Counseling is vital in helping people address mental health, drug abuse, and other challenges. But it can be hard to translate that work into a clear and substantive cover letter — especially if you’re just entering the field with a degree or internship under your belt.

The following guide can help you get a strong start on writing your cover letter for a counseling position. Read on for three examples of entry-level counseling cover letters, along with three key strategies that make them effective.

Entry-Level Counseling Cover Letter Examples

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Entry-Level Counseling Cover Letter Tips

Below are three essential tips you should follow in working on your cover letter:

1. Show your “soft skills” in action

For counselors in issues like substance abuse and mental health, so-called “soft skills” like empathy, patience, and communication are key. But how can you emphasize those strengths in a clear and compelling way? One good strategy is to couple each skill with an active statement that shows how you applied the skill to bring about a positive result.

Example


  • Communication: Effectively engaged with diverse groups and individuals, making sound use of cognitive-behavioral intervention methods.
  • Organization: Created and continually honed an efficient system for managing intake forms and other client documents.

2. Align with the organization’s mission

Counselors advance essential causes like reducing opioid addiction and helping people navigate mental health issues. When drafting your cover letter for a counselor job that intrigues you, take up the organization’s stated mission and state how it aligns with your own. Doing so will show the hiring manager that you are ready to support their unique efforts.

Example


I’m intrigued by your group’s mission to reduce alcoholism in lower-income families, as that was the focus of my recent internships at two nonprofits. Through these experiences I gained a passion for helping people take steps (however small) to recover from alcohol dependency through influential new mindsets and patterns of behavior.

3. Start your letter with a specific career highlight

Countless cover letters begin with a broad general statement like “Please accept my enclosed application to your [Title] job opening.” But statements like this are stuffy and unnecessary — if the hiring manager is looking at your cover letter, they already know they’ve received your application.

Give your letter a fresher intro by cutting to the chase with a specific, factual statement of one of your work highlights. When the highlight aligns with a reader’s hiring needs, it can catch their attention in the same way the job posting caught yours.

Example


Dear Mr. Johnson:

During a 90-day internship last fall, I was praised on all three formal reviews for my dedication to connecting recovering alcoholics to relevant social services.

Entry-Level Counseling Text-Only Cover Letters

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3

Mina Sayed
123 Bridge Street, Boston, MA 12345 | (123) 456-7890 | [email protected]

April 11, 2022

Ms. Meiling Li
Hiring Manager
U.B.E. University
(123) 456-7890
[email protected]

Dear Ms. Li:

On completing a three-month, on-campus internship for my master’s degree in counseling, I earned high marks for my diligent support of and communication with a diverse student population. I hope to bring that same dedication to U.B.E. University as a Counselor for Student Affairs.

Your job posting intrigued me as I’d love to support your goal of delivering timely and compassionate services to students in distress. This was the cause I found most engaging through the course of my internship at my school’s health clinic.

My work highlights and qualifications also include the following:

  • Consulted closely with students to help them address personal crises and locate additional mental health resources in the region as needed
  • Thrived on a cross-functional, 15-member team of student counselors and other health clinic professionals
  • Recently completed Master’s Degree in Counseling with concentration in Clinical Mental Health

I would welcome the chance to discuss my skills further. Please call or email me to arrange an interview. I will follow up with you soon to confirm you received my resume and see if you have any initial questions.

Sincerely,
Mina Sayed

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Jacob Meade

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, ACRW)

Jacob Meade is a resume writer and editor with nearly a decade of experience. His writing method centers on understanding and then expressing each person’s unique work history and strengths toward their career goal. Jacob has enjoyed working with jobseekers of all ages and career levels, finding that a clear and focused resume can help people from any walk of life. He is an Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) with the Resume Writing Academy, and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches.

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