate from students, faculty, parents, and staff who benefited from Lewis & Mark College counseling services.

School-based Mental Health Counselor

EVIPOINT, Portland, OR

August 2017–September 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Conducted training and co-created 4 school-based mental health services for students and their families through Culturally Responsive Trauma-Informed Care.
  • Organized quarterly workshops for students, families, and staff to promote behavioral health, wellness, and effective coping mechanisms. 
  • Assisted in coordinating and facilitating group services and provided weekly individual services for adolescents, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
  • Maintained required documentation, including the medical necessity for insurance, diagnostic summary, treatment plan, session notes, and program reports.

Key Achievement: 

  • Supported 200+ students from Portland Public Schools with school-based mental health programs and helped 88% of pupils earn a high school diploma or a GED.

Education

Master of Arts in Psychology

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

September 2016–June 2017

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

September 2013–June 2016

Key Skills

  • Youth counseling
  • Diversity training
  • Career guidance 
  • Student assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Case management proficiency 
  • Excellent listening abilities
  • Efficient communication
  • Detail-oriented observation
  • Problem-solving 

Memberships

  • American College Counseling Association (ACCA)
  • Member of the Oregon Counseling Association (ORGA) since 2018
    • Speaker at the Spring CE event with the topic “Suicide Response & Prevention amongst Youth.”

Languages

  • Spanish—Fluent
  • French—Conversational

Interests

  • American literature (esp. Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg)
  • Travels (esp. the countries of South-East Asia)
  • Yoga practice

Now, let’s learn how to write an outstanding mental health counselor resume.

1. Kick Off With a Suitable Format for Your Mental Health Counselor Resume

Every counseling appointment should have a proper structure. You need to understand how to guide your patients and what questions to ask. 

The same thing applies to creating a job-winning counseling resume. 

So, let’s cut through it—do you know what a proper format for your resume is? 

Here’s how to shape an eye-catching resume template:

  • First, the format. There’s no better way to present your counseling experience than using the reverse-chronological resume format.
  • Header matters. Having your resume contact information formatted correctly and including the correct details is your starting point. 
  • Resume fonts are important. Calibri or Cambria—usually correctly rendered. Traditional yet stylish.
  • Font size shouldn’t be ignored. 11–12 points but highlight and go bigger with the resume headings.
  • Line spacing makes a difference. 1.15 works and looks perfect.
  • Resume margins count. One inch around each page. 
  • File type sums it up. Unless specified in the job posting—a PDF resume file is the best choice. 

Make your resume as short as possible while still showing the necessary skills for the job. One page resume format is desirable, but if you can’t fit all your experience into one A4—two pages will do the job.

You should include the following resume sections:

  • Header: name, title, and contact details.
  • Summary of qualifications: clear objective personalized to the job offer.
  • Work Experience: your professional accomplishments in reverse chronological order. 
  • Education: the schools you attended and relevant counseling courses you finalized.
  • Skills: key skills suitable for the position
  • Extra Sections: memberships, conferences, languages, certifications, etc. 

You know it all about resume formatting, so let’s move up to the crucial part—your work history. 

Polish your mental health counseling resume. Find out: What Makes a Good Resume? 11 Things Your Resume Needs

2. Highlight Experience in Your Mental Health Counselor Resume

This section can’t go wrong. 

Your experience determines whether recruiters contact you or not. The HR will expect to find only the relevant experience that fits the job requirements. 

Relevant means you have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform in the new role. 

Don’t worry about the time you worked as a barista—even if that can prove your excellent communication skills. Keep only the jobs related to the counseling industry.

Here’s how to create an excellent work experience section:

  • Always follow reverse-chronological order.
  • The job title should go first, then the company name and dates (start and finish).
  • Include up to 6 bullet points describing your achievements.
  • Add your key achievements that precisely match your job requirements.
  • Show achievements with the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula.
  • Use numbers & percentages to highlight achievements.
  • Applyaction words to your resume

See these mental health counselor resume examples:

Mental Health Counselor Resume Sample [Work Experience]

Right

Senior Mental Health Counselor

Lewis & Mark College, Portland, OR

September 2020–July 2022

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Provided personal counseling services for nearly 100+ students, faculty, parents, and staff.
  • Created 5 counseling groups and developed support plans for underserved student populations.
  • Conducted monthly educational workshops focused on the mental health needs of historically underrepresented student groups.
  • Provided phone consultation services related to psychological issues that focused explicitly on at-risk students or students failing academically. 
Wrong

Senior Mental Health Counselor

Lewis & Mark College

2020-2022

  • Responsible for personal counseling to the college staff.
  • Supported underrepresented student groups.
  • Assisted with solving staff issues.
  • Answered phone calls.

Can you spot the difference? Focus on your core competencies rather than responsibilities. Quantify your actions, and tailor your resume bullet points to the job description. 

Even if you’re just beginning your counseling career—don’t worry. We show you how to structure your accomplishments the right way. 

Want your entry-level mental health counselor resume lands you the dream job? Have a look!

Entry-Level Mental Health Resume Samples [Experience]

Right

Junior Mental Health Counselor

Lewis & Mark College

September 2018–July 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Supported counseling training sessions and co-created 4 school-based mental health services for students and their families service tickets and used web-based ticketing systems to track and deliver support services.
  • Organized 3 workshops for students, families, and staff to promote behavioral health, wellness, and effective coping mechanisms. 
  • Assisted in coordinating and facilitating group services and provided weekly individual services for adolescents, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
  • Maintained required documentation, including the medical necessity for insurance, diagnostic summary, treatment plan, session notes, and program reports.
Wrong

Junior Mental Health Counselor

L&M College

2018-2029

  • Responsible for training sessions with students and staff.
  • Organized a few workshops for students, families, and staff.
  • Assisted in coordinating group counseling sessions.
  • Took care of required student documentation.

The wrong resume example states what you were responsible for, NOT what you’ve achieved. And as already mentioned—recruiters care about your accomplishments in the role, not the duties. The first example adds numbers like 4 schools, 4 workshops, etc., so the HR department and your future colleagues can see how great your involvement was. 

Read more: How to Show Work Experience in a Resume

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. Education Counts for Mental Health Counseling Resume

In June 2022, nearly 33% of adults living in the US reported a need for mental health support—compared with 11% in 2019, pre-COVID. 

The scale is extreme, right? But with this number comes immense responsibility. 

One counseling course or a gut feeling won’t give you the job. Unlike any other profession— mental health counseling requires highly educated professionals.

Are you an experienced counselor? Cut your education section down to a minimum and only show your highest level of education.

Have little counseling experience? Focus on relevant courses, academic achievements, and extracurricular activities. 

Mental Health Counselor Resume Example [Education]

Right

Education

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Oregon

September 2019- June 2022

  • Excelled in the Diversity Counseling coursework.
  • A member of the Psi Chi Student Organization.
  • Awarded with the CAS scholarship.

Amaze your recruiter—show them your time at uni wasn’t just party and stuff. You did great, and you’re ready to conquer the counseling world. 

Still studying? See our guide: How to Show Unfinished Education on a Resume.

4. List the Relevant Skills in Your Mental Health Counselor Resume

It’s time for your skill set. As per the work experience section—be relevant. Choose only the skills that match the job qualifications. 

Here’s how to ensure you don’t just copy any random adjectives that apply to the counselor's resume:

  • Have a look at the job offer and highlight skills-related keywords.
  • Look at your resume and carefully study the work experience and education sections—list the skills you’ve learned at work and school that match your job requirements. 
  • Now, you have your “master” list of skills. 
  • Choose a maximum of 10 most relevant skills and add them to your resume. 
  • Compare your skills to your work experience. Do they match? If so, you’re all set and have a suitable list of skills for your mental health counselor resume. 

Start with this list of relevant skills:

Mental Health Counselor Resume Skills

This list will help you craft your own skills section. But remember—personalization is always the key. Don’t make your skills too generic; match them to the job ad. 

This is what a skills section can look like for someone who specializes in youth counseling diversity topics.

Sample Skills Section for a Mental Health Counselor Resume

Right

Key Skills

  • Youth counseling
  • Diversity training
  • Career guidance 
  • Student assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Case management proficiency 
  • Excellent listening abilities
  • Efficient communication
  • Detail-oriented observation
  • Problem-solving

Read more about how to list skills on a resume: 99+ Key Job Skills for Resumes

5. Add Extra Sections to Your Mental Health Counselor Resume

This section can help you stand out amongst other candidates. This is where you highlight your awards, memberships, conferences (if relevant to the job ad), and all licenses and certifications that will make your resume shine.

Your future job requires working in a multicultural environment? Highlight language skills on your resume

Are you an entry-level mental health counselor? Include academic awards and volunteering experience or add interests and hobbies if they match the job ad. 

Mental Health Counselor Resume Samples [Other Sections]

Right

Memberships

  • American College Counseling Association (ACCA)
  • Member of the Oregon Counseling Association (ORGA) since 2018
    • Speaker at the Spring CE event with the topic “Suicide Response & Prevention amongst Youth.”

Languages

  • Spanish—Fluent
  • French—Conversational

Interests

  • American literature (esp. Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg)
  • Travels (esp. the countries of South-East Asia)
  • Yoga practice
Wrong

Hobby

  • Swimming
  • Listen to music
  • Reading books

Pro Tip: Curious about what more to include in the additional section? CheckWhat to Put for Additional Information on a Resume.

6. Create a Mental Health Counselor Objective or Resume Summary

The first thing you want to know about your new client is why they’re here. You need to define the therapy objective. 

It’s no different with the hiring process.

Recruiters first scan your resume summary or objective and expect to find out why you’re the best candidate for the role. So, this section needs to shine and include all important elements. 

Here’s what a professional resume summary consists of:

  1. Start the first sentence with an adjective.
  2. Mention your current job title.
  3. Add years of professional experience.
  4. Introduce your goal—mention the company name.
  5. Include the most relevant achievements and skills for the job.
  6. Express your interest and excitement about this new opportunity.

Now, time for examples! Find out how to write the mental health counselor resume summary right and what to avoid. 

Mental Health Counselor Resume [Summary]

Right
Proven senior mental health counselor with 5+ years of professional experience. Seeking to provide the Oregon Health & Science University program’s clients with personal counseling services that focus on supporting underserved student populations. In previous roles achieved a 92% satisfaction rate from students, faculty, parents, and staff at Lewis & Mark College, and spoke at the Oregon Counseling Association Spring CE event about preventing and responding to suicidal behaviors amongst youth. 
Wrong
Mental health counselor with years of professional experience. Trusted and hard-working employee who can always go the extra mile. Experienced in running counseling sessions and excited for this new opportunity. 

See how the formula Adjective + Job Title + Years of Experience + What You Want to Do for the Employer + Achievements works. Follow this method and easily structure any type of mental health counseling resume summary. 

If you’re writing an entry-level mental health counselor resume summary, you better use a career objective as a starting point. 

Demonstrate your passion, motivation, and strong work ethic. 

Let them know that your big achievements are just a matter of time!

Mental Health Counselor Resume [Objective]

Right
Entry-level mental health counselor with excellent listening abilities and a problem-solving approach. Excelled in the Diversity Counseling coursework and a proud member of the Psi Chi Student Organization at the University of Oregon. Seeking to support Oregon Health & Science University program’s clients with personal counseling services that focus on supporting underserved student populations.
Wrong
Future mental health counselor with excellent communication skills. Enjoyed counseling courses and would like to proceed with my career in this direction. I was a part of some student organizations, and I had a chance to speak at a few events. I would love to show you my excellent work ethic skills!

See—even though you’re an entry-level counselor, you sound like a pro! You named your future employeer, showed off your college efforts and skills for the job. They would need to be cruel not to invite you for the first round. 

Pro Tip: If you’re only just starting off your counseling journey, check How to Write a Resume With No Experience

7. Include a Mental Health Counselor Cover Letter

Does a mental health counselor application need a cover letter? Absolutely! 

According to our HR statistics report, 40% of recruiters expect job seekers to include a cover letter. It’s in the top 3 requirements, after tailoring a resume to the open position and mentioning relevant skill set. 

It’s always worth adding a cover letter so recruiters can see your extra effort.

To write a perfect mental health counselor cover letter:

  1. Make the text straight to the point and choose the right cover letter length.
  2. Choose the right cover letter format
  3. Address your hiring manager.
  4. Open your cover letter with a catchy sentence. 
  5. Use the second paragraph to share your achievements and skills.
  6. Close the cover letter with the anticipation of hearing more about the position and meeting. 

To match your cover letter with your resume, choose the same cover letter layout

Read more: What’s the Difference between a Cover Letter and a Resume

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

Here’s a recap of how to write a mental health counseling resume:

  • Choose the right resume format that will match your expertise.
  • List your most recent and most relevant work experience.
  • Add your education section. If you’re an entry-level candidate—list your academic achievements.
  • Present the most suited skills for the job. 
  • Include the additional section with certificates, memberships, languages and interests. All need to match the job requirements.
  • Create an outstanding resume summary or objective. Follow our proven formula.
  • Don’t forget about the cover letter

That’s it! Now you know how to make an excellent counselor resume. 

Still have some questions? Raise them in the comments below and let us know:

  • What are the biggest challenges of writing a mental health counselor resume? 
  • Which section was the hardest to describe? 

We would love to hear from you!

 
 
 
 
 

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Danuta Detyna, CPRW
Danuta Detyna is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career advisor writer who specializes in everything related to crafting resumes and cover letters. She has extensive experience in the field and is dedicated to providing practical and effective advice to help you advance your career. Drawing on her legal background, she places great emphasis on thorough research and accuracy when creating career guidance articles. Her ultimate goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to achieve greater professional satisfaction.
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