How to Prepare a Resume for Your First College Internship [Tips&Cover Letter included]
30 May 20228 min read

College provides the necessary tools and stepping stones to give students the entry they need into the professional world once their classes are done and passed. They leave with a mind full of technical and practical knowledge within their chosen field to start working at a professional level.

But that’s not enough.

Employers seek more than just education credit. They want accreditation in the workforce to hire people that are proven workers for their cause. Any ordinary resume won’t cut it. It needs to be full of practical, promotive experiences that show an employer that the applicant wasn’t just a student for four years but a conscientious worker worth hiring. The best way to get that experience while still in college is to apply for an internship.

What is internship?

Internships are unpaid or underpaid positions in companies within a student’s chosen field. The main goal is to teach a student the practical on-the-job skills and techniques which become necessary within the career they have elected into and want to be a part of.

However, these are still jobs. Work is being done and needs to be done well. These positions therefore can only accept applicants who demonstrate the best possibly placement which will be worth the time and dedication the company is willing to put into their training.

You may think, “Well, I don’t know how to write my resume, I don’t even have any related work experience to put on my resume. I really don’t have enough content for making even one-page resume.”

You are right, but also not right. Companies are looking for potential candidates, they already know that you don’t have much experience, that’s why you need a training session. They more care about your personality, whether you are a team player or not, as well as your learning ability.

So, don’t get panic, you will be much more comfortable after reading through this article.

Here Are a Few Tricks That Can Help Push Your Resume to the Top of the List:
  1. Write a Strong and Crisp Objective Statement
  2. List Your Hard and Soft Skills Which Reflect Yourself
  3. Tell Them About Your Course Works Beyond GPA
  4. Don’t Forget Your Achievements
  5. Make Your Cover Letter Also Be Ready

Not done yet, we also have a complete guide on how to prepare a job-winning resume for your first job if you are undergraduate college student.

Write a Strong and Crisp Objective Statement

A resume isn’t just a simple list of your job experience or education. For a college internship, your education is an understatement. In fact, many companies partner directly with campuses to bring interns in based on past performances and other cooperation. So, you won’t need to tell them where you’re from, or what department you’re with. They know that already.

What you need to sell yourself is a strong objective statement. This is the reason you want to apply for their internship. Not just any other. You could just as easily get a job to start gaining experience, but you are applying for an internship, just as much a job as it is a full-time class. Let them know you’re the right candidate by explaining how they are the perfect fit for you. To do that effectively, you’ll need to perform some research.

Look up the company offering the internship and make references to their past successes. Check into people who were part of their intern program and what they got out of it, the surprising facts they learned or the challenges they overcame, and how you have a desire to do even better. Your objective should be learning and contributing to their business as an asset whenever possible.

A string objective statement shouldn’t be pleading or preachy, it should be inclusive to the intern work at hand. Don’t be too casual about it and approach it like you would a job interview. They’re looking for the best candidate, and you want to convince them that there are assets beyond the simple material of your grades or coursework that make you that candidate.

List Your Hard and Soft Skills Which Reflect Yourself

You only get one chance to make a first impression. For the person considering your application, make that one chance stand above as many applicants as possible. Consider your skills and accomplishments, particularly around any work experience which may be similar to the internship you’re applying for. These are things that you know you’re good at, which have proven useful to you many times over. It can even be anecdotal, a story about how your personal time management saved you during a crisis event when so many others failed. Just be truthful about it.

Don’t be afraid to brag, but do it professionally. Everyone has something they consider a talent or unique skill, something very personal that can motivate them to try harder than those around them. Highlight it and stress the importance of how it will positively impact your working ability as an intern. Even a positive attitude can be enough in stressful or extreme job environments.

Learn more: How to List Job Skills on Your Resume

Tell Them About Your Course Works Beyond GPA

Having a high GPA is a sign of good studies and academics. But that’s not enough. Those numbers mean something to a system and to machines that automate grade collecting. But what have the classes taught you? Just asking that question shows an initiative for critical thinking and a desire to define further and control your own mind. It’s a good sign for an internship board that you’re that much of a hard thinker.

Showing your grades only goes so far. Tell them what those grades mean, particularly to you. Having high marks in math means you’re very technical. Explain what that technical prowess is. Tell them about your favorite or easiest class, how you got that grade and how the lessons give you a sense of accomplishment or happiness to achieve them. Self-motivated learning is essential for internships. You’ll often be set free by the company’s rules and expected to make the best of your time. Prove that that’s not an issue for you because you know how to make the most of your education beyond just passing grades.

Don’t Forget Your Achievements

It’s never a bad idea to brag a little bit. Showing off your awards, particularly any limited scholarships or competitions, shows that you have what it takes to succeed. You follow the rules and come out above the rest. These don’t have to be directly related to education. Just the act of succeeding itself should be highlighted to show that you can endure a conflict and still rise to the top, just the way an intern should.

Once you have a resume and a strong, objective statement for a cover letter, you can consult with your department to send it in and wait for the results. Apply early and show enthusiasm. Please prove that you’re the intern they want by being one before you start.

Make Your Cover Letter Also Be Ready

Do not think that once you finish your resume, your job is done. No, that is not the case.

I know a lot of people are telling you that no one reads cover letters anymore, but what if the companies are asking you for that? So be ready even before they ask!

Remember, Opportunity awaits those who are prepared.

Here is an example of how the cover letter for internship should looks like. You can read our complete guide on how to write an amazing cover letter.

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