The reason there is sooo much hype behind a resume is that your chances of getting an internship live and die with it.
If a recruiter, hiring manager, or any person, can’t see your value, then your resume has failed.
You see, a resume has 1 purpose and 1 purpose only: To communicate to the reader why you are worth hiring.
That’s it. If your resume effectively accomplishes this, then you can dust your hands off. But if your resume doesn’t achieve this purpose, then you probably need to read the rest of this article.
Talk About Results and Accomplishments
The first thing to know is that companies are selfish. They only care about themselves and they’re only willing to look at your resume because they want to find out what you can do for them.
So you must show them what you can do for them.
And the easiest way to do this is by showing what you’ve done and accomplished with other companies, clubs, organizations, projects, jobs, etc.
Every bullet point, for every experience you have, must talk about what you actually did. Don’t just say nonsense like “I dedicated XX amount of hours” or “I developed XX skill”.
That stuff literally means nothing to a recruiter, either because it says nothing they care about or it doesn’t prove that you have something they care about.
Instead, try having each bullet point follow this structure:
Accomplished _______ resulting in _____ by using _____________
That structure shows what you did, what the result was, and what skills and tools you his. #TripleThreat
Make It Simple and Easy To Read
If a resume is difficult to read, then a recruiter won’t want to read it. Nobody will want to read it.
Not your friends,
Not your professors,
Not even your mom and dad.
Now, what makes a resume difficult to read . . . plenty of things. Font is incredibly small
Don’t go lower than 11 point font.
Not enough white space.
Having too much text crammed together is a bad thing.
Give the reader’s eyes a break from words, and add some blank space.
Not placing the important qualifications at the top of the resume
If you make recruiters have to play hide n’ seek with your qualifications.
Recruiters and hiring managers can and will lose interest and stop reading your resume.
Make contact information and your education easy to find.
I’ve had a couple awkward situations where recruiters have told me they couldn’t find my GPA or my email after reading my entire resume because it wasn’t clearly stated.
Add A Design
Close your eyes and imagine this:
A hiring manager has a stack full of resumes; anywhere from 10 resumes to 50+. However, the majority of the resumes look almost exactly alike at first glance, since most people stick to the generic black n’ white style.
One after the other, each resume looks no different than the previous one.
Then comes along a blue resume. It’s’ nothing like you ever seen before and you just want to take it home to hang on your fridge. It looks so nice that you just want to read it.
And . . . end scene.
Just because you are qualified, that doesn’t mean recruiters will read your resume. I’ve had 5 internships and I’ve been rejecting for internships before my resume was even read by a real person.
Give your resume a nice design that grabs attention and is easy to read. Color is perfectly fine for a resume, but don’t go overboard. Too much color can turn a recruiter away in literally 2 seconds.
But a good design can attract recruiters to your resume. I start using this tool called Canva to build my resumes. It’s a free tool that allows you to create resumes using custom templates.
The results were astonishing.
Over half the recruiters I handed the resume to said it was either good, great, or the best resume the ever seen.
Add “Why Hire Me” Section
I added this section to my resume a year ago, and the feedback was great. Recruiters at career fairs loved it and said it was very unique.
This section makes the recruiter’s job easier because they are reading your resume to find out why you are worth hiring. If you sum that up for them at the beginning of your resume, then they won’t have to search for it in your resume.
And, this section allows you to give your own reason why your worth hiring. A recruiter or hiring manager may not see your value after reading your resume. Because of this, you must tell them what you bring to the table and what you have to offer, so they know what you’re worth.
Copy and Paste Skills From the Internship Application
This shows companies that you have the skills that they are specifically looking for. If they see that you have what they want, then they will try to hire.
If you looking to find your future wife or husband on eHarmony, and you want them to be adventurous, brave, and creative. When you meet that person who has those 3 characteristics, you’re going to want to meet up with them. You’re not going to want to meet up with a person who doesn’t have those traits or is even the complete opposite.
If you have the skills companies want, and make it known that you have those skills on your resume, then they will want to interview and even hire you.
Remove Useless Clubs and Activities and Extra Fluff That Isn’t Relevant
Don’t include experiences and skills on your resume that don’t show off your value.
Yes, this includes those clubs that you did nothing but attend meetings.
Yes, this includes those part-time jobs you worked in high-school just to have a paycheck. Yes, this includes those organizations you joined because they would look good on a resume.
Everything on your resume should show why you’re valuable and worth hiring. If it doesn’t do that, then you need to remove it.
Put Your Best Stuff At the Top
When people read your resume, they usually start at the top and move downwards. If they lose interest in you while reading your resume, then they may not even get to the bottom.
Therefore, you must grab their attention at the beginning, so they will be interested enough to read till the end.
If you are reading a book, and the book starts off extremely boring, are you going to want to continue reading that book all the way to the end?
Show Don’t Tell Soft Skills
Soft skills are extremely important for every internship. A lot of students may have the skills companies want, but if they can’t communicate and work well with others, then it won’t matter how skilled they are.
The problem that many students have is they struggle to prove that they have these soft skills. Many try to list out in their skills section that they have leadership skills or they’re a team player.
That does nothing for you.
You need to prove that you have leadership skills and that you’re a team player. The best way to do this is through examples. For example, to prove that you have leadership skills, you can describe a time where you led a team to achieve a goal or complete a project.
Anybody can say that they are a leader, and many students will claim that skill on their resume. But companies know that claiming that you are a leader means nothing without proof and examples.
The best way to show that you have soft skills is to use examples as proof.
Save It As A PDF
If you submit your resume online as a Microsoft Word file or any other type of file, the formatting can change when viewed by a recruiter. The way you typed the document may not be the way they view it.
But with PDF format, the formatting and look of your resume will always be the same, no matter what software someone uses to view it. After you type your resume in Microsoft Word, simply save it as a PDF. That’s all you need to do.
Every last one of these tips, I have used myself and have tested with different companies, and I hope they can help you get the internship you deserve.
Resumes are the first step between you and an internship. And if you can take the first step, you can get the internship.
About the Author: “Tahj Gayfield is the founder of the Internship Guy and has 5 internships on his resume. Click here to LEARN HOW TO USE LINKEDIN TO GET INTERNSHIPS!”