Students must develop their academic and social skills for professional, social, and personal success. To achieve that, they need a competent school counselor whose main duty is to provide the right environment for them to discuss their personal, social, and education-related thoughts, feelings, and problems. The counselor also helps in culture adjustment and performs various administrative tasks as the organization dictates.
This article will look at the job description, career requirements, and resume examples of a school counselor to aid you in your job application. A good resume helps you communicate your education, skills, and work experience to the school administration to be considered for an interview. Let’s find out more about school counselors.
School Counselor Job Description
The school counselor is mainly tasked with helping students develop personally, socially, and academically through a well-designed and implemented counseling program. These professionals work with students and listen to their concerns, evaluate their abilities through regular assessments, help them plan their careers, and ensure they grow up to be well-adjusted adults.
Success in this field requires high levels of adaptability, compassion, empathy, and active listening skills. You may also be ready to assist any student with academic, social, or personal issues at any given time.
School Counselor Roles and Responsibilities
- Developing and implementing an effective counseling program
- Actively helping students achieve social, academic, and personal development
- Evaluating students’ abilities through a series of well-constructed assessments
- Working closely with students in planning third careers
- Listening to student’s concerns regarding their personal, social, and academic life
- Regularly counseling individuals and groups
- Participating in the war against substance abuse in schools through program implementation
- Working closely with students to help them develop and improve their skillsets
- Offering support and guidance to students on how to tackle their problems
- Improving relationships between students and parents or teachers through mediation and other relationship-building techniques
- Helping students apply for the right scholarships, colleges, and even jobs
- Working closely with support services and mental health professionals for the well-being of students
- Helping students come up with the best academic plans for their education
- Improving students’ learning conditions by sitting and participating in academic boards
- Creating non-judgemental relationships with students based on respect and trust
- Assisting the school’s administration in planning and carrying out programs and events
- Giving students a warm and positive environment where they can talk about their feelings
- Communicating with parents, teachers, and school management about students’ progress
- Implementing prevention programs and facilitating crisis intervention
- Updating and maintaining records as needed
- Reporting possible cases of abuse or neglect within the student body and organizing outside help
- Identifying issues affecting school performance and correcting them
- Offering guidance and counseling services to students to help them understand and overcome social and behavioral problems
- Teaching topics such as drug abuse and bullying to staff and students
School Counselor Required Knowledge and Skills
- In-depth knowledge of counseling methods, models, and resources
- Proper knowledge and understanding of the schooling system
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to listen actively and attentively
- Outstanding problem-solving skills
- High levels of compassion
- High levels of adaptability
- Ability to work with students to identify and respond to their needs
- Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- Ability to accept criticism
- Ability to understand people’s reactions
- Ability to handle both support and administrative duties
- High ethical standards
- Ability to maintain high levels of confidentiality
School Counselor Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, School Counseling, Sociology, Education, Youth and Community Development, Social Work or any relevant field
- At least one year of offering actionable guidance to students/children
- Proven experience as a school counselor in some roles
- Volunteering/apprenticeship experience in social work and counseling for entry-level roles
- Success on enhanced background checks
- State-issued license/ certification
- Any additional educational qualification such as Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Skills, Level.3 Certificate in Counselling or Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.
School Counselor Salary
School counselors are paid quite well, according to Glassdoor. It estimates their total pay to be close to $81,000, comprised of a base and additional pay of roughly $51,000 and $30,000, respectively. All in all, most schools pay between $50,000 to $70,000 annually as base payment.
School Counselor CV Example 1
Physical address: 4789 Pine Valley PI Thousand Oaks, CA 92456
Email address: email@example.com
Phone number: (805) 465-7890
Professional school counselor with 5+ years of experience in student counseling and therapy. An exceptional counselor with in-depth knowledge of counseling methods, models, and resources ready to improve the mental well-being of students. Avid team worker and an excellent communicator with a proper understanding of the schooling system.
03/2009- 08/2012, Senior School Counselor, Avery Group of Schools, Austin, TX
- Supervised and consulted with five school counselors and external agencies daily to support students’ mental health
- Advised 100+ students monthly on educational and career issues such as class scheduling, study habits and career exploration
- Provided regular suicide assessments to 100+ students, bringing down the school’s suicide rate by 85%
- Organized weekly and monthly meetings with parents as requested to involve them in their children’s well-being
- Created a student center focused on career exploration, application processes and college search
- Collaborated with parents, community workers and social workers for effective student transitional planning
- Organized both individual and group counseling sessions for 100+ students in liaison with other school counselors
- Created necessary programs targeting student needs through compilation, generation and interpretation of data
- Implemented community outreach programs for 50+ at-risk students in collaboration with five community service organizations
- Used both school and district data to advocate for the needs of 100+ students
- Made students familiar with financial aid procedures, helping 50+ students from lowly backgrounds to access financial aid
- Used a SAS database system to record and store relevant student data, reducing cases of data loss by 95%
- Mentored five junior counselors on counseling techniques and best practices for better counseling of the student population
01/2016- 02/2019, School Counselor, Avenue Academy, Oakland, CA
- Liaised with six community agencies to provide outreach services to 10+ at-risk students
- Developed and implemented a new student counseling program that was 100% welcomed by the staff and students
- Attended a weekly parent-teacher conference to discuss emerging issues and how to provide better educational, social and personal support to the 500+ members student population
- Started a school-wide character education initiative that reduced reported behavioral issues by 30%
- Started a monthly guidance newsletter program in the school, which received 98% positive feedback from the student population
- Provided career support to 300+ students by creating and securing funding for a career resource center within the school
- Assisted 100+ students with their college admission processes
- Helped 70+ students secure funding for their college education by familiarizing them with available financial aid programs and processes
- Appointed the lead school counselor after 15 months owing to y excellent performance
- Organized weekly group counseling sessions aimed at improving student behaviors and their academic performance
- Trained 100+ parents in different areas, including home intervention and conflict resolution
09/2012- 11/2015, Youth Mental Health Advocate, World Vision
- Regularly visited young people in 10+ mental health institutions and emergency departments
- Represented young people with mental health issues in 50+ mental health tribunal hearings, ensuring that their voices were heard
- Wrote and presented monthly youth mental health-related reports to tribunals and supervisors
- Supported 10+ other mental health advocates in the region, helping them achieve their personal and work goals
- Provided family therapy to help 40+ family members learn how to deal and communicate with children suffering from different mental health issues
- Appointed the lead youth mental health advocates in 2014 to coordinate and oversee the activities of 10 other advocates
- 08/2015- 09/2017, Master’s degree in Education Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge
- 05/2008- 06/2012, Bachelor of Science in Education Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
- 03/2005- 05/2007, High School Diploma, Oswald Senior High School, Oakland, CA
- Program management
- Program implementation
- Crisis intervention
- Academic programming
- Data analysis
- Emotional intelligence
- Verbal and written communication
- Decision thinking
- Time management
- Active listening
- Conflict management
- 10/16, Certified Professional Counselor Certification, American Board of Professional Counselors
- 05/14, National Certified School Counselor, NBCC
School Counselor CV Example 2
Physical address: 477 Mack Avenue, San Bruno, CA 98045
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: (560) 654-7867
Certified school counselor with extensive knowledge of counseling techniques, models, and resources. A professional psychologist and mental health expert ready to support students in their personal, educational and social lives. An outgoing and hardworking professional willing to go the extra mile for the betterment of students.
04/2019- 06/2022, Lead School Counselor, Dove Group of School, Oakland, CA
- Successfully implemented a new effective school counseling program in collaboration with five stakeholders, including community service agencies
- Increased graduation and college eligibility rates by 25% in one year
- Offered academic guidance to senior school students through counseling and lesson planning, leading to a 90% graduation rate in 2021
- Organized both individual and group counseling sessions to tackle academic issues such as goal planning and study skills acquisition
- Regularly communicated with parents on their children’s issues, improving school-parent relations by 30%
- Successfully intervened in crises by offering a calming presence, leadership, and consulting with the right parties
- Worked closely with youth mental health advocates and the district board of education to ensure the mental well-being of 200+ students
- Coordinated the activities and operations of 5 school counselors
- Prepared and presented monthly reports to the school administration on the success of counseling programs and initiatives
02/2016- 03/2019, Junior School Counselor, Baptist Group of Schools, San Diego, CA
- Provided necessary assistance to the lead school counselor in designing, managing, and implementing school guidance programs
- Helped 50+ students create academic plans for their education
- Listened to 10+ students’ concerns daily, ranging from their social to personal life, and worked on lasting solutions
- Built non-judgmental relationships founded on respect and trust with 50+ students, helping them talk about their feelings and weigh their choices
- Regularly assisted the school administration in planning and carrying out school-related events and programs
08/2012- 11/15, School Psychologist Intern, Russ Senior School, Miami, FL
- Regularly consulted with staff and parents and recommended ways to improve the social, mental, and academic well-being of 100+ students
- Designed and implemented measurable behavior interventions for successful students’ behavioral consultation
- Acted as a liaison between the school and three community youth services agencies
- Understood every student’s Individualized Education Programs and tailored psychological services around them
- Retained as the school psychologist after the end of the internship for six months
- 03/2013- 05/2015, Masters in Educational Psychology, Oklahoma State University College of Human Sciences, Stillwater, USA
- 02/2008- 05/2012, Bachelor in Psychology, Cyprus West University, Cyprus
- 03/2005- 05/2007, High School Diploma, Craft Senior School, San Diego, CA
- Program management
- Crisis intervention
- Data analysis
- Program implementation
- Program monitoring
- Ability to work in team settings
- Emotional intelligence
- Written and verbal communication
- Decision making
- Stress management
- Conflict management
- Active listening
- 08/15, Certified Professional Counselor, American Board of Professional Counselors
- 06/13, National Certified School Counselor, National Board of Certified Counselors
School Counselor Resume Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Which Technical Skills Should I Add to My Resume?
School counselors need both technical and human skills to thrive in their jobs. Technical skills are often role-specific as opposed to soft skills, which mainly come in handy in effective interaction and collaboration. Here are a few technical skills to include in your resume: Ability to apply different counseling techniques, i.e., directive, eclectic and non-directive counseling; excellent program management, given that these professionals are required to develop and implement a school counseling program and extensive knowledge of the school’s academic programming to aid in the provision of direct services.
Other technical skills worth including are excellent planning skills, crisis intervention skills, the ability to navigate outside resources for student wellness, and great assessment and data analysis skills. Remember to separate technical skills from soft skills in your skill section to make your resume more readable.
2. How Can I Become a School Counselor?
There are 5-6 main steps to follow if you are interested in becoming a school counselor and shaping the lives of young learners. First, earn a Bachelor’s degree in general psychology, developmental psychology, sociology, youth and community development or a closely related field. Your degree program should also include courses in research methods and statistics. As usual, you’ll need four years for that. You should also get a Master’s degree in school counseling, which will give you an advantage over other applicants with lower levels of education.
The next step is to complete a school counseling internship or gain state-dependent clinical experience. Here, you will get a chance to apply what you learned in real life. Next, note that every state has its school counselor exams; therefore, what comes after your school counseling internship or clinical experience is passing the licensure exams. You will be tested on the roles of the school counselor, counseling skills and interventions, human growth and development, and different aspects of counseling.
After passing the exams, it’s only right that you apply for your school counselor certification, which is also state-dependent. Lastly, begin your job search and build your career.
3. Which Certifications Should I Add to My Resume?
Every state requires school counselors to be certified, so your first certification should be a state certification. Also, note that each state has its certification agency which will confirm if you have met all the requirements before furnishing you with a license. Additionally, remember to obtain a general teaching license from your state’s board of education if you have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in education.
Other certifications worth pursuing include Certified Professional Counselor by the American Board of Professional Counselors, National Certified Counselor by the NBCC, National Certified School Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors, Child Development Associate by the Council for Professional Recognition, and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Having any of these certifications in your resume will give you an advantage over other applicants.
4. Which Soft Skills Should I Include in My Resume?
A school counselor needs soft skills to get through to students and collaborate with other staff members and mental practitioners. These skills also determine if you are a good employee and apply to several jobs. Remember to include the following in your resume: Excellent organizational skills, ability to work in team settings, high levels of confidentiality, ability to work well under pressure, excellent interpersonal skills, outstanding verbal and written communication skills, conflict management skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.
Like we did with the technical skills, ensure that your soft skills are captured in a different sub-section.
5. Who Should I Expect to Work with as a School Counselor?
Your role as a school counselor is to help students in their social, personal, and educational development. Therefore, your first audience will be students with whom you will interact 90% of the time. You are also expected to help students improve their classroom performance, so you will have to collaborate with parents and school administration.
Other professionals you should be ready to interact with include the rest of the teaching staff, outside mental health professionals and psychologists, therapists, and members from different agencies.