Writing a Resume for an Internship

Create your resume now
Writing a Resume for an Internship

Whether you have decided to gain work experience during the summer or completing an internship is a mandatory requirement of your university curriculum, you will need to write a CV in order to land your internship placement. 

Young intern wearing a shirt smiles as she sits at the desk

If you’re applying for an internship or apprenticeship, it’s very likely that you haven’t been in the workforce for long, and you might think that you don’t have much to say.

That’s usually not true: you have more skills and experience to write about than you think. However, don’t fall into the temptation to include every single thing you’ve done or studied so far. 

Just like all job applications, expressions of interest and resumes written for an internship must stay relevant to the position and organization one wishes to work for. Adding irrelevant information is a common resume mistake among first-time job seekers who wish to impress recruiters.

In this article, you’ll learn how to write a successful internship resume that can land you an interview.

How Do You Write a Resume for an Internship with No Experience?

Having little work history to add to the CV is one of the greatest worries of internship applicants. How can you prove your skills without having ever worked?

Chances are, you have worked more than you think. Although companies are not expecting you to have been in the industry for decades, the work history section is still an important part of your CV.

All experiences count, as long as they are relevant. Here are some examples to include in your resume: 

  • Summer jobs
  • Volunteer work
  • Roles of responsibility at school or university
  • Sports activities

Let’s say that you are a student representative and have worked as a lifeguard for years at your local pool. A recruiter looking at your profile sees a worker who is not afraid of responsibilities and pressure, has great leadership skills and is comfortable dealing with the public and clients. Those are qualities that are valued in a variety of positions.

Make other sections shine

Besides the work history part, there are several other sections in your resume that can make a compelling case for hiring you. 

The education section is fundamental for those who are writing a resume as a student. Having good marks is a given for important firms and organizations, if you want to include them, make sure that you only include the truly excellent ones. 

More importantly, focus on achievements. Have you led a project or won an award? Are you a member of one or more student societies? Have you studied languages that are not in the curriculum? Have you organized seminars or conferences? All this should find a place in your resume.

The skills section of the resume is a straightforward way to address directly the needs of the employer, letting them know that you have developed the skills necessary for the job. It’s important that you don’t just write a list of trite qualities (for example, ‘team player’) but instead focus on accomplishments and certifications, ways in which you can prove your words.

To get an idea of what works, you can search for internship resume examples that can help you create your own CV structure.

How to Write a Tailored Internship Resume

As mentioned above, tailoring the CV to the position you’re applying for is always crucial but is especially important for an internship opportunity. 

Companies are looking for passionate candidates who can prove that they have a real interest in the profession and the specific organization. These are the interns that will appreciate the opportunity the most, learn the most on the field, and contribute to the success of the company.

And if the cover letter is the place to openly explain your passion for the industry, the resume is what’s going to prove it. Sending the same resume for all positions is a losing strategy. HR professionals can spot a standard CV from a mile away.

Make sure to only include relevant experience and all the steps you have taken to train for the field of your choice, such as optional activities and certifications, shadowing and mentoring programs, workshops and conferences you may have attended. Leave out everything that does not represent a reason why you should be hired for this specific position.

Remember that the job ad is your starting point: read it carefully so that you can address the needs of the employer directly.

What Is the Best Format for a Resume for an Internship?

The resume format that you should use depends on the specific field and position you’re after. However, there are some rules that apply to most internship CVs. 

Remember that your resume is already evidence of your writing and communication skills. That’s why you should make it as readable as possible, using strategies such as:

  • Short sentences and paragraphs
  • Bulleted lists
  • Bolding
  • Clear sections

You want to save the reader time and allow them to scan the document quickly and immediately access the most important information.

The design should also be as sleek and clear as possible so that it doesn’t tire the reader’s eyes. However, those who are applying for an internship in fields like photography and design can take the opportunity to let their skills shine with a more creative approach.

Companies are aware that most interns don’t have much experience. That’s why an internship resume should be concise and to the point. As a rule of thumb, keep the document under 2 pages but be aware that most recruiters prefer a single page.