7 Resume Tips to Help You Land the Internship
Via Teen Vogue : 7 Resume Tips to Help You Land the Internship
Here’s what to do, and what NOT to do.
The dead of winter may seem like the worst time to start thinking about summer internships, but many of the most coveted gigs out there have early spring application deadlines. That’s all the more reason to get a jump start on crafting a strong resume as soon as possible.
But even in the era of LinkedIn, Jesse Siegal, vice president of New York City-based recruitment firm The Execu|Search Group, says the old-fashioned resume is still as important as ever.
“Go the extra mile and create a really nice resume,” Siegal tells Teen Vogue. “If you really want to work for a company, show them you want to work for them.”
But how do you craft a killer resume when you’re only just starting out? Here are some tips to guide you.
Dig deep. At this point, you may only have one or two part-time gigs and a couple of internships under your belt. So bring everything to the table when you are thin on experience but want to highlight what professional experience you have. If possible, put the emphasis on jobs that directly connect with the internship you have your eyes on.
Avoid cliched buzzwords. You can practically hear the eyeroll in Siegal’s voice when he talks about overused buzzwords — like “highly qualified,” “seasoned,” and “successful” — that job candidates use to describe their talents. Instead, put the focus on words that emphasize soft skills that employers are really looking for, like the ability to problem-solve and work with a team. “Use words like ‘resolved’, ‘improved,’ and ‘orchestrated’,” Siegal advises. “That shows you are able to take command, take the lead and get the job done.”
Put internships in their own section. You want to draw your reader’s eye to the most relevant jobs on your resume. That can be a problem if you’ve only had an internship or two and the rest of your job experience consists of summer or part-time jobs that don’t have to do with the career field you’re trying to get into. It’s tricky. You want as many jobs as possible listed, but you also don’t want that killer internship to get lost. So Siegal recommends creating a separate section specifically for internships, and list them above your other jobs.
Don’t forget to include an objective. Here’s how you make your resume stand out from the pack and demonstrate how much you know about the internship itself. Siegal recommends adding a two- to three-line objective that tells the recruiter or hiring manager exactly what you want to get from the internship and why you are applying. “Your objective should show you’ve taken some time to really reach out to this company and tailor your resume specifically to that audience,” he says.
Cater to your audience. If you’re one of hundreds applying for a coveted graphic design internship, it’s perfectly OK to show off your talents on your resume with creative fonts, links to your portfolio, or other design elements. If you’re applying for a business or finance gig, it might be better to keep things simple and straightforward. The same advice goes for the kind of language you use. “If you’re applying to a tech startup, you might use language like ‘check out my work here’ with a link to your online portfolio,” Siegal says, whereas a more traditional firm might find that unprofessional.
Use LinkedIn as a supplement. If you don’t already have one, Siegal suggests building a LinkedIn page as soon as possible. A traditional resume still matters, but recruiters are increasingly scouting hires online. Include a link to your LinkedIn or any other professional web page at the top of your resume under contact info.
Nail the follow-up e-mail. If it’s been awhile since you submitted your application, it is perfectly fine to follow-up with the company. That can be tricky if you submitted your resume to a large company hiring portal. Try to do a little detective work to track down a human you can contact. Run a quick LinkedIn search to see if you can find people at the company who work in human resources, recruiting, or internship departments. When you find your contact, keep your email short. Simply let them know you recently applied and you’d love to connect if they have any questions. “It’s not too forward,” Siegal says. “It shows you’re passionate. LinkedIn is a great way to do that.”
Mandi Woodruff is the executive editor of MagnifyMoney and host of Brown Ambition, a weekly podcast about career and finance. She is the former personal finance correspondent at Yahoo Finance and former personal finance editor at Business Insider.
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