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How To Write An Effective Internship Resume

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How to write an effective internship resume

Anyone knows that when you leave college and go out into the real world, your degree won’t be worth as much without some real life work experience, but as a college student, this can be hard to get.

An internship is an ideal way to get the experience you need and make some contacts along the way, however, your next career move is only as good as the resume you send out to employers.

An internship involves a period of usually unpaid work that allows someone to get experience in their chosen field, so they can see exactly what the job entails. These are intended to provide a practical learning experience with hands-on activities, and if you can land one that suits your dream career they can look amazing on your resume.

Path To Employment

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a massive 97% of large businesses planned to hire interns in 2014 with that number sure to remain steady. This means, there’s huge potential to land the perfect internship to help you on the path of your right career, provided you can get your resume to look its best.

With just a bit of research and planning, you can perfect the ideal internship resume and get yourself one step closer to your dream career. To ensure you get yourself noticed by the hiring management and recruitment team, you should have a well-organized document that lists your best strengths and helps you to stand out from the crowd.

What To Include In A Resume For Internship

The resume internship looks a little different to a standard employment resume, due to the fact that your years of real work experience are usually somewhat lacking. When considering what information you should put on your resume, here are some must haves:

Volunteer Experience

This is a great thing to show on all types of resumes but especially for intern applications. This shows you are willing to work hard for nothing in return, and this is essentially what an internship will offer.


Any courses that you’ve completed that have to do with the internship you’re applying for can show a keen interest in that area. Similarly, anything you’ve studied in addition to your degree shows motivation to extend your learning beyond what is offered at college.

Extracurricular Activities

This is a great place to mention extracurricular things such as memberships in clubs and organizations, events you assisted with, and community services you might have provided in the past.

computer club

Employment History

For those who have job experiences, you can put these on your resume, even for work experience that might have been unpaid. Place these in chronological order with the most recent employment shown first.

Relevant College/High School Studies

Make a note of discussing your current degree or one you have completed recently, and ensure you list how exactly it’s relevant to an internship with your chosen organization.

Other Internships

If you’ve completed other internships before you should list all details of these including how long they were for, with which company, and the skills that you gained from working there.

With all of this information, you should be able to present a thorough resume that shows off your strengths and keenness to learn.

The best format for this style of resume is a functional resume, which has a key summary of your skills and experience at the beginning, followed by a chronological list of your relevant work history. For those with limited work experience, this is a great way to focus on your overall skills rather than just employment.

Tips For Internship Resumes

The thought of crafting an internship might be incredibly daunting, particularly if you have yet to hold down a real job outside of college. Here are a few simple tips that can get you started on the road to a successful internship resume.

Have Clear Goals

You should already have an understanding of what you want your professional future to be, so you need to summarize this in just a couple of key sentences. This will show potential employers exactly what you want out of a career so they can see instantly if you’re a good fit.

Teenage boy Confident

Use A Simple Layout

The quickest way to get your resume landed in the rejection pile is with a whole bunch of fancy fonts and confusing formatting. Lay everything out so it’s easy to read, with your relevant experience and work history bolded, italicised, or abbreviated in the same manner throughout.

Include A Link To Your Professional Profile

If you don’t already have one, you should maintain at least one social media profile that’s for professional interests only and related to your career goal. A LinkedIn is an easy way to list all of your skills and experience, with the added bonus of networking.

The First Resume Of Many

As the internship is one of the most important jobs you’ll ever have, it’s essential to perfect your resume before sending it out. Always take the time to review everything you’ve done, and even leave it for a day or two before giving it a final look over.

You should have someone trusted read your resume also as they might be able to give some constructive feedback or show you areas where you might have missed some important strengths.

Young woman holding her resume waiting for work

Although there’s no promise of long-term employment from an internship, this does happen for many lucky and hardworking individuals. To ensure you get your foot in the door and have the best chance of getting into your dream career sooner than you thought, it all starts with the perfect internship resume.

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Jamie Robshaw

Jamie Robshaw

One of the cofounders at Recruiterly and an international recruitment and HR veteran with a passion for recruitment technology.

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