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Abstract: School counselors or guidance counselors provide academic, career, and social-emotional support to school-aged students at all levels, from elementary school to college. A school counselor resume should exhibit a strong set of soft/interpersonal skills, as well as a master’s degree in school counseling and relevant work experience.
You rescue shattered spirits and broken hearts.
You listen to hundreds of stories that can be hard to process and even harder to forget.
But the rewarding feeling of gaining the trust, respect, and gratitude of these young people is like nothing else.
Being a school counselor is a bumpy roller coaster ride… but you love it.
Make sure your school counselor resume resonates with passion and purpose.
This guide will show you how.
In this article:
- A school counselor resume that lands interviews.
- How to write a school counselor resume that will get you noticed.
- A set of rules of proper school counselor resume formatting.
- How to target your job description and skills sections to the job opening.
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School Counselor Resume Sample
871 Meadow Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Dedicated and determined school counselor with 5+ years of experience providing guidance to high school students on career development, academic plans, social behavior, and mental and physical health. Provided individual and group therapy to individuals with behavioral difficulties. Increased college eligibility rates by 15% in 2018/2019 academic year, resulting in 95% graduation rate.
High School Guidance Counselor
Emerson High School, Oklahoma City, OK
Sept 2018–Aug 2021
- Interviewed students, parents, teachers and administrators to obtain for assessment and developed and implemented individual treatment plan.
- Monitored graduation records, transcripts, and classes for 900+ students.
- Wrote a monthly article for the school newsletter on a topic of relevance.
- Created 1-hour Career Awareness sessions for students. Co-organized a Career Day, and arranged 25+ speakers from various industries to talk with the students about their profession.
- Coordinated Financial Aid Information sessions.
High School Guidance Counselor
Northwest Classen High School, Oklahoma City, OK
Sept 2016–Aug 2018
- Collaborated with students, parents, administrators and faculty to help 75 students progress successfully from their 9th to 12th grade years of high school.
- Trained 15 high school seniors in proper management and leadership skills to become lifelong leaders.
- Developed curriculum for and taught a "Peer Mediation and Mentoring" course.
- Provided individual, group and family counseling for 20+ students.
M.A. in School Counseling
Hunter College, New York
- Individual, group and family counseling
- Career awareness
- Mediation guidance
- Student assessment
- Critical thinking
- American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
- Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OKPT)
1. Begin With a Proper School Counselor Resume Format
Before you start working on your resume sections, make sure to properly format your document first.
Why is it so important, you ask?
Believe it or not, but hiring managers spend about 6 seconds reviewing a single resume, and a clean, professional format makes it easier for them to notice the most important parts.
So, here’s how to format a resume:
Best Resume Format for a School Counselor Resume
- Choose a professional resume font like Calibri, Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman.
- Set 1-inch resume margins on all 4 sides of your resume.
- Lay out your resume in the following order: Heading, Summary / Objective, Work Experience, Education, Skills, Bonus Sections.
- When listing your entries in the education and work history sections, remember to use the reverse-chronological resume format.
- How many pages should a resume be? A one-page resume should be enough for most school counseling jobs. A two-page resume is acceptable if you’re a candidate with more than 15 years of experience.
Remember to use a modern resume template that will be eye-catching and easy to navigate.
Expert Hint: Save your resume as a PDF file to ensure your formatting is retained.
2. Write a Persuasive Resume Objective or Summary
Before you’ll start working to get the kids to like you, you have to make the school principal like you…
How to do that?
Write a resume professional profile to show off your qualifications.
The idea is simple:
- Write a professional summary if you have 2 or more years of professional work experience.
- Go for a resume objective if you’re a fresh grad or starting out in the field.
Now, let’s take a look at two guidance counselor resume summary examples:
High School Counselor Resume Sample: Resume Summary Example
The first example shows quantified and measurable results, which prove the candidate’s skills.
The second example… not so much.
Plus, a third-person narration is preferred.
But what if you’re just starting out in the work-world?
A resume for freshers should start with an objective, or a brief explanation of your professional goals and intentions for the job.
Entry-Level School Counselor Resume Objective
Like chalk and cheese.
If you’re still not sure how to go about writing a professional profile like that, here’s a little cheat-sheet for you:
- Start your paragraph with a strong resume action word.
- “School counselor” or “guidance counselor”.
- Years of experience.
- A list of your expertise areas, skills supported by quantifiable achievements from your past work experiences.
And that’s that!
Now, let’s move on to the central point of your resume…
3. Craft Attention-Grabbing School Counselor Resume Job Description and Skills Sections
You are the quiet superhero of the school…
But your resume’s work experience section has to SCREAM all of your accomplishments.
So here’s the secret to knocking the recruiters’ socks off:
- Read the job advertisement thoroughly once again.
- Highlight the requirements that the employer finds the most important.
- Prepare your school counselor work history section based on the resume keywords you found in the job posting.
Let’s look at these resume work experience examples:
School Counselor Resume Examples: Work History
Without the numbers, the work experience section is just BLAH.
And those numbers will get the attention of the recruiter.
But there’s still something else you’ll need to worry about.
Getting your resume past the ATS screening.
That means listing skills that were directly asked for in the job posting.
Here’s a list of school counselor skills that might be useful for you:
Guidance Counselor Resume Sample Skills
- Active listening
- Assessment skills
- Strong communication skills
- Evaluation skills
- Sense of humor
- Analytical skills
- Time management
- Public speaking
- Coordinating activities
- Conflict resolution
- Career awareness
- Knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and mandated reporting
- Student guidance
- Crisis intervention
Expert Hint: According to the BLS, employment of guidance counselors is projected to grow 8% by 2029, due to the increasing student enrollment at all education levels. That means that competition is stiff, so you’ll have to make sure your resume really stands out.
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4. Turn Your Education Into a Reason to Hire You
You, of all people, know the importance of education.
So make sure to include an education section in your resume.
Here’s how to put education on a job application:
- Start with your most recent academic experience.
- Include the degree name, school, city and state.
- Put your year of graduation.
- Add something extra to make your education section attract attention: GPA, honors, awards, relevant coursework, publications, minors.
- Include a second entry if the latest one is still unfinished.
Resume For School Counselor: Education Section
Expert Hint: Most counseling jobs require candidates to have a master’s degree, preferably in guidance counseling or behavioral sciences, which is why your education info is critical to your school counselor resume.
5. Add Extra Sections to Elevate Your School Counselor Resume
The additional information you provide about yourself is of great value to employers.
It shows that you not only live and breathe counseling, but that you also invest your time in developing yourself.
That’s why it’s not just about putting random hobbies and interests on your resume, but listing relevant activities that will show the recruiter that you are the real deal.
These can be anything from volunteer work to conferences you took part in, blogging, certificates, professional associations, or even foreign languages.
Here’s an example:
High School Counselor Resume: Extra Sections
And that’s what you need to know about how to write the best resume for school counseling jobs.
The last step is to write an equally compelling school counselor cover letter that will have the principal flag your name as a candidate they will want to meet.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
To write a winning school counselor resume, remember to:
- Choose the best school counselor resume template.
- Properly format your resume to make it look clean and professional.
- Start with a persuasive resume summary or objective statement.
- Tailor your school counselor job description and skills sections to the job offer.
- Make the most out of your education.
- Include bonus sections with relevant information about your extracurricular activities.