So the first year of uni is over. Time to unwind, right? Well, it depends. Do you plan to sit back in envy once your peers are placed in hot shot companies after uni? Or do you plan to be the subject of envy for everyone else?
If the latter sounds more appealing, you’ll be better off if you postpone your plans to chill and work on your internship CV instead.
If the hows and whys of your CV for internship are giving you a headache, we’re here to help!
Pro-tip: Don’t send the same CV everywhere. Tweaking your CV just a bit as per the requirements of the specific job/internship listing will drastically improve your chances of getting shortlisted.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
The header is the first section of your internship CV.
Do not start off your internship CV by writing ‘CV’ on the top. That’s a strict no-no. When a recruiter sees a CV, he/she knows what kind of a document they are reading. So, make sure that the topmost element in your internship CV is your name, which would always be in the largest font size (16-18pts).
The header also includes the title right below your name which is often missed by most applicants. The recruiter shouldn’t scan your work-ex/education sections to gauge your role - it’s your job to make it evident.
Since you’re an entry-level professional, you can write something along the lines of ‘Marketing Graduate’ or ‘Marketing Graduate (ongoing/pursuing)’. Doing this will instantly let the recruiter know if it is feasible to go through the rest of your CV.
Pro-tip: You can tweak the title below your name as per the job listing to align your internship CV with the requirements of the recruiter.
There are three things in this section:
In the profile section, write a paragraph not exceeding 3-4 lines. Start off by telling a little bit about yourself and the internship position which you are applying for. Then write a sentence or two about your aspirations and then explain why you are a perfect fit for the chosen role. Try to avoid overused words like ‘highly motivated’, ‘passionate’, etc. Use power verbs instead.
In this section, write all your strengths and personal skills which you think will help you in your internship and which recruiters will look for in an intern. Use bullets to write all your skills for increasing the readability of your CV.
You can include soft skills as well (provided they’re mentioned in the JD) in addition to your professional skills. You can do so since you’re an entry-level professional - as you gain more experience, the soft skills in your CV make way for more professional skills.
Pro-tip: Write the skill as a keyword/function and not as a phrase. Don’t write ‘expert in running marketing campaigns’. Just write ‘Marketing Campaign Management’’. Do the same for all the skills.
Make sure to write this section (along with the rest of your CV) in reverse chronological order, which means writing the most recent qualification first. Also, if you have any grades, modules, assignments or projects that you think are worth mentioning, then do not hesitate to include them in the Education section; you can also create separate sections for Academic Projects if they are relevant to your target profile.
All your previous internships will go in this section.
Make sure no point exceeds one line, and that each point begins with a power verb. While framing points in this section, explain what all skills you used, and what was the impact of the same. You can group every 3-4 points together under a unique subheading within the work-ex if you end up writing a lot of points.
Don’t forget to write the dates of joining and completion for each internship. In case you do not have any previous internships, then you can make a Volunteering Experience section instead.
This section is an opportunity to show that you exist outside the walls of the classroom as well. No achievement is tiny or insignificant for this section. On the contrary, if there are too many achievements, only retain those points which are related to your target profile.
Try to quantify your achievements wherever possible. Mention out of roughly how many people did you win that recognition, how many people participated, etc.
Volunteering experience is the hidden gem that is often overlooked by so many people. When you have thousands of students vying for a handful of internships, it’s perfectly natural that a vast majority will be left without anything. What do you do then?
Go out and volunteer. Identify a cause you’re passionate about and find organizations working in that niche. Can’t find any? Good. Start something of your own. Volunteering experience on your internship CV will showcase a plethora of inherent qualities that would be missing from even those applicants who have interned in conglomerates.
If your interests section is relevant to the internship you’re applying for, you will have the upper hand over other applicants who haven’t followed this approach.
It helps the recruiter to know that you have other healthy interests and hobbies in addition to your regular curricular/co-curricular activities. Try to quantify information or make it relevant. Don’t just write ‘traveling’ or ‘reading’ - mention concrete details around the same without exceeding one line for each point.
Like soft skills, even this section loses importance in your CV as you gain more experience.
References are an important part of an internship CV. Since you do not have any prior work experience upon which the recruiter can rely, references are all they have. Choose references who, upon contact, will portray a good image and provide a convincing reason as to why you’re the perfect candidate for the internship. There’s no need to provide more than 2-3 references.
Just follow the above steps to make that dazzling internship CV. Do not breach the limit of 2 pages for your internship CV. In case you haven’t done any internships or volunteer work previously, then try and limit your CV to just one page.
What are you waiting for? Go and make that perfect internship CV!
On a quest to help professionals across the world land their dream jobs, Aditya lives and breathes Hiration — a platform to help job-seekers find their way in the treacherous job market — where he’s a Co-Founder and the unofficial CPO (Chief Problem-solving Officer). He likes to code away his days and nights when he’s not busy disrupting the career space.
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