Career Development

16 Student Advisor Skills for Your Career and Resume

Learn about the most important Student Advisor skills, how you can utilize them in the workplace, and what to list on your resume.

Student advisors provide support and guidance to students throughout their academic careers. They help students plan their schedules, choose their courses and navigate the college experience. Student advisors need to have a variety of skills to be successful in their jobs. If you’re interested in becoming a student advisor, learning about the necessary skills can help you determine if this is the right career for you.

Organizational Skills

Organization is a skill that can help you keep track of your duties as a student advisor. You may need to manage multiple tasks at once, so it’s important to be able to prioritize and remember what needs to get done. It also helps to have an organized workspace where you can store files and paperwork related to the students you advise.


Communication is the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. Student advisors often communicate with students through email, phone calls or text messages. They also communicate with faculty members and administrators about student needs and progress. Strong communication skills can help you support your students by providing them with accurate information in a timely manner.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the ability to communicate with others and understand their emotions. Student advisors often use interpersonal skills when working with students, as they need to be able to listen to a student’s concerns and help them feel comfortable discussing personal information. Strong interpersonal skills can also allow you to build rapport with students quickly, which can make it easier for you to guide them through academic challenges.

Record Keeping

Student advisors often keep records of their interactions with students, including notes from meetings and details about the resources they recommend. Keeping thorough records can help you track student progress and ensure that each student receives the support they need to succeed in college or a career. It’s also important to maintain confidentiality when handling sensitive information like grades or health records.


Organization is the ability to keep track of tasks and responsibilities. As a student advisor, you may have many duties that require organization skills. For example, if you are working with students on their college applications, it’s important to know what steps they’ve completed so you can provide feedback on any outstanding items. You also need to be able to find files or documents related to your work as an advisor.

Referral Services

As a student advisor, you may be able to help students find the resources they need. If you can refer them to other professionals who can assist them, it can save time and allow you to focus on other students. You can also use your knowledge of campus resources to direct students to the right people for their needs. This can help you build relationships with other staff members and ensure that all students receive the support they need.

Student Development

Student development is the ability to help students grow and develop their skills. Student advisors often use this skill when working with students who are struggling in a subject or course. They can also use it to help students set goals for themselves, such as deciding what career they want to pursue after graduation.

Crisis Intervention

A student advisor needs to be able to help students overcome challenges they face in their academic career. This can include helping them deal with emotional or mental health issues, family problems and other obstacles that may interfere with a student’s ability to succeed. Having strong crisis intervention skills means you can diffuse situations before they escalate into larger issues.


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As a student advisor, you may need to change your approach or course of action based on what students tell you and how they respond to your suggestions. For example, if one student tells you that they are struggling with their finances, you might offer them resources for financial aid instead of suggesting they take an accounting class.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is the process by which a student advisor helps students make decisions about their academic path. This includes helping students choose courses, programs and degrees that align with their career goals. It also involves guiding students through academic challenges such as scheduling conflicts or choosing between multiple options. Academic advising requires strong organizational skills so you can keep track of your students’ progress and ensure they’re making informed choices.

Filing & Documentation

Student advisors often need to maintain records of their interactions with students. This can include maintaining student files, tracking academic progress and updating information in university databases. Strong organizational skills are necessary for a successful career as a student advisor. You may also be responsible for filing paperwork for other members of the administration or faculty.

Career Counseling

Career counseling is the process of helping students make decisions about their future careers. Student advisors often use career counseling to help students choose classes that will prepare them for a specific job or field of study. For example, if a student wants to become an engineer, they may need to take math and science courses in high school. Career counseling can also include advising students on how to find internships and apply for college.

Case Management

Case management is the ability to assess a student’s needs and develop an action plan that addresses those needs. Student advisors often use case management skills when working with students who have unique circumstances, such as learning disabilities or financial hardships. For example, if a student has trouble completing their degree on time, your case management skills may help you identify ways to support them in reaching their educational goals.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are the ability to convey information clearly and concisely. Student advisors often communicate with students through email, phone calls or in-person meetings. Strong communication skills can help you provide clear instructions for completing applications, financial aid forms or other paperwork. They also allow you to listen carefully to student questions and respond thoughtfully.


Patience is the ability to remain calm and composed in stressful situations. Student advisors often need patience when working with students who are upset, confused or frustrated. You can use your patience to listen carefully to a student’s concerns and help them find solutions that work for them. This can help you build trust with students and encourage them to seek out your assistance again if they have future questions or concerns.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is the ability to identify and resolve issues. As a student advisor, you may need to help students find solutions when they encounter challenges in their academic or professional lives. For example, if a student has financial difficulties that prevent them from continuing their education, you might be able to suggest resources for financial aid or scholarships.

How Can I Learn These Student Advisor Skills?

There are a few ways that you can learn the necessary skills to become a student advisor. Many of these skills, such as communication, interpersonal skills, and problem solving, can be learned through experience and practice. You can also take courses or attend workshops that focus specifically on developing these skills. Additionally, many colleges and universities offer programs that prepare students for careers in academic advising and counseling, which can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in this field.


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