An internship is a time-bound opportunity to gain practical experience in your field of study by working closely with skilled professionals. Internships are often unpaid positions that allow students to gain practical experience before formally entering the workforce. In addition, an internship allows you to practice what you have learned in class. Once you have identified some internship opportunities, the next step is writing an impressive and effective resume.
A resume is a document highlighting your educational qualifications, skills, and strengths.
Since interns are usually recent graduates, experience is not emphasized in their resumes. However, you can include work experience, such as volunteering, that has equipped you with transferrable skills.
The resume also illustrates your suitability for an internship at a specific company. The goal of the resume is to persuade potential employers that you possess the abilities and credentials they are looking for in a prospective intern.
Writing an internship resume may seem daunting, but with the right advice, you can create a great resume in a few easy steps. To help you in this process, this article focuses on educating you about writing a resume that will highlight your strengths as a candidate for an internship.
Choose Right Format for Resume
You can format your resume depending on the employer’s requirements. You can choose the format of your resume from the following:
Chronological resume format
This reverse chronological resume mainly focuses on your work experience in reverse order, from most recent to oldest. It is the most common resume format but could be limiting in this scenario due to your lack of professional experience. However, you can use this format if you have had sufficient experience in previous internships.
Functional resume format
A functional resume focuses on your skills and abilities rather than your work history. This is an ideal format for an internship resume. This is because, despite your lack of professional experience, you can demonstrate your worth using this format.
Combination resume format
A combination format creates a balance between the chronological and functional formats. Therefore, you can outline your most valuable skills and include any work experience you have had before.
What to Include in Resume
Some essential steps must be considered when writing your resume for an internship. Here is an explanation of the steps that you must follow when creating an internship resume:
Start with a strong objective statement
Your resume should begin with a solid objective statement. An objective statement is suitable for those who do not have professional experience. An objective statement comprises one to three sentences that portray who you are and the value you bring to the position and company by outlining your strengths and career goals.
To determine words to use and skills to include, review the job description and outline the consistent skills prioritized for the job title and role.
If you are applying for different internships, tailor your objective statement for each application. Make sure it is clear in the objective statement that you are willing to learn and use your training for the position but avoid stating what you want from the employer.
If you have some experience, you can use a summary statement highlighting your achievements rather than your skills. The summary statement should be written in the active voice. The achievements should portray your skills by indicating how you can benefit the company. However, in most cases, an objective statement is most suitable for resumes for internships.
An example of an objective statement is as follows;
Good objective statement:
Motivated and result-driven graduate with a B.Com. Completed my college while working part-time as a clerk at a local bank so I could manage my time efficiently and accurately. Proficient in Quickbooks, Excel, and Microsoft Word. In addition, I am detail-oriented, organized, and passionate about finance, and would like to learn and gain first-hand experience in the finance industry.
Bad objective statement:
To gain a relevant internship opportunity to advance my career in the finance sector. I am a talented and dedicated individual who is very motivated and eager to learn.
Highlight the most relevant skills
Skills are essential in a resume as they demonstrate your ability to perform the functions associated with the role you are applying for. They are even more critical on an internship resume, where skills are your most valuable asset. You should include both hard (technical) and soft (personal) skills. Hard skills are often acquired through training, education, or practical experience. Soft skills are typically innate.
In a functional format CV, you may need to mention the skill and elaborate with examples. For example, in the skill section, the format can be action+who benefited+quantified outcome. If you have experience in an unrelated field, consider listing your transferable skills, which can be used in different roles and industries.
Skills that are considered “soft skills” could be:
- Team management
- Project management
- Critical thinking
- Time management
- Analytical skills
- Computer skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Presentation skills
Examples of “hard skills” include;
- Data visualization
- Market research
- Software use such as Microsoft Office, Stata, etc.
- Conference calling
Examples of how to structure the skills sections for functional and combination resume formats:
-Worked with a team of 5 members to attend to customers that visited the store, which saw a 10% increase in customer satisfaction.
-Created weekly sales reports for my team and filed them using QRS Document Management software.
-Boosted the customer service rating score of the store from a 3.8-star rating to a 4.5-star rating.
Skills for a chronological resume format;
- Customer service
- Reporting skills
- Organization skills
- QRS Document Management Software
Provide details about educational background
Education will be one of the main sections of your resume since you will likely have more educational experience than professional experience. You can discuss the name of the academic institution, the degree title, major and minor, your GPA, and completion dates. You can also add academic details such as coursework, projects, achievements, and awards.
Ensure all the education details are accurately mentioned, and highlight those courses or awards that are relevant to the specific internship.
You can structure this section as follows;
Good Structure of educational background:
BACHELOR OF COMMERCE – MARKETING
Charleston University, May 2022
-Digital marketing principles
-Macro and Microeconomics
-The principles of strategic sales and marketing
Bad structure of educational background:
B.COM – MARKETING
Charleston University, May 2022
Mention work experience and accomplishments
You may not have the extensive professional experience to mention in your resume, but you can include any previous experience related to the field you are interested in. Therefore, you can include any part-time jobs or volunteer work. Unrelated jobs can also be included if they are consistent and demonstrate the skills you have acquired.
If your experience is too limited, include an achievements section. An achievements section discusses any projects, campaigns, research papers, and awards you have received to illustrate your capabilities. This section can also cover extracurricular activities such as sports, school clubs, competitions, etc.
Make sure to provide context for each achievement. You can also highlight your volunteer work and relevant fraternity experience. Give examples of experiences that demonstrate your positive traits and strengths.
How do you format the work experience and achievements section? The work experience and achievements section will be short in functional and combination resume formats but detailed in a chronological resume format.
Write the job title, company or organization, employment dates, and duties or achievements for each job. However, in the achievement section, use the club or project titles.
[Company name] [Designation]
Here are some examples of this section:
Orca Sport Bikes Store, NM
-Sold 105 bikes in 6 months
-Explained the functionality, performance, and features of different bicycles to customers.
-Generated a total of $50 000 in sales revenue.
-Planned and oversaw two promotion campaigns that increased the store’s online following threefold.
Mayfield Insurance, WA
-Was in charge of selling insurance to customers
-Prepared monthly reports
-Taught different policies to interested customers
Internship Resume Free Templates
There are many different templates that you can use to write your resume. Templates provide a basic framework for developing your resume. In most cases, the templates allow you to quickly and easily add your information and work experience.
You can find numerous free templates for an internship resume. These templates will guide you in creating a professional resume for any internship. These templates are simple to use, customizable, and free to download, and they ensure that you do not overlook any important information in your resume.
If you are submitting your resume online, you should make sure it is well-organized and simple. This is because, in such cases, your resume will usually be evaluated by an applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS typically has difficulties reading complicated resume formatting, which will often result in an automatic rejection of your application.
Things to Consider
Some of the ideas given below will make your internship resume more competent;
Align your resume with the job description
With multiple other applicants applying for the same internship opportunity, it can be challenging to stand out. Consider the job description and work culture of the company you are applying to, and tailor your resume to match those two considerations. You can use keywords and phrases from the job description.
Avoid filler words
Make sure that the resume does not contain filler words such as “very,” “really,” and “quite.” Remove any unnecessary words and long sentences.
Use concrete data and examples
Employers value quantified information. So, use numbers to illustrate results, achievements, skill level, expertise, and experience. Measurable success is easy to understand and grade. Avoid using cliché words such as “enthusiastic,” “hard-working,” etc. You can, however, include awards and certificates to demonstrate accomplishments.
Use action verbs
The use of action verbs will make your resume come to life. Use the action verbs to outline duties, achievements, and skills.
Examples of such verbs include:
Frequently Asked Questions
You can include your internship experience in your resume under the employment history section. An internship experience is considered professional experience and is thus appropriate to be mentioned under the work history section. Mention the job title, name and location of the company, and dates of the internship period. However, if you have extensive paid employment history, consider creating a separate section for internships.
If you are applying for an internship with no experience, consider using an appropriate resume format that focuses on your skills. This can be a functional or combination format. You can mention extracurricular activities such as freelance work, volunteer participation, or club participation. In such a resume, you must be creative and prioritize your skills in all sections, from the objective statement to experience.
Most employers will value your willingness to learn, passion, and motivation for the role you are applying for. However, you must meet the basic requirements, such as the required GPA, proper academic qualifications, and certifications needed for the position. You will also want to demonstrate dependability, flexibility, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work independently under pressure. Some employers may prioritize other specific qualifications or skills, such as language skills or enrollment in a study program related to the organization’s work.