How to Put an Internship on Your Resume

How to Put an Internship on Your Resume

October 7, 2021

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Finding a job directly out of college can feel challenging as students compete against others with similar backgrounds and work experience. Completing internships and listing them on a resume can help job-seekers stand out from the competition — if done correctly.

Learn how to highlight skills and knowledge gained through these experiences in a way that catches the attention of hiring managers.

Why You Should Include Internships on Your Resume

Often, recent graduates lack professional experience to highlight on their resumes, making it difficult for hiring managers to ascertain their preparedness for a role. Internship experience can demonstrate to prospective employers that you are dedicated and eager to learn.

By participating in internships while in college, recent graduates can signal to employers that they used their time wisely and learned outside the classroom. Whether a student took on a paid or unpaid internship, they still had the opportunity to put their learning into action and gain skills that can transfer to future roles.

Writing a resume as a student or recent graduate can feel frustrating, as it may be a struggle to create a resume that looks robust. For those early in their careers, adding internships to a resume can help show work ethic and professional experience.

When to Include Internships on Your Resume

While internships can often bolster credentials, they can sometimes be out of place on a resume. As a general rule, applicants should only include internships related to the position they seek.

As a general rule, applicants should only include internships related to the position they seek.

For instance, if you interned as a docent at a museum but want to do an engineering internship, you should leave off that experience. This also speaks to why students should try to find internships that relate to their future career goals.

In addition to listing recent internships on a resume, job applicants should also use their cover letters to expound upon the skills and knowledge they gained while in the role.

As recent graduates acquire more paid experience in their field, they can start removing internships from their resume. Advice on when to do this varies, but plan to hold at least two different job titles before you take off an internship.

Internships can play a valuable role in securing the first couple of jobs out of college, but once you have enough experience as an employee, internships can start to seem outdated and irrelevant.

How Do I List Internships on a Resume?

Some students feel uncomfortable listing internships on a resume and therefore end up putting them at the bottom. The best practice, however, is to list any relevant internships at the top of your resume under "Work Experience."

Each internship you participated in should be listed on a separate line and include a formal job title, the name of the company, the company's location, and how long the internship lasted.

Plan to include 2-5 bullet points under each internship title depending on how long it lasted.

Directly under the header, list the responsibilities you took on in the internship, taking care to translate those into some of the highlighted responsibilities of the job you're applying for. For instance, if a role requires experience in administration, you should highlight relevant administrative duties from your internship.

Plan to include 2-5 bullet points under each internship title depending on how long it lasted. Longer internships should include more bullet points.

Finally, make sure to always clarify each position as an internship. Failing to do so can make hiring managers question forthrightness and honesty.

Examples of Internships on a Resume

The following internship resume examples provide guidance on how internships should be formatted on a resume.

Research Intern, American Heart Association
January-May 2019

  • Assisted research manager in compiling relevant data points for social media campaign
  • Formatted and updated existing research according to data management guidelines
  • Developed new system for organizing data submitted by supporters

Social Media Intern, Hays Auction and Appraisal
August-December 2019

  • Developed content production and posting schedule across social media platforms
  • Assisted in creating new posts based on company goals
  • Created system for tracking engagement and building growth on channels
  • Helped create campaign to increase followers; led to 23% expansion

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Feature Image: Morsa Images / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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