Internships are quickly becoming a vital part of the job market. They can help you find your first job and land it, too. It can be hard to write an impressive resume to get an internship in the first place, though. After all, you probably don’t have a lot of relevant job experience yet. Here are some ways to put together a solid resume, even if there isn’t much to go on.
Look Beyond Work Experience
Since you haven’t had many jobs, focus on other relevant experience. Have you taken courses related to the field you’re hoping to intern in? Taking the initiative to learn on your own looks good to potential employers. Have you successfully completed a big group project? Working as part of a team and finishing projects are both desirable skills. Start a list of everything you can think of. Don’t overlook volunteering and extracurriculars, either. Do you blog about an interest, fill a leadership role for a club you’re in, or mentor others? If so, consider whether any of these experiences might be relevant to the position you’re seeking. If they are, put them on your list.
Choose Action Words
Now you have a list of all your potentially useful experiences. The next step is to make sure you phrase them effectively. It’s best to get each one down to a single line if you can. Use specific numbers where possible. Then, make sure each sentence starts with an action verb. Go for words like “communicated,” “created,” “operated,” or “managed.” They’re more powerful and memorable than words like “had,” “got,” or “used.” If there are certain keywords that come up a lot in the industry you’re applying to, see if you can work them in.
Once you have a solid draft, it’s time to polish it. Try to get your resume to one page. Look carefully for spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure all the dates are accurate. Double check that everything you claim to have done is true. Ask a few friends or family members to look over your new resume for you and give you feedback. Also consider tailoring your resume for each internship you apply for. You can tweak the wording and even change which experiences you include based on what a particular position requires.
Keep It Current
Since you don’t have a lot of experience yet, any you gain should go onto your resume as soon as possible. Revisit your resume often and add to it as you see fit. That way it will be ready when your dream internship crosses your path.