If you’re a student looking to gain work experience, you are probably keeping your eye out for open internships to land your dream one. To do so, you’ll need to convince every recruiter that you are the perfect option for the spot, and that’s where the making of your resume comes in. The word itself means “summary” and it conveys exactly its purpose- a resume is an asset that condenses the skills, qualifications, and experience of a potential employer for a determined position. It’s basically your way in -or out of- a job, so consider the following tips to craft the best possible internship resume.
For writing a standard resume, it’s best to prioritize each position you have filled in the past and the companies you have worked for. As for students, since you may not have extensive work experience to show yet, an internship resume usually focuses primarily on your skills, education level, and other strengths that can make you suitable for the spot.
In a manner of speaking, a resume can be a sort of self-promotion action because its main goal is to convey how worthy you are for the role. Keep that in mind to create a clear, high-impact, and memorable piece that any employer can use to identify your qualities and expectations and recognize your unique value as an internship candidate.
Your name, address, phone number, email, and any other personal information need to be at the top, mainly for practical purposes, so recruiters can easily reach out to you for a potential interview. Following up with the most important part is your objective statement, which describes your background and determines your career goals for the future in a brief paragraph. Then, make a bullet-point list with a few of your most relevant skills. And finally, don’t forget to include the two main sections of education and work experience.
For students and recent graduates, your educational background will likely set you apart from any other candidate, so make a list that begins with your most recent institution and follows up with your past coursework. Whenever possible, include any certificates or awards you won and any measurable successes, like extracurriculars, your GPA score, and other sports or clubs you’ve taken part in. In the case of members of the student newspaper, try to add direct links to your most notorious pieces. This section is the greatest asset for internship seekers, so go ahead and make it as thorough as you possibly can.
When applying for internships, you aren’t necessarily expected to have extensive work experience in the related field, so don’t worry if that’s your case. This section is about demonstrating your work ethic and responsibility in previous positions, whether it’s as a babysitter for a relative or as a dog walker for neighbors. It’s also useful to list any volunteer program you’ve been a part of because it displays your drive and compromise, which are definitely valuable features for recruiters.
As important as they both are, there are some differences between technical and soft skills regarding how they are gained and how they are used in the workplace. Also known as hard skills, the first kind often requires some sort of education or specific training, such as bilingual or multilingual abilities and database management. On the other hand, soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work, both by yourself and with your co-workers. This is the case with features like effective communication, dependability, constructive teamwork, and active listening.
Due to the rise of digitalization, many companies are working with software to receive candidates’ resumes, so you will likely only be submitting yours through an online system. These usually include applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen out resumes that don’t meet certain minimum criteria. Keep this in mind when choosing the format and writing the specifications because complicated and intricate formatting can trick the ATS into screening out your resume even though you did meet the criteria.
There’s no need to pad your resume to make it look fuller than it actually is. In fact, you shouldn’t since most recruiters appreciate the simplicity and readability of clear, to-the-point, one-page-long resumes. Stick to the traditional structure differentiating each section, and don’t expand too much on information that is not explicitly asked for or relevant to the role.
Your resume’s content is ultimately what will get you the internship, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on the details. In order to get a nice-looking resume to convey your professionalism, choose a well-known font between the sizes of 10 and 12 points, as well as one-inch-long margins on all sides. Don’t forget to use bulleted lists for your work experience because this will keep the information organized and easy to read.
Now that you’ve dumped everything onto paper give it one last review to clean up any typos and errors. Pay extra attention to the spelling of companies and institutions and, most importantly, check that your personal data is correct to guarantee that they can properly contact you for a potential interview.
Here is where you’ll need the help of your close friends and family to ask them for their opinions on the final product. Better yet, reach out to your teachers and career advisors because they are experienced enough to suggest mild touch-ups or identify common mistakes you may have made on your resume. External feedback is always helpful since it provides a more objective perspective.
Finally, re-read your resume once again, but this time, try to do so through the eyes of the internship recruiter. Ask yourself if this is the kind of candidate that would seem worthy of the position. If you are still trying to figure out the answer, keep editing and rewriting, and then read it again. Eventually, you’ll find yourself saying yes to that question, and that’s when you’ll know your resume is in tip-top shape.