Discover our complete guide and selection of Internship resume examples with no experience to use to create your own resume with our easy-to-use resume builder. Below you'll find our how-to section that will guide you through each section of an internship resume with no experience.
Landing your first job can be challenging. A certain level of work experience is increasingly in demand, even on the lower rungs of the career ladder. But how can you build that experience if you can’t get onto the ladder in the first place?
Enter the internship – a short-term, ground-floor work placement that will allow you to build valuable experience in the industry of your choice. Internships have become such a part of working life that some companies will expect applicants for full-time roles to have worked as interns in the past! For hiring managers, an internship is proof that you have worked hard to acquire experience in your field, and that you are capable of balancing the commitments of a job with any other commitments you may have.
As a result, internships can be pretty competitive. To have the best chance of landing the internship you want, you’ll need to make sure your resume meets the very highest standard. Luckily, we’ve prepared an in-depth guide to building an internship resume that will give you a competitive edge.
Read on for advice and examples that will help you build your first resume!
An internship is a way to learn, network, and experience day-to-day life in the industry of your choice. It’s a short-term role designed to give you a taste of working life in your field, as well as to give you a chance to learn how to conduct yourself in a work environment. Though they’re commonly associated with young people, particularly students, internships are open to anyone of any age without much experience in their field.
As an intern, you won’t just gain authentic work experience. You’ll have an opportunity to learn directly from experienced industry professionals – whether you’re learning about the industry itself, or the work you’ll be expected to do in a similar role. It can also be a way to acquire valuable professional contacts, which you can maintain and use if you decide to look for full-time work in the field later on.
Internships can also offer a low-stakes, low-commitment way to try out different careers. They don’t last for long, so taking on an internship doesn’t require you to commit yourself to an industry forever – or even for longer than a matter of months. If you don’t enjoy the work you do during your internship, you can save yourself a time-consuming and potentially expensive mistake at a more impactful stage of your career.
It’s important to remember that not all internships are created equal. While some strike a great balance between work and learning, others are more interested in sourcing cheap (or even free) labor from a population less savvy about hiring norms. Ranges of pay can also vary wildly between internships: industries like tech tend to pay higher wages to interns, while nonprofits, by their nature, may not be able to offer wages at all.
When looking for an internship, make sure you do your research, and look for comments online from previous interns if you can find them. If you’re a student, your careers center may have some reliable contacts at reputable firms; this could give you a better chance of finding an internship that will treat you fairly.
If you’re hoping to score the internship of your dreams, your resume needs to demonstrate two things. The first is that you have the skills, both hard and soft, to thrive in the role of your choice. The second is that you have a specific interest in the industry or field where you’re hoping to intern, and that your interest is borne out via your education, interests or skills.
As a would-be intern, no hiring manager will expect you to have much direct work experience. However, depending on what you’re studying and where you’re studying it, you may have acquired some combination of clinical training and residency- or internship-based experience. You may also have acquired some relevant experience through volunteering or hobbies.
All of this should be included on your resume. That holds especially true if you have experience that aligns with the field of the internship you want. It will show a hiring manager that you have enough investment in the industry to make an internship worthwhile.
In general, an internship resume should contain the following:
The most important thing to keep in mind, when choosing your internship resume template from our selection of layouts, is what hiring managers are looking for. As we’ve already explained, you won’t necessarily need a layout that foregrounds your experience. You may not have much of it, so a layout that pulls focus to the experience section may highlight an aspect of your resume that isn’t going to help you get the internship.
If you’re hoping to land an internship, you likely already have some level of education – even if it’s still ongoing. Look for a format that will allow you to put your education at the heart of your resume. This early in your career, it’s likely to be your strongest asset.
Once you start looking for non-internship jobs, however, it’s important not to rely on the format that landed you the internship. Full-time jobs are more likely to be interested in your experience, so you’ll need to consider a format that balances your education with any experience you’ve built.
When considering your layout, you should also remember that many hiring managers use an applicant tracking system (or ATS) to sort through resumes they receive. For companies, this is a great asset; it allows them to speed up the hiring process by streamlining the early stages of sorting through candidates. But for applicants, it’s frustrating to have your resume dismissed before it reaches a real person.
You’ll be pleased to know that all of VisualCV’s resume templates are designed to outsmart ATS software. The layouts used in our templates will allow the ATS software to parse the text of your resume without getting confused – which will dramatically increase your chances of success.
The first thing to work on is your summary – a concise encapsulation of what makes you right for the internship you want. This usually appears at the top of your resume, so it’s one of the first things a recruiter will see about you. As a result, you need to tailor it to each internship you apply for, taking into account the job description and any person specification you are given.
Later in your career, your summary should focus on your experience and skills. However, as a student or a recent graduate, you should make sure your summary draws attention to your educational achievements. If you have extracurricular or volunteering experience that’s relevant to the internship you want, you can use that, too.
3 summary examples:
It’s important to remember that there’s a difference between your summary and your cover letter. Your summary needs to be clear and to-the-point, with an exclusive focus on what you have to offer as an intern. Your cover letter, on the other hand, can be longer and more personal, telling the story of why you actually want the internship.
So keep your resume summary as focused as possible, and save the rest for your cover letter!
Don’t Do This: I’m passionate about animal welfare, and have channeled that passion into a BSc in Veterinary Medicine. I’m at my happiest when working closely with animals, and so I would love to transform my degree into a career in a veterinary clinic. I believe this internship will allow me to learn the skills I need to thrive.
As you progress further in your career, you generally won’t need a resume objective. But as a current student or new graduate, an objective can act as a useful supplement to your resume summary.
Not sure what the difference is? Your summary, as we’ve explained, is a snapshot of the qualities and skills you have that make you the best candidate for your internship. An objective, on the other hand, is just a statement about your long-term career goals. Internship Resume Objective Example:
If you’re applying for an internship, it’s likely that you don’t have much direct work experience to bulk out your resume. The good news is that hiring managers won’t expect you to have much experience yet! The whole point of internships is to acquire that experience, after all.
But remember, you need to show passion and excitement about the industry where you want to intern. A great way to demonstrate that is to build up some non-work experience, whether through college extracurriculars or through volunteering commitments. If you have any of those under your belt, they can and should form part of your internship resume.
A good rule, even when you’re describing experience that doesn’t come from a paid job, is to write about your experience in a way that reflects the work you put into it. It’s about more than the bare bones of what you did! It’s about what those tasks achieved, and what you achieved while doing them.
This is how applicants for full-time jobs have to approach their resumes. If you can show that you’re able to do that, even just for an internship, recruiters are much more likely to take you seriously as a candidate. Internship Resume Experience Example: Volunteer Server, Redbridge Soup Kitchen | 2019-2020
Remember, hiring managers look for specific achievements and impacts. That’s why you should always avoid writing a straightforward list of all the tasks you performed in your previous experience. It doesn’t showcase any of your skills or any of the effort you put into the work you did. Don’t Do This: Volunteer Server, Redbridge Soup Kitchen | 2019-2020
The skills you’ll need to list on your resume will vary depending on the exact nature of your internship. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the job description, which will give you a sense of the skills you will need to thrive as an intern. You can also use the list below, which suggests some skills in high demand for interns in almost every field.
For general information about skills on your resume, check out our resume skills guide here!
|Hard Skills for Interns||Soft Skills for Interns|
|Public speaking||Attention to detail|
|Language skills||Time Management|
Some degree courses may teach you valuable hard skills, and depending on your industry, they may help you out in your internship. However, most hiring managers looking for interns will be interested mainly in your soft skills. These skills are critically important in almost any workplace – they will help to make you a good colleague, and they will give you an edge when performing more specialized tasks.
You probably already have at least a few soft skills! If you’re a student, you’ll be expected to manage your own time effectively, as well as to stay organized and on top of your studies. Think about the skills you use every day, even in situations that don’t feel like work – all of them will serve you well when the time comes to apply for an internship.
Here are some of the most important soft skills to include on your internship resume!
Are you the kind of person who can chat to anyone? Do you have a knack for explaining complex information in simple, accessible ways? Do you always have a good read on the mood of the room, and do you know how to respond to it so people take you seriously?
Communication is an absolutely vital skill in almost every job. As an intern, you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, in a variety of situations. If you already have robust communication skills, you’ll be very well prepared for your internship.
Interns are held to professional standards of personal organization. You’ll be expected to show up to work on time, dressed appropriately, and prepared to meet any obligations you’ve committed to. You may be asked to hit deadlines, balance competing priorities, and generally prove yourself to be a well-organized individual.
By highlighting your organizational skills on your resume, you’re throwing up big green flags for hiring managers. No company wants to be stuck with an intern who can’t meet the bare minimum obligations of the working world! Prove that you can do that, and you’ll give yourself a competitive advantage.
An internship is, at its core, a way for you to acquire experience in an industry. But like any experience, it is what you make of it. In order to really thrive in an internship, you will need to be able to take the initiative, seek out opportunities to learn new things, and seize every moment of your time in post.
Hiring managers will be looking for evidence of initiative on your resume. This is the real advantage of having extracurricular or volunteer experience to showcase – it proves that you’re the kind of person who goes beyond the bare minimum. On the other hand, if you aren’t interested in putting in some extra work, internships may not be for you.
The topic of internships and pay can be pretty contentious. As we’ve already discussed, wages for interns can vary between industries. If you’re interning in finance or tech, you’re more likely to be paid at a respectable rate than an intern working in journalism or fashion.
According to Indeed, interns in the USA can expect to be paid an average of $16.57 per hour. But because the standards of pay are not uniform across different fields of work, you shouldn’t necessarily expect that to be an exact measure of your salary.
It’s worth noting that some companies, though they might pay less per hour, may offer interns a stipend or an up-front sum to help with their living costs. Always make sure you get comprehensive information on the policies of the company you’re applying to intern for. The last thing you want is an unpleasant surprise when you open your first paycheck.
As internships get more popular, it’s more important than ever to present hiring managers with a resume that really stands out. Whatever your industry, VisualCV has you covered – we have an amazing range of templates and samples to give you that all-important head start.
The right resume can make all the difference, so don’t settle for anything less than the best. You’ll be celebrating your first week on the job before you know it!