How to write a perfect Internship Resume
Once you’ve found a role (or several) you’d want to apply for, the first thing you should do is research the prerequisites and duties. “Use the internship job description as a guide” when deciding what to include on your resume. For example, what skills are they emphasizing—hard skills such as Excel or WordPress, as well as soft skills such as time management and written communication? What are the terms they’re using to describe the perfect candidate? What kind of background, work history, or general interests are they searching for?
Then write down what you bring to the table on your own paper. The following are a few points to consider:
- Your educational history (your major, your GPA, classes, research work, big projects, study abroad programs, honors, or awards)
- Summer, part-time, or on-campus jobs
- Volunteer work
- Student organizations, clubs, or sports
Begin by making a master list of everything you’ve done in the past that might be applicable to a career—any job. Then, once you’ve compiled your list, select the items that feel most relevant and applicable. The goal isn’t to eliminate activities that aren’t remotely related to what you’d like to accomplish in a professional context. At first, look, working as a waiter may not appear to be relevant to a marketing internship. However, if the job requires you to multitask or work as part of a team, you may discover that a lot of your previous expertise in the service business is applicable.
- Create your section
Your contact information should be listed at the very top (ideally in a larger, bolder type) and should include your name, phone number, email address, and any relevant links, such as your LinkedIn page or personal website, if applicable.
“Include your.edu email instead of other emails if you’re a student,” Wasserman advises. “Employers frequently look favorably on school emails.” Plus, it’s more professional than your personal address ([email protected]?). Probably not the best option.)
You’ll likely organize your resume in this order:
- Education and Awards
- Work and Leadership Experience
- Skills and Interests
You also have the option of adding or removing portions of your own. If you’ve done a lot of volunteer work in the past, you might want to make a separate category for it called “Volunteer Experience.” Perhaps you aren’t a member of any groups and don’t want a whole section devoted to “Activities.” If it feels natural or prevents you from moving on to the next page, go ahead and cut or condense—no one will hold against you.
- Fill in Your Information
When it comes to adding jobs and hobbies to your resume, you should do so in reverse chronological order, from most recent to least recent. If several things happened at the same time, start with the most important.
“I would advocate avoiding providing any high school information unless [it] is really relevant to the internship position” and promotes your reputation as a hard worker if you are beyond your first year of college. What were your grades in high school? Not as important. Your senior summer work as a salesperson in a store? It’s possible.
- Your Education
Aside from the obvious—your school, major, degree, graduation year, and current GPA (note: if your GPA isn’t stellar, you might want to leave it off)—there are a few more items you can include in your education if you don’t want to give them their own area.
Consider your Dean’s list accolades, your study abroad program, or any other honors or honorable mentions you’ve received as a student. If you’re running out of ideas, add a bullet listing “Relevant Coursework,” where you include the titles of classes you’ve taken or are taking that would be relevant to the internship. This is also a wonderful choice if you’re applying for a job that isn’t in your degree but requires relevant abilities.
- Your Experience
“Having a section for experience does not always imply ‘paid experience.’ If you don’t have much genuine employment to list, this part can be filled with anything from volunteer work to community or club activity to independent study. If you had a critical role in an organization or initiative—perhaps you held a leadership position or arranged a number of events—include it here rather than in your hobbies section, because it’s more like work than a hobby.
Don’t sweat it if your experience isn’t quite relevant—as I previously stated, paid work in fields outside your ideal profession is nearly always worthwhile to include, especially when applying for an internship. Working for a wage, whether you babysat for a professor, served drinks at a neighborhood bar, or swiped people into the library, demonstrates work ethic, drive, and a thorough awareness of the working world and the soft skills required for success.
- Your Activities
Many school clubs and extracurricular activities provide excellent resume material, while others do not. It all relies on what’s already on your CV, what exactly your part was in these activities and what you gained from them, and the kind of internships or businesses you want to break into.
If a club or activity was an essential part of your college experience (but you weren’t a leader in it), it’s vital to include it in this section not only to display your individuality but also to demonstrate your dedication. The same is true for activities in which you had a significant influence or were recognized with an award or honor. For example, being a four-year member of a singing group tells a lot about you, your values, and how you spend your time. It doesn’t matter if you spend a semester on the intramural frisbee team.
Consider including activities that will help you connect with the firm or team. If you’re involved in the theatre scene and applying for a job where the hiring manager is a graduate of your school who also did theatre, including that information on your resume may ignite dialogue during the interview.
- Your Skill and Interest
This section of your resume will most likely be short while you’re still in school. That’s fine! The hiring manager is simply looking to see if you have any skills that aren’t highlighted or obvious elsewhere on your CV.
Do you speak a second (or third) language? Did you teach yourself to code? Are you surprisingly good at a specific application? It’s important, to be honest about what skills you’re actually proficient in and could contribute effectively to an internship—taking one semester of Spanish doesn’t exactly qualify you to talk to clients in Madrid.
If space allows, I also recommend having a brief “Interests” or “Hobbies” section. This is where you mention non-work-related activities (such as crafting, hiking, or reading), but also tell the hiring manager more about yourself and your personality.