Writing an Internship Resume

An internship oriented resume is different from a job-oriented resume in the following ways:

  • In seeking an internship, your immediate goal is an applied learning experience which contributes to achieving your academic goals, rather than a job and a salary.
  • You will be expected to have transferrable academic skills and background; you should not be expected to have professional level qualifications.
  • To convince an organization that you have appropriate transferrable skills your resume will describe your academic background in more detail than in a job-oriented resume.

Compiling an Internship-Oriented Resume

You are designing a self-portrait of your academic and professional life.

Step 1: Articulate your goal(s). Why do you want to do an internship, and why now? What do you want to learn? Whether or not you include a statement of your goal(s) on the resume it will flavor the choice of information you include and the tone of your resume and your subsequent interactions with potential host organizations.

Step 2: Identify your skills. What academic background or job experience do you have to contribute to meeting this goal? Imagine the organization's needs; what would they want to know about your background?

Step 3: Gather evidence of your skills. Gather together your resume writing tools; a copy of your transcript (Order one from Registration and Records); records or evidence from previous jobs or volunteer experiences, and evidence of other accomplishments that might be appropriate to the kind of internship you are seeking.

Step 4: Start writing. Get everything that might be remotely relevant down on paper. At the beginning, use this format for each skill, event, job, program, volunteer experience:

  • Name it. Title the position, skill or topic of study. This is your name for it, not the Evergreen program name.
  • Date it. When and where did you do it. What was the duration of the experience?
  • Describe it. Using no more than two sentences describe the content of the event.

Step 5: Organize. The organization of a resume is every bit as important as the content. If the content is not presented in an accessible way, it won't be seen. You want them to see it all, otherwise you wouldn't include it. The resume should have some order whether that is chronological, by skill or some other method. Choose section headings that fit your own needs and are appropriate to the content of the information.

Here's What to Put in Your Internship Resume

  • Degrees or certificates from colleges, community colleges, technical schools or formal training programs. Be sure to note the date you expect to get your degree, for example, B.A. expected June 1998.
  • Academic proficiencies and/or courses of study: areas of academic study you have explored in depth. Don't list program titles, look to your "equivalencies" on your evaluations for some hints.
  • Jobs, part- or full-time. Unless you have an extensive and varied work history, list most everything that has contributed a transferable skill.
  • Volunteer or community service activities.
  • Campus community participation. Note involvement with campus student organizations, participation on hiring DTFs, etc.
  • Academic accomplishments. What are some of the ways you have demonstrated your proficiency in an area of study through understanding of principles of a subject? This could be producing a video, participating in a group designing a new system, writing a research paper or many other ways.
  • Relevant personal accomplishments. Knowledge of another language, artistic accomplishments. What are the tools you can use? Many professions have their own tools and will be interested if you know how to use them. Here are some tools: statistical analysis, video production, computer programming, the use of certain lab equipment, field identification of plants and/or animals, mapping, graphic arts.

A few words about references

You can expect any host organization interviewing you to ask for references. You should be equipped to provide three references who have some knowledge of your academic or professional strengths. Check with the person first to make sure they are willing to be used as a reference and will be available at the time you need them. Provide the following information when supplying a reference: Name, title and organizational affiliation, daytime phone number and address. Make sure the information is current and say if the phone number is for day or night. Also include a reference note describing your relationship to the reference, if it's not already clear.

A few words about portfolios

A resume is only a snapshot of who you are; a portfolio can be more like an autobiography. Many organizations may find a resume doesn't give them enough information about you. They may want to see the video you produced, read that research paper or see examples of your writing or your lab analysis skills. If you have a portfolio you will be prepared to give them examples of your work that actually demonstrate your proficiency rather than just telling them about it. Portfolios can be useful in any area, not just the arts. Support for developing a portfolio may be available in your program. It is also available in the Career Development or Academic Advising office.

For more information on resumes for internships contact the Academic Advising Office, Lib 2153, ext. 6312 or the Career Development Center, Lib 2153, ext. 6193.