This is the third in a series of blogs supporting the College to Career Calendar available for downloading at Interview2work.com.
This week’s College to Career Calendar assignment is recording the information you will need to showcase your internship experiences. And, if you have not completed an internship, and are not scheduled to complete one before graduation, your task is to consider completing an internship.
Participation in an internship increases a college student’s chances of securing a job in their field after graduation. A 2014 survey by Gallup and Purdue University found 71 percent of recent graduates who took part in an internship during college were employed full time whereas only 56 percent of those who did not participate in an internship were employed in their field. The reason, according to Elaine Sullivan, director of student engagement at the Feld Career Center within Boston University’s School of Management, “When employers look at candidates, they’re looking to see what kind of skill set they have, what kind of industry background they may have…”
Assuring a prospective employer realizes the significance of your internship requires properly showcasing it on your resume. Whichever way you have chosen to capture the information for your resume (Excel spreadsheet, Word document, or notebook) be sure to record the following:
The name of the company/organization.
Location of the company/organization. Record the city, state, and zip code for the company. You will not use the zip code on your resume, but you may need it for an application.
Dates you worked for the company. List your starting and ending dates. On your resume, you will probably use quarters/semesters, but you will use exact dates on an application form.
Job Title. Develop a job title if the company/organization just called your position “Intern.” Any easy way to create a title is to use the word Intern followed by a colon and the department where you worked. For example, Intern: Human Resources.
A brief description of the company/organization. Write 2-3 sentences stating what the company/organization does. Most companies/organizations include a description of what they do on their websites. The web is a great place to get the information you need to write your summary.
A brief description of what you did. Write a 2-3 sentence overview of your job responsibilities. Emphasis the learning goals established for the internship.
5-6 accomplishment statements. This is probably the most important part of each internship listing. Showcase the skills you used, the projects you participated in, and what you learned. For example, if you completed an internship in a human relations department, an accomplishment statement might be:
- Learned to explain and apply FMLA regulations. Presented FMLA information at new employee orientation. Assisted in processing two FMLA requests.
Also, include at least one accolade in your list of accomplishments. Your internship evaluation will be a great resource for developing a list of accolades. For example:
- Internship supervisor rated my performance as superior; complemented me on my ability to empathize with staff.
If you are considering participating in internships before you graduate, there are few things to consider in selecting an internship:
The easiest way to find an internship is by working with your college career center or academic department. If that is not an option, develop a list of local companies who hire individuals in your field and find the head of the department where you would like to do your internship. Before you call or email that person develop a list of reasons you would be an asset to their department.
Make sure you will be getting hands-on experience in your field. An internship should have learning objectives; the employer/campus/student is clear about the responsibilities and opportunities the intern will have. Be clear about what you will be doing during your internship, the hours you will be working, and who you will be working with before you accept the opportunity. Unfortunately, some employers see internships, especially unpaid internships, as a source of clerical support.
Consider your internship as the first step in your professional career. Arrive on time each day ready to give 100%. Dress and act professionally at all times. Take this opportunity to start building your professional network. Learn as much as you can by volunteering for extra assignments and asking questions. Many companies offer interns full-time position after graduation. Even if that is not an option, the professional reference you get will carry more weight than those from survival jobs, friends, and faculty.
Questions? Send an email to Lorraine@interview2work.com