How To Craft an Internship Resume That Get You Noticed

Posted by SE Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

Your potential employer usually does not meet you until after seeing your documents. So it is not your voice, your suits or your clothes that make them feel attracted. It is the text and the image that counts. Your story, then, should be told in a friendly and professional way, right? Here some tips to make your internship resume the most coherent and presentable way possible.

1. Make Your Resume Easy to Scan for Important Information

As a matter of fact, recruiters often have to process a considerable amount of applications and they probably won’t have time to give your resume a thorough reading the first time. Instead, they will scan for important details like your work experience or skills that match what they are looking for. Scanning is more difficult if it is hard to read, poorly organized or exceeds two pages. Here are some suggestions for you to make your resume easier on the recruiters’ eyes:

  • Use a logical format and wide margins, clean type and clear headings
  • Selectively apply bold and italic typeface that help guide the reader’s eye
  • Use bullets to call attention to important points (i.e. accomplishments)

pinterest internship resume

Example of a neat resume. Photo: Pinterest

2. Utilize any Work Experience You Had

Let’s say you were a waitress at a local restaurant, that experience is not a waste! Include some of the skills you developed in that role using action words such as facilitated, led, managed, maintained, operated, recommended, etc. Here are some examples of those action words in one-line sentences:

Communicated with customers, managed inbound requests, and shared complaints with manager to help make improvements

Organized orders during busiest hours and responsible for serving approximately 30 patrons per morning shift

Managed cash register drawer of at least $400.00

Led and trained new waiters in protocol and etiquette

Many of the skills acquired from unrelated experiences are transferable. The key is to find ways to demonstrate your dedication, dependability, creativity, and work ethic with the right action words.

3. Identify Accomplishments not Just Job Descriptions

Even though you don’t have much working experience in your basket (that is exactly why you’re applying for an internship!), there are extra-curricular activities or school projects that can high-light your can-do attitude, teamwork or even the ability to yield desirable results. When describing any activities/part-time job/school project you did, make sure you:

  • Focus on what you did, NOT what your work was
  • List the results of your work or your accomplishment (for example: your team was able to raise $2000 for the Plant a Tree project that you organized with two other students)
  • Accomplishments should be unique to you, what you got out of the experience, what have you learnt afterwards.
  • Avoid using the generic verbs and be specific when describing what you did

4. List Relevant Courses You Have Taken

If you took an Advanced Web Development course and you are applying for a programming internship, make sure you include this in your resume! Employers want to see what classroom experience and software knowledge you can bring to the intern position. Or if you entered a competition in class/school where you designed posters for a promotion campaign, put it in as well. This demonstrates team-working skills, actual experience and relatability. Companies are seeking interns with fresh insight so don’t hide what you’ve learned.

5. Replace your Objective with a “Career Summary”

A Career Summary is designed to give a brief overview of who you are and what you do. Most Objectives sound similar: Seeking a challenging, interesting position in X where I can use my skills of X, Y, and Z to contribute to the bottom line. You can instead grab the attention of the recruiter by stating your desired overall plan for a career. This will allow the employer to see if the internship can fit into your future plan or what skills they can offer you.

Now that you are clear of what you should do when crafting a resume for your internship, let’s try putting all of this together and make your resume invincible to any recruiter. Good Luck!


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