You’re finally going to do it. You’re finally going to apply for that internship you’ve been stressing about for the past month. You find yourself staring at your computer screen, scrolling through resume formats on Microsoft Word, overwhelmed with possibilities. Maybe you’ve made a resume before, but a resume for an internship application is a lot different than the resume you made when you applied to work at the Starbucks down the street.
What to avoid
To make their resumes stand out, students sometimes use flashy or decorative formats. While this will definitely make your resume stand out, it won’t be for the right reasons.
Career Development Coach Tanisha Harris recommends that students avoid being “too creative in format.” This could include pictures or personalized designs (unless they are needed for your specific industry). Stay away from the fancy fonts, opting instead for a more basic font like Calibri. Understand that whatever format and font you choose, it could be viewed as an online or printed document.
Once you have made one professional resume, you may be tempted to attach that resume to each application. As each job and job description are different, you should tailor your resume to fit the specific job. A resume for working at a restaurant should not look the same as a resume for working in an office. According to Harris, one of the most common mistakes that students make is “not having a professional presentation that is tailored to the position in which they are applying.”
What to do
When applying for a job, skim the description and jot down key skills that the employer requires. In your resume, highlight and expand on how you match these specific skills. If you haven’t had a lot of job experience before and you are applying for an entry-level position, list any volunteer experience or college courses that may have prepared you for the job.
Harris described how a resume is ultimately an “opportunity to showcase your experience, achievements, and ambitions by being precise, creative, and clear about what you want and [to] express your career goals and aspirations.” She also mentioned this helpful website for building resumes, which provides descriptions of jobs and the different activities that they involve.
Still unsure about how to build your resume? Schedule an appointment with the Career and Talent Management office here.
Kathryn Funk is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.