Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (2023)

As a counsellor, you will be up against strong competition in the job market.

To get noticed, you need a carefully framed counsellor CV that will ensure you are asked to interview.

In this guide we look at how to craft a winning CV to help you do that.

Guide contents

  • CounsellorCV example
  • Structuring and formatting your CV
  • Writing your CV profile
  • Detailing work experience
  • Your education
  • Skills required for yourCounsellorCV

Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (1)

CounsellorCV example

Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (2)

Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (3)

Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (4)

Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (5)

Before you start writing your own CV, take a look at the example Counsellor CV above to give yourself a basic understanding of the style and format that recruiters and hiring managers prefer to see.

Also, take note of the type of content that is included to impress recruiters, and how the most relevant information is made prominent.

CounsellorCV structure & format

The format and structure of your CV is important because it will determine how easy it is for recruiters and employers to read your CV.

If they can find the information they need quickly, they’ll be happy; but if they struggle, your application could be overlooked.

A simple and logical structure will always create a better reading experience than a complex structure, and with a few simple formatting tricks, you’ll be good to go. Check them out below:

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Formatting Tips

  • Length: Two sides of A4 makes for the the perfect CV length, though one page is okay for less experienced applicants. This forces you to make sure that every single sentence adds value to your CV and ensures you avoid waffle.
  • Readability: Columns, lists, bullet points, bold text and subtle colour can all help to aid the readability of your CV. Your overarching goal should be to make the content as easy to read and navigate as possible, whilst also aiming to make your key skills and achievements stand out.
  • Design: While it’s okay to add your own spin to your CV, avoid overdoing the design. If you go for something elaborate, you might end up frustrating recruiters who, above anything, value simplicity and clarity.
  • Avoid photos: If your CV has photos, images or profile pictures, hit the delete button. They’re not needed and won’t add any value to your applications.

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Structuring your CV

For easy reading, write your CV to the following CV structure:

  • Contact details – Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by listing your contact details at the top of your CV.
  • Profile – A short and snappy summary of your experience and skills, showcasing what makes you a good fit for the position.
  • Work experience / career history – Note down all your work history, with your current position first, then working backwards.
  • Education – A short list of your academic background and professional/vocational qualifications.
  • Interest and hobbies – This is an optional section, which you can use to highlight any relevant hobbies or interests.

Now I’ll guide you through exactly what you should include in each CV section.

CV Contact Details

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Make it easy for recruiters to get in touch, by heading your CV with your contact details.

There’s no need for excessive details – just list the basics:

  • Mobile number
  • Email address – Use a professional address with no nicknames.
  • Location – Just write your your general location, such as ‘London’ or ‘Cardiff’ – there’s no need to put your full address.
  • LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Make sure they’re looking sleek and up-to-date, though!

Counsellor CV Profile

Grab the reader’s attention by kick-starting your CV with a powerful profile (or personal statement, if you’re a junior applicant).

This is a short introduction paragraph which summarises your skills, knowledge and experience.

It should paint you as the perfect match for the job description and entice recruiters to read through the rest of your CV.

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Tips for creating an impactful CV profile:

  • Keep it brief: When it comes to CV profile length, less is more, as recruiters are often time-strapped. Aim for around of 3-5 persuasive lines.
  • Tailor it: Not tailoring your profile (and the rest of your CV) to the role you’re applying for, is the worst CV mistake you could make. Before setting pen to paper, look over the job ad and make a note of the skills and experience required. Then, incorporate your findings throughout.
  • Don’t add an objective: Career goals and objectives are best suited to your cover letter, so don’t waste space with them in your CV profile.
  • Avoid cliches: Clichés like “blue-sky thinker with a go-getter attitude” might sound impressive to you, but they don’t actually tell the recruiter much about you. Concentrate on highlighting hard facts and skills, as recruiters are more likely to take these on board.

What to include in your Counsellor CV profile?

  • Summary of experience: Recruiters will want to know what type of companies you’ve worked for, industries you have knowledge of, and the type of work you’ve carried out in the past, so give them a summary of this in your profile.
  • Relevant skills: Highlight your skills which are most relevant to Counsellor jobs, to ensure that recruiters see your most in-demand skills as soon as they open your CV.
  • Essential qualifications: If the jobs you are applying to require candidates to have certain qualifications, then you must add them in your profile to ensure they are seen by hiring managers.

Quick tip: Remember to triple-check for spelling and grammar errors before hitting send. If you’re unsure, try using our partner’s CV builder for a quick and easy approach.

Core skills section

Underneath your profile, create a core skills section to make your most relevant skills jump off the page at readers.

It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points of your relevant skills.

Before you do this, look over the job description and make a list of any specific skills, specialisms or knowledge required.

Then, make sure to use your findings in your list. This will paint you as the perfect match for the role.

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Counsellor CV example & writing guide [Get more interviews] (11)

Work experience/Career history

Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.

Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.

You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.

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Structuring your roles

Lengthy, unbroken chunks of text is a recruiters worst nightmare, but your work experience section caneasily end up looking like that if you are not careful.

To avoid this, use my tried-and-tested 3-step structure, as illustrated below:

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Begin with a summary of your role, detailing what the purpose of your job was, who you reported to and what size of team you were part of (or led).


“Assist clients (staff, students and parents) to build relevant coping mechanisms for challenging situations, for the largest college in South Yorkshire.”

Key responsibilities

Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.

Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.


  • Providing comprehensive assessments of each client’s needs including suitability for counselling and selecting the most appropriate counselling intervention for the individual
  • Listening to each client, quickly analysing complex issues and challenges and assisting the client to find solutions
  • Following a person-centred approach to develop suitable treatment plans for each client

Key achievements

Finish off by showcasing 1-3 key achievements made within the role.

This could be anything that had a positive effect on your company, clients or customers, such as saving time or money, receiving exemplary feedback or receiving an award.


  • Designed a college wide workshop to assist staff, students and parents in managing bullying. two other local schools also requested the workshop, which in total allowed the workshop to benefit over 4000 staff, students and parents.
  • Developed a student discipline plan which balanced both flexibility and probability. The plan was deemed a huge success with 98% of the staff reporting they found it very helpful and were able to implement the steps quickly and easily.


In your education section, make any degrees, qualifications or training which are relevant to Counsellor roles a focal point.

As well as mentioning the name of the organisation, qualification titles and dates of study, you should showcase any particularly relevant modules, assignments or projects.

Additionally, if you have room, you can provide a brief overview of your academic background, such as A-Levels and GCSEs.

Interests and hobbies

This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.

If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.

Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.

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Essential skills for your Counsellor CV

Tailoring your CV to the roles you are applying for is key to success, so make sure to read through the job descriptions and tailor your skills accordingly.

However, commonly desiredCounsellorskills include:

Observational skills – Through empathic active listening, attending and a non-judgmental approach, your CV must convey that you have exceptional observational skills.

Therapy skills – A counsellor CV must indicate your skill across a range of therapy frameworks within the context of your own personal resilience.

Ethical and legal – Your CV must showcase your understanding and in-tune application of ethical and legal responsibilities, both to your clients and the wider profession.

Reasoning – You need to display how you apply reasoning skills to different situations and utilise these in conjunction with your research capabilities.

Interpersonal – As a counsellor, your interpersonal skills must be second to none, and this must be clearly evident on your CV.

Writing yourCounsellor CV

Once you’ve written your Counsellor CV, you should proofread it several times to ensure that there are no typos or grammatical errors.

With a tailored punchy profile that showcases your relevant experience and skills, paired with well-structured role descriptions, you’ll be able to impress employers and land interviews.

Good luck with your next job application!


What should I put on my Counselling CV? ›

How to write a CV for counselling jobs
  1. Contact details. A contact details section is typically the first section to include in a CV for counselling jobs. ...
  2. Professional profile. ...
  3. Key skills. ...
  4. Employment history. ...
  5. Education and qualifications. ...
  6. References. ...
  7. Interests. ...
  8. Website and social media.
Mar 30, 2023

What is an example of a professional summary for a CV? ›

I am an enthusiastic, self-motivated, reliable, responsible and hard working person. I am a mature team worker and adaptable to all challenging situations. I am able to work well both in a team environment as well as using own initiative. I am able to work well under pressure and adhere to strict deadlines.

How do I make my professional CV strong? ›

7 simple but effective ways to make your CV stand out
  1. Start strong. Start with a summary of your skills and key accomplishments. ...
  2. Emphasize results rather than responsibilities. ...
  3. Customize for the job you want. ...
  4. Highlight changes and growth. ...
  5. Demonstrate that you are connected. ...
  6. Show industry insight. ...
  7. Use power words.

What are the 5 main parts of a CV? ›

There are five essential elements to include in your CV. Your name and contact details, a personal statement, work experience, education and qualifications and key skills.

What skills can I say I have on my CV? ›

You might include skills in these areas:
  • Analytical and problem solving.
  • Microsoft Excel.
  • Enterprise resource planning software.
  • Business and leadership.
  • Verbal and writing skills.
  • Data analytics.
  • Revenue recognition.
  • Risk and compliance.
Jul 9, 2022

What is a short description about yourself in a CV? ›

Example Personal Statement:

I am a talented, ambitious and hardworking individual, with broad skills and experience in digital and printed marketing, social media and leading projects. Furthermore, I am adept at handling multiple tasks on a daily basis competently and at working well under pressure.

What is a good summary statement? ›

Your summary statement should be three to five lines describing your strengths, the position/industry you are seeking, and what you will bring to the job. Strengths and traits should be focused on the direction you are moving, not where you are coming from.

What is an example of a professional statement? ›

I have consistently proven my ability to meet deadlines and achieve project objectives, solve mission-critical problems and prioritize crucial tasks while maintaining the high standards expected of my role. I am currently seeking a position in an established data science firm to further my career goals.”

What are the key qualities of a successful CV? ›

Characteristics of a Great CV to Help You Stand Out
  • It Grabs the Reader's Attention.
  • It tells the Reader the Kind of Job You are Looking For.
  • It Establishes your Credibility.
  • It Shows you as a Culture Fit and not Just Qualifications and Skills.
Nov 3, 2021

How can I make my CV sound impressive? ›

How to make any job sound impressive on your CV
  1. Inject keywords into your CV. ...
  2. Reduce irrelevant information. ...
  3. Use the active voice. ...
  4. Leverage powerful verbs. ...
  5. Choose accomplishments, not duties. ...
  6. Quantify your achievements. ...
  7. Prioritise readability. ...
  8. Include testimonials.

What 3 things should be included in a CV? ›

Every CV should include the following sections: Contact Information, Personal Statement, Work Experience, Education, Skills. Additional sections you can put on a CV include: Professional certifications, Hobbies and Interests, Languages, Volunteering, Projects, Publications, Awards and Conferences.

What should not be included in a CV? ›

So here they are, 10 things not to do on your CV:
  • Providing irrelevant personal information. ...
  • Burying important information. ...
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. ...
  • Unexplained gaps in employment. ...
  • Lying or misleading information. ...
  • Adding references to your CV. ...
  • A long, waffly CV. ...
  • Badly formatted CV.

What is the most important part of a CV? ›

Work Experience

Arguably, the most crucial section of your whole job application. According to a Jobvite report, 67% of recruiters consider relevant work experience the most important thing they look for on a CV.

Should I explain my skills on my CV? ›

Compare your skills to what employers want

Assess your ability in each skill as accurately as you can. Ask yourself if you have used this skill a little or a lot. For each skill, write a sentence showing how you've used that skill. Then write a sentence showing how you could use that skill in the job you would like.

Do I need to explain my skills on my CV? ›

Where should the key skills section go? Most job seekers place the key skills section at the front of the CV, after the profile and before the career history section. The reason for placing key skills so prominently is to show the reader early on that you have the right areas of expertise.

What is your skill sample answer? ›

Personal skills, such as being positive and responsible, learning quickly and working safely. Teamwork skills, such as working well with others, and helping your team with their projects and tasks. Fundamental skills, such as communicating well, managing information, using numbers, and solving problems.

How do you write an irresistible CV? ›

Avoid lengthy paragraphs and instead use bullet points to break them down into a neat list that's much easier to go through. And make sure you don't use lengthy or ambiguous phrases. Overall make sure your CV is easy to read and conveys the information you want to be known about you in a clear and concise way.

How do I make my CV stand out visually? ›

How to Format a Modern, Visually Appealing Resume
  1. Add a professional summary. ...
  2. Be concise. ...
  3. Highlight the important information. ...
  4. Utilize quantitative information whenever possible. ...
  5. Use clear section headings. ...
  6. Create white-space. ...
  7. Use common fonts. ...
  8. Recommended Reading:

How do you introduce yourself professionally? ›

Personal commercial template
  1. Greeting: Hello, my name is (name). ...
  2. Goal: I am looking for (internship/full-time position) at (employer name).
  3. Interest/passion: I am interested in (interests related to the company/industry).
  4. Strengths: I have many skills to contribute including (strengths) and (skills).

How can I describe myself professionally? ›

“I am hardworking and dedicated to my role and my own professional development. I love a challenge and constantly set goals for myself to achieve, both in work and in my personal life.

What are the 5 things you should include in a summary? ›

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:
  • Read the text.
  • Break it down into sections.
  • Identify the key points in each section.
  • Write the summary.
  • Check the summary against the article.
Nov 23, 2020

How can you make your summary more attractive? ›

4 Tips for Writing a Good Summary
  1. Find the main idea. A useful summary distills the source material down to its most important point to inform the reader. ...
  2. Keep it brief. A summary is not a rewrite—it's a short summation of the original piece. ...
  3. Write without judgment. ...
  4. Make sure it flows.
Jun 7, 2021

What should I start off a summary? ›

A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the text's title, author and main point of the text as you see it. A summary is written in your own words. A summary contains only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.

How do you sell yourself in a personal statement? ›

Start with why you're the perfect fit for a place on your course. Mention the most important aspects of your relevant skills and experience early. Prove the points you've introduced – it's here you'd talk about your current and previous studies, your skills, and your work experience.

What is a perfect personal statement? ›

Explain the reason for your choice and how it fits in with your aspirations for the future. Give examples of any related academic or work experience. Show you know what the course will involve and mention any special subjects you're interested in.

What is a good career statement? ›

A good career statement: Describes your career and experience so far; Highlight your transferable skills and personal attributes; Note qualities of work you most value and enjoy; and.

What is your biggest strength answer? ›

For example, you could say: “My greatest strength is attention to detail. I've always been detail-oriented in my work, and it's something I enjoy. I saw on your job description that this role involves a lot of detail-oriented work, which is one reason I applied.”

How do you talk about strengths in a CV? ›

36 examples of strengths to list in a resume
  1. Leadership. Leadership demonstrates to employers your ability to manage and supervise a team. ...
  2. Self-motivated. Being self-motivated shows potential employers that you take pride in your work. ...
  3. Active listening. ...
  4. Communicating. ...
  5. Honesty. ...
  6. Strong work ethic. ...
  7. Customer service. ...
  8. Creative.
Feb 20, 2023

What makes a CV stand out from the rest? ›

Keywords are an important part of your CV writing. Having relevant keywords makes it possible for the recruiters to identify you from numerous available candidates. That is making you stand out from the rest. Hence, it is very important to keep this in mind while preparing your CV.

How do I know if my CV is good enough? ›

  • Is it tailored to the job role? Take a little time to compare your CV to the job you're applying for. ...
  • Is it brief and clear? ...
  • Is it free of common CV mistakes? ...
  • Are work history gaps and/or job-hopping explained? ...
  • Have numbers and examples been used to illustrate your skills and competencies?

How far back should a CV go? ›

As a rule of thumb, your CV should only list the last 10 to 15 years of work experience, or your last five to six employment positions within this time frame. It keeps your CV highly relevant to the prospective employer.

How long should a CV be? ›

How long should your CV be? Unless you're applying for an entry-level position, two pages is widely considered to be the perfect length for a CV. However, that's not to say writing a two-page CV should be your goal. Always strive to incorporate only the most relevant facts.

Do you put a professional summary on a CV? ›

Just as with many other aspects of resume writing, whether you should include a professional summary is best determined on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, the answer is "no." The most important question to keep in mind is whether your summary is truly adding value.

How long should a professional summary be on a CV? ›

A professional summary for a resume only needs to be three to five sentences long. You should also write using the first-person point of view, but omit pronouns like “I,” “she” or “they” to help save some valuable writing space.

Does a CV need a professional summary? ›

The answer to “should you include a summary / profile on your CV?” is a resounding “yes!”. Note that outside the U.S. and Canada, resumes are generally called CVs (curriculum vitae). But whether you call it a resume summary or a CV summary, it's basically the same element, governed by the same goals.

What is the difference between resume summary and professional summary? ›

A summary statement simply restates the key points of your resume, usually in a short paragraph or a few bullet points. A professional profile also highlights the key points from your resume, but it usually focuses more on your accomplishments and accolades.

What is 5 rules for professional CV writing? ›

The 5 Golden Rules of CV Writing
  • Rule 1: Think Before You Type. ...
  • Rule 2: Write Your Professional Profile Last. ...
  • Rule 3: Summarise Your Responsibilities. ...
  • Rule 4: Make Achievements Your Key Area of Focus. ...
  • Rule 5: Write For Your Reader.

What not to write for a summary on a resume? ›

15 Things You Should Not Include in a Resume
  • Resume objective statement. ...
  • Unprofessional email. ...
  • Full mailing address. ...
  • Multiple phone numbers. ...
  • Outdated or irrelevant social media profiles. ...
  • Personal details. ...
  • Headshot. ...
  • Buzzwords.

What tense should a professional summary be? ›

The career summary or profile summary of your resume should always be in the present tense. The skills you list in this prominent section of your resume are skills you do all the time. You can write your current position in present tense, too.

How many skills should you put on a CV? ›

You should include the skills that are most relevant to the job, but try to keep it to around 10-15 skills. Including too many skills can make your resume look cluttered and unfocused.

How many paragraphs should a CV have? ›

I recommend sticking to the three to five rule by starting each section of work experience on your resume with a paragraph—a short, three- to five-sentence paragraph.

What should be the headline of CV? ›

The CV headline is a one line phrase located at the top of your CV, right below (or in line with) your name. The headline must describe yourself as a professional. It should lead recruiters to identify you as the right candidate for the job at hand, within a mere second of a glance.

What are the 5 main things your CV should not include? ›

The CV should be professional and should include your important data. Don't include the following information. These things are not necessary: age; ethnic identity; political affiliation; religious preference; hobbies; marital status; sexual orientation; place of birth; photographs; height; weight and health.

Which of the following should never be included in a professional CV? ›

Job seekers tend to mention their current salary details or give their CTC ( Cost To company ) figures in their CV. They mention it either with their current job, or give salary figures for all the jobs that they have worked in. Including salary details on your CV is a fundamental blunder.

Should a CV have a personal statement? ›

So while your CV doesn't need a personal statement, employers spend only seconds looking at application documents. With this in mind, a CV personal statement gives you an invaluable opportunity to make your application stand out as quickly as possible.

What is a good objective for a resume examples? ›

To get an opportunity where I can make the best of my potential and contribute to the organization's growth. Seeking a position in a company where I can launch my career and build a valuable skill set. Seeking a role in an MNC where I can upgrade my skills with time and take the company to the next level.

What can I put on my resume instead of objective? ›

So replace “Objective” with a more relevant and compelling heading: “Performance Summary” or “Career Summary” tends to work well. Right away it flags for the reader that you're going to tell them what you can do or what you've already done, rather than what you want.

Is it OK to use I in a resume summary? ›

Don't Use First Person Pronouns

There is never a time to use “I," "me," "mine" or "ours” in a resume. Instead, you typically start with the verb or action such as, “Writes resumes for professionals seeking career changes.”


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