When college students seek internships, they are, in fact, preparing for better opportunities in the future once they become professionals. The goal is to keep gathering as much experience as possible to make them stand out among hundreds or even thousands of other applicants who will most probably have basically the same level of experience.
The first problem a college student will have to face in order to craft an impressive resume is definitely the lack of content. Your degree and academic achievements are going to be your frontrunner but these are not enough to catch the attention of hiring managers. You have to tap into extracurricular activities that you probably did not know you could include in your resume.
That said, here are the 8 resume tips for college students who are seeking to apply for an internship:
One of the first things the hiring managers are going to notice is the overall presentation of your resume. Choose a font and size that are readable and neat. Make sure your text is aligned and consistent throughout. Additionally, make sure you edit and proofread your resume more than once to ensure that you did not make any spelling or grammar error.
The industry you want to apply for will also dictate the style of your resume. As an example, if you are applying as a graphic designer, you would want your resume to reflect your artistic and technical skills. You can apply colors and include some graphics. On the other hand, if you are applying as an accountant, you would probably want to submit a minimalistic and sleek resume, in simple black and white.
Highlight your academic achievements
Your academic achievements are almost always going to be relevant when applying next to college students in the same course. It will advance your application especially when the rest of the student body only garnered an average grade. Use this to your advantage by highlighting your grade or honors.
If you are running as a class valedictorian or a consistent dean’s list, make sure to include it in your resume to show the hiring managers that you excel in your batch and that you work hard to maintain your class standing.
Include volunteer work
It is expected not to have a lot of experience as a college student so you will have to tap into your extracurricular activities, which reflect your transferable skills that can potentially attract hiring managers. Volunteer work is a good example. When you volunteer, you can prove that you are able to work with a team and execute instructions.
Volunteer work will also show that you care about the society, and not just on school It will show your flexibility and ability to balance academic and extracurricular work. This type of skill is especially important to hiring managers because it can show that you are able to study and work at the same time.
Include clubs and organizations
Your work at your club or organization is going to be a good source for skills and experience in your resume. Whether it is a leadership role or a project you spearheaded, these are crucial work experiences that can potentially attract hiring managers.
When writing down these experiences, make sure to detail every important information including your role, the number of people involved, or the amount raised. With just one project, you can already show several transferable skills such as leadership, the ability to market, and ability to work with a team.
Use strong verbs
In highlighting any of your academic or extracurricular activity, ensure that you use strong verbs such as spearheaded, managed, or controlled. Do not be coy in your resume because the whole point of a resume is to put yourself in the best light possible.
It is, of course, unethical to lie but words can be very powerful if you know how to maximize them. There is a number of writing tools that you can avail of in order to create an optimal resume that will help you get that internship.
Showcase your problem-solving skills
Put your strong verbs to even better use by expanding your roles in a way that will showcase your problem-solving skills. This is an important part of your resume because hiring managers are looking for interns or employees who can help improve the workplace especially with regard to tasks that appear problematic.
To do this, avoid generalizing your role details and choose an instance wherein your problem-solving skills were crucial to the success of your project. Additionally, do not just include what you did but tell a story about how you did it. In this manner, hiring managers will get to know more about your skills and, consequently, advance your application.
Keep it concise
While it is important to include as much academic and extracurricular activities as possible to compensate for the lack of professional experience, it is also equally important to keep it short. Long resumes tend to be dragging and hiring managers will eventually stop reading on the first page. To avoid having your resume end up in the shredder, make sure to choose only the information that is actually relevant to your job application.
Before you start drafting your resume, make an outline of all the possible academic and extracurricular activities. When you are done, you can start removing those roles that are not important to your job application and which will only make your resume longer than necessary.
Maximize your network
There will be moments when you are unsure where to apply for an internship, especially when you are not yet exposed to the industry of your choice. In this case, you can always tap into your network to help guide you on where to go and who to look for. Start with your family and friends, and expand to their second and third-degree friends.
You will eventually find yourself choosing among their recommendations. When choosing which company to apply for, you have to ensure that you actually know what their business is and if it is at least related to your academic course. Choosing an industry that is related to your course will make your internship relevant to future job applications. Nevertheless, if you have not made up your mind yet as to what you would want to be after college, you can always start by tapping into your passion and other interests.
Applying for an internship when you are still a college student or applying for a job when you are a fresh graduate is going to be quite tough. You will face a lot of challenges with competing against your batch mates, as a start. This is the reason why you have to bank on both academic and extracurricular activities while still in school.
Submitting a well-crafted resume will have a big role in getting the job so make sure that you do not submit a half-baked resume. Think about it as the first step in fulfilling your life goals so you might as well put in a lot of effort in it.