With summer finally here, many college students and recent graduates have already started their internship programs. However, there are quite a few still trying to land an internship opportunity. If you are one of those that have been sending out a number of resumes but receiving no responses, it may be time to re-examine your resume. Having a solid and polished resume improves your chance of getting the internship you want. Is your resume good to go? Here are a few questions to consider before submitting your resume:
Is your resume grammatically correct?
There’s really nothing more important than having a grammatically correct resume. It is a must for any applicant who wants to secure an internship. Typos, misspellings or other simple mistakes on the resume will lead you to nothing but rejection. Proofread, proofread, and proofread until it’s perfect.
Is your resume just one page?
Studies show that employers only spend 4 or 5 minutes on a resume. As such, it’s highly recommended that your resume should not exceed one page. A short, simple and clear resume makes it easy for employers to know your focus, and a one-page resume is enough to show all your key skills and experience. Don’t make it comprehensive. Even people who have 30 years experience are suggested to limit themselves to one page, not to mention college students or recent graduates. So think about what’s really relevant to the position you are applying for, and exclude experiences that are irrelevant or less important.
Does your experience demonstrate your strong soft skills?
In addition to the right education and relevant work experience, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers also look for strong soft skill sets in their new hires’ resumes, such as the ability to work in a team, leadership abilities, written communication skills, and problem-solving skills, etc. In fact, as we may see in many internship postings, soft skills are part of the essential requirements. While students or recent graduates do not have many work experiences to put on their resume, soft skills become a crucial criteria for companies to decide whether to choose one over the other.
Have you had your resume professionally critiqued?
Before sending out your resume to your ideal companies, it’s extremely helpful to have it reviewed by career coaches and professionals. Those people are experts in the field and they can bring valuable and professional feedback to your resume. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, there are many great places to go for free resume reviews. The best place is your school’s career center where you can receive good resume critiques from the school career counselor. Many industry events and career fairs also offer free resume critique seminar. In addition, use your personal connections with professionals in the industry to get your resume reviewed. Make sure to use all these resources and have your resume exposed to as many people as possible for the best results.
Is there a local address on your resume?
Believe it or not, your address on the resume is also an important element for employers to filter candidates. Although some companies hire out-of-state interns, many prefer local residents, especially when there’s a large pool of candidates. So be sure to have a local address if you decide to apply for internships in a certain region. I personally got a lot of inquires about my current location when I tried to apply for internships in New York City with my non-NYC address. Employers do look at your address. To increase your chances of being hired, get a local address or simply remove your out-of-state address on your resume.