Remember to keep it short, professional and error-free. Be sure to put your best information on the top, suggests Sarvesh Agrawal.
Photograph: Patrick Fallon/Reuters
You: 'Hi, I wanted to apply to an internship at your organisation.'
Recruiter: 'Sure! Forward me your resume and I'll get back to you.'
Four days later, you are still wondering why you didn't get a call.
Don't be alarmed; this is because your resume didn't demonstrate how you would meet the requirements of the employer effectively.
Before I tell you how to write a resume that works, let's have a look at what a resume exactly is.
What is a resume?
A resume is a document, required as a part of an internship application, that summarises your education, skills, achievements, and internship/training experiences if any.
A student resume contains essential details that an employer needs to know about you before offering you a position in her organisation.
Now, I know you have already Googled how to create a resume a hundred times and seen all professional resume formats.
If you are still struggling to decide what to include in a resume and how to do it, here are some tips to help:
1. Contact details
This information goes right on top of your resume.
Include your name, e-mail id, phone number and address.
You can either use a large font for your name and list your contact details underneath it or use the same font for all the details.
A few points to keep in mind while adding these details:
- Ensure that you're available on the phone number and e-mail id you're putting on your resume.
- Put a professional email id on the resume like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and not email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You needn't write your complete postal address; mention the locality and city. Also, don't write both your permanent and temporary address -- your current address will suffice.
2. Educational qualifications
This section includes your educational degrees along with your institution, your aggregate percentage, and the (expected) year of graduation.
- Always follow the reverse chronological order, that is, the most recent ones first.
- Do not mention the percentage/CGPA obtained in all the semesters, rather write the aggregate.
When you are applying for an engineering internship, your technical skills are tantamount to your role.
You can categorise your skills and use bullets to list them.
For instance, if you’re applying to a web development internship, you can categorise your skills as programming languages, web technologies, etc.
Management students can list their interpersonal skills like leadership qualities, communication skills, time management, critical thinking, etc. (Please don't write confident and determined as your skills).
While putting together this list, think of what you’ve learnt in the classroom, previous internships, and college events.
4. Work Experience
With the details of your previous internships, this section depicts your learning curve and displays how you’ve grown as a candidate.
List the companies that you have worked for, the duration, and your profile.
Underneath these details, mention the responsibilities you handled and your achievements.
Along with this, mention the responsibilities you've handled during your college.
Remember that this is where you have to be creative as well as smart.
Let's take an example of a customer support internship.
Now, if you write 'Replied to student queries', you aren't depicting the gravity of your job.
You could instead write:
- Addressed the concerns of 200 customers on a daily basis via emails and calls
- Identified and met customers’ needs by helping them register on the platform
These statements would tell the employer that you are good at written and oral communication and have the ability to learn about a product in and out.
5. Academic projects
As a college student, you work on various projects as a part of your course.
These projects on your resume depict your conceptual knowledge and practical skills.
Include the name of your project, a brief description of what it does and how it works, and mention your role in the project explicitly.
6. Training and certifications
Here, you enlist all the certified trainings that you have taken up so far.
These add credibility to your skills and signal the recruiter that you're qualified enough to take up the job.
If you haven't done a substantial number of training, you can merge it with the 'Work Experience' section and name it 'Internships and Training'.
7. Additional details
This section clubs your achievements and extra-curricular activities and acts as a saviour when you are taking your first step towards your career.
Listing out the details of participation in various college events and competitions denote your holistic growth as a student.
It gives the recruiter an insight into your talents and capabilities and a glimpse of your soft skills -- confidence, emotional intelligence, teamwork.
Include your involvement in student organizations and clubs, your volunteering experience, and scholarships.
Mention your volunteering experiences along with the activities and competitions you were a part of.
Finally, take care of the formatting of your resume.
Start with a 1-inch margin on each side.
Keep the font size between 10-12 points, and use easy-to-read font styles like Arial or Times New Roman.
Use bold to emphasise the most important information and headings. Use bullets to organise your resume.
The author Sarvesh Agrawal is the founder and CEO of Internshala - an internship and training platform.