CVs and Resumes: How to Write a Resume to Gain an Internship
A targeted, well-presented resume is a vital element required to gain an internship.
It is more important than ever for college students to gain experience while studying because it significantly improves the prospects of getting a job after graduation. The most important thing to remember when applying for an internship is that the company who gives you this opportunity is taking a risk. They will want something in return for their investment of time and training.
It is crucial that you come across in a professional manner: as a motivated and competent individual. Be sure to clarify what you would like to gain from the experience. Also you need to be very clear about what you have to offer to the company in return - not the least of which should be gratitude for the opportunity.
Below is a suggested structure which you can use to build your internship resume.
City, State Postal Code
Telephone Number / Cell Phone Number
State your objective in terms of your goals such as the example below:
“Highly motivated college student seeking to augment Business Management degree with experience and marketplace application gained through an internship”.
· College status (Freshman, Sophomore, etc) and anticipated graduation date.
· List the computer software applications that you know well such as MS Word, Excel, AutoCAD, etc. and the platform you use: Windows, Mac or Linux.
· List the relevant courses that you have completed in your major course of study and those you completed in high school which specifically contribute to your career goal. Include your high school and current GPA only if above 3.0.
· List any awards or scholarships you’ve received.
· List any internships which you have already completed or any related, semester-long projects or field work.
· List any related clubs or academic affiliations to which you belong.
· List any professional memberships you have joined with your student status.
· Starting with most recent and working backwards, include the dates, the name(s) of the company(ies) where you are currently employed and whom have worked for in the past. Include the city and state of your employers but do not include the street addresses.
· Your job title.
· Do not list your supervisors’ names on the resume.
· Give a quick summary of your responsibilities, itemized with bullets for quick scanning starting each sentence with an action… “Operated, Assisted, Served, Organized, Performed, etc.”
· Highlight any special responsibilities, recognition, awards or promotions you’ve received.
Don’t forget the cover letter which is also going to be an important part of your application.
Here are some guidelines for writing your cover letter:
· Introduce yourself as a student who is interested in gaining hands-on experience in your field of study.
· Explain your interest in this field and your long terms goals and how you feel the internship will be of value to you.
· Let them know what you have to offer to them in return for this opportunity to work with them. Good things to list are flexibility, reliability, eagerness to learn and willingness to assist wherever needed, etc.
· Also say that even if no internship is available, you would still appreciate a meeting with them for an informational interview. Tell them you would like to find out from the professionals who are already doing that line of work what it is like to be employed in that field.
· Thank them for their consideration and state that you will follow up with a phone call in a week.
· If you don’t hear from them, then really follow-up with a phone call. Show them you are seriously interested. If there is no internship available, then pursue the informational interview. If you come across as a professional and can impress them with your questions, this may influence their ability to "create" an internship for you in the company. It may help them to remember you if you apply again in the future.
If you are invited for an interview for the internship, show them you are a professional and be prepared. Take with you a diary, notepad and pen with your questions for them already written out. Take along several additional copies of your resumé. Keep one in front of you with your notes to help prompt your answers to their questions so you have an easy reference in case you get nervous and your mind goes blank.
Below is an example of a real life, successful internship resume and cover letter. These resulted with several offers for internships for my client. For confidentiality purposes, all of my client's identifying details have been changed. The content is below. See the layout in the boxes at the end.
Address and Contact Details
ENGINEERING STUDENT (SENIOR) at University of California at Berkeley, enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering program. Currently seeking an internship position in the engineering field and dedicated to providing value to the company while gaining experience in the practical application of studies.
University of California. Berkeley, CA. Major: Mechanical Engineering
Status: Senior. Anticipated Date of Graduation: Spring 2012
- Materials Engineering
- Engineering Design (Levels I & II)
- Engineering Statics
- Thermal Systems and Thermodynamics
- Basic Electric Circuit Theory
- Completed Calculus Series
- One year of General Chemistry
- Drafting and Mechanical Design
· Cabrillo College. Aptos, CA. Two-year transfer program.
· Orange High School. Orange, CA. Completed extensive math and preparatory courses.
· Applications: Windows, Word, Excel and Powerpoint, knowledge of the Internet
· Programming: C, C++
· Engineering/Drafting Programs: AutoCAD
Offers the following key strengths:
· Exceptionally motivated and focused individual.
· Brings strong mathematical and hard science foundation.
· Highly flexible, cooperative team player who maintains a professional attitude at all times.
· Excellent analytical and problem solving skills, especially in examining processes and strategizing to find more efficient procedures for accomplishing tasks.
· Superior attention to detail paired with an ability to work with highly complex information and materials.
· Effective interpersonal, communication and presentation skills.
Related work experience
Manufacturing Technician.2008 to Present
ABC Company. Santa Clara, CA
- Responsibilities included utilizing laser-based equipment to test parts, determining pass or fail, packaging and processing “passed” parts.
- Participated in workplace ergonomics study, attended a class and provided testing and recommendation for on-site work stations based on experience.
- Wrote the process for one of the testing stations and served as an expert to resolve questions and problems for the operators.
Other Work Experience
· ABC Winery. General Winery Assistant. Modesto, CA.Crush 2006, 2007
- Responsibilities included providing a variety of support tasks during intense crush season: Label machine operation, lab assistance, some manual labor wherever needed.
RE: Internship Position with Your Company
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am a Senior at UC Berkeley in the Mechanical Engineering program. As I heard that your company has an internship program for engineering students, I would like to present myself as a candidate to work for your company in this capacity. Please find my resumé enclosed for your review and consideration.
As my resumé indicates, I have a solid educational foundation for an engineering internship and trust that the qualities I have to offer will be of value to your company. In return for this opportunity, I am dedicated to providing true service to the organization who employs me.
In addition to my strong base of technical knowledge and experience, I have good interpersonal skills and am able to work well with a variety of people. Based on my studies and my existing exposure to the engineering field, I truly enjoy this profession and am greatly looking forward to gaining real life experience and application of my studies.
Some of the ways that my skills will be of value to you are in my excellent analytical and problem solving skills, process assessment, strategies for creating more efficient methods of operation, some materials management, laboratory and chemical interface, and many other areas of manufacturing. You will find me to be a curious and very quick learner, eager to master my responsibilities as soon as possible. I am a take-charge individual who follows through and pays close attention to detail and quality of output.
As a resumé provides only a brief introduction, I would like the opportunity to meet with you for a personal interview where we can discuss my background and future goals in engineering at greater length along with the internship opportunities you offer at your company.
Thank you, in advance, for your consideration. I will call your office next week to confirm receipt of my resume and to discuss possibility of an interview.
Layout of the Internship resume and cover letter
For more advice on resume/CV writing, please see the links below:
How do you strategically manage the space on your Resume/CV when you have a lot of information?
If you have a lot of information to manage on your CV,Click hereto find out how to strategically use the space on your CV to keep it concise and effective.
When is it Okay to Revise and Resubmit?
Sometimes you realise afterwards that the CV you sent may not have said what it needed to.Click here for guidelines as to when it is adviseable to revise and resubmit.
How do you know how long your Resume/CV should be?
Ensuring your resume/CV is the right length is an important part of successfully getting through the selection process.Click here for some guidelines to determine how long your resume/CV should be.
Should your Resume/CV be chronological or functional or both?
Click here for advice on determining whether your CV should be chronological, functional or a combination of both.
Is your resume/CV selling you as well as it could do?
Click here to learn about Personal Value and what it means to your prospective employer(s)
Is your Resume/CV not getting the responses you would like?
Click here for advice on how to diagnose an ineffective resume/CV.