Rocking Resumes for Interns
Post on 09-Jan-2017
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Rocking Resumes For Interns Edition
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HOW TO WRITE AN INTERNSHIP RESUME: Rock your internship resume with our comprehensive guide and sample templates Before we start, please see the Job-Depot website for bountiful resources for building your resume, including a mammoth of a list hyperlinked to university career center resources all to guide you best - Gems for the Intern!
Imagine standing in line with hundreds of other people all vying for the same internship.
And, when its finally your turn to sell yourself, the first thing the job recruiter says to you
is, You have six seconds.
That may sound crazy but an eye-tracking resume study done by TheLadders found
thats how long a potential employer looks at each resume. You have to make an
impression and make it quickly. Something has to make your resume stand out. Were
here to help.
We created 15 professional templates for you to download. We found samples of
real-life resumes that landed internships. And, we put together a resource toolkit with
almost 1,000 sample resumes, tips and ideas created by the best universities. Its tough
to grab an employers attention in a fraction of a minute, especially when you have little
or no job experience. But, you do. You just have to be a little more creative in finding
them. Look at your past jobs and the duties you performed in a new light.
For example, if you are applying for a banking internship and never worked in a bank,
think out of the box. Maybe you handled money at a concession stand. Or, maybe you
had to balance a cash drawer in a job as a supermarket checker.
Remember, your immediate goal in landing an internship is to acquire skills that
contribute to achieving your academic goals. The job and salary come later.
Intern recruiters know you dont have professional level qualifications. Theyre looking
for someone who wants to learn and has transferable skills like:
Ability to communicate
Willingness to work hard
Ability to multi-task
There are a few basics every internship resume should be:
One page in length.
Clean, error-free and easy to read.
Structured and written to highlight your strengths.
Able to make your name and the position you are seeking immediately clear.
Lets get down to business.
First, build a complete professional profile. It should be a master list of every job,
skill and academic achievement you have in your background. Its a data dump of every
responsibility youve ever had. Keep updating it. Keep it fresh, and it will provide a
valuable tool to help you customize each resume you send out.
Think of your resume as a mashup of what you have to offer and what a particular intern
recruiter wants. Pull from your professional profile and emphasize the skills you have
that each employer wants.
Surprisingly (or maybe not), your GPA isnt as important to intern recruiters as you
might think. In 2013, internships.com surveyed 300 intern recruiters and found
employers put more value on relevant work experience than academic performance.
Objective statements can be as simple or descriptive as you want. Just remember, the
objective statement must tell an employer what you have to offer in a split second. That
means you have to write lean and mean. Tight and bright. Shoot for 10 words or less.
Heres an example. You are a junior, journalism major/political science minor at State
University looking for an internship. You have experience writing news and features for
the college paper. You also created fliers for a local political candidate. Last summer,
you were a part-time copy editor at a community weekly. You would someday like to be
a press secretary. You are also a swimmer and have won state meets.
Here are several internships you might apply for and appropriate objective
statements. Take a look and see how you can tailor these for yourself.
Some general guidelines:
Make it concise and specific. Dont be vague.
Find the keywords in the job description and focus on those when describing
your knowledge and abilities.
Make your objective as unique to you as possible.
Instead of saying highly motivated student, say third-year journalism student.
Instead of saying excellent communication skills say produced political fliers.
Emphasize your benefit to employer.
You want to tell the company what you can do for it, not what it can do for you.
BAD: Seeking a team-oriented newsroom that fosters my writing
GOOD: Journalism student brings team sports experience to reporter
Emphasize the job experience, character traits, personality and work ethic that
make you valuable to the company.
Make it impersonal.
Write it as a label description. Do not write in first person.
Instead of I have experience writing code, say code-writing experience. Its
almost always best to leave out adjectives and personal pronouns.
Try to make each word engaging. You want to pull the employer into your resume not
put up roadblocks to keep him or her out.
Should you include an Objective?
An objective is merely a statement that tells how you can benefit the company.
Who wouldnt want an employer to know that? What employer wouldnt want to know
that? Yet, opinions are sharply divided on whether or not to include an objective on a
Why is that?
Well, if you look closely at the arguments against it, youll see that its the word itself and
not its function that turns people off. Objective statements were too often long, vague,
unfocused harangues that employers skipped over when looking at resumes.
An objective statement like seeking a challenging and rewarding position in a dynamic
organization for potential growth is merely a lot of words that say nothing.
Applicants started leaving them off resumes, replacing them with categories of different
names that serve the same purpose: Summary, Career Goal, Job Goal, Skill Set,
Profile, Tagline or About Me.
Whatever you call the section of your resume that tells an employer how your particular
skills and knowledge will help the company achieve its goals, its still an important part
of your resume. It defines you. Its especially important when applying for an internship
because early in your career, your limited work history cant define your career goals.
One size doesnt fit all
Every objective statement must be customized to the internship you are seeking. Dont
copy and paste the same objective into each resume you send out.
When an employer reads an objective statement tailored to the internship the company
seeks, you will be seen as someone who knows and cares about that position in that
company. It gives your resume credibility and signals to the employer that everything
else in your resume is relevant to that internship.
Its time to compile your resume, the story of you.
These are the sections you should include on your internship resume:
Honors & Activities
Youve done background on the company. You know what its all about. You know the
firms mission statement.
Youve identified the keywords that describe what the company wants. Marry those
keywords to ones describing what you have to offer as often as you can.
Even if your actual skills or experience is lacking, you can organize your resume to work
for you. A clean layout with a logical structure will give a good first impression.
Display your name, your email address and phone number prominently. (By
the way, make sure your voicemail greeting sounds professional.)
If your mailing address (your location) bolsters your resume in any way, put
that there, too.
If you have a strong LinkedIn profile, include the URL to your page.
Dont use a silly email address. One that includes your name is the best.
Make it clear you are seeking a specific position.
Include other words you think are important. For example, Competitive
swimmer seeks administrative assistant job at XYZ Sports Company.
Start with the degree you are currently working toward. Note the date you
expect to graduate. For example, B.A. expected in June 2017.
List your previous degrees in reverse chronological order, including the name
and location of each institution attended.
Include majors, minors or areas of specialty for each degree.
Include your high school only if you want to highlight its academic reputation
or if its location is relevant to the internship.
Use this to convince the employer that you have learned appropriate
transferable skills even if you havent experienced them in the workplace.
Describe what you have studied that demonstrates your proficiency in skills
required for the internship.
Include class projects that bolster your value to the employer.
Engage the employer early. Write a strong summary of your qualifications.
Start sentences, whenever possible, with active verbs.
Align what you have to offer with what employer wants.
List the skills that are most important to the internship for which you are
Be creative. Youd be surprised how many life skills transfer to job skills.
Include proficiencies as well as interpersonal skills.
Include interests that are relevant to the internship. If you are applying for a
job in sports marketing, describe your summers working at the baseball
List certificates from schools or courses that are relevant or impressive.
Describe situations in which you were a leader or an innovator.
Minimize the fact you dont have much relevant job experience by highlighting
the transferrable skills you got in other jobs. For instance, working at a
fast-food restaurant requires much more than bagging burgers. You have to
be able to communicate, work as a team, manage your time and handle
Show results of your work.
Use active verbs whenever you can.
Remember, past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior so you want
to tout your accomplishments.
Tie professional experience back to objective.
Honors and Activities
List the awards and academic honors you have received.
Highlight specific courses, club affiliations and volunteer work relevant to the
internship you are seeking.
That should help you write a winning resume. But remember, a resume should always
be a work in progress.
In addition to tweaking and tailoring for each particular job, continually update your
professional profile with new skills and experiences.
Be confident and aggressive. Sell yourself. Get hired.