A simple guide on how to write an internship resume

A resume is a key to open the door of internship programs. To get hired for internships, candidates must write a perfect internship resume with relevant details. Are you confused about how to write an internship resume? Read this article and follow the important tips for writing an internship resume. Also, this article lists the do's and don'ts to be followed while writing a resume for internships.

The resume is the only way to apply for internship programs offered by various companies and research institutes. If you satisfy the eligibility criteria of an internship program, then you can apply with your internship resume. The resume should reflect your skills, qualification and other relevant details suitable for the recruiter to hire you. Remember, at the initial phase, the recruiters will shortlist the candidates only based on the resume, and then they will give an interview call for the eligible shortlisted candidates. So, to cross the initial level of the internship interview process, candidates must have an excellent resume with relevant details written in a proper format.

Is internship necessary? Internship is the first step for the candidates on the career ladder. Internships will provide prior job experience and real-time project experience to the candidates for a shorter duration. If you have completed any internship training at a reputed organization during college days, then it will add more value to your resume while applying for full-time jobs in the future. Most importantly, internship programs help to develop the skills and knowledge of the candidates on a particular field and fine-tune their career path. Generally, those who apply for internships will have minimal work experience or no experience to show the recruiters. So, it is really challenging to write a unique internship resume covering all the strengths, skills and achievements.

Learn how to write a perfect internship resume.

Steps for writing an internship resume

The employers will usually spend 10 to 20 seconds to skim a resume. To catch the attention of the employers and to get shortlisted for the internship job post, you must have an attractive and strong resume with proper formatting. To write an attractive internship resume follow the below-mentioned steps.

1. Analyse the requirements and jot down the responsibilities

If you come across any internship opening suitable for you, don't rush and apply. At first, spend some time and read the requirements of the job post you wish to apply. Based on the requirements, list out the responsibilities needed for the post. Companies generally expect candidates with soft skills such as communication, time management, team management, etc. So, develop the basic skills needed for internship training. In the job description, some companies will clearly highlight the technical skills and soft skills they expect from a candidate. So, before writing a resume, go through the job notification completely, analyse the requirements and jot down the important skills, responsibilities and other relevant details required for applying to an internship.

2. Frame the structure of the resume

After analysing the requirements, frame the structure of a resume using proper layout and formatting options. A resume format should be simple and understandable. Avoid cliché statements and try to use a concise language. While framing the structure of the resume, jot down the headings which you need to include in the resume such as educational qualification, skills and interests, relevant courses learned, work experience, extra-curricular activities, etc.

There is a no specific format for an internship resume. Interested candidates can download any internship resume templates available online and add or remove sections in the resume suitable to their skill set or to the internship job opening they wish to apply. You can also create a simple resume template of your own and add the relevant details. While writing a resume, use one font type throughout the document. You can use simple font types such as Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial in regular font size. Always remember to include your personal information like name, email and contact details at the top of the resume in bigger font size and bold font. After the personal information, a separate section should be included for writing the objective statement, education, skills, activities, achievements, etc. in order. The resume template should be simple and readable. You can use bullet points and tables to format the details.

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3. Write a specific objective statement

Once the template for an internship resume is designed, write a clear and impressive objective statement in the section allotted. Do not copy-paste the objective statements from the downloaded resume templates or write any generic statements without any purpose. Before writing an objective statement, you should have a clear goal and idea of what desire output you want from your career. Write a specific objective statement keeping your career interests and skills in mind. Also, while drafting the objective statement give importance to the key terms, skills and phrases the employers used in their job description and use it wisely in your sentences.

The objective statement can contain two or three sentences. A clear objective statement will help the employers to sense what you are capable of delivering. So, write an objective statement highlighting your goals, strengths and terms used by the employers. It is not necessary to use the same career objective statement to apply for all the internship job openings. Be original and customize your objective statement as per the employer and the internship job posts you are applying for. The objective statement should be professional, simple and impressive.

4. Fill all the relevant details in the resume

After writing a specific objective statement, fill all the sections in the resume template with correct details. Provide details in an orderly manner in the section, starting from education to achievements. Remember, your resume should showcase and highlight your strengths and skills suitable for the internship goals. So, format the sections in the resume creatively in a specific order by highlighting your strengths at the top and the least valuable skills at the bottom. The resume should be in a readable format with proper bullet options.

While writing the internship resume, first give high importance to education. Fill education details starting from the most recent to least recent. For example, if you are currently doing an MBA, then while filling the details, at first mention the MBA and then include your UG degree, Higher Secondary and High School details. Education details must contain degree/course, school/college name, board/university, graduation year and % of marks or CGPA.

Work Experience
Those who have work experience can mention their employment details such as years of experience, work domain, technical skills, employer name, etc. under the work experience section. If you have any work experience in a different field than the one you are applying for now, then you can also include that in your resume. Even you are allowed to mention your part-time work or any odd jobs you do for money in your resume if there are any. The work experience section in the internship resume gives your employers an idea about your work ethics and the ability to work for any organization.

If you do not have any work experience, then do not worry, just skip that section and highlight your achievements and activities section. As said earlier, the college students or freshers who apply for internships will generally not have any prior job experience. So, candidates who fall into such categories can include a separate section for activities instead of work experience and mention their volunteering experience in clubs, educational events or any team level activities they have conducted or participated at the college or school. While listing out the activities, specifically mention what role you have performed(e.g., Member, volunteer, host, etc) in that activity and what skills you have gained from that activity(e.g., team management, social skills, etc).

In the achievement section, you can speak about the awards you have won, the projects you have completed, your academic achievements, relevant courses or certifications completed, languages learned, honours, etc. Avoid giving redundant information in the resume. Present only the relevant details suitable to the internship you are applying for. You can also include a separate section to mention your skills, hobbies and interests at the end of the resume.

Always remember that while listing the details in education, projects or work experience section, write it in the order starting from the most recent to the least recent because the employers will be more interested in the recent activities of the candidates rather than the older information. If an event has occurred at the same time, mention the most relevant ones at the top.

5. Proofread and Edit the resume

After writing a resume for an internship, check for grammar and spelling errors in the text. Clean up all the errors and present it neatly by applying proper alignment and formatting options. The employers may eliminate your resume if it contains any formatting, grammar or spelling errors. So, give high attention and proofread the resume before submitting it. Also, while reviewing your resume, consider yourself in the position of a hiring manager and check whether your resume satisfies the job description of the company or not. How to check for mistakes in the resume? You can send your resume to your friends or any professionals from the industry and ask them to review your resume.

Tips to remember while writing an internship resume

Mentioned below are the do's and don'ts of writing an internship resume. Follow the guidelines and compose a strong resume that will help you to land in an internship job position suitable to your skillset and interest.

  • An internship resume should not be too lengthy. The ideal length of an internship resume is 2 pages. Use proper font, format and spacing and try to present all the relevant details within 2 pages.

  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms in the resume because everyone may not be familiar with them.

  • Always save your resume in a proper name and file format. Do not save the document as resume.doc. While saving an internship resume, name the resume as Name- CollegeName.doc. (eg: Rohit Kumar-NIT Trichy.doc). You can save your resume in .pdf format, to look more professional.

  • Never follow a two-column structure while formatting the resume because it is too difficult to read. Write the resume in a single column structure with the appropriate spacing.

  • Do not attach your photograph in your internship resume. The entertainment industries and the aviation industry will ask the candidates to submit their job resume along with a photo. So, fix your recent passport size photograph in your resume only if the employer asks.

  • Under the academics or education section, just write the overall CGPA or aggregate marks. It is not necessary to mention the semester-wise GPA or CGPA.

  • Do not write irrelevant or unnecessary details in the resume. The resume should be simple and to the point highlighting the necessary skills needed for the job post you are applying.

  • While writing a resume, use a consistent tense. Avoid using personal pronouns and articles. Each phrase must begin with an action verb.

  • Do not write a resume using complicated sentences. To make your internship resume stand out, use strong keywords and active phrases in a way easy to remember your qualifications and skill set.

  • Include a references section in the internship resume only if the employers ask you to submit. While listing the references include the details such as name, designation, organization, email address and phone number. Before submitting the referral details to an employer, ask permission from the concerned person.

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Final words

If your placement cell or the company you are applying for an internship has given any guidelines for resume submissions, then follow them strictly as issued by them. If not, then you can follow the internship resume writing steps and instructions mentioned in this article. As a part of the hiring process, the employers will do a background check. So, be honest and submit valid details. If the employer finds out any incorrect information, then they will reject your profile and may take legal actions. In order to grab the attention of the recruiters, focus on your skills and try to showcase them in a creative and unique way tackling the shortcomings if there are any.


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