Warmer weather is approaching quickly, but spring brings around another season: internship application season. It’s competitive, it’s time-consuming, it’s stressful; but there’s one thing you can do to make the process a little less painful and the results a lot more promising: have a kick-ass resume.
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1. Make sure all of your personal information is at the top
Start off strong by including your name, address, phone number and email at the top.
2. Cater it to the specific job you’re applying for
This may take extra time, but it’s extremely important. Be sure that all of your most relevant experience and skills for the internship you’re applying for are listed first, and if the description for the job says ideal candidates are “hard-working,” “organized” and “time efficient,” integrate those words into your resume. Sometimes they look specifically for their keywords, and including them won’t hurt.
Anyone that spends all day reading cover letters and resumes will tell you that the easiest way to rule out candidates is to look for spelling and grammatical errors. Take the time to read and read again.
4. Be concise and quantify your achievements
The language you use is important! Be sure to be specific while explaining your role in past jobs, but keep it short.
Show your achievements in numbers. You didn’t just schedule social media posts for a company; you created and scheduled three posts a day on the company’s Twitter and Facebook. You led meetings twice a week. You had approximately 36 breakdowns monthly.
5. Try to keep it to one page (front and back)
If your resume is longer, most employers won’t look at or read it. There are many different ways to format your resume, so find what works best for you and for the type of job you’re applying for.
6. Include a portfolio if you have one
If you have a portfolio of your work, that’s what employers want to see. Always include a link to this with your resume.
7. Play up your skills!
You can still land that awesome internship that you’re not qualified for. Just get creative! It’s easy to sell a theatre background with being good at teamwork, group projects and public speaking. Music can be a great segue into talking about discipline. Retail can get you talking about organization skills, and serving is all about “speaking with clients” and giving them the best experience possible. Don’t underestimate these things; soft skills land jobs.
According to Carolyn Serdar, Director of Employer Relations and Internships at Carthage College, “In this highly competitive job market, a good internship will set students apart from others during the job search. Ideally, students should complete two to three internships during the college experience. By completing an entry-level internship freshman/sophomore year and then a higher level internship junior/senior year, students will strategically design their resume to attract the attention of top employers.”
Resumes are the first step to landing that awesome summer job or internship, and later, your dream job, so make it count.
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