Resume Tips for Internships

Resume Tips for Internships

Cover Letters & Resumes Posted by: GradSiren
Time to Read:   5 min

Internships are a great start to successful careers. They’re considered gateways to entry level jobs because they provide professional job experience and show you’re serious about your career. Plus, they provide networking opportunities that you might not have otherwise.

An internship is a temporary job in which students learn job skills under supervision, and an added bonus, in many cases, is college credits. They aren’t always easy to get, but with a knock-out resume, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

But before you start searching for the perfect internship opportunity, you’ll have to write a resume. It’s a key factor in landing an internship, and you’ll want to be sure yours is the best it can be.

GradSiren provides numerous internship opportunities for students and recent grads to start their careers. With a great resume, most students can find internship positions quickly, and we’re right here to help.

 

Resume Format

Like any resume, your internship resume should be clean and simple with plenty of white space for easy reading. Don’t use fancy fonts or colors unless you’re in the creative arts and have professional guidance on resume preparation.

Margins should be about 1 inch all around, and use double spaces between sections. For printing, be sure to use quality resume paper, not ordinary white copier paper. Off-white or ivory, 24-lbs. resume paper is perfect.

Choose only one font whether it’s a serif font (letters have little flips and lines) or sans serif (plain letters without the decorations). Good serif font choices include Georgia, Book Antiqua, and Times New Roman. San serif fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Calibri (the default font on MS Word) are also popular fonts for resumes.

Your font should read easily on any device, and that’s why you should stick with popular, well-known fonts. For job boards and portals, fancy fonts won’t scan well. And sans serif fonts like Arial are the best.

Use the same size font—11- or 12-point—throughout your resume except your name. If you like, you can use a 14- or 16-point font to make it stand out. A bold font works well, too, for your name and section titles.

Your layout will show your professionality and even your personality (which should be all business), so try to keep it as simple and clear as possible.

 

Personal information

List your name, email address, phone number, and LinkedIn URL at the top of the page. If you have several professional social media profiles and/or your own website, your name can take the first line, then list everything else underneath. Don’t crowd it all together.

For security, never include your home or student postal address, but you can mention your city, state or province, and country depending on where you’ll live during the internship. If you plan to live at home with your parents or a relative, use that city. If you’ll be staying at your dorm or student apartment during your internship, then use that location.

 

Career Objective

Although a career objective isn’t advisable for experienced job applicants, it’s necessary when college students apply for internships. Without several previous positions, who you are and what you do won’t be clear to recruiters.

After your name and contact information, enter your career goal. It should reference the internship position you’re applying for so recruiters can see you’re focused and know where you’re headed. If it seems like you don’t care what kind of internship you get, you’re not an ideal candidate, and recruiters will pass right over your resume.

Your career objective should not need more than a sentence or two. Word it in a way that shows the benefits you’ll bring to the employer, not what you want for yourself.

Example 1: Human resources graduate seeks opportunity to learn everything I can in teamwork environment, preferably in a large company with open workspace and a gym.

Example 2: Human resources graduate with minor in communication plus leadership and tutoring experience seeks internship position in training and development.

Do you see the difference? Example 1 is vague and concerned about his own needs. Example 2 show what she’s bringing to the company and has a clear goal. Even if the “leadership experience” is a few summers as a children’s camp counselor, it’s a valuable, transferable skill.

 

Your Key Skills

Spend a good chunk of time as you list your key skills, strengths, and abilities and decide which are relevant to the internship. Think in terms of “What will I bring to the table?” And remember that hard skills are just as important as soft skills.

Hard skills mean hands-on or technical skills like software and web app expertise, IT skills, and, in the case of creatives, design and drawing skills. Soft skills refer to thinking and behavioral abilities like logic and analytical skills, communication skills such as mediation or negotiating, and leadership skills.

Be sure to think carefully about your abilities and mention those that make you an ideal candidate for the internships you’re applying for.

 

Work Experience

If you have any work, volunteer, or other internship experiences, list them after your key skills in reverse chronological order (most recent first). As a student, you might not have any relevant work experience, and if that’s the case, skip this section.

But if you held a part-time or summer job during your high school or college years, mention it and point out transferable skills. Volunteer experiences count too and give weight to your resume, increasing your chances of getting the internship you want.

Even if you worked at McDonald’s or mowed grass in the summer and shoveled snow in the winter, that’s still experience. Just be prepared to discuss the skills you learned, like customer relations or time management.

You can also mention awards, certificates, or training related to the previous positions in the work experience section.

 

Education

As with work experience, your education section should list degrees in reverse chronological order with the most recent first. Do not mention high school. Most internship applicants will have (or anticipate) only one university degree. But you might have a two-year associate’s degree that transferred to a four-year university plus a bachelor’s degree. List the bachelor’s degree first. The same applies to a master’s or doctoral degree: most recent degree first and work back.

Don’t forget to include your grade point average(s) if it was good (above a 3.0/4.0). You can also mention relevant coursework as well as academic awards, certificates, and related memberships or activities.

 

References

Don’t mention anything about references. Do not write “References available on request.” In the U.S., this is an outdated practice. Outside of the U.S. or if you’re an American applying abroad, check with local business customs.

 

The Last, Most Important Things You Should Do

Edit, revise, and proofread. When you think you’re finished, check it again a few days later so you see it fresh—you might be surprised. Ask a knowledgeable friend or relative to review your resume. And then, when you’re 100% sure it’s ready, find a professor, graduate assistant, or career center expert to look it over.

If you make any changes, check again for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Your resume is a representation of your work ethics and what an employer can expect from you on the job. What impression do you want to give?

We hope these internship resume tips make your resume a winner. For more details and information about internships, read How to Get an Internship and get cover letter tips here. And when your resume is ready to go, upload it on GradSiren and start applying for your dream internship!

And don’t forget to register for free updates. You’ll get complete information about the job search, interview process, and more. And share your thoughts and experience in the comments below!

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The information on this site is provided as a courtesy. GradSiren is not a career or legal advisor and does not guarantee job interviews or offers.

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Resume Tips for Internships

by GradSiren Time to read: 4 min
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