Tips for internship resumes
First, your goal is not furthering your career but gaining experience and skills in order to expand on your education and later obtain a position in the industry. Second, internships do not require professional experience; this is a way for you to gain such experience so that you can later get a full-time job using what you learned during your internship. Third, your resume is more focused on your academic achievements than on your work background, because you have to demonstrate that the desired internship is a logical extension of your studies. With this in mind, college students, new or returning, typically utilize this resume style to get their foot in the door with the companies they may ultimately want to work for after graduation.
Much like any other professional resume, the internship resume should contain an objective. Here you should let your potential employer know how their internship aligns with your studies, what you can bring to the table, what you hope to gain out of the experience and how you will apply your newfound skills once you are out in the professional world. Essentially you are convincing your potential employer that you are the best candidate for the internship, that you will learn the most and that the experience is critical for your professional growth.
When composing your resume for an internship, you will need to highlight your education first. You should do more than just list your previous degrees or degrees in progress. Point out the classes you have taken that qualify you for the internship. Indicate how your major is in line with the internship and how this experience will help you in your future studies.
After you indicate your objective and your education, list your qualifications. Make a list ahead of time of all skills that qualify you for the internship. Review the list and prioritize it. Most commonly made mistake in resume writing is not prioritizing the information included, so you that your strongest skills fall at the bottom of the list. Consider what qualifies you for the internship. List those qualifications first so that your employer recognizes that you are a great fit for the position.
Your work experience can help, but is typically not a breaking point in getting an internship. If you have any work experience, include it in your resume. Make sure to prioritize your responsibilities as they relate to the internship. Make sure to indicate any experience you have in sharpening your employability skills, those skills that extend beyond your education and technical abilities such as communication, customer relations, team work, taking charge, etc.
Applying for an internship is somewhat different than applying for a full time job. Along with your internship resume, you will want to submit references. For any employment experience you’ve had to date, include your supervisor’s name, title and contact information so that your employer can obtain recommendations. In addition, it is of great benefit to you to have recommendation letters from your professors. Your professors can identify your skills in terms of your dedication, worth ethic, enthusiasm, interpersonal communication and interaction with others in your classroom. Employers look for these skills because they want to assure that you will be a good fit for their team, even if your role is a short term one. Ask two or three of your professors for their recommendation. Provide them with the contact information of your employer, including an email and a physical mailing address, so the letters can be mailed to your potential employer directly. Or, ask your professors to place their recommendation letters into sealed envelopes before giving them to you to assure that the information is confidential. If possible, include your transcripts with your resume. This will be a great indication of your commitment to your education, providing your grades are good. Your transcripts can only help in getting you the internship.
As a final step, proof your application materials. Feel free to seek assistance from your school’s career center. You have only one chance to make a great first impression – do it well, and you are sure to get the internship of your choice.