Writing an internship resume can be a daunting task — especially if your first internship will also be your first job.
It’s the old chicken-and-egg routine. Human resource departments and internship coordinators are looking for an employee with experience. But how can you get experience without first being hired for a job?
Believe it or not, you probably already have resume-worthy experience, even if you’ve never held so much as a summer job or internship!
Don’t believe us? Check out these five items you can list on your internship resume.
1. Hobbies That Are Also Special Skills
Did you build your own website in your spare time? An internship coordinator may appreciate your knowledge of programming and html.
Are you taking weekend classes to learn sign language? The human resources department might recognize not only your dedication, but also how that skill could be an asset to the company.
Of course, not every hobby belongs on an internship resume. For example, your love of riding roller coasters should go on resumes for only a few, very specific internships, like at an amusement park or for a company that designs coasters.
The best way to determine which hobbies are good hobbies to include is to make a list of all your interests. Then, as you go through each job application, carefully consider if and how the activities you listed match up with the internship.
Only list a hobby if you feel confident it will enhance your resume and benefit the business.
2. Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities are a valuable addition to an any internship resume (not to mention your college applications), especially if you haven’t had an official job yet. Treat each activity almost as if it were a job, listing the dates you were involved, your positions and responsibilities, and any special tasks you were put in charge of.
For instance, maybe you were part of a wilderness survival club and were elected to be a club leader. That’s a great activity to list as it demonstrates your leadership capabilities.
If your extracurricular activities are related to the internship you are applying for, that’s even better! For example, are you applying for a journalism internship? Highlight how you have submitted articles to the student newspaper, edited the Spanish Club’s monthly newsletter, and written a blog focused on student life.
3. Volunteer Work
A job doesn’t have to be paid for you to get valuable work experience, and many internship coordinators recognize that.
Like with a paid job, volunteer work shows that you are reliable and can stick to a schedule. And as an added bonus, volunteer work proves that you recognize that some things are more important than money.
When adding volunteer work to your resume, be specific about what you did. Did you organize a can-food drive? That shows initiative, leadership, and organization skills! Maybe you spent time just talking to the elderly in a local nursing home. That demonstrates compassion and communication skills.
Whatever volunteer work you’ve been a part of is a definite asset to your internship resume.
4. Awards and Achievements
Have you been selected to attend a national conference? Had a short story published in a literary magazine? Won a prize at the state science fair?
Awards and achievements show internship coordinators that you are dedicated and ambitious.
But be choosy for your resume. An internship coordinator probably doesn’t care that you won first prize in the annual third grade jump roping competition! Unless, of course, the internship is at a local community center where you can spend time teaching interested kids how to jump rope.
5. “Unofficial” Jobs
Babysitting, lawn-mowing, leaf-raking… these and jobs like them are perfectly appropriate to place on an internship resume so long as you were hired to do them on a regular basis by more than just your parents!
You may not have a pay stub, but these jobs are just as “real” as any other — they teach you valuable lessons since you’re basically running your own business and your internship resume will reflect that you are responsible and capable.