How to Tailor Your Resume for an Internship

Guest post by Miranda Hassen

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. You’ll never have a chance at your dream job (or even an entry level job) without internship experience. It’s almost as if you haven’t gotten the full college experience without securing at least one internship, right?

So if you’re a young college student, eager to get into the workforce, what do you do? The answer is to apply for internships! But without a well-written resume, just getting an interview will become that much harder.

Don’t feel like you’re not good enough

It can be very disheartening to write out a resume for the first time. What if you don’t have enough experience? How should you describe your leadership skills? What if you feel like you’re lacking in important skills? But it doesn’t have to be this way! Don’t make the mistake of believing that your job experience and skill sets aren’t good enough to get you the internship you desire.

Employers and hiring managers know that you’re new to the field, and will likely lack experience. The best employers out there will be willing to train you and allow you to grow professionally with them.

So now you’re feeling more confident that you can apply for an internship. How should you get started?

Create a resume template

You can easily purchase an affordable resume template to get started. Once you have one ready, start to fill in the information: your academic background, accomplishments, experiences, extracurricular activities, skills, and goals.

Save the template because you will want to change your resume frequently and tailor it to specific job applications. I recommend doing a “save as…” then change the resume name to include your first and last name, and the name of the position that you are applying for. Here’s an example: “John Smith – Marketing Intern Resume”.

Use action verbs

Use concrete, action verbs to showcase your experiences and accomplishments. Here’s an example of a poorly written bullet point verses a strong, actionable bullet point.


  • Assisted customers as needed

First of all, duh! If you’re a cashier, a server, or any other type of worker as a young adult, you probably dealt with customer service at some point. Don’t waist space on your resume with something as obvious as this.


  • Built positive reputation for quickly and efficiently resolving issues, and succeeding in customer satisfaction

Doesn’t that sound so much more appealing? This will catch the eye of someone looking at your resume. They will be intrigued and want to ask you more about your success. Come in with a good success story, and you’ll be sure to wow the person interviewing you.

Remember that even though experience is important, your academics and skill set will make you more memorable

Your potential supervisor or boss wants to hire an intern that is smart, can juggle multiple tasks, has good grades, and is willing to learn. It might be difficult to show that in your resume, but it is possible!

Including your GPA if it’s over a 3.0 is a great idea to show that you are dedicated to your schoolwork. Academic scholarships look even better, and should be listed if you have them.

If you’re not involved in any extracurricular activities, get out there, and start joining some organizations! They are a great way to meet new people, and make connections. If you take on a leadership role, then you should include that on your resume.

Hiring managers take all of that into consideration and more. If they see you have a job, no matter how insignificant you may think it is, they will be impressed with the fact that you are working, have good grades, and are involved with your community.

So again, it’s not all about experience: it’s about who you are as a person, and what you can bring to the table. So what are you waiting for? Get your resume started today, and start applying!

Guest post by Miranda Hassen. Be sure the check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “How to Tailor Your Resume for an Internship

  1. Sarra says:

    I’ve been struggling with getting my resume noticed. I’ve gone to local job workshop seminars and gotten one on one feedback on my resume and… almost nothing. It’s definitely discouraging, and your post is helping me get my hopes back up to look over it again and see what I can enhance. I’m so glad I found your blog through this post because all 4 related articles are now open in new tabs and I’m about to go on a reading binge!

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