• The Intern

    February 20, 2013

    Résumé Writing

    Ah, résumé writing. This facet of the internship hunting experience is not the most glamorous, but having working knowledge of what needs to be on that document is crucial to gaining a hiring intern coordinator’s attention.

    If you go into George Fox University’s Career Center, you’ll likely be told that your résumé should be one page and not one bullet point past margin. Well, I’ve tested that advice and here’s what I’ve found: hiring directors don’t care. They really don’t care if your résumé is one or two point five or three pages. However, what is important to know here is that the information you provide should be written as succinctly as possible; you don’t want to use full sentences because you have extra space you thought you didn’t before.

    As students, our résumés are typically shorter than the average professional because we have had less time to accrue a working background. While we have been in school, we may merely list our extra-curriculars (athletics, charity, clubs, student government) and internships that we have done in a short period of time. These activities, theoretically, are not supposed to take up that much white space. But, if you’ve done them, then by all means, bullet point your specific duties and achievements. Your résumé is your report card for intern directors.

    One more small note regarding the structure of your résumé: you can structure it however you want provided it makes sense (logistical and grammatical!) to another reader; your name, email address, phone number, company you worked for, the dates, the places you worked at, etc., can all be placed on the page according to your tastes while still obeying the consideration above. And you can make multiple copies with slightly different formats in case you get bored of just one. I’ve even added my initials and put them in an elegant scroll font to “head” my paper. Details like these give your résumé that special dose of personality that without, may not give the person looking at your résumé a hint to your personality. Never underestimate the impressions font can give a reader!

    For illustrative purposes, here’s a small piece of my own résumé.AG

    As you can see, I’ve added my initials in a font that I feel represents who I am (in a very basic way). Too, my name, address, cell phone, and email address are centered right instead of center top. These changes are simple efforts that give an intern director the impression that you’ve taken the trouble to turn a boring space into something that reflects you; instead of pitching yourself as a number candidate with a skim-worthy application, you’ve added detail and separated yourself from others who follow a traditional (contact info on the top; Times New Roman font; no initials or relevant symbol) résumé format. Personalizations like these can help you stand out in a competitive intern league!

    Remember: the tragic traditional résumé does not have to be your tragic traditional résumé. Curate your document to reflect your tastes, and that of the company you’re applying to, and you’ll stand out from the Times New Romans of the world. Keep it succinct; keep it classy.

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