‘Hi, I wanted to apply to an internship at your organisation.’
‘Sure! Forward me your resume and I’ll get back to you.’
4 days later, you are still wondering why you didn’t get a callback. Don’t be alarmed; this is because your resume didn’t demonstrate how you would meet the requirements of the employer effectively. What? But I copy-pasted my best friend’s resume format. Well, it wasn’t enough to grab the employer’s attention.
Before I tell you how to write a resume to make the recruiters’ heads turn, let’s have a look at what a resume exactly is.
What is a resume?
A resume is a document, required as a part of an internship application, that summarizes your education, skills, achievements, and internship/training experiences if any. A student resume contains essential details that an employer needs to know about you before offering you a position in her organisation.
Now, I know you have already googled how to create a resume a hundred times and seen all professional resume formats, but if you still don’t have the answer to what to include in a resume and how to do it, here is a detailed insight into how to make a resume that will catch the eye of your recruiter.
1. Contact details – These form the heading of your resume and include your name, email id, phone number, and address. You can either use a large font for your name and list your contact details underneath it or use the same font for all the details.
A few points to keep in mind while adding these details –
a. Ensure that you’re available on the phone number and email id you’re putting on your resume. Put a professional email id on the resume like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and not firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
b. You needn’t write your complete postal address; mention the locality and city. Also, don’t write both your permanent and temporary address – your current address will suffice!
2. Opening statement – Most of the students use the common template for ‘career objective’ which states things that half of us even don’t understand the meaning of. Before you copy paste the same statement again, let me say it – you know you don’t mean it and the employer knows it better.
So, should you skip it? Of course, not! If written properly, it could grab the attention of an employer to your application in the first 2 seconds. Include the skills you have that are required for the internship, your interest in the field, and what you can bring to the table.
a. Don’t use more than three lines
b. Do not use a personal pronoun.
3. Educational qualifications – This section includes your educational degrees along with your institution, your aggregate percentage, and the (expected) year of graduation.
a. Always follow the reverse chronological order, i.e. the most recent ones first.
b. Do not mention the percentage/CGPA obtained in all the semesters, rather write the aggregate.
4. Skills – When you are applying for an engineering internship, your technical skills are tantamount to your role. You can categorise your skills and use bullets to list them. For instance, if you’re applying to a web development internship, you can categorise your skills as programming languages, web technologies, etc.
Management students can list their interpersonal skills like leadership qualities, communication skills, time management, critical thinking, etc. (Please don’t write confident and determined as your skills). While putting together this list, think of what you’ve learnt in the classroom, previous internships, and college events.
It may so happen that you’re in the first year of college and have no substantial technical skills. In such cases, enlist the technologies and concepts that you’ve learnt so far. For instance,
5. Work Experience – With the details of your previous internships, this section depicts your learning curve and displays how you’ve grown as a candidate. List the companies that you have worked for, the duration, and your profile. Underneath these details, mention the responsibilities you handled and your achievements. Along with this, mention the responsibilities you’ve handled during your college.
Remember that this is where you have to be creative as well as smart. Let’s take an example of a customer support internship. Now, if you write ‘Replied to student queries’, you aren’t depicting the gravity of your job. You could instead write –
- Addressed the concerns of 200 customers on a daily basis via emails and calls
- Identified and met customers’ needs by helping them register on the platform
These statements would tell the employer that you are good at written and oral communication and have the ability to learn about a product in and out.
Now, what could be daunting is the fact that you are applying for your very first internship and have no prior experience. After all, employers want you to have 5 years of experience before you even graduate! Well, leverage your positions of responsibility in such cases. For instance, if you are an editor for your college magazine, it could be a relevant experience in landing you a content writing internship. While you talk about this, emphasize your research skills, attention to detail, and communication skills.
6. Academic projects – As a college student, you work on various projects as a part of your course. These projects on your resume depict your conceptual knowledge and practical skills. Include the name of your project, a brief description of what it does and how it works, and mention your role in the project explicitly.
7. Training & certifications – Herein, you enlist all the certified trainings that you have taken up so far. These add credibility to your skills and signal the recruiter that you’re qualified enough to take up the job. If you haven’t done a substantial number of trainings, you can merge it with the ‘Work Experience’ section and name it ‘Internships and Trainings’.
8. Additional details – This section clubs your achievements and extra-curricular activities and acts as a saviour when you are taking your first step towards your career. Listing out the details of participation in various college events and competitions denote your holistic growth as a student and give the recruiter an insight into your talents and capabilities and a glimpse of your soft skills – confidence, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and dedication.
Now, strike off those school singing and dancing activities from your resume – it’s not going to land you a marketing internship, is it? And please cut your JEE, AIEEE, and AMCAT ranks unless they are very good! Also, a big no to writing ‘Donated blood’ unless you organised the blood donation camp!
Include your involvement in student organizations and clubs, your volunteering experience, and scholarships. Mention your volunteering experiences along with the activities and competitions you were a part of. If you have given on-stage performances, list them – yes, dancing and singing at college are allowed.
Once you have assembled all the information on your Word Doc, take a scissor and edit out the irrelevant details and shorten the sentences wherever possible. Then, check your resume for typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors – nothing is a bigger turnoff than grammatical errors on one’s resume.
Sample resume for internship
In few minutes, select a resume writing template and put all these details on paper as per the chosen format. You can select from a plethora of resume formats for freshers or take the help of an online resume maker or websites like Template.net. You can also have a look at a professional resume and make your resume using these Internshala recommended sample resumes for freshers – Sample-internship-resume, Resume-template-1, and Resume-template-2.
Finally, here are some quick resume writing tips and tricks that you should keep in mind.
1. Formatting: Start with a 1-inch margin on each side. Keep the font size between 10-12 points, and use easy-to-read font styles like Arial or Times New Roman. Use bold to emphasize the most important information and headings, and use bullets to organise your resume.
2. Don’t write ‘Resume’ on the top and a declaration at the end of your resume. Also, don’t put your picture on the resume – the employer is interested in your skills, not your looks – unless you are applying for a modelling job.
3. Even Elon Musk has a 1-page resume! So, keep your resume short and try to fit all the details in 1-1.5 page.
4. Strike off all the personal details like your marital status, nationality, sex, and your parents’ names and occupations.
Recommended tools for resume writing-
1. Google Resume – A step-by-step guide for getting your dream internship by a former hiring manager at Google.
2. Internshala Resume – You can create a beautiful resume online by registering on Internshala and filling out your details. We’ll also help you add details needed to improve your resume. You can download this resume and use it to apply to internships wherever you want.
Finally, you have created a resume that employers can’t help but notice. What next? Well, do what you made the resume for – apply to some super cool internships and kick-start your career!
Got started with the resume but still does not seem like what you had in mind? Check out the Internship & Job Preparation training