How to Write the Perfect Resume for an Internship in the USA
As a young international professional at the beginning of your career, there are two hurdles to overcome when presenting your resume. The first one is the amount of work experience. The internship you are applying for, might be your first. The second hurdle may be that as an international candidate, you have a lack of exposure to U.S. work culture and visa requirements, or simply the fact that you cannot just walk into a personal job interview and win a recruiter over.
This is why you need a very well-written resume to get noticed in this extremely competitive internship job market. A skillful resume (aka curiculum vitae, or CV) opens up the door for a job interview.
Not only should it highlight your academic achievements and relevant work experiences, but it should also show what makes you uniquely qualified for the internship position. Below you can find 8 points to keep in mind while preparing your perfect resume.
1. Strong Header
Your resume header should no longer just include your name, phone number, and email address. If you want a company to get to know you, be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile. The more complete and professional-looking your LinkedIn is, the more you will stand out. LinkedIn also offers the opportunity to present a recruiter with information that are usually not part of a resume – take advantage of this!
If you’re in a field or industry that requires you to show off your work visually, such as graphic design, putting a link in the header that leads to an easy to access professional-looking portfolio will help the hiring manager remember you amongst the dozens of other applicants.
2. Be Authentic
Are you still trying to apply on Indeed or a company website with a pdf like every other international student? Just to get your application tossed to the side? In order to stand out from other applicants as an international student, a short video talking about your experience and education can go a long way. Many hiring managers’ first questions are about the level of English proficiency. You never get a second chance to make a first impression! If you can clearly show your English proficiency as well as your uniqueness, you will get that job interview.
By working with us, you gain access to tools and insight information from professionals with over 20 years of experience. Internship-USA will personally work with you throughout the resume-building process, from writing and editing to a practice interview. We will help you break out of your comfort zone and push you in the direction of succeeding. Once your video resume is completed, we will hand you a personalized URL that employers can view, and we know that they love it!
3. Have an Objective
Your resume should always have a statement summarizing your goals and explaining why exactly why you want the internship. The worst thing you can do is leave this part off or make it too general. The company wants to see that you’ve put thought into why you want to do an internship at their company, and they expect you to tell them. The key is to tailor each resume you send out to that specific field and company.
4. Highlight Your Education
List all post-secondary schools and universities you have attended as well as degrees and certificates you received. Begin with your current or most recent. From there, go backward chronologically. If you have received any awards or honors during your studies be sure to list them as well (i.e. valedictorian, honors society, any club, etc).
5. Show off Your Skills
As an intern, this might be your first work experience in your field, and this may make you nervous because you have little to list. You can get around this by emphasizing skills that you believe are relevant to the internship position. List any skills that you feel would be an asset to the company, including business skills, computer programs, and languages (be sure to state your level of fluency). Also, include student projects, case studies, and workshops in which you have previously participated
6. Experience Matters
Your potential company will want to know what you’ve done in addition to studying. Include all full-time and part-time work that applies, as well as any other internships and volunteer work that you may have done. Don’t forget to include the names of the companies and organizations, and the types of duties you performed.
7. Be Interesting
List all of your extracurricular activities, interests, and hobbies you enjoy. This is your chance to show off what makes you unique. Your potential company will receive several resumes and CVs that are remarkably similar; be different by showing off who you are.
8. To Reference or Not to Reference
For the purpose of keeping your resume under to a minimum of a page or two, there’s no need to list all of your professional references. Instead, write “References available upon request.” at the bottom of your resume. If a company is interested in you, they’ll contact you to request this information. That being said, it’s a good idea to have a separate list of references (two or three) available and ready to go. Focus on one or two college professors or advisers that know you and your work well, as well as one or two bosses or supervisors from your previous work experience who can speak on your behalf.
Applying for an internship in the U.S. is mostly exciting but might be frustrating at times due to company rejections, no responses, or a lack of American cultural understandings.
After reading this article you now got a better sense of why most international students applying for an internship in the USA are not successful. First, you needs to list special skills you have never thought of before. Second, your university counselors will only go over general advice, they won’t have the knowledge or expertise to guide in a direction to help you succeed in securing an internship in the U.S. Third, consider creating a video resume with our help. Services like our CV/Resume Coaching Support allows you to create a unique and professional online video resume. In addition, our service allows you to upload transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other documents straight onto one easy webpage. And, you don’t need advanced technical skills either. Our service is easy to use and provides a great way to make your resume stand out above the rest. In a one-on-one service, we prepare a strong resume tailored to your goals. And once you secure that internship interview – thanks to your new stand-out CV – we will help you ace your interview by preparing you well!