How to Put an Internship On a Resume? 5 Tips
Internships are a great way to kickstart your career when you have no relevant experience. Typically, internship programs are offered to potential employees so that they could learn more about the company and show what they’re capable of. According to the statistic, 66.4% of paid intern were offered a job with the company.
Yet, internships also influence the candidate’s employability in general. 57.5% of college seniors who had an internship got a job offer, comparing to 43.7% of seniors who didn’t have an internship. So, listing an internship on a resume can make a significant difference in getting you hired. Today, our best resume writers will guide you through the process of adding resume internships and share practical tips.
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5 reasons to list internships on your resume
The primary goal of listing internships is to make up for the lack of relevant experience. Yet, there are other reasons why you might want to incorporate them into a resume:
- To downplay lack of paid experience. Resumes with an empty Experience section have little chances to impress the employers. Listing experience other than paid employment, on the other hand, will be taken positively in most cases.
- To show your practical skills in the target industry. Let’s say you’re a Marketing student with no prior experience. In this case, having a 1-2 summer internships boost your chances for an interview as any company or agency would prefer hiring a junior marketer who had already dealt with real-life projects, even on unpaid basis.
- To change career. If you’re an accountant transitioning to web designer, your previous experience is of little use. Yet, putting a relevant internship above the fold along with training will show the hiring manager that you qualify for their advertised position.
- To show unique or in-demand skills. If you were an intern in an industry leader or a very niche company, chances are you’ve built an impressive skillset and contributed to big projects. In this case, you’ll want to list this experience in detail as it can help you stand out from the rest of applicants.
- To do the name-dropping. An internship with a worldwide known brand immediately catches the reader’s attention. All in all, it’s a goal of your resume to draw the attention and get an interview call. Maybe, you’ll get an interview invitation because the hiring manager wants to talk about your internship with Facebook.
Internship can be an asset to your resume if you list them right. Below, we’ll show how to do this. And if you’re not sure what’s more important for you right now – high income vs job satisfaction – read our expert guide.
5 tips to effectively list your internship
1. Locate the internship correctly on a resume
Listing internships makes most sense for two categories of job-seekers: graduates and career changers. If you’re a student or graduate, your best strategy is to list them under the Education section using the “Relevant experience” title. If you have paid experience as well, it’s okay to list both paid jobs and short-term internship in the same section. Just specify which of your jobs were internships (we’ll talk about this below).
In case you’re switching careers, you should also place relevant internships above the paid experience that has nothing to do with your current career goals. List them at the top of your resume after the career summary, and group the irrelevant experience using the “Early career” title. In this case, you’ll concentrate the hiring manager’s attention on the relevant experience you’ve earned. Not only that, putting internship higher in a resume will help you pass the ATS selection.
In both situations, you shouldn’t overlook part-time jobs. Here are the great reasons why you need to take them into account: http://resumeperk.com/blog/8-reasons-to-find-part-time-jobs.
2. Know when to leave your internships out
The main reason not to include your internships is irrelevance. If you’re seeking a job in business analytics, no need to include internships in sales or a literary agency. They’ll simply distract the hiring person and make the resume less focused which isn’t the impression you’re looking to make!
If your goal is not to make the employer ‘buy’ into your internship, but rather to show your versatile personality, it’s acceptable to list irrelevant internships under the “Internships” section. But in this case, you should place this section at the bottom of your resume.
Another reason not to list internships is when they’re outdated. Let’s say had a great internship in a marketing agency five years ago. But since then, you’ve had three full-time jobs as a marketer and completed a number of successful projects. Then, adding an internship makes no sense since the paid experience you’ve earned is more valuable for your target employers.
3. Describe your internship as a full-time job
You want to persuade the recruiters that the internship has provided you with a set of skills needed to excel in the role. So, you should describe that internship as you would list a full-time paid job. Start with a meaningful title. Don’t just call yourself an “Intern” – write “Digital Marketing Specialist Intern” instead. You might also want to add a 1-2 sentence snipped describing the company of internship, for example, “#1 advertising agency in Minnesota”.
List the job responsibilities that were assigned to you. The most appropriate length is between 5 and 7 bullet points. Describe the tasks that were typically given to you, the projects you contributed to, and the results you delivered. Thus, you’ll give the target employer a big picture of your contribution and your value as an entry-level professional.
4. Tailor it to the job posting
You’ve probably heard about the importance of resume tailoring. It works like this: you read the job listing carefully, and write a resume focusing on qualifications and skills that it specifically calls for. If the job listing says that the successful candidate should be experienced in copywriting and content creation, describe your relevant experience in deeper detail. As an entry-level candidate, you can focus not on hard skills only, but also on your ability to develop good working relationships.
It’s also important that you use the same language that the job ad uses. If it requires you to “resolve customer problems or complaints”, use the same phrase when describing your internship experience. This trick helps you pass the ATS filters and therefore maximizes your interview chances.
At the same time, don’t lie. Don’t claim that you have qualifications and skills which in reality you don’t have. A hiring manager might be impressed at first glance, but when they call your internship supervisor to for reference, your lies will uncover, which isn’t good for your job chances and reputation.
5. Include figures and accomplishments
Along with job responsibilities, also list at least 1-2 accomplishments. You may argue that it’s hard to accomplish much during one- or two-months internship, yet, any tangible contribution or exceeding expectations can count as achievement. If you struggle identifying your contribution, talk to your intern supervisor and ask how your contribution helped the company. Ideally, your accomplishments should include figures and percentages.
For instance, if you sorted out the incoming correspondence and calls, you can write “Handled customer calls with 90% issue resolution rate”. If you ran the social media accounts of the business, say “Increased the number of Facebook subscribers by 25% in one month”. Such details that show your measurable contribution help you look as a potentially good hire for employers.
Listing your internship: Formatting and writing style
What you write about the internship matters most. Yet, how you write it also contributes to an overall impression about your resume as well. To help your resume look professional, use the following tips:
✓ Use bullet points. Blocks of text are not used on resumes these days. Describe your internship duties using bulleted lists, with each bullet point taking no more than two lines.
✓ Include strong action verbs. Avoid using “responsible for” – it makes your job description look dull and downplays your contribution. Instead, rely on strong verbs such as “Initiated”, “Developed” or “Organized” – they subtly highlight your impact.
✓ Avoid slang and conversational language. Resume should use professional language, and the overuse of slang, abbreviations and casual language can turn off the hiring manager.
✓ Use shorter sentences. Short sentences are easier to read and skim through. By making the resume convenient to read, you increase the chance of its being read.
✓ Format consistently. Your experience section, just like the rest of the resume, should look neat. Use the same font throughout the document and the same type of formatting. If you have used Calibri 12 pt. in the objective, stick to it in other sections as well.
It’s also important that your social media makes the right impression. Learn here how to build your online brand: http://resumeperk.com/blog/10-tips-to-manage-your-personal-brand-online.
Bonus: How to tell about the internship on interview?
During the interview, the questions about your internship will inevitably arise. Here’s how to tell about this experience to make the best impression possible.
✓ Skip the menial tasks. Obviously, all the interns do the coffee runs and make calls for their boss. Yet, this isn’t something that the interviewer wants to hear during the interview for a junior marketer role. Focus on telling about the duties that have to do with your target job.
✓ Show what you’ve learned. Tell about the successful projects you’ve contributed to, or even completed individually. Mention the practical skills you’ve built (for example, proficiency with MS Office or basic HTML/CSS coding) and how you put those skills to practice. Your goal is to show you’ve built skills that will help you succeed in the workplace.
✓ Don’t bring up the salary issue. Whether the internship was paid or not, don’t concentrate too much on this issue. The interviewer will bring up this matter later during the interview. You don’t want to come across as someone motivated only by money.
✓ Don’t downplay your internship experience. Even if you weren’t given the opportunity to contribute much during the internship, you’ve certainly learned something. You’ve probably learned the organizational structure and business process of the company, performed clerical duties, or shadowed the professional’s work. Don’t be shy to tell about it.
✓ Stay positive. Internship isn’t equal to a paid full-time job. Yet, if you demonstrate enthusiasm, show what practical skills you’ve learned and answer all interview questions in a positive key, you’ll have every chance to get a job offer. All in all, for entry level position eagerness to learn and grow is more important than experience.
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