How to Properly Showcase Your Internships on Your Resume

By Victoria Robertson on August 24, 2019

Having internships throughout college are called “resume boosters,” but a lot of individuals don’t actually know how to leverage these internships on their resume. Simply listing this experience as job experience can detract from your resume rather than enhance it, which is problematic, especially when you are trying to highlight this experience.

So, how does one properly showcase their internships on their resume?

Below are ten steps to not only ensure you are properly showcasing your internships on your resume, but to also enhance your resume as a whole, which will ensure that, no matte the job opening, you will be a strong contender.

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1. List Everything Relevant

First, and easily most importantly, you should be listing all relevant experience on your resume, which includes internships. Basically, you need to think ahead to the position you are aiming for, the field that its in, the responsibilities you should have to hold this position and what they are asking for as requirements.

In this way, you should match your relevant internship experience to the position at hand. For instance, if you worked at a radio show 3 days a week but you are applying to an office position, odds are the radio experience isn’t as relevant. For this reason, first ensure you are focusing on the tasks, positions and experience that is the most relevant to the position that you are applying for.

2. Prioritize Over Part-Time Positions

Holding part-time positions throughout your college career is also known as a bit of a resume booster. That being said, when you are looking at prioritizing your resume, your part-time jobs should fall second to your internships, so long as your internships are more relevant to the position that you are applying to.

This means that if you have experience working as a Starbucks barista and then held an internship through which you edited content for a publication, in applying to a position at a magazine, you should be listing your internship experience before your part-time barista job experience.

While most employers will want to see that you have done both, it’s more important to the job you are applying for that you prioritize the internship experience, as it’s more relevant to the position you’re applying for.

3. Elaborate on All Responsibilities

As previously stated, some internship experience can be pertinent to the position you are applying to, no matter how menial the task may seem. For this reason, you should certainly be including all of your responsibilities on your resume.

For each internship that you are listing on your resume, you should be listing all of the tasks that you performed in that position. While it may seem a bit redundant and overwhelming, it’s best to first include all of your tasks, then remove some until you feel that the bullet point fully encompass that position.

Again, you never know what responsibilities are going to resonate with an employer, so, especially when you are working with minimal experience, listing everything that you did in a given internship is going to set you apart form the competition more than you know.

4. Include Important Date Information

When you are listing your internship experience, it may not feel all that important, but you should always list your dates of employment. When it comes down to it, including your dates of employment lets the potential employers know your work history in full.

For instance, was this a contract position that lasted 3 months, or was it a long-term internship that was cut short? Or was it a long-term position that you stuck out the whole way through. These dates can tell an employer the full story, so you’ll want to include them in your resume if they strengthen the story you are trying to tell.

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5. Note Reference Availability

When you don’t have a lot of experience, to begin with, as is typically the case with entry-level applicants, it’s hard to sell yourself on paper, as there really isn’t all that much to work with.

For that reason, you should be including information regarding your references. For instance, rather than sending along a resume that just doesn’t tell the whole story, you should be noting your reference’s availability upon request.

Note that you never want to include your reference’s information right away, but rather want to note that references are available upon request to ensure the potential employer knows that your work was strong enough that you were able to garner references. Also make sure that when you are picking out your references, that you are using the most important positions on your resume.

For instance, you don’t want to note your reference as your manager at McDonald’s when the more relevant experience is your internship with the school newspaper. So be sure that you are not only including the fact that references are available, but that you have saved references that are actually applicable to the position you are applying to and that they can back up your most relevant experience.

6. Focus on the Pertinent Tasks

As previously stated, you should be including all relevant tasks in your resume. To begin, you should always list out all of your responsibilities, then you can hone in on the most important tasks as you work through your entire resume.

In this way, you should be focusing more strongly on the tasks that are pertinent to the position you are applying to. The best way to manage this is to have a copy of your resume that lists out every task that you performed in a given position.

From here, every time you apply to a new position, you should be focusing your resume based on the position at hand, removing the tasks and responsibilities that are less pertinent to the position. For instance, if you are applying to a position at a publication, you should be including your writing and editing experience, but your experience scheduling and booking flights for an executive is less pertinent to that position.

7. Include More than Less Information

On this same note, you definitely want to include more information than less, but you don’t want your resume to be too long, either.

As a general rule of thumb, and especially if you don’t have years of experience, you should only be listing one page worth of experience. Generally speaking, employers don’t want to see more than one page of experience, as they are looking to skim your resume and determine whether or not you are a candidate that they wish to invite in for an interview.

For this reason, you want to include all of the experience that’s potentially relevant that you can fit on that one page. Still, you don’t want the resume to appear over-crowded or to go over the one-page threshold as an entry-level candidate.

With these items in mind, as previously mentioned, include all your experience and then subtract and add as needed based on the position that you are applying for. The more tailored you can make your resume to the position in question, the more likely you are to catch the potential employer’s eye as he/she is skimming through and choosing the right resumes for the job.

8.  Note Any Achievements

As far as pertinent information goes on your resume, you should always be noting any and all achievements from your internships on your resume.

While you always want to include your academic achievements in this section of your resume, it’s also very important that you are noting your internship achievements, if applicable, as these are going to be the most relevant when you are applying to new positions, especially as a first-time applicant.

For this reason, you should be noting whether or not you received any awards at the company you interned with if there are any other items of note that you won and/or earned, or simply if you had any outstanding achievements throughout the internship that should be noted on your resume.

Remember that your resume is the perfect time to showcase your skills and accomplishments, which means that it’s not bragging, but rather in your best interest, to include every relevant achievement on your resume.

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9. Note Any Promotions/Responsibility Changes

In this same vein, you should always be noting any promotions and/or changes in responsibility at all of your internships.

While it’s rare for interns to be promoted, there are many interns that will be taken from intern to part-time or full-time employee, which does fall in this promotion category. If this is the case, you should be showcasing that change in title on your resume.

Basically, you do this in listing the positions separately on the resume, one that outlines your position, dates and responsibilities for the internship, and another that outlines the position, dates and responsibilities for the promoted position. In this way, your potential employer sees that you have experience as an intern and as an employee, but also that you were able to move up in that company, which speaks volumes to your work ethic and the potential you have at the company that you are applying for.

Employers frequently look for title changes and other similar information when they are screening candidates, so to have this as an entry-level applicant is going to set you far apart from the competition. So while the position change may seem miniscule, it’s going to speak volumes to a potential employer. So don’t leave it out of your resume, or limit your resume to only one of the titles that you held at that company.

10. Prioritize Internships Over One Another

Last, but definitely not least, you should certainly be prioritizing your internships over one another. While your internships likely all feel equally important to you, certain internships are going to be more important to employers than others.

For this reason, if you are one of those individuals that held multiple internships throughout your college career, you will need to prioritize your internship experience when you are crafting your resume.

In this way, you should outline every single internship that you had throughout college. From here, you should limit your internship experience to one, full page of internships. Then, you can list out all the tasks for those internships. Finally, you can remove the tasks that are not relevant to the position that you are applying for.

As previously stated, you don’t want a resume that’s so long an employer won’t bother reading it, but you do want to include as much information as possible to showcase your experience as it relates to the position you are applying for.

As such, you should always outline absolutely everything that you can and, from here, you can hone in the important details to make sure that your resume is completely tailored and oriented towards the position that you are applying for.

Again, holding internships throughout college is in your best interest, as they are frequently referred to as resume boosters. That being said, it’s imperative that you leverage these internships when writing your resume to ensure that all potential employers have a full understanding of your qualifications and background.

Writing a resume is no easy feat, especially when you are an entry-level applicant, but there are certainly ways to ensure that you are a strong contender when it comes to a new position simply based on the way that you format, layout and fill out your resume.

The above ten tips are a helpful starting point in ensuring that your resume is saying all that it should be, but it’s also a good idea to attend resume building classes, seminars and workshops to really focus on creating and maintaining an effective resume, at the beginning of and throughout your career.

No matter how you build it out, your resume is the means through which you will earn a new position, so make sure that you are fully committed to making it the best that it can be.

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