Listing an internship on your resume is a great way to ensure your application stands out from the pile on a recruiter’s desk. Here’s what you need to know.
Why You Should Put Your Internship on Your Resume
Internship on Resume
When it comes to the most competitive job markets in the world: banking, marketing, or software development, for example, internships can make or break a resume. This is especially the case if you are a recent graduate or you have limited work experience. Graduate students who undertook internships during postgraduate study, in particular, should list them on a resume to increase the chance of an academic job after completing their degree. Don’t devalue the hard work you put in during your internship as it could make up for what you lack in terms of paid job experience. Here’s what you need to know about listing an internship on your resume.
Why Internships Look Good on a Resume
Internships look good on a resume for the same reason that relevant work experience looks good on a resume. Internships show that you have practical experience in a role or industry. Internships can be like any other form of employment, with some internships more competitive and more prestigious than others. So, if you’ve had an internship with tech firms or media platforms like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, the New York Times, or any big name in a particular industry, this will be of particular interest to hiring managers.
When Should You Put an Internship on Your Resume?
Generally speaking, you should give precedence to paid employment when you are writing a resume, but if you lack work experience there’s no need to despair. A relevant internship can take an otherwise thin professional resume to the next level. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Here’s when you should include internship experience in your resume:
When you have just graduated
Recent graduates who have little or no relevant work history can use internships to make their work experience section a little more robust. If you have relevant internships, paid or unpaid, this can increase your chances of success, especially if you are applying for entry-level roles. It can even be possible to submit an internship resume that features only internships if you are applying for certain entry-level roles.
When you are changing careers
If you have started to change your career path and your previous work experience is not relevant to what you want to do, internships can help fill that gap. If you have relevant internships that meet the job description you intend to apply for, you should absolutely include them in place of less relevant professional experience.
When the internship is prestigious
If you have undertaken a prestigious internship position, it is doubly important that you list it in the appropriate place in your work experience section. If you want to work in social media marketing, for example, an internship with Instagram (even a summer internship) will look great.
It is important to note that job seekers who are college graduates can also list relevant coursework to prove their soft and hard skills, as well as their practical competencies. The best resume is one that properly represents all of your skills and years of experience in a way that will show hiring managers why they should consider you for a specific job title.
How to List an Internship on Your Resume
If you have internships that you want to list on your resume, it is important that you list them properly. You should include relevant internships in your work experience section rather than your education section, even if they were unpaid. Here’s how to list each internship:
You should list the company name and job title that you held during your internship. Be specific. If you cannot remember the specific title of your internship, try to find out what it was. You should also list which department you worked for if you worked with a large company.
Include the date you began your internship and the date it ended.
Include details about your duties and achievements in this internship. Use three to five bullet points to list your most notable successes in that position using action verbs (e.g., “oversaw,” “managed”). Showcase your communication skills by providing specific achievements and relevant details.
Keep these three features in mind and you will be able to properly list all of your relevant internships. For example, if you undertook an internship at the New York Times you might write:
Metro Fellow/Intern - New York Times, NYC, New York. May to August 2017
- Tasked with assisting the Metro editor in the development and refining of content.
- Pitched feature ideas
- Assisted in the creation of a new column
- Analyzed social media engagement with web content and stories
Remember, resume writing is as much a relevant skill as any of the other hard skills, technical skills, and soft skills you might list on your resume. Consider relevant resume examples to get inspiration for the best ways to list your internships. Internship resume examples that are relevant to your industry will showcase design features and skills that could be beneficial to your resume. Your resume format is also important. Use free resume templates like the ones offered by the ResumeNerd resume builder tool. This free, online resource will create an editable resume that is in line with U.S. resume formatting requirements.
FAQ: Internship on Resume
As you can include up to 10 years of work experience on your resume, any internships that fall within the last 10 years of your professional life can be listed on your resume. Consider relevant resume samples to get a good idea of how much information to include.
Yes, you can list unpaid internships on your resume. As long as they are relevant to the job you are applying for, you can list both paid and unpaid internships.
You can add an extra section to list internships no matter which resume format you are using, but a chronological resume format is undoubtedly the most widely accepted. Remember you can also discuss your internships in your cover letter!