Apr 05, 2022
Picture this. You’re in your junior or senior year of college. You’ve spent countless hours working towards graduation and the finish line is just ahead. You know the next step is to start gaining experience and your friends, parents or teachers have recommended you get an internship. You sit down to craft your resume and you’re struggling to articulate how your summer jobs and course work will be relevant to your dream internship.
At this point in your budding career, it’s ok if you don’t have years of experience. The goal of an internship is to get real-world experience in your planned field before entering the job force! But there are ways to highlight the experience you do have and set yourself up for success. Here are five tips to help you bolster your resume as a college student.
1. Include an objective statement
An objective statement allows you to give a hiring manager a glimpse at what your career goals are and why you are the right candidate for a job. In a few sentences, share a little about your skills and experience, and the value you believe you bring to the company. If you’re outgoing and love to collaborate with others, share that! Likewise, if you have a knack for managing timelines and keeping projects on track, that is valuable information to highlight in an objective statement.
2. Add relevant coursework and describe the skills you gained from that experience or class
If you don’t have any relevant work experience in the field you are looking for an internship in, don’t panic! Instead, add relevant coursework or class projects you participated in and include the skills you walked away with. For example, if you put together a social strategy for a company in one of your classes, that shows a hiring manager that you have some practical experience.
3. Include sections for skills, certifications, and extracurricular activities
Take some time to brainstorm any clubs you have been involved with, volunteer work you have done, as well as any platforms or software you have experience working with. These should be items that are not listed in other sections of your resume and be sure to only list what you are truly comfortable using and items that contribute skills to the internship opportunity.
4. Include links to an existing portfolio or Google Drive folder featuring samples of your work from school or other internships
If an internship or job listing does not allow you to upload samples of your work, adding a link to a portfolio or a Google Drive is a great way to sneak in samples that highlight your expertise, experience, and successes. You may even get some extra brownie points for including a cover letter if there isn’t a place to upload one already.
5. Review the requirements for sending your resume, and if the document type is not specified, send it as a PDF
In many cases, your resume is the first opportunity you have to make an impression. So, just as you would dress to impress, use your resume to create a positive first impression. It doesn’t need to be overly designed, just double and triple check for typos, keep your formatting consistent, and, unless otherwise specified, always convert it to a PDF document.