Internship application season isn’t coming, it’s already here.
Many organizations are accepting intern applications for the winter, spring and even summer semesters. While everyone knows what the basic application materials are — a resume and a cover letter — most people don’t know that they don’t have to use the same type of resume as everyone else.
There are many types of resumes, and the type that you’re probably most familiar with is called a chronological resume, which puts the emphasis on your work experience. If that’s not what you want to focus on, then you might want to try using a functional resume.
A functional resume is one that highlights your skills instead of your previous employment. If you have large time gaps between jobs, are looking to intern in a field where you don’t have a lot of experience or have never had a real job before, you might want to consider using a functional resume.
If you want to learn how to write a functional resume but are only familiar with what chronological resumes look like, don’t worry! The structure is very similar and is easy to break down into sections.
The heading of a functional resume should consist of your name, address (permanent, school or both — the choice is up to you), phone number and email address.
This is where you tell the employer what you want. As concisely as you can, state what job you want while also telling them what skills you can bring to the table.
List your college’s information (name, city and state) as well as your major, the degree you’re studying for and your date of graduation. You can also list your GPA, so long as it’s above a 3.0/4.0.
You’ve already told the employer what job you want, so use this section to tell the employer why you would be good at the job you are applying for. Write three or four bullet statements that show your relevant strengths in regard to the position. Don’t be afraid to emphasize your personality, your academic achievements or your community service.
Each statement should not surpass two lines and should be listed so the most relevant qualification comes first.
Pick two or three of your strongest skills and then use bullet points to discuss activities or jobs where you have used this skill. Here’s a fictional example of how one of your skills should be described:
• Worked one-on-one with students in a peer-advising program, helped them utilize resources
• Mediated disputes between customers and management at McDonald’s front counter, insured that customers had an enjoyable dining experience
• Earned “Sales Representative of the Month” for July 2010 from Avon Products, Inc. for displaying exceptional customer service skills
You can use anywhere from two to four bullet points to describe your skill.
This is the section where you provide the details of your previous jobs. List the organization you worked for, the city and state where the organization is located and the dates that you worked there. Your work experiences should be listed in reverse chronological order.
If you do not have prior work experience, then leave this section off of your resume.
Include the same information as the section above, if you’ve performed community service. No bullet descriptions are necessary.
Hard skills — like computer software you can use and other languages you can speak — go in this section. You don’t need to describe when you’ve used these skills when you list them. And with that, you’ve ended your resume!
Keep in mind that you should make your resume easy for the employer to read. Use clear and concise wording and keep the focus on your skills.
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