How not to write an Internship CV – 1

February 20th, 2011 33 comments

Resume MistakesA Google search on “How to write a CV” returns 66,200,000 pages (including this one) and still we have people (and not just students alone) asking around tips on how to write a CV that stands out and conveys the message. Either those 66 million plus pages are written in Zulu language or the students are not reading them. How else do we explain student internship CVs running into 3+ pages even before the start of their professional career?

To me the fundamental problem seems to be arising because very few of us pause to think what is the exact purpose of a CV? What do you think a CV is supposed to do? The objective of a CV is one and only one – to get you an interview call. Once this becomes clear, everything else falls into place.

I am listing down a series of turn offs that you may have on your resume, and how trimming them down would reduce the fluff on your CV and make your and the recruiter’s life easier.

1. Career Objective – I could never figure out what good platitude laden, global “Gyaan” filled 4 lines do to your CV? Yes, yes, I know you are hardworking, diligent, sincere, looking for an opportunity where you could utilize your skills and contribute to the growth of the organization – but then so is everyone else! Don’t’ believe me? Have a look at some of the samples below. Let’s be honest – your objective is to get the internship and recruiter’s objective is to give it to you. Let’s not wrap wool of words around it.

India Summer Internship Resume mistake 1

India Summer Internship Resume mistake2

India Summer Internship Resume mistake3

India Summer Internship Resume mistake4

2. Personal Information – Write only what is required and relevant. As per me, providing your name, contact number, contact address and email id are enough. How knowing your father’s, mother’s, uncles’ and aunt’s names going to help me in deciding whether to offer you the internship or not? Similarly unless specifically asked, you do not need to provide your gender and DOB as well. Most of the opportunities today do not differentiate basis gender, age, religion and cast and let’s keep it that way. Also there is a great trick hidden in how you can save space on personal information piece – have a look at the sample below and compare it with what you have on your CV.

India Summer Internship resume mistake6

3. Declaration & Signature – Are you testifying in a court which requires you to call it out explicitly? It’s an obvious expectation that the information on your CV is the most truthful to your knowledge. Do you think those who do not provide this declaration of solemnity are lying and recruiters do not trust them? You know the answer. Save yourself the effort and those 4 lines.
4. References – References are asked before making you the final offer and not before deciding whether to call you for an interview. It does not add any value to the CV – save them for future.

I will continue with the rest of the entry in the next blog, do try the tips above and write back how much space you were able to trim down. You will be amazed how likely it feels now that your CV can fit in that dream 1 page format :)

Hope this helps.  If your resume contains similar mistakes and if you would like an industry expert to help you with your resume, register at Internshala Career Services

Image credit – http://www.changeboard.com/_assets/images/cache/content/imagemain/RobWalters-template(2).jpg

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  1. Bhadru
    March 21st, 2011 at 21:47 | #1

    So does this mean I should totally avoid the sugar coating and get rid of one of the standard enties in a CV, the Aim?

    • March 22nd, 2011 at 07:17 | #2

      Yup. If you know its sugar coating, the employer knows it for sure :).

  2. April 17th, 2011 at 00:26 | #3

    Cool! And do I have to stick to that IEEE-kinda black-n-white format of resume, or am free to try something cool? I don’t mean I’d add colors and graphics to it, but would it be a vice or an act of childishness, if I tried to be a liiiiiitle cool?

    (I guess the recruiters must be cool enough to accept my trend of cool!)

    • April 17th, 2011 at 08:24 | #4

      Definition of “cool” is very subjective so it would be imprudent of me to recommend either way. What I would suggest is that once you have your “cool” CV ready, just run it past a professor or someone senior in family and see what do they have to say – recruiters are likely to feel the same way.

      Hope this helps.
      Thanks
      Sarvesh

  3. Aditya Agarwal
    May 6th, 2011 at 17:35 | #5

    Really nice blog. Hope you will keep posting such important information more often.
    And could you please post some sports internships too, like article writing, data collection and others.

    Thanks.

    • May 6th, 2011 at 22:32 | #6

      Thanks for nice words :) – if you liked the blog, would you like to help Internshala reach out to more students by sharing the link (www.internshala.com) with your friends on yahoo/google/facebook groups?

      As for Sports internship – I just posted one with telvetto (search with “telvetto” in search box at top right corner), see if that is relevant for you.

      Wish you all the best!
      Thanks
      Sarvesh

  4. Ila Haldia
    June 2nd, 2011 at 21:45 | #7

    This blog is really helpful:) I wish I had located it earlier!

  5. Rohith
    July 23rd, 2011 at 18:38 | #9

    Hi Sarvesh,

    i need a help,
    can u mail me a internship cv, for me..

    my id : rohith_kumar222@hotmail.com

    Thank You

    Regards
    Rohith

    • July 26th, 2011 at 18:44 | #10

      Hi Rohith,

      There is no “standard” format that I have. Most of the common pitfalls that I have observed trim in people’s CV are listed here, see if these observations help you in making your CV more effective.

      Hope this helps. Wish you all the best!

      Many thanks
      Sarvesh
      http://www.internshala.com

  6. Aditya
    November 22nd, 2011 at 10:19 | #11

    Should I simply say.
    ” Looking forward for an internship in a reputed organization “

    • November 24th, 2011 at 12:14 | #12

      Unlikely it would have an impact. Nobody applies to a ‘dis-reputed’ organization anyway :) Point is that a global, feel good, vague Objective statement does NO good.

  7. Abhinav
    November 24th, 2011 at 01:06 | #13

    Hello. It make sense but generally people include these sections in their CV. If not, then don`t you think employer might ask for the missing sections?
    The employer don`t need us,we need to him/her to allow us to do the internship.
    looking forward or your advice.

    • November 24th, 2011 at 12:27 | #14

      An employer has 15 or 20 seconds to look at your resume and that’s the ONLY window you get to make an impression. If rest of the stuff is good, these sections would not matter. I mean how does knowing your parents’ name or your date of birth going to help the recruiter in deciding whether to offer you the role or not. Same holds true for Loftly worded, Vague Objective statement as well.

      Hope this helps. Liked Internshala on facebook yet?

      Thanks
      Sarvesh
      http://www.internshala.com
      LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3932887

  8. Abhinav
    November 24th, 2011 at 01:07 | #15

    Hello. It make sense but generally people include these sections in their CV. If not, then don`t you think employer might ask for the missing sections?
    The employer don`t need us,we need to him/her to allow us to do the internship.
    looking forward for your advice.

  9. Dhruv
    December 6th, 2011 at 12:02 | #16

    @Abhinav
    I have exactly same query as Abhinav, as in yes its kinda pointless to mention these things, but then most orthodox profs are prone to looking for flaws na, esp if our CV is selected??

  10. Khushi
    December 9th, 2011 at 13:48 | #18

    Hi.
    I found this blog extremely helpful. I do have a few queries though and would like to know if I can mail you?
    Thank You.

  11. Dhruv
    December 12th, 2011 at 21:04 | #20

    @Sarvesh
    Hope your right about the profs, I have no other worries ;-)

    thank you :-)

  12. S Karthik
    December 24th, 2011 at 20:59 | #21

    Then, how would you present your career objective if you do so..

    • December 25th, 2011 at 19:34 | #22

      I am not a big fan of career objectives so I dont usually recommend writing one until you have a very specific one such as a particular domain (Nano Particle Research) or a particular industry (say Defense, Consumer Goods) or a particular type of company (a start up, a mid sized, or a fortune 500) etc. Idea is to avoid generalized statements and vagueness.

      Many thanks
      Sarvesh
      LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3932887
      facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Internshala

  13. gayathri
    December 29th, 2011 at 19:19 | #23

    hi i need a help from u
    can u mail me a internship training cv

  14. Purva
    January 13th, 2012 at 23:26 | #25

    yeah now am clear regarding the don’ts , but what are the do’s . i am kind off naive in writing CVs as am pursuing my bba II year . if you could advice me a little

  15. Purva
    January 13th, 2012 at 23:31 | #26

    can you just tell me the main heads in a CV . thanking you in anticipation

  16. vasanth
    May 3rd, 2012 at 17:28 | #28

    hi sarvesh,
    i am done with the second year of my civil engineering program from IIT bbsr,i am looking forward to apply for foreign intern after the completion of my third year..when can i start it,like if i start now,would that be too early….please help me by recommending some of the good global companies….my email id: vasanth.reddy15@gmail.com

  17. June 5th, 2013 at 12:54 | #30

    This is a really good read for me, thank you for posting this informative article.

  18. June 5th, 2013 at 12:57 | #31

    I think what you have said is really good for me. It will be benefit in my future career.

  19. June 20th, 2013 at 16:57 | #32

    @summer internship
    Hi,

    We are glad that you found this article informative.
    If you liked the blog, would you like to help Internshala reach out to more students by sharing the link (www.internshala.com) with your friends on yahoo/google/facebook groups?

    Many thanks
    Sarvesh
    LinkedIn-http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3932887
    Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/Internshala

  20. Abhi
    July 15th, 2013 at 20:49 | #33

    Hi ,
    Very well written,very helpful.I’m doing 3rd year ECE now. How can I write ongoing projects in CV and what all should it contain like platform ,description etc?

 

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