How to Target Your Resume for Internship Applications

Writing a resume is easy. Writing a perfectly targeted resume that sends you to the head of the pack is a little more challenging.


When preparing to apply for internships, you could put together a basic resume and probably get some interviews using it. On the other hand, you can spend a little more time tailoring your resume to internship opportunities and stand out as an above average intern candidate. Here are a few ideas on how to target your resume for internships:

  • Include relevant coursework. If you haven’t had any relevant experience yet, I would encourage you to include information on the relevant courses you have completed. The most common way to do this is to list relevant courses in your Education section. Alternatively, you can create a stand-alone Relevant Coursework section and provide more detail. If creating a Relevant Coursework section, be very selective with the courses you list and only list a few. Focus on classes that included a relevant, large project. For example, I know of Advertising and Marketing courses in which students put together campaigns for real clients. List the name of the course and include a couple of bullet points describing your work on the project and outlining the results.
  • Don’t mistake a paycheck for experience. I see many students gaining relevant experience through opportunities that are NOT paid jobs. From providing social media marketing support for philanthropic projects to holding leadership positions with organizations, “experience” comes in all shapes and sizes. When you title your experience section “Work Experience,” you are making it all about paid jobs. Instead, call your section “Experience,” or create two sections: “Relevant Experience” and “Other Experience” (“Other” being for unrelated jobs you’ve held). When you think about it from a pure experience perspective, you might be bringing more to the table than originally thought.
  • Keep your resume to one page. One issue always up for debate is the acceptable length of a resume. While more than a page is accepted in certain circles, it is very hard to make the case for a multi-page resume for a college student with no internship experience. Ultimately, this is what targeting your resume is all about – understanding how to boil down your experiences to the most necessary details. If you are having difficulty doing this, meet with an objective party like a career advisor. One of us will tell you what your resume can do without.

Need more help preparing your resume for internship applications? Check out these posts from the past:

What is one way you have targeted your resume for internship opportunities?