Marketing yourself while you’re still an intern can be tough. As an intern, you’re hyper-aware of the stiff competition you’re up against. There are many other interns and students/recent graduates looking to be hired, as well as seasoned professionals with anywhere from 5-35 years of experience. Therefore, when scouting potential companies, look to see what their values and beliefs are and research the “type” of employees they like to hire. Some companies prefer experienced workers, while others are looking for fresh new faces with innovative and groundbreaking ideas. Once you’ve found a suitable company that meets your criteria, make sure that you have an outstanding, attention-grabbing resume on hand.
Work with What You Have
As you may notice, a typical resume highlights education, credentials, experience, professional affiliations, volunteer work, etc. But what do you do when you have very little hands-on professional experience? First, start off with an informative profile that leaves a good impression on the reader. Briefly discuss your passion for your new professional field, the credentials and skills you’ve gained through school and your internship, and your drive and motivation to make a difference for the company.
Next, a list of areas of expertise or core competencies can really bring your unique skills to light. Focus on industry buzzwords and innovative methods you learned in school and during your internships. This list of traits will catch the reader’s eye right away, and show them that you’re not just any entry level professional, but a well-rounded and creative individual with effective methods to maximize results for the company.
List Your Education
After your list of skills, include your education and credentials instead of jumping right into your professional experience. Emphasize your program, major, and minor, if applicable. Highlight your grade point average (if it’s high), scholarships, honors programs, or any other features of your academic career you are exceptionally proud of and feel would impress potential employers. Additionally, it may be beneficial to list some of the key courses you took that directly relate to the position you’re seeking.
Now for the professional experience part. Most candidates simply focus on the years they’ve been working. Since your experience is limited, focus instead on the effective techniques and methods you employed during your internship, as well as the responsibilities you had and any accomplishments you made. Make sure that you list all relevant accomplishments with precise detail (being vague is definitely a no-no). For example, “Increased office organization by devising a new database file system that cross referenced all necessary files”.
If you’re going through a professional certification program or have just started your internship, you can create a general area on your resume specifically for related professional techniques and industry methods. This is a good place to list learned, utilized, or future strategies that you have or will employ in your career. Make sure they are bulleted to allow for easy reading.
Remember, regardless of the type of position you are seeking, or the amount of experience you have under your belt, make sure you have an eye-catching and professional looking resume. Simple borders, a little color, a relevant graphic, or bolding key points can go a long way for making you stand out amongst the numerous other candidates.
Need additional help? Reach out to Candace for assistance!