A therapist is a broad name given to the variety of professionals who provide treatment and rehabilitation for people with physical or cognitive issues. The industry is expected to grow by 16% by 2030. To gain employment in this growing field, you'll need an excellent therapist resume.
To help you write the best Therapist resume you can, this article will show you:
A therapist — also commonly called a counselor — is a mental health professional. They work with patients to help solve various issues related to psychological or physical health.
Therapists are employed in lots of different settings, such as private practices, offices, hospitals, or clinics or facilities. They work with clients one-on-one or in groups. Sessions can take place in-person or online and deal with problems like addiction, depression, trauma, or marriage problems.
Jacqueline Kelley Summary Seasoned, dedicated therapist with 10+ years of clinical experience providing patients with effective treatment programs. Proficient with assessing patient condition, keeping detailed records of progress, and suggesting practical solutions. Committed to encouraging and reinforcing positive behaviors and feelings while developing behavioral and emotional goals via collaboration with clients. Experience Therapist, Arizona Therapist Associates | July 2017 - Present
Therapist, Allen Goodman Therapy | October 2013 - July 2017
Education Doctor of Clinical Psychology, University of Arizona 2008 - 2012 BA in Psychology, University of Arizona 2004 - 2008 Skills
Why it works: This Therapist resume is great because it’s well-structured. The candidate has significant experience, education, and skills, but this resume manages to present the information in an easy-to-read way.
Joe Lowery Summary Dedicated Mental Health Therapist with 5+ years experience serving adults, adolescents, and families. Expert at working with individuals with substance abuse, serious mental illness, and traumatic brain injuries. Proficient at assessing client needs and developing client-directed treatment plans in accordance with primary care directives. Great communicator and team player, adept at developing relationships with community support and resource agencies. Experience Mental Health Therapist, MHT Group | April 2017 - Present
Education Master of Social Work, Humboldt State University 2015 - 2017 BA in Psychology, Claremont McKenna College 2011 - 2015 Skills
Why it works: This mental health therapist resume is effective because it features a comprehensive resume summary and a great work experience section. The candidate has a wealth of experience that they have crystallized down into their work experience section. Additionally, they use the skills section to highlight characteristics that make them a unique candidate, including a second language, which will come in useful in certain regions.
Jason Washington Summary Insightful and experienced counselor with an excellent grounding in mental health and substance abuse protocols. Proficient in dealing with emergency situations with a calm and compassionate approach. Passionate about patient support and resource advocacy, with a flair for developing strong relationships with patients, communities, and mental health services. Experience Counselor, Vale Green Rehab | August 2017 - Present
Counselor, Oregon Health Centers | June 2013 - August 2017
Education MSc. in Counselling, University of Oregon 2011 - 2013 BA in Psychology, University of Chicago 2007 - 2011 Skills
Why it works: This Counselor resume does a good job of communicating who this candidate is and the type of work they do. While some therapists are primarily office-based, others work closely with community services and advocate for resource support. Depending on the aims of each organization, specific candidates will be a better fit.
A Therapist Resume needs to be a concise document that communicates your education, work experience, therapeutic approach, and skills.
Your resume should contain these five sections:
A header that details your name, address, and contact details.
A snappy resume summary that highlights your experience, achievements, and accomplishments in a short paragraph.
A work experience section that lists your past and current work in the therapy field.
An education section that lists your relevant qualifications.
A skills section that demonstrates the hard and soft skills you bring to the job.
A great Therapist Resume summary will succinctly communicate who you are, your work experience, and which areas you specialize in.
Resume summaries use active verbs and compress a lot of information into a short paragraph. The perfect resume summary will be conscious of the job post requirements and will look to connect what the hiring manager is looking for with the candidate’s past experience.
Licensed, Masters Level Therapist with 3+ years experience working with victims of abuse. Compassionate, understanding, and supportive, with a strong ability to build trust and relationships with clients. Experience in devising treatment plans and recommending resources and materials to help clients overcome difficulties and develop robust coping skills.
A good resume summary will give hiring managers a good idea about the therapist and their approach. This example is good because it makes up for a relative lack of experience by including license and educational background.
Client-focused Mental Health Therapist with 10+ years experience delivering the highest quality service and support. Self-starter with an excellent work ethic and a desire to achieve the best outcomes for both patients and the clinic. Extensive administrative experience in both Clinical and Primary care settings.
This Mental Health Therapist resume example is good because it demonstrates the candidate’s experience, work ethic, and attitude towards their patients. Additionally, it highlights their administrative experience, which is important, depending on the job requirements.
Related: Our guide on how to write a resume summary.
The work experience section is one of the most critical parts of a Therapist Resume. Hiring managers will want to see what past experience you have and learn more about your approach.
Your Therapist Resume work experience section should include:
Many organizations use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to sort through all the resumes they receive. These automated tools search for defined keywords to identify suitable candidates.
Ensure that you read the job post and pick out words and phrases that describe what the employer is looking for. These can relate to education, therapeutic approaches, skills, or other duties. When you’re writing your work experience section, incorporate these keywords and phrases where possible to give yourself a better chance of passing the ATS screening process.
Therapist, ABC Recovery | Jun 2015 - March 2022
Why it works: This Therapist resume work experience section works because the candidates squeeze in a lot of information about their skills and achievements. Additionally, it lists the therapeutic interventions they have worked with, which is useful when applying for different positions.
Mental Health Therapist, Grand Rapids Services | July 2020 - Present
Why it works: This Mental Health Therapist work experience section is good because it demonstrates the candidate’s skills as a therapist and their ability to manage admin, reporting, and liaising with schools, courts, and other bodies.
A therapist resume skills section is shorter than a work section. It's a good place to list your core competencies in an easy-to-read fashion.
You should include a mix of hard and soft skills that make you a great therapist. Pay special attention to unique or special skills that set you apart from other candidates.
Finally, before you add your skills, read the job description. If the post is calling out for specific attributes or characteristics, ensure that you include them in your therapist resume skills section. The ATS or hiring manager will likely be scanning for some of these characteristics.
There are a few different paths that you can take to become a therapist. The primary reason for this is that there are several types of therapists, with some requiring different educational backgrounds.
Additionally, each state has its own requirements for different types of mental health professionals. The best course of action is to check your state's specific licensing requirements and go from there.
That said, there are many commonalities. For example, most states will require you have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree to become a therapist. However, most licensed therapists are required to hold a master's degree, while others hold advanced degrees like an MD, PsyD, or a Ph.D.
To gain a license that allows you to work directly with patients, you need these qualifications alongside clinical hours. Once these hours are completed, you need to take a certifying exam and purchase liability insurance.
A degree is your first step towards becoming a therapist. Social science degrees like sociology or psychology are helpful. However, because most licensed therapist positions require a degree, it's not uncommon for graduates to come from other backgrounds, like political science.
From there, a master's degree in social work or clinical mental health, or related fields are required. Finally, certain specialist areas – like clinical psychology — require a doctorate degree.
The average salary for a Mental Health Therapist in the US is about $48,000. Depending on experience, location, and the organization, this can rise to around $66,000.
Entry-level Therapists can expect to make an average of around $44,000, while those with more experience can expect somewhere between $50,000 to $55,000.
A strong Therapist's resume needs to show a mix of technical and interpersonal skills. These positions are very demanding and require dealing with vulnerable people going through difficult times. As such, suitable candidates need a variety of hard and soft skills.
Most therapists need a master's degree, so make sure you provide a detailed education section. Additionally, your work experience section is important for showing hiring managers that you have mastered the requirements for the job.
And remember, always include a solid resume summary that outlines your experience, skills, and accomplishments. This section is the first thing a hiring manager will read, so get it right by personalizing it to the job.