Mental Health Therapist Resume Sample, Job Description & Writing Guide for 2024

There’s no denying we’re living in tumultuous times, and it’s having a knock-on effect on people’s mental health.

Adverse social issues fuel anxieties and trigger problems like depression, substance abuse, and family problems. All of which makes the need for mental health counseling services even greater.

On the bright side, the growing crisis has been acknowledged, and proactive steps are being taken. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 22% increase in sector vacancies over the coming decade.

Considering this, you’ll need a targeted mental health therapist resume for each job application.

Accelerated openings and increased societal pressure mean recruiters won’t have time to wade through run-of-the-mill resumes. They’ll be looking for the ones that stand out for all the right reasons.

We want your resume for mental health therapist jobs to top the interview shortlist. That’s why we’ve compiled this resume writing guide with top tips to get you onto the path to career success. We’ve also included a complete resume sample and excerpt resume examples.

Our specialist resume writers are obsessed with your success. They’re continually refining our resume templates to keep them at the cutting edge of hiring trends. You’ll be the leading candidate in every job search with a professional resume made on the CVMaker resume builder.

But first, let’s share some tips on thinking like hiring managers.

Mental health therapist resume writing guide: Where to start?

Mental health therapy involves collecting information, observation, and tests to diagnose and treat clients’ mental and emotional disorders. Once all the data has been gathered and analyzed, mental health therapists craft specific treatment plans for each client.

Job applications are pretty similar.

At the beginning of your job search, identify what you want regarding salary, location, and specialty areas. This helps make your requirements clear when comparing them to market vacancies. Once you’ve identified jobs that look like a great fit, you must check them out before applying.

Adopting a random approach and sending out long, generic resumes will frustrate and probably disappoint you. Plus, while you’re getting it all wrong, other candidates are snapping up the best employment opportunities.

First, understand the minds and circumstances of recruiters and hiring managers. There’s no time for painstakingly examining resumes for critical information. They want the pertinent details delivered in a clean, concise, reader-friendly resume format. Research indicates that employers spend less than 10 seconds scanning through a resume the first time they see it.

Next, be aware of HR tech that includes AI in applicant tracking systems, or ATS. Hiring tech plays a vital role in the early screening stages of resume selection. Almost all applications today pass through an ATS on submission. ATS are an HR tech tool that records positions from inception to close. They track keywords, advertising, response screening, interview processes, offers, and onboarding.

Most importantly, job posts are loaded to ATS with critical keywords and shared across job boards and social media. Each inbound application first comes through the ATS and gets scanned for keyword content. Resumes that meet keyword benchmarks head on to the interview shortlist. Those that don’t quite honestly get binned, mainly with a polite, automated regret message.

Your top priority is ensuring your resume contains vital keywords, is ATS-friendly, and clearly communicates your unique selling points. Your resume for mental health counselor opportunities must jump out and incite recruiters to call you for an interview.

Achieving this takes a few well-thought-out steps, starting with a master resume.

Master resume for mental health therapist

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sending generic resumes. People tend to do this for two reasons: to get their resume in as soon as possible and to share detailed career information. Both assumptions are, unfortunately, wrong.

There’s little value in beating everyone else but getting your counseling mental health therapist resume rejected by ATS. Making a well-crafted application that gets through initial screening is far more critical.

Realistically, you don’t have time to rewrite your resume for every therapist job you’d like to apply for. Instead, save time and hassle by compiling a master resume. A master mental health therapist resume is one of the secrets to fast and successful job applications. Updating it regularly as a living document allows you to apply whenever you see an excellent career opportunity.

Set time aside to recall your work history, education, certifications, and noteworthy projects or achievements. Start with your most recent job and list all responsibilities in detail. Continue recording every mental health therapist job you’ve had in descending order. Also, include employer details and employment dates.

Now list your education, courses, and certifications in the same manner. Include noteworthy projects or achievements under the relevant job or education.

Finally, save your master resume to an easily accessible folder with all supporting documents. Use your master resume to keep your LinkedIn profile and other business socials up to date, too.

Job-specific resume for mental health therapist

Equipped with your master resume, you can begin your job hunt.

Successful applications are founded on establishing whether you’re a good fit and have the skills to match the job requirements. It’s all about gathering info, analyzing it, and planning your resume content.

Make visiting the prospective employer’s website your starting point. Move on to online medical journals and publications that offer insight. This way, you’ll learn about types of mental health services, whether in or outpatient, treatment methods, and even staff members.

The value of upfront research means you know the services, specialties, culture, vision, and goals before the interview. Not only does this impress the hiring team, but it also gives you a clear idea of what they need.

If you like what you see, it’s time to compare the job description with your master resume.

See how well you compare with essential skills, experience, and qualifications. Don’t forget transferable skills. If you meet most requirements and all marked crucial, it’s time to craft a tailored resume cleverly using keywords.

A job-specific or targeted resume is another secret to winning job interviews. A job-specific resume only includes prerequisites listed in the job post. It only has what hiring managers want and excludes all other skills, experience, and education irrelevant to the selection criteria.

Usually, a reverse chronological resume format works best for mental health therapist resume skills and work experience. If you’re unsure of the best layout, browse our resume template library. There you’ll find the perfect mental health therapist resume template.

You must adjust your job-specific resume to tie in precisely with the job description and title wording. While jargon differs, core responsibilities remain the same. Essential requirements are tagged as keywords and must be on your resume to get through. These keywords need to be exact to get past the AI in ATS.

Likewise, reorganize your resume job duties to match the post hierarchy. Generally, hiring managers list responsibilities in order of importance.

Always be honest and never try to impress or exaggerate anything on your mental health therapist resume skills, and experience. Besides the embarrassment, getting caught lying will ruin your chances of getting hired.

Lastly, limit your job-specific resume to one to two pages. You want all the pertinent details to win an interview and nothing irrelevant. There’ll be time to impress the hiring team with further info when you meet them

Mental health therapist resume example

Mental Health Therapist Resume Example

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In this sample resume for mental health therapist, Stefan places work experience before education based on his years of experience. You can tell from the opening resume headline that he’s a specialist in his field. Stefan has chosen our Stanford resume template for a professional impact.

What to include in a mental health therapist resume? Writing tips and examples

Apart from fixed personal information and contact details, the job post dictates most of what to have in your resume.

Your resume for therapist mental health experience and skills must include everything you have that matches the job requirements. While that’s not negotiable, some other things can enhance your application.

For example, go over the vacancy, looking for phrases like “preferred,” “added advantage,” or “nice to have.” These aren’t necessary, but having the experience or skill counts in your favor. Say you’ve worked in a similar environment, even as part of your training, include it on your resume.

It’s a calculated and delicate balance.

Too much added detail, and your resume is tedious, meaning it will likely get overlooked. Too little, and it looks like you lack the mandatory experience. If you include optional enhancements, like accomplishments, keep assessing whether they add or take away value.

That said, mental health therapy is a broad field with many areas of specialization.

Mental health therapist resume examples

Mental illness is complicated and affects people differently. No two treatment plans are exactly the same. In addition, there are many types of mental illness, all with different causes requiring specific treatment. As a result, mental health professionals usually specialize in a particular field to assist clients better.

Individual mental health therapist resume skills vary, and specialty examples include –

Addiction therapist mental health resume

Substance abuse is a growing problem that affects family members and addicts alike. Addiction doesn’t only relate to substance use. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can be expressed through problematic behavioral health like eating disorders. Adolescents are as susceptible as adults, and the sooner a treatment team intervenes, the greater the chances of recovery. A support group is an excellent safe space for addicts to learn, grow, and recover.

Community mental health child therapist resume

Community health therapists work closely with social services, frequently in underprivileged areas. Clients are referred to them by a social worker who often sits in on family therapy and community counseling sessions. Family therapy helps parents and children navigate challenges more healthily. Unhealthy coping mechanisms learned in childhood can lead to mental health issues later in life.

Occupational therapist mental health resume

Being unable to participate in everyday activities due to disabilities or other factors drains mental health and well-being. Occupational mental health therapists step in to assist clients and their families in navigating issues and finding viable solutions. In rehab facilities, group therapy and group sessions can motivate to promote quality of life through occupation.

Mental health therapist supervisor resume

A supervisor is crucial in supporting and mentoring mental health counselors through the experiential training phase of their qualifications. Not only do they provide fair and honest feedback, but they also provide emotional support, guidance, and information. They may join group counseling sessions to observe or support a therapist or follow case management development.

How to write a personal profile on a mental health therapist resume?

Anything worthwhile deserves a first-class intro, as does your mental health therapist resume.

A personal profile, or a resume objective or summary, is a sneak preview of your resume. The around 80 to 100 words give readers a heads-up on your education, work experience, skills, and achievements. Since it’s a dealbreaker whether to read on or not, your personal profile deserves your attention.

The best way is to write it after you’ve crafted your tailored, job-specific resume. It must be relevant to the job opening, list specifics, and use statistics where necessary for impact. Ensure it contains vital keywords, is consistent with your resume, and arouses curiosity. The idea is to hook the reader in.

The reality is this is your first and only opportunity to make a good impression. Consider your word choice, write persuasively, use positive language, express confidence, and aim to get the reader to read on.

Significantly, a personal profile is not a cover letter.

How does a personal profile differ from a cover letter?

A prominent difference is that every resume needs a personal profile, but not every job application requires a cover letter.

All job-specific resumes must open with a personal profile, making it part of the resume. As it summarizes relevant skills and experience related to the job, the same gets elaborated further in the resume content.

Anyone who reads the resume, including AI in ATS, reads the personal profile. Its only purpose is to spark the reader’s interest, prompting them to continue reading.   Therefore, it must be scannable and contain keywords, effectively inciting a reader’s curiosity.

On the other hand, a cover letter is a separate, more detailed document providing background information, intention, and ambitions. Principally, a cover letter is addressed to someone specific by name, much like a business letter. The recipient will read it carefully, so it must be written in engaging, persuasive language.

Cover letters motivate job applications, articulating to prospective employers why you’re the best candidate. Its purpose is to provide information backed up on the resume to give deeper insight into your application. Keep it on a single page with no more than 300 to 400 words broken into three to six paragraphs.

Stay away from generic personal profiles and cover letters as part of your job applications. Rather, write targeted ones for each new application.

A cover letter’s length and additional content can confuse ATS, reducing the keyword count. As a result, even your best mental health therapist resume could move down the candidate ranking.

Only include a cover letter if –

  • The job post specifies that a cover letter must be included
  • You’re applying directly to a company and not responding to a public ad

Mental health therapist profile examples

These mental health therapist bio examples give you an idea of how to write your personal profile.

Educational resume objective mental health therapist

Keen BSc(Psych) graduate eager to gain an experiential position in mental health counseling focusing on adolescent crisis intervention and family therapy. Cum laude – Social Psychology, Human Development, Social Behavior. Graduation GPA 3.95 summa cum laude, Dean’s List 2022, GPA 3.8 summa cum laude, Dean’s List 2021 - Harvard University. My goal is to specialize in family therapy and relationship counseling. I look forward to securing a position in a family healthcare facility.

Mental health therapist resume statement

Focused, empathetic mental health therapist motivated to help individuals recover from substance abuse disorder. BA in Psychology and ADC certification with 8 years of experience as a mental health counselor. Manage individual and group therapy, support groups, motivational interviewing, CBT, DBT, social work case management, progress notes, and social work referrals. Looking for a position with an addiction treatment center to contribute to client recovery and ongoing mental and behavioral health well-being.

Mental health therapist summary for resume

Service-oriented mental health therapist focused on family behavioral health and relationships. PsyM, CMHC, with over 10 years of experience in social services. Manage family therapy groups and counseling for individual family members. Psychosocial assessments, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness training, amongst other professional tools. Specialize in anger management, discernment counseling, couples therapy, grief counseling, and solution-focused therapy. Strong client care, communication, interpersonal and organizational skills. 

Mental health therapist resume objective

Corporate mental health and wellness therapist with more than 5 years of experience in business HR sector. BA in Psychology and HR Management, MBTI certification, CPTP, and Agile HR Certified Practitioner. Providing support and policy guidance to EXCO, compiling motivational factors for job descriptions, writing specific psychometric assessments for high-profile positions, and handling crisis interventions as required. Individual and group motivational and counseling sessions, recommending staff wellness training programs, and approving external service providers for staff wellness services and referrals. 

Mental health therapist resume summary

Highly experienced PsyM, BSW, and MTAPA with over 15 years of experience in the New Hampshire correctional services working on programs to prevent offenders from reoffending. Involved in compiling individual and group treatment plans, assessing programs for substance abuse disorder, and assisting offenders with disabilities to cope better. Approving workshops to improve the prison population’s mental health, behavioral health, and overall well-being. Skilled in psychotherapy, crisis intervention, motivational interviewing, various assessments, and inmate classification. The active implementation of programs has seen a decline in reoffending of 35% among the general population and 57% among adolescents.

Skills to list on a mental health therapist resume

Any resume without a skills section won’t get far, as this is the first place ATS and hiring teams visit. Both hard and soft skills per the job requirements must get included on your mental health therapist resume.

Soft skills are personality traits or interpersonal skills that are innate or developed through life experience. Typical examples of mental health counseling include empathy, self-awareness, and communication skills. For most mental health professionals, these skills come naturally and have always been there.

Conversely, hard skills are learned through education, training, and hands-on experience. Initial foundational training continues to develop and improve through continuous use and practice. For instance, analyzing psychosocial assessments might seem daunting at first, but done regularly, skills and understanding improve.

The more years of experience and therapy sessions you’ve done, the more skills you’ll accumulate. While they all belong in your master resume, they mustn’t all be in your job-specific resumes. Targeted resumes list only skills stated in the post.

These are a few standard skills you’ll find for product development –

  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Family therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Motivational interviewing

How to write work experience on a mental health therapist resume

Mental health services cover a vast field with many varying skill combination requirements and experience levels. Ensure your resume comprehensively conveys your expertise.

Like the skills section, work experience is essential to your resume. It’s also where the recruiting team will focus most during interviews. Understandably, this is where you must promote your abilities as the top candidate and obvious hire.

Your resume for mental health therapist jobs must be convincing enough to secure an interview. It must also be an authentic representation that’s a total fit when you meet the hiring team. Write honestly, with confidence and enthusiasm, listing responsibilities in the same order as the job description.

Make all content reader-friendly by using a business font and good spacing. Fit each core function into a single bullet point. Ensure your resume is easy to follow, comment on, and share. Remember, numerous people will likely view your resume when you apply to large institutions.

What if you’re a newly graduated entry-level candidate with no work experience?

For new graduates with limited experience, it’s a bit different. Use your education and any transferrable expertise and skills you’ve accumulated to date. Prospective employers looking to fill junior or entry-level jobs don’t expect anything more; they know you lack years of experience.

Individual mental health therapy skills, assignments, and in-service projects you did while completing your bachelor’s degree are perfect. So are part-time stints, job shadowing, and volunteering.

List the employer and what you did that exposed you to the necessities of the job but exclude irrelevancies. In this case, a skills-based resume may work better for you. If it reads better, write a short paragraph with critical keywords rather than bullet points. Here’s an example -

Cognitive behavioral therapy

In my final year, I was a volunteer mental health counselor for an outreach offering support at a local refugee center. Working with a social worker, we handled a caseload, including group counseling, family therapy, and CBT group sessions, as required.  

How to list education on a mental health counselor resume

Mental health counselors require a bachelor’s or master’s degree and can’t practice without licensure. A minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educations Programs (CACREP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

From there on, states have different licensure requirements, all involving passing specific counseling examinations, including –

  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor Examination
  • Examination of Clinical Counselor Practice
  • National Clinical Mental Health Counselor Examination
  • National Counselor Examination

Tertiary education on your resume matters more when starting your career and becomes less significant over time. As your experience grows, more recent courses and certificates can hold more weight. Active professional membership in professional bodies like the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) adds value to your resume coursework for mental health therapist.

Keep the education section straightforward, scannable, correct, and separate tertiary degrees from certifications and short courses. In both instances, start with the most recent, writing the institution, qualification, and dates. Only include the mentioned education, listing it in descending order. List only the highest and most current if you have various levels of a specific qualification.

Theses and dissertations can be included in the education sections as well as long as they’re relative to the vacancy. Only have the title below the degree and avoid going into detail here. If necessary, you can create an additional resume section for research experience.

New graduates with limited experience are the exception to this rule. Then, you can expand on education, listing appropriate subjects, projects, and notable academic achievements to support your application.

Key takeaways

Now you can create job-specific professional resumes that get you on the interview shortlist and in front of hiring teams.

Let’s recap the most crucial resume-writing tips to land you the job you’ve always wanted.

  • Create a detailed master resume upfront.
  • Read job adverts thoroughly before applying.
  • Research the company before applying.
  • Match the job criteria to your master resume.
  • Compile a job-specific resume tailored to the role.
  • Create an additional section for a job-related thesis or dissertation.
  • Include your state licensure certificate details.
  • Limit your resume to no more than two pages.
  • Use the right resume template to showcase your talents.
  • Proofread and re-check your resume before submitting it.
  • For absolute professionalism, use a resume builder.
  • If in doubt, opt for a professional resume-writing service.

Next steps?

Unique resume templates

Your passion is to help people become the best version of themselves. You’ve dedicated yourself to getting the right education to do that well. For these reasons, you want your resume to reflect your passion, dedication, and care.

Yes, you can find free resume templates online or try a Microsoft Word template. The only problem is that you’re stuck with what you’ve got. The burden is on you to fit and format until you think your mental health therapist resume looks professional. It’s time-consuming, and you still have to figure out if it’s ATS.

Alternatively, you can select a perfect resume template from our library. Now you can change templates with a single click if the result isn’t what you want. You get a spectacular resume in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, our resume templates come in various colors that complement your style. With CVMaker resume templates, you’ll make a wonderful first impression on ATS and recruiters.

Resume writing service

Sometimes, a resume needs a professional touch. If you want some pro help, we’re just a click away. Our incredible expert resume writers turn average into extraordinary. Your career success is their goal, and reaching out could set you on the path to career growth. Click on Resume Writing Service on the CVMaker website now.


What’s mental therapy?

Mental health counseling can aid in improving life quality and well-being by controlling or eliminating various symptoms. Frequently called psychotherapy, it’s a means of helping people with a wide range of behavioral health issues and mental illnesses. Problems resolved with therapy include anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, addictions, and coping mechanisms for children, adolescents, and adults. Aside from therapists, treatment teams can consist of social workers and other mental health professionals.

How to become mental health therapist

Mental health counselors invest a lot of time in attaining the proper qualifications before practicing. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree with a psychology major, they pursue a master’s degree. Next up is passing licensing exams and then gaining clinical experience under supervision. Only then can they apply for licensure. Finally, mental health therapists must continue updating their skills and knowledge through certifications to maintain their licenses.

Where do mental health counselors work?

Although most mental health therapists are in the healthcare sector, employment opportunities are extensive. Depending on qualification levels and areas of specialization, counselors are found in: public and private practice, in and outpatient facilities, prisons, educational facilities, career guidance, and Fortune 500 corporations.

Why mental health therapy is important

Many individuals who’ve suffered some kind of trauma or are genetically predisposed to mental illness feel there’s no way out. Mental health treatment plans can help them recognize and eliminate harmful thinking patterns that create anxiety and stress. This way, they can avoid emotional triggers, build healthy relationships, improve behavioral health, and start setting positive goals.

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