Resume tips for that nerve-wrecking first internship application that will totally wow hiring managers

Monday, October 30th, 2017 - Resume

Internships can really look stellar on a job application. Before you envision how snazzy you’ll at your dream job post graduation, you’ve got to get that resume in order. That document is the first impression a hiring manager will get of you. It’s really daunting to even think about getting a resume together when you haven’t landed your first internship yet. Here’s some resume tips for college students so you can get your foot in the door.

Set the tone with your heading

Your resume should be clean and easy to read. Start with your name at the top and centered in a semi-large font, just don’t go over-the-top with it. You should have your email address, phone number, and address beneath your name. That stuff should be in a slightly smaller font. For safety reasons, you can leave off your entire address if that works better for you. Just writing your city and state is usually good enough. If you go to school out of state and are trying to get an internship near your university, don’t put your home address. The hiring managers might think you’re applying from far away and that could unfortunately knock you out of the running.

Start with school

If you’re applying for an intership, people know that you won’t be coming to them with a world of experience. That’s the point of interships – to beef up your resume before applying for full time jobs. You should list your current college under a heading like, “academic experience.” Write where you go to school followed by the month and year you started and end with “projected graduation” and that month and year. You should also include your major, minor, and your GPA.

Use your classes to your advantage

Obviously you’re working with limited experience so put those classes you’ve been taking to work. The work you’ve done for your major is training you to work in your chosen field on some level. Tailor this category for each internship you apply for. List some of the classes that are related to the job under the heading, “relevant coursework.”

Relevant experience

If you have any experience related at all to the job you’re currently applying to, include it! The company name, your position title, and the time you worked there should all be on the first line. Don’t put anything in italics unless you worked for a publication. The company name could be in bold if you keep that consistent throughout your resume. Make sure you always place the most recent job at the top of the category and continue down in reverse chronological order.

List your duties below with bullet points and try to start each line with a proactive verb. You should also include any accomplishments you had while there because they’re awesome. Include little details like numbers or explain the impact your success had on the company.

Experience counts even if it’s been through a school program or club. If you can relate it to the job you’re applying for, the hiring manager is going to appreciate your effort and creativity.

Summer jobs totally count

That cashiers job or camp counselor gig you’ve had every summer since you were 16 totally matters when you’re just starting out. Those types of temporary positions show you’re reliable and professional. Think about the things you learned from those positions about working with people. If you worked your way up to some sort of position of management, that’s a total plus that you should emphasize. Include this kind of experience that’s not technically related to your chosen field in the “additional experience” category.

Skills, skills, skills

Are you fluent in a language? This is the spot to include it. You never know when your hidden talent for HTML coding might be just what your hiring manager has been looking for. This isn’t the section to put down your record-breaking Saturday nap or hilairious night out escapades. Keep it relevant to useful skills in a professional workplace environment.

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Don’t overfill the page

Your resume shouldn’t be longer than a page. You should really try to it fill out, but don’t start adding in bizarre fluff just to make the page look better. Play around with the spacing and font size so it looks professional, full, and easy to read. You’re essentially trying to not piss off the person reading your resume in the time it takes them to skim it.

Don’t get overly wordy or descriptive. A resume is meant to be read in a very short period of time. You want it to be easy to get through while still giving the reader an accurate sense of who you are and your experience. This isn’t the place to show off your amazing personality, save that for your cover letter and interview.

Proofread and proofread again

Nothing will get your resume sent to the “no” pile faster than a typo. Read your resume outloud to make sure every line makes sense and you’re not repeating phrases. A second set of eyes is always a good idea too. Give your resume to career services at your school for a second opinion. They’re going to know what hiring managers are looking for and how to make your resume standout from the crowd in your area.

Finally, these days the person reading your resume is likely reading it on a computer screen and not on a piece of paper. If you’re sending your resume electronically via email or uploading it, then it should be in PDF form. It’s one of those tiny details that often gets overlooked by job seekers, but makes a world of difference. No one will ask you to resend your resume if it doesn’t download right. You just won’t hear from that at all.

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