How To Land Your Dream Job As A Counselor

If you’ve been looking for a job in the counseling field, you may want to consider these tips for how to land your dream job. 

I’ve put them together from my experience working both as a counselor and hiring manager over the years. I hope that these tips will help give you an edge when applying for your next position!

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Emphasize the importance of a relevant bachelor’s degree in psychology or counseling.
Pursue a master’s degree in counseling to gain specialized knowledge and meet licensure requirements.
Develop essential skills such as active listening, empathy, and problem-solving.
Gain practical experience through internships, volunteer work, or counseling practicums.
Network and build connections within the counseling field to discover job opportunities.
Stay updated with the latest research and trends in counseling to enhance your knowledge and skills.
Prepare for counseling job interviews by researching the organization and showcasing your counseling philosophy.
Consider specializing in a particular area of counseling to expand your career options.
Stay aware of ethical considerations and maintain professional boundaries in your counseling practice.
Continuously invest in your professional development through workshops, conferences, and additional certifications.

Make Your Social Media Accounts Private

Your social media accounts can have a major impact on how people perceive you. If you’re looking for a job, it’s best to make sure that your social media is set to private so that no one can see the content of your posts. 

If you do choose to make your account public, be careful about what content you post and consider whether or not it could be potentially damaging for potential employers.

For example: I once had an interview with a potential employer who used my Facebook as part of his assessment process (which was illegal). He wanted to know if I liked certain TV shows and movies that he thought were representative of who I am as a person. 

He asked me questions like “Do you like Game of Thrones?” and “What do you think about Breaking Bad?” At this point in my life, neither show had ever crossed my mind and it didn’t look good when I told him so!

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Get A Cell Phone Number That Doesn’t Give Away Your Age

One of the most important things to consider when creating a new cell phone number is what information it will give away about you.

If people call this number, they should not be able to figure out any information other than your name and where you’re located. 

For example, if someone calls your office and asks for “the counselor” or “your boss,” it’s OK if they get transferred over to your voicemail message because that is just part of doing business as an office. 

But if someone calls the same phone number from their cell phone and asks for “the counselor” or “your boss.” 

Then there needs to be some way in which those two things don’t overlap so that friends won’t know who works where by simply calling up this number (which would defeat half of the purpose).

Additionally, another thing to consider with regards to figuring out what kind of persona we want our job-seeking selves online: how do we want others’ perceptions of us? Do we want them thinking about us as someone young or old? Male or female? 

Professional or casual? We’ll talk more about this later in another section on body language, but at least keep these values in mind when choosing something unique enough not only so nobody else has one like yours but also so no one else could.

Even try guessing what type of person might have chosen such an unassuming ID along with how many possible combinations exist based upon those traits alone!

Update Your Resume To Look More Active And Modern

Updating your resume isn’t as hard or scary as you may think. You can use a modern resume format, like the reverse-chronological (or chronological) format which lists recent experience first, or the functional format which emphasizes skills and abilities rather than work history. 

Another option is to use a template there are many free ones online that make it easy to draft an impressive resume with very little effort on your part. 

You could also hire someone else to write it for you there are plenty of professional services available where they’ll do the dirty work for you! Or there’s always the old standby: reading up on how to write one from scratch.

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Show That You Are Constantly Learning On The Job By Taking Workshops, Classes, Or Even Other Jobs

  • Keep up with the latest trends.
  • Take classes, workshops, or other jobs.

In addition to taking advantage of online resources that can help you learn about various aspects of counseling, it’s also important that you make an effort to show your employer that you are a lifelong learner. 

One great way to do this is by taking classes and workshops on topics related to your career field. 

For example, if you’re working as a counselor at an elementary school and want more experience working with children who have special needs (like ADHD).

Then get involved with local organizations like Special Olympics or Big Brothers Big Sisters where they host activities like swimming lessons for kids who struggle with the coordination required for swimming lessons at the local pool. 

You’ll not only be able to use what they teach during those programs but also build lasting relationships with people who will be able to refer clients into your business when they need assistance themselves!

Show How You Work Well With Others

The best way to show that you are a team player is by demonstrating your ability to work well with others. 

As a counselor, your job will involve working with clients, families, and colleagues. You need to be able to communicate effectively to help people solve their problems and make good decisions.

Here are some examples of how you can demonstrate your ability to communicate well:

Show that you’re a good listener by giving appropriate eye contact when someone else is speaking or sharing something important with you. 

For example, if they’re telling their story or describing an experience they’ve had, a nod from time to time so that the person knows that what he/she is saying “feels heard.”

Ask open-ended questions instead of yes-or-no questions whenever possible; this shows that you want more information about the topic being discussed instead of just a simple response like “yes” or “no.” For example: “What made it hard for him?” instead of “Was it difficult?”

Show That You Are Passionate About The Work You Do

You need to show that you’re passionate about the work you do. If you don’t have experience, how can a hiring manager know how much of an asset you could be? 

You could talk about your experiences volunteering as a counselor and volunteer work in general. You can also talk about what drew you to this field and why it interests you so much.

If this doesn’t seem enough, consider taking classes on counseling or other relevant topics to build up your resume with more practical experience that will hopefully make up for the lack of paid jobs under your belt.

Also, take some time before each interview to think about questions they might ask (if they’re asking any) and practice answering them confidently but not too strongly because no one likes an overconfident person! 

If they ask if any weaknesses would keep them from hiring someone, don’t say anything negative unless it’s something like “I’m sometimes late for meetings.”

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Ask For Letters Of Recommendation From Colleagues And Co-Workers, Not Just Friends And Family

If you’re looking for a new job, make sure to ask for letters of recommendation from colleagues and co-workers. These must be people who have worked with you on a day-to-day basis in the capacity of your current or desired career field.

In case it isn’t clear when asking someone to write a letter of recommendation, be sure to convey what kind of job you’re applying for so they can tailor their comments appropriately. 

If possible, include a link or two where they can find more details about the position(s) (like the job posting itself). This will save them time having to hunt down specific information themselves!

Include Volunteer Work On Your Resume

Volunteering is one of the best ways to show an employer that you are willing to help others and work as part of a team. 

In addition, volunteering shows that you can take on new challenges and learn new skills. This can be especially important if your resume doesn’t include much job experience.

If your volunteer experience involved working with clients who have similar problems as those in your target field, then it should be listed under “Interests” or “Skills” rather than under “Education.” 

For example, if your target field is mental health counseling and you volunteered at a suicide prevention hotline for teens struggling with depression, then this could be listed under “Skills: Crisis Intervention.” 

If no one else worked on the hotline with you (for example), then it should probably go under “Skills: Crisis Intervention – Teamwork.”

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If You Have A Lot Of Experience In Education, Focus It There

If you want to be a counselor, you’ll need experience in education. So if you’ve got a background in teaching or tutoring, that’s useful. But if it’s not your area of expertise, don’t worry there are other ways to prove that you’re the right person for the job. For example:

  • You can use your experience with people in other fields (like customer service or retail) as proof of your people skills.
  • You can show that you’re good at multitasking by describing how well-organized and efficient your work has always been; potential employers will be impressed by how quickly and thoroughly the tasks were accomplished on their terms!

If You Have Little Experience, Focus On Opportunities You’ve Had To Help Others In Other Areas Of Your Life

If you have little experience, focus on opportunities you’ve had to help others in other areas of your life. 

For example, if you’ve volunteered at church or with a community group and helped people who were struggling with addiction or other issues, that will give you something to talk about when discussing how counseling can help clients.

Likewise, if the way that your family has dealt with difficult situations speaks to how counseling could help others, use those experiences as examples. Think about how you’ve helped friends and family members who need support and guidance find answers for themselves. 

The more specific your stories are about ways in which counseling makes a difference for people who are struggling with mental health issues or other challenges in their lives, the better!

Take Advantage Of Online Resources Like the Christian Counselors Association’s Professional Development Courses

Online courses are a great way to learn about new topics, learn at your own pace, and get feedback from experts in the field. 

As you practice your newly-acquired skills, you can also interact with other students online as well as share resources or ideas. You can even find mentors who will encourage you during difficult times.

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These Tips Will Get Your Resume Looking Great For A Counseling Position!

The tips in this article will help you get your resume looking great for a counseling position!

Use action words. Action words make it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to visualize the impact your work has had on organizations and individuals. Try replacing “leading” with “guided,” or “sustained” with “carried out.” 

This will not only give you more targeted keywords, but it also allows hiring managers to see what kind of leader you were in previous positions without being too specific about the duties performed (which can be seen as bragging).

Order by relevance. It’s tempting to order by dates or alphabetically but make sure that you’re putting your most relevant experience first on your resume! If there are multiple versions of the same thing (elements from different jobs), consider posting them together instead of separately; 

This way people can easily compare them side-by-side at once. That way when someone sees all three versions together.

They know exactly what kind of experiences qualify as relevant for this particular job opening – even if one version may have been published years ago while another was just published last month!


You can use these tips to land your dream job as a counselor. It’s important to remember that the key is not just in what you do, but how you do it. 

Take your time when writing and editing your resume so that it reflects who you are as an individual, and makes the most of all the great things about yourself!

Further Reading

Land Your Dream Job with a Career Planning Counselor: Explore how a career planning counselor can assist you in achieving your dream job by providing valuable guidance and strategies.

Advice for Landing Your Dream Counseling Job: Gain valuable insights and advice on landing your dream counseling job, including tips on preparing for interviews, networking, and showcasing your skills.

8 Tips to Help You Land Your Dream School Counseling Job: Discover eight actionable tips to increase your chances of landing your dream school counseling job, from building a strong resume to acing the interview process.

Feel free to include this Further Reading section in your blog post, providing readers with additional resources to explore.

Now, here’s the FAQs section with five questions and answers:


How can I become a Counselor?

To become a counselor, you typically need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or counseling. After completing your undergraduate studies, pursuing a master’s degree in counseling is often required for licensure and to gain specialized knowledge in the field.

What skills are essential for a successful counseling career?

Some essential skills for a successful counseling career include active listening, empathy, communication, problem-solving, and cultural competence. These skills enable counselors to effectively connect with clients, understand their needs, and provide appropriate guidance and support.

What settings can I work in as a Counselor?

Counselors can work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, private practices, and rehabilitation centers. The specific setting will depend on your area of specialization and the population you wish to serve.

How do I prepare for a counseling job interview?

To prepare for a counseling job interview, research the organization or institution, familiarize yourself with their counseling approach and values, and prepare examples that demonstrate your counseling skills and experience. It’s also important to be prepared to answer questions about ethical considerations, your counseling philosophy, and how you handle challenging situations.

What are the career prospects for Counselors?

The career prospects for counselors are generally positive, with an increasing demand for mental health services across various populations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a steady growth rate for counseling professions, highlighting the importance of mental health support in today’s society.