Here’s short video on how a good reference can go bad, and what to do if that happens…
Did you catch Lauren on Fox 59 in Indianapolis today? If not, watch the clip of her Top 5 resume tips for interns. And as promised, here’s the entire Top 10. Trust us, this list will get you to the head of the class!
ResuMAYDAY’s Top 10 Resume Tips for Interns:
It’s that time of year when college students start looking for internships or career-related jobs. Today, I’m going to tell you exactly what skills and attributes employers want to see in younger candidates’ resumes. When you’re just starting out, no one will expect that you saved thousands of dollars or supervised dozens of people. You’re not supposed to be leading, you’re supposed to be learning. Many companies want to round-out their experienced staff with interns and recent grads, so they have people on their team who are learning the job and honing their skills internally. Here are skills and traits employers have in mind when they’re looking at college candidates for jobs and internships:
1. Communication Skills: Intern candidates should be able to speak, write, present and listen well. They also need to accept criticisms and respond to questions. Include bullets that discuss times that you have made class presentations, and list papers that you have written. Upload your more important papers and projects to your LI profile.
2. Computer/Technical Skills: This is a no-brainer because today’s college kids have grown up with computers. Employers need to see that these skills are at an acceptable level for business use. Can you create a smart and coherent PowerPoint presentation that will impress clients? Can you put an Excel spreadsheet together that a manager can use to track sales? And not only can you use these programs, but can you help less tech-savvy coworkers to strengthen their skills? Include all of your computer and technical skills on your resume.
3. Student/Peer Leadership: Include any student or volunteer roles where you led a team, or made decisions that favorably impacted a group of peers, particularly if your goal is to work up to a management level.
4. Teamwork: In addition to leadership, candidates need to show that they can work well with different people. A big corporate issue right now is diversity and inclusion among multi-generations. If you have academic experience working with people younger and older than you, make sure to include that on your resume.
5. Personal Traits: Candidates should have initiative, be motivated, adaptable to change, industrious and be able to juggle tasks. The way to show this is to list sports or academic teams, volunteering and even hobbies. You don’t want this section to be the majority of your resume, but employers want these insights into your personal traits.
6. Work History: Of course, if you’ve held a job – even a summer job, you want to list that. Don’t only list your job description. Include any accomplishments and anything above-and-beyond. Ask yourself, “what was my best day on this job, and what happened?” Thinking about your current and past jobs in terms of your ‘best day’ will make you remember those important things like accomplishments and results.
7. Interpersonal Skills: Employers want candidates who can relate to others, inspire them to participate or quell conflict among co-workers. While this might be difficult to express on a resume, have stories that illustrate these skills available for upcoming interviews.
8. Passion for the Job: Why are you applying to that particular employer? Is the industry, the role, the company, or something else? State that in your summary statement at the top of the resume, and in your cover letter. Make this part personalized, as if you are speaking directly to your future boss.
9. Length: Younger people have a tendency to think that a longer resume is a better resume but that’s simply not true. Most of the resumes that I write for professionals with years of experience end up being perfectly sized at one page! Your internship resume needs to be no more than one page. Any longer and your potential employers will think it’s just puffery. No padding is needed – go for the quick impact.
10. Format: What you put in your resume is just as important as what the resume looks like. Don’t use one of the Microsoft supplied templates that comes free with Word. That tells your potential employers that you put no thought into your presentation. Instead, look on google for modern resume formats and find something striking, yet professional – and something that feels right to you.