Tips for Writing the Perfect Resume & Cover Letter When Applying to be A Drug and Alcohol Counselor

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Jobs for those seeking to become drug and alcohol counselors are actually at an all-time high. With demand increasing in this particular sector, the emphasis is more and more on finding professionals who have both a solid drug and alcohol counseling educational background as well as those who have engaged in either hands-on training or have already been fortunate enough to be employed within this field. Additionally, possessing the appropriate drug and alcohol counseling certification can definitely be a huge plus.Drug and Alcohol Counselor Resume Writing Tips

Beyond however making sure that you are well prepared and have the proper credentials for the drug and alcohol counseling job market, you also want to craft the perfect resume and cover letter. You only get one chance to make that quintessential first impression; what prospective employers know about you at first glance is going to come from the job materials you submit. Particularly when applying for a position to work as a drug and alcohol counselor, you absolutely need to highlight those experiences, skills and characteristics that show your expertise, dedication and passion when it comes to this vocation.

Also, consider the venue. Are you applying to work in a hospital setting, at a social agency, within the prison system, a private firm…The type of job you are seeking as it pertains to the place of employment is going to determine the overall tone and style of your resume and cover letter. As an aspiring drug and alcohol counselor, you need to do your research and have thorough knowledge of both the job specifications as well as keenly understand the dynamics of the place to which you are applying.

Below are a few tips to consider as you begin your search for that perfect job within the field of drug and alcohol counseling and consequently craft your resume and cover letter.

  1. Get to the Point. Just because you may spend hours deliberating over the perfect word or the flow of a single sentence, does not necessarily mean that the potential employer is going to do the same. In fact, more than likely he/she will simply scan the stack of resumes and cover letters they have before them. Demand in the drug and alcohol counseling field is relatively high, but there are more and more trained professionals beginning to seek jobs in the industry as well. Especially with the cover letter, you want to make sure that you get to your “talking points” quickly; don’t linger too long over fluff or nonessential information. Highlight your experience that is relevant to drug and alcohol counseling, talk briefly about some of the specific issues with which you have dealt. Grab their attention and get to that point!
  2. List Your Most Recent/Relevant Experiences First. Yes, you may have done something wonderful in high school or perhaps in another career you racked up a few noteworthy accomplishments…but is this really relevant or timely as far as the drug and alcohol counseling job for which you are applying now? Employers want to see what value you will add to their institution or organization. They want to see how well you are acquainted with the drug and alcohol counseling field. Make sure that if you do have experience as a drug and alcohol counselor, this information goes toward the very top of your resume and/or cover letter.
  3. List all Licensures and Certifications. You want to make sure that that employer knows that you have the necessary drug and alcohol counseling certification. You’ve worked extremely hard to get that certificate or license. It is certainly a notable achievement in the world of drug and alcohol counseling; it may actually place you above potential competitors for the same job. Thus, you need to highlight it.

When preparing for any job in the field of drug and alcohol counseling, take your time, review all materials thoroughly, make sure you highlight the pertinent points and make yourself as attractive as possible to prospective employers. With a fine-tuned resume and cover letter, you only enhance your chances.

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