Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Formatting a Resume for Internships

Everyone has an opinion about formatting a resume. Some people like education listed at the top; some like education listed at the bottom. Some like hobbies included; some don’t.

Here are the important points no matter what resume format you use:

1) Make sure that your resume has no spelling or grammar mistakes.

2) Only capitalize proper nouns.

3) Have someone unfamiliar with your information read your resume to ensure that everything makes sense.

4) Go for ease of reading above all else – don’t use several different fonts and other fancy elements that muddy the readability.

5) If you have a passion, there should be items on your resume that indicate this passion.

6) Make sure that the most important information STANDS OUT.

Resumes are written in partial sentences, so forget about complete sentences starting with “I was.” In a resume there is no need to say: “I was a lab assistant at a radiation laboratory.”

Instead you list the name of the lab, then a dash, and then the words “assistant” or “lab assistant.” Under that line of information you write a brief description (see below.) As it is your resume, it is clear that it is you who performed the research experiments.

Universal Lab – Assistant January-March 2008, Los Angeles

Performed research experiments on rats to determine the missing gene that may lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s under the supervision of the head of the biogenetics department.

And choose strong action words that convey positive images – performed is one such word. You wouldn’t, for example, say instead: “Did research experiments.” Of course you did them. Performed, conducted, etc. are stronger words. Use specific visual images that catch the attention of the person reading your resume.

Any other tips you have for effective resumes for internships?

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