How not to write an Internship CV – 2

Top 10 Resume mistakesContinuing from previous post, there are 4 more turn offs your CV is better off without.

5. Courses and Project work – Please don’t make the recruiter cringe in his/her chair by writing ALL the coursework and project work that you have done till date. Again relevancy is the key. How does knowing about your coursework in area of structural engineering help me decide whether you are suitable for an Environmental Engineering internship or not? Write only those courses which are relevant to the internship and do mention your grades if favourable.

6. Extra Curricular Activities– This one is perhaps the most abused section of a CV. Just because someone else has it on his/her CV, we feel a compelling need to follow the suite. And thus emerge the school / class / section toppers, cricket captains, volleyball champions etc. Let’s be honest – most of us have been one champion or other at some point during our school life and it is NOT a differentiator. If you did not care about these achievements until you sat down to write the CV, an employer cares even less. Moreover none of it is verifiable (unless you have preserved all your school certificates since 2nd standard) and I am yet to come across an intern who got the internship basis his 5th standard work.

However, do write about major achievements such as winning a national competition, state and above level participation in sports, board merit in 10th/12th standard or winning an Olympiad etc.

7. Talk numbers and not English – This one you would learn over time. ALWAYS try to quantify any qualitative achievement statement. For example saying ““Among top 2% students throughout academic career” vs. saying “Academically bright performance throughout academic career” has very different impact. When talking about a project, do give a sense of efforts, scale and achievement with help of numbers. For example – “worked on the website (link) for a period of two months and it today has x thousand users or reduces time taken for an activity by y%”

8. Talk English and not SMS text – A CV is a professional document through which you are introducing yourself to a complete stranger and not some informal chat that you are having with a friend. Save the SMS language and abbreviations for the later. Similarly typos and spelling mistakes are unacceptable. Period.

Finally the million dollar question – does a CV necessarily have to be only 1 page long? The answer is no. But yes, it helps to keep it as short and relevant as possible. And I really struggle to imagine a scenario in which a student’s CV would run more than a page or a page and half if the points above are adhered to. Learn to use the font size, tables and spacing between the lines intelligently and you should be home easily.

Hope this helps. Don’t forget to check out Internshala Career Services for professional help on resume writing.

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