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In order to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates, you need to possess an in-depth understanding of the skills and qualities that employers consider valuable.
This free counsellor CV sample has been designed to assist you during the process of writing your CV, so that you can avoid common pitfalls and have higher chances of landing the job you’re qualified to do. You can also get to grips with the kind of design recruiters are looking for with out CV template.
Below, we aim to cover all aspects of how to write a CV for a counsellor:
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Counsellor CV sample
24 Old Kings Road, Leeds LS1 8JP
Mental health professional driven to help others overcome personal obstacles. Comfortable working autonomously or in a team-based setting. Offering excellent communication and good judgment.
February 2015 – Current
City College – Leeds
- Worked with parents and teachers to implement consistent behaviour therapy techniques at home and school.
- Co-facilitated weekly support groups and provided individual counselling to dozens of upper school students with social adjustment problems.
- Coordinated with trained and licensed service providers to facilitate life skills workshops for vulnerable adults.
February 2014 – January 2015
Smart Counselling Services – Leeds
- Referred clients to other programmes and community agencies to enhance treatment processes.
- Consulted with and developed appropriate treatment and rehabilitation plans for dually diagnosed patients.
- Created and reviewed master treatment and discharge plans for each client.
- Licensed Counsellor
- NHS familiarity
- Talent in community psychiatry
- Board Eligible in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Mental health support
- Solution-focused counselling
- Diagnostic ability
- Dual diagnosis expertise
- Suicide risk assessments
City College Leeds – 2014
NVQ Level 3 Certificate in Integrative Counselling Skills
Choosing the right format for your counsellor CV
As counsellors work with people in need of mental health support, it’s vital that they showcase the experience they have to offer in a counselling CV. That’s why, out of all the many CV format, a reverse-chronological format is the best choice for a counsellor CV.
This format puts your work experience in centre stage, working back from your most recent position. The sections that make up a reverse-chronological CV include:
- Contact details – Let recruiters know how to reach you by including your full name, address, email, and current phone number.
- Personal statement – Write a short statement, of about 3-4 sentences in length, to describe the qualities that make you the ideal candidate for the role.
- Work history – This should showcase your most relevant, recent positions, with a bullet point list of 3-6 responsibilities for each role.
- Education – Similarly, this is a record of your relevant qualifications.
- Skills – This is a bullet point list of your technical and transferrable capabilities that are relevant to the job role.
- Additional sections – Where relevant, you can add extra sections for things like hobbies, awards, and publications.
If you’re changing career paths or just want to emphasise your skills over your work experience, then a skills-based CV might be the best option for you. This CV format includes a much more detailed skills section, so you can elaborate about your specialisms. Use this format carefully, however, as it can incorrectly imply that you have little to no formal experience.
How to write a CV for a counsellor
We will now take you step-by-step through all the essential components of a CV to United Kingdom standards.
You will learn…
- How to add contact details to your counsellor CV
- Counsellor CV personal statement
- How to present your work history on a counsellor CV
- Great skills to add on your counsellor CV
- How to add education to your counsellor CV
How to add contact details to your counsellor CV
The most overlooked section within a counselling CV is arguably the contact details. Whilst this section is relatively simple, missing out details or writing incorrect information here can mean that employers can’t get in touch with you.
Here’s the key information you’ll need to include:
- Full name – Let recruiters know exactly who they’re reading about by including your full name.
- Address – This should be your full address, including the postcode.
- Email – Include an up-to-date, work-appropriate email address.
- Phone number – Make sure you add in a phone number that you use regularly, so recruiters can reach out.
Example of a contact section for a counselling CV
3 Anyroad, Anytown, Anycounty, Postcode
Counsellor CV personal statement
Recruitment managers see hundreds of CVs each day. To make yours stand out, you need a well-written personal statement. This is positioned near the top of your counselling CV and covers the main qualities that make you a great candidate for the role.
Some top tips to help you create a perfect counsellor CV include…
- Write in the third person to draw the employer’s attention away from you and on to your abilities.
- Emphasise your empathy and abilities at building relationships with patients, for example, “broad-minded counsellor with strong listening skills”.
- Don’t waste time on every detail – there’s always room to elaborate in the rest of your CV and cover letter.
- Specify any specialisms, such as “trained in Gestalt therapy”
- Let recruiters know the different groups you’ve worked with, e.g., “experienced at providing talking therapies to clients with anxiety and depression”.
- Give details of the settings in which you’ve provided counselling services, such as hospitals, community mental health, schools, and in the workplace.
- Draw attention to your relevant experience in other fields, such as nursing.
Example of personal statement for counsellor CV
Qualified counsellor with proven experience supporting clients in the workplace and in educational settings. Committed to delivering client-centred support that gradually empowers individuals and enables them to make informed decisions. Possesses detailed understanding of the BACP Professional Conduct and Ethical Framework and applies such standards in interactions with clients and colleagues.
Experienced counsellor with sound knowledge of theoretical counselling approaches and their application to real-world settings. Special interest in cognitive behavioural therapy, integrative counselling, Gestalt therapy, and person-centred counselling. Areas of expertise include bereavement and bullying. Currently looking to expand areas of expertise with a full-time role in the not-for-profit sector.
How to present your work history on a counsellor CV
Counsellors often have experience from other sectors that helps them to fulfill their role – whether that’s caring for patients through mental health nursing or supporting people with complex needs as a social worker. Experience gained from volunteering as a counsellor can also be very beneficial.
In a counselling CV, you’ll need to set out your work experience in reverse-chronological order. Start off with your most recent position, then work backwards through any other relevant jobs.
Here are the core details you’ll need to include:
- The starting and finishing date for the position – or write “present” for current positions.
- Your job title, the company name, and the location of the role.
- Include a list, using bullet points, to record 3-6 relevant responsibilities for the job.
Don’t pad your CV out with less relevant jobs from twenty years ago. Make sure you keep the responsibilities you record relevant and diverse too. If one job showcases your prowess with dialectical behavioural therapy, use another position to emphasise your ability to work under pressure.
Example of work experience for counsellor CV
Counsellor | Educational Institution | Manchester
August 2013 – Present
- Provided client-centred counselling sessions to students.
- Accurately documented session outcomes.
- Developed and delivered individual and group session plans.
- Attended in-house and external professional development workshops and training courses.
Trainee Counsellor | JLF Counselling | Bolton
September 2012 – May 2013
- Undertook 150 hours of supervised counselling practice as part of placement year.
- Prepared counselling contracts.
- Assisted senior counsellors with record-keeping during one-to-one and group sessions.
Great skills to add on your counsellor CV
Counsellors require a broad range of technical and interpersonal capabilities to support clients with care and compassion, whilst also helping them to uncover strategies to improve their mental wellbeing. Requirements will vary, so it’s important to always read the job description carefully. However, many CV skills needed by counsellors will overlap.
Here are some must-haves and desirables to include:
Essential skills for a counsellor CV
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Integrative counselling
- Person-centred counselling
- Gestalt therapy
- BACP registered
- Bereavement counselling
Desirable aptitudes to set you apart
- Listening skills
- Written and verbal communication
- Driving license
- Strong understanding of client confidentiality
- Ability to work under pressure
- Time management
How to add education to your counsellor CV
Though there are no set education requirements for counsellors, there are plenty of qualifications that can help you to stand out. A degree in psychology or counselling or a Master’s in counselling can be very beneficial, whilst Level 2 to Level 4 qualifications in counselling skills can also give your CV a boost. As well as these qualifications, becoming a member of a regulating body also showcases your abilities. These include BACP, UKCP and NCS.
You can also include details of your A-Level and GCSE results if they were in the past 10 years.
Here are the most important details you’ll need to include:
- The name of the institution you studied at
- The year of completion
- The level of the qualification – such as NVQ or MA
- Course title or subject
Example education section for a counsellor CV
Any University, London – 2013
BA (Hons) Person-Centred Counselling (Accredited by the BACP)
Any College, London – 2009
Level 3 Certificate in Integrative Counselling Skills
Any College, London – 2007
Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills by the Counselling &
Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body
Pair your counsellor CV with a cover letter
Though you can send out a CV on its own, it’s better to accompany it with a covering letter. This is a short, one-page letter that gives you the opportunity to explain your unique set of abilities and achievements to recruiters.
Below are some top tips to help you understand how to write a cover letter:
- Address your cover letter to the recruitment manager, using their name where possible.
- Look for any core qualities required in the person specification, then repeat those terms in your covering letter, like “I have a calm and empathic communication style to put patients at ease”.
- You can use the cover letter to explain any gaps in your CV, for example, if you left work for a period to take care of your children.
- Keep the content of your cover letter different to your CV, where possible.
Top tips for counsellor CV writing
Discover some key tips and techniques for creating a successful counselling CV...
Highlight your counselling approachNo two counsellors are built the same – you all have different experiences, areas of expertise, and approaches to counselling. You might have vast experience of helping individuals to manage their emotions through dialectical behavioural therapy, or prefer to help clients reflect on their present experiences through Gestalt therapy. Let recruiters know the types of therapy you’re trained to practise.
Take time with proofreadingCounsellors are professionals – and their CVs need to reflect this. Don’t send off your CV right away. Take a break from the computer, then return later for a second review. Get family or friends to give it a read through to double check there’s nothing you’ve missed.
Start with the job descriptionCafé worker is a broad job title, that can cover cleaning, cooking, customer service, or a combination of them all. As such, it’s vital that your café assistant CV reflects the kind of job you’re applying for. Recruiters won’t be blown away by cooking expertise if they need someone to wash pots – and vice-versa.
Keep it specific to the employerWith this counselling CV, you’re not just applying to a job, but to an employer with specific requirements. Check out their website before writing your CV, as you should aim to align it with company values. Company websites often have “Visions and Values” pages to help you understand the conduct expected of ideal employees.
Your counsellor CV questions answered
What should a counselling CV include?
Your counselling CV needs to show a variety of qualities to prove you exceed the job requirements. For a counselling position, these will usually include experience working in mental health, a Level 4 or degree level qualification in counselling or psychology, and registration with BACP, NCS or UKCP. However, this will vary between positions – always consult the job description before starting on your CV.
What is the job role of a counsellor?
Counsellors help clients to understand their emotions and experiences, find new ways of looking at their life, and develop new strategies to take on life’s challenges. Here are some of the core responsibilities of the role:
- Building a strong rapport with clients
- Listening to clients’ experiences
- Talking with clients to help them better understand their situation and emotions
- Giving clients an alternative outlook on their challenges
- Discussing possible solutions
- Supporting clients to make their own decisions
- Referring clients to other services, where needed
- Holding group therapy sessions
How do you write counselling experience?
In a counselling CV, you should write out your counselling experience using the reverse-chronological format. Start with your most recent position and work backwards. You’ll need to include…
- The name of the company you worked for – or simply write “self-employed” for your own practice
- The location of the role
- The start and end date of your position there
- Add in a bullet point list of some of the duties you fulfilled in each counselling role – such as record keeping or providing CBT to clients
What is the most important counselling skill?
There are many important skills that counsellors should possess – from empathy to emotional resilience. One of the most important of these abilities is your “listening skills”. Whilst this might seem overly simplistic, active listening is integral to the counselling role. Active listening involves other skills such as:
- Developing a non-judgmental attitude
- Attention to detail
- Understanding of a wide range of issues, including equality and diversity
Stand out to employers with a counselling CV
Create an impressive counsellor CV using our online builder. Start with our professional CV templates, with plenty of options suitable for counsellors. These can then be filled in with our pre-written content – unique to your experience and specialisms. If you’ve got writer’s block, there are also plenty of successful CV examples to help you decide what to include.