This post has been originally published on May 7, 2018 and has been extensively revised and updated on April 1st, 2019.
Thousands of fresh-faced students attempt to take their first steps towards their chosen career each year by taking up an internship. With participation rates increasing almost threefold in recent years, the pressure is on to make sure that your resume is on point to land you the internship that you want.
Internships can offer a student a very valuable opportunity because they can enable you to get some professional work experience under your belt while you continue your studies.
For those looking to land themselves with a good internship, it is essential that your get your application absolutely spot on. This means that your resume or CV should be perfect as this will be your first point of contact with your potential new employer.
When you think that an average of 40 people apply for each internship with leading companies, you will need to make your resume stand out from the crowd if you are ever going to get a look-in.
Let’s take a closer look at what you should focus on to make your resume stand out. You can make building your resume much easier by breaking it up into several different sections. Including these sections on your resume will mean that you are delivering everything a recruiter wants, but it will also help you to focus on getting each section right before moving onto the next one.
Need a cover letter example for your internship? Check this out.
Your Personal Information
Section one at the top of your resume covers your personal information. This includes your name and contact details. You will want to make these details as easy to find and read as possible. This may sound obvious, but you will be amazed at how many applicants forget to include their contact details, or think that by listing them on their cover letter that they don’t need to include them on their resume.
Always title your resume with your name. Your name should be the title of your resume or CV and not ‘Resume’ or Curriculum Vitae’. You name and contact information should really stand out so that the reader can easily go back and find it should they wish to shortlist you for interview.
When adding your contact details, it is not always wise to include your home address, especially if you live some miles away from the site of the internship that you are applying for. Some employers will look at your address and take this into consideration for commuting times or difficulties getting to work in bad weather. For this reason you may just want to list you telephone number and email address.
Personal Profile Section
You should keep this section short and sweet, this is a short introduction to you and your resume. It should basically cover why you think you are the person suitable for this internship. Most employers don’t have a lot of time to sit and read a large amount of text. It could be off-putting for a tired employer to pick up your resume and see a big block of text at the top of your resume. No longer than five sentences would be good here.
Showcase your Key Skills and Qualifications
When applying for your internship job, you will likely have little to no work experience to list in your resume. That’s the reason why you should set out to impress with your key skills that make you a good fit for the internship.
Always start with your most recent qualifications as these are going to be of more interest to the employer. You could elaborate a bit here by detailing some of the key modules or projects you studied and the skills you picked up as a result that would be useful to apply in the internship role.
Make your key skills eye-catching by listing them as bullet points. This gives your resume some impact and is the best way to deliver your strengths as quickly as possible.
Think about what skills you have that will make you more employable. List things like good organisational skills, good communicator, fast and accurate typing skills, knowledge of accounting software / desktop publishing packages / social media analysis – whichever is appropriate for the internship role on offer.
Look at the internship job vacancy description. It will often give you clues such as ‘the ideal candidate will have xxx skills or experience’. If you have matching skills – list them.
Employers will be impressed to see that you already have some work experience under your belt, so include your most recent employment or work experience first.
Make sure you emphasize any skills used in that job that are useful or relatable to the internship you are applying for.
Listing your positions in reverse chronological order is important here so they can see your most recent job or work experience. Include any responsibilities or achievements accomplished while working to show that you are dedicated and have good leadership skills. You should bullet-point your key skills to emphasize them better.
Hobbies and Interests
Remember that employers are looking for real people to employ who are at ease interacting with others and getting along with their colleagues. They don’t want a closeted robot who doesn’t know how to socialize or work as part of a team. Mention any interests you have that relate to the company, sector or internship in some way.
As well as offering some personal references from someone professional such as a tutor, you should try to include references from your previous employment. Approach an old boss for a reference. You can use these references to back up your employment history.
You actually do not need to include direct contact details for your references on your resume. Just list that ‘References are available on request’. This will be enough and if needed, your employer will contact you to obtain them.
Resume Sample for Internship (.docx version)
Internship Resume Example (text version)
1919 Illinois Avenue, Wilsonville, OR 97070
A soon-to-be environmental science B.S. graduate (May, 2019), with a specialty in water/sewage treatment/cleanup and conversion of saltwater to potable drinking water; an individual with a passion for contributing to resolution of the global water shortage. Looking for an internship for summer, 2019, prior to beginning my graduate studies.Education:
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
Graduation: May, 2019 (Cum Laude)
B.S., Environmental Sciences – GPA: 3.87
Research Paper Subject: “The Impacts of Water Conservation Strategies on Water Use”
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
Master’s Program Admission for Fall, 2019
Honors and Awards:
- Dean’s List: 2015 – 2019 (every semester)
- Environmental Sciences Achievement Award – Development of Electrical Conversion Procedure of Saltwater to Potable Water, January, 2019
- Electrical engineering
- Analytical skills
- Public speaking
- Good eye-to-hand skills
- Team player
- Report writing skills
- Preliminary ecological appraisals
- Great interpersonal skills
Environmental Sciences Department, Stanford University
Research Lab Assistant (Sept-2017-present)
- Performed experiments under the direction of Dr. Harry Schwartz, Research director
- Wrote experiment reports and co-authored a paper (to be published in Nature).
Greenpeace, San Francisco Office
Summer Intern (May 2016–Sept 2016)
- Assessed and recorded data from ocean water testing
- Assisted with the preparation of informational report for donors.
- Designed water conservation brochures and leaflets for the So-Cal area.
St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District, St Louis
Part-time Assistant (2015 – 2018)
- Analyzed water samples to ensure potability.
- Assisted senior personnel with on-site inspections.
- Sierra Club – 2015- Present; President, 2018-2019
- Friends of the Earth – 2015 – Present
References available upon request
By using these top tips, you should be able to build yourself a winning internship resume that contain all the essential ingredients that an employer is looking for and that will help your resume stand out.