How to List Internships on Your Resume

Published: May 28, 2024

 Internships       Resumes & Cover Letters       
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After you complete an internship, you’ll want to carefully showcase your experience on your resume. But effectively doing so can be more involved than you think. Here are five tips for highlighting your internship experience to make the biggest impact on prospective employers.

1. Structure your internship like you would any job 

When putting an internship on your resume, start with your title, such as “Software Engineering Intern,” followed by the organization’s name and the dates of your internship. Make sure these headings are bold so they stand out. Then include a quick overview of your internship, just two to three sentences long, giving a brief description of the organization and your role within it. Finally, provide a list of your key responsibilities and achievements from your time in the role. You can use bullet points to format this information, making it easier for the hiring manager to scan through and pick out the key points.

2. Highlight your most relevant skills 

As you outline your responsibilities, make sure to highlight the specific skills you gained or improved during the internship. For example, you could highlight soft skills like communication, collaboration, and problem-solving, and/or technical skills such as editing in Adobe Photoshop or using Python to analyze data. When doing this, choose the skills that are going to be most impressive and relevant to the role you're applying for, placing the most relevant highest on the list.

3. Use action verbs to show your contribution

Simply listing your responsibilities isn’t engaging and certainly won’t help you stand out from other candidates. Instead, use powerful action verbs that illustrate your skills and contribution in a more creative and compelling way. For example, rather than saying you were asked to help the marketing team come up with social media ideas, use action verbs like “collaborated” or “created.” Other powerful action verbs include designed, developed, improved, negotiated, secured, and presented. Using words like these describe not only what you did but also how you impacted the organization. This makes your resume far more engaging and persuasive. 

4. Provide examples of your key achievements

If you hope to impress hiring managers, only listing your responsibilities won’t cut it. You also need to give examples of your achievements during your internship, quantifying these wherever you can. An example could be “supported the digital marketing team with a social media campaign that increased follower engagement by 20%” or “collaborated with the team of five developers to create a new web application using React.” This helps hiring managers see the impact you had during your internship and the real value you brought to the role. 

5. Tailor the information to the job you’re applying for

Finally, make sure that you tailor every resume you write to the job and company you're applying for, and this includes your internships. As you write your overview and responsibilities, make sure to highlight any skills, qualities, or tools that are listed in the job description. Even if your internship isn't closely related to the role you’re applying for, you need to make sure you highlight any relevant transferable skills. Tailoring the description of your internship experience in this way will help to align your skills with the job and demonstrate your suitability for the position.

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.