Internship Search: Writing an Internship Resume

By: Lexi

You’ve found an internship to apply to, now you need to polish up your resume and most likely, a cover letter. Writing resumes for internships are hard because you probably do not have a lot of experience, otherwise, you would not be applying for an internship position. But you still have to find a way to make yourself stand out from the other applicants who also do not have a lot of experience. Hopefully, these tips will help you land that internship you’re hoping for!

internship-resume

Make your academics section a focus.
This is not saying experience is not important, but since you do not have as much experience make your academics section stick out. Include courses you’ve taken or big projects you’ve worked on. Only put coursework you think the employer will find relevant, though.

Experience included can be paid or unpaid.
Think about the significance and relevance of each opportunity you have partaken in. If you put your part-time job working in the food industry on your resume because that is the work experience you have, go for it, but really think about the skills you gained from the job. Use action verbs to describe your experience. For example, you could say: Maintained and balanced friendly customer service in a fast pace environment. This shows that you have the ability to work in a time efficient manner while preserving good service. Jobs, where you were paid, are important experiences to include, but so are unpaid experiences like volunteering and/or leadership positions. Do not forget to include those too, they will help you stand out! Highlighting your on-campus student organization involvement and leadership can also add to your internship resume.

Read the internship description first.
Read what the employers would expect from an intern and first of all, make sure you have the ability or willingness to learn what they would expect from you. The other reason you should read this before writing your resume is because it can give you an idea of the skill set they are looking for and then you can try to tie in those skills to your resume if you have them. This is another good tip for standing out because you will already have what they are looking for and then they might not have to spend as much time training you in.

Good luck on your internship search and hopefully these tips on how to write an internship resume will help you land the one you want! Remember, Career and Internship Services is more than happy to help look it over and give you further tips! Come to our resume drop-ins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2-4pm in SCC 22.

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Brandi ReddUnsplash | Brandi Redd

How & Why to Write a Letter of Inquiry

By: Lexi

Looking for internships can be very stressful, especially if you are required to have one to graduate. There are many resources to help you find an internship at the Career & Internship Services office. If you have found a company or an organization that you are interested in and would like to work with, but you see that they do not have opportunities or postings for an internship, then it never hurts to send them a letter of inquiry. The worse thing they can say is no!

inquiry-letter

A letter of inquiry is a way for you to address a company that might not be advertising their job postings, but to possibly get your resume in front of a hiring manager for them to consider you. It could also lead to other doors opening, such as if that particular company is not hiring, but they might know and refer you to another one that is. It could also help you to just to get your name out there and network. Either way, here are some important tips to consider when writing your letter:

  • Say hello and address a specific person. If you cannot, use gender neutral name like Dear Human Resources Manager or Dear Hiring Manager.
  • If sending this letter in an email, choose your subject line wisely. This can catch their attention, but keep it professional.
  • Write your message like it will be read by the CEO of the company. You never know who will read your letter, so keep it classy.
  • Please proofread before sending it off! No one wants to read or even hire a person who does not know simple spelling or grammar.

Along with these guidelines that you ought to follow, you should also include these documents with your letter:

  • Resume (Come have it polished up by our peer educators)
  • Cover Letter, most of the time the cover letter is combined with the actual letter of inquiry.

Within the Cover Letter include:

  • Why you are interested in this company
  • Why you would like to work for them
  • What your qualifications are
  • Express your appreciation to them for taking the time to consider you
  • And your contact information so they can get back in touch with you!

Hopefully with these helpful tips you can find an internship that will help you develop your professional career and open doors to new opportunities. You can also visit one of our career counselors in our office or GoldPASS for help. Good luck in your internship search!

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Photo Source: Unsplash | Amador Loureiro

Score a Career with the US Government, Part 2

By: Kirsi

Part Two: Resume Builder (Read Part 1 Here)

Gov Resume Builder Header

Photo Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

After becoming knowledgeable with using the usajobs.gov website as a search engine and finding an appealing position in the first post of this series, it is time to create a strong resume with the Resume Builder. The resume you submit using USAJobs is your sales pitch to sell why you are the most qualified candidate for the position. Every job post will list the max number of characters you can use to communicate your worthiness. Some job applications allow up to 35,000 characters which equates to 250 Tweets! I will talk about ways to highlight your skills in each section of the resume.

Build a Resume

To create a resume on USAJobs sign into your account. On you “My Account” page click on the “Resumes” button on the left hand side. On the “Resumes” page click the “Build New Resume” and name it.

USAJob_Create_Resume1

After naming your resume you will see that there are four sections in the resume; Experience, Education, References, and Other.

USAJob_Create_Resume2

Experience

In the first section “Experience” you click the “Add Work Experience” button to describe previous jobs you have had or applicable positions you have held in the US Armed Forces. The best place to communicate your role during an experience is in the “Duties, Accomplishments, and Related Skills” section. You have 5000 characters (about 35 tweets) which you can use to tell a story about how you contributed to a project, demonstrated leadership in the workplace, or solved a challenging problem. I suggest first writing four sentences summarizing your work so a hiring manager can understand your duties in a quick glance. Below those four sentences I suggest diving into a narrative illustrating your work that a hiring manager may read if they want to see more detail in your position. Paint a picture so the reader can imagine things like-  “What your work environment was like?”, “What sort of team of people were you collaborating with?”, “How did you go about problem solving?”, “How is your work significant and who was effected?” Don’t worry about using all 5000 characters, just know that you have plenty of space to strut your stuff.

USAJob_Create_Resume3

Education

In the “Education”section you click the “Add Education” button to add where you attended High School and share accredited Post Secondary Education. To check if your education is accredited click here. The “Relevant Coursework, Licensures, and Certifications” section is a great place to expand on what courses you have taken for your major, projects you have worked on in class you feel is relevant to your prospective job, or a senior design project. Share why your education is unique and why it makes you such a good candidate.

References

When you list a reference be sure that you are on good terms and have permission from the individual you list as a reference. This is a good opportunity to reconnect with folks from your previous experience and catch up. It would be kinda scary to get a call out of the blue from the government and be asked about a past co-worker. Click the “Add Reference” button to enter information about a reference.

USAJob_Create_Resume4

Other

The other section is the most powerful section where you can talk about any missing details from the previous sections. The “Additional Information” section is especially important because you can answer questions like, “I want to work for ____ agency because….”, “I am the most qualified candidate because…” or share a personal story that reflects your qualifications but didn’t fit in previous sections.

Throughout the resume you should include the desired qualifications listed in the posted position if they pertain to you. Some agencies use keyword search to select the first batch of candidates.

You may notice that instead of using the resume builder that on the Resume page you have an option of attaching a resume you made. Some agencies let you do that while others want you to use the Resume Builder so read through the position posting carefully.

When using the Resume Builder highlight your qualifications in the Experience, Education, and Other sections. Be sure to take advantage of the ample word count the Resume Builder and the positions allow. In the next post I will share what government opportunities are available to college students.

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Your Resume “Experience” Section

By: David

The experience section of a resume is typically the main attraction in a resume due to the experiences and skill sets that it showcases for an individual. Too many times do I see students fall prey to the belief that the “experience” section only involves work related positions or experiences and employment history. Well, I am here today to tell you that YOU CAN include non-work related experiences in your experience section. There are numerous possibilities to this, but I will only highlight a few today.

Unpaid Positions

The first example of non-work related experience would be unpaid positions. This might sound a bit obvious as unpaid positions usually extend to unpaid internships. Internships can occur with many opportunistic companies, non-profit organizations, and governmental branches. Despite the position, the unpaid internship instills a sense of real work experience and gives the intern a chance to modify and polish skills that are necessary in the workforce for the future. Besides internships, there are not many unpaid positions out there available for students, but this brings up the flipside of the coin which will be covered in the next section.

Volunteering  

Aside from unpaid internships, there are various opportunities for other positions where students can volunteer. Depending on the field one may choose to enter, volunteering experiences that can be enlisted as EXPERIENCE can range from a lab assistant, classroom aide or teacher’s assistant, or even graphic designer for a startup company. The point is, there are no strict rules indicating that the experience portion of the resume should only consist of paid work history. Depending on the field you are choosing to enter, these volunteering positions may bolster your resume as it showcases that you have dipped your feet into the water and have some experience in the intended career field. But in some instances, some students (like myself) may not have a clear idea of what career fields to choose yet and would not want to waste their time jumping from position to position. In the next section, I’ll cover one essential experience that would look fabulous on any type of resume.

Leadership Experience

Last but not least, leadership experience is one great concept to include under the “Experience” portion as it demonstrates various skills and qualities. From organization to teamwork or even just basic leadership, by showcasing the skill of leadership is very strong overall. For many students, leadership opportunities are typically unpaid positions for a club or student organization. By getting involved on campus and seizing these experiences, it can definitely bolster one’s resume and character. On a side note from all this, leadership experience in general is very effective and useful. Many times in interviews, employers will ask you a question pertaining to a specific scenario and how you dealt with it. A lot of these scenarios generally can come from experiences in leadership positions.

To finalize this post, I would like to leave off by saying that your experiences from anywhere and anytime all matter despite it actually being employment or not. Whether it be a summer internship, an ongoing volunteering position, or dedicated leadership position, it can all be applied and expressed within the resume. To fully showcase your set of skills and qualities is important in resumes and depending on how you sell yourself with your experiences you will be sure to land a job. As you begin to craft or polish your resume, don’t forget to include all the experiences throughout your life that helped propel you to where you are now.

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Resume and LinkedIn: “Distant Worlds”

By: David

You might have heard or considered copying and pasting your resume content directly to your LinkedIn profile account. Though this isn’t wrong to do, here are some reasons why you should avoid it. Today’s post derives from an interesting article I came across, 7 Ways Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile Should Differ by Arnie Fertig. Though there are seven specific points in the article that he makes, I want to summarize and highlight the main key ideas.

The Limit

First off, a resume differs from a LinkedIn profile in the sense that it is a simplified document that highlights all of your key experiences. In addition to this, there are always limits as to how much one can include within a resume. A strong resume will be one or two full pages of content, excluding the references. Furthermore, the syntax and diction used in a resume are more formal and concise, and because of this the descriptions and details in a resume are more likely to be shorter.

The Style

A resume contrasts from a LinkedIn profile in many different ways in terms of style and etiquette. In resumes, the style of the document is very formal, objective, and let’s be honest, bland. On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile is more personable, free-flowing, and flexible. Arnie makes a great point by making the distinction of how resumes are submitted to recruiters and companies to be considered, whereas your LinkedIn account is searchable and can be looked by anyone at any given time.

The Content

As mentioned from the previous sections, the content between the two differ in various ways like style and limitations. The content of the resume is much more formal and thus is a bit more restricted in what can or cannot be said. In a resume, the objective is to describe the key tasks and points of your experiences in a concise manner. Whereas on LinkedIn, you can be more subjective and talk about your experiences from your own personal voice. The content information that you can include in a LinkedIn account is remarkable compared to a resume. Overall, you can do SO much more on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to add media content such as presentations, web links, pictures, etc. to your list of experiences.

There aren’t any life lessons to be learned in today’s post, but if there’s one thing I would like to push for, it’s to explore LinkedIn! When time permits, venture and explore the wastelands of LinkedIn and see what’s out there. You never know, you might find gold sitting around just waiting to be discovered.

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All credits of the title “Distant Worlds” goes to the rightful owner of the Final Fantasy music company. No copyright infringement intended.

How to Get Your Resume Approved on GoldPASS

By: Cameron

For those who aren’t familiar with GoldPASS, it is a career website owned by the University of Minnesota where employers can post job opportunities for U of M students and alumni. When you first use GoldPASS you are required to upload your resume before applying to positions. The University of Minnesota Duluth Career & Internship Services office will review the first resume you upload, if you are UMD student or alum. When your resume is being reviewed it has the potential of being Approved, Approved with Reservations, or Unapproved. The main reason for this approval process is not to dictate what resumes the office wants on the website. Our office cares deeply about providing students with the necessary tools to succeed. For this reason, the approval process is used to provide students with feedback and help increase their chances of being hired, as much as possible.

The following blog post will list the main reasons why a resume is either approved, approved with reservations, or unapproved on GoldPASS. If you are wondering why your resume received a certain rating or if you simply want to make your resume as professional as possible, then the following list will be extremely helpful.

*NOTE: Each resume is unique, and no one factor renders a resume “unapprovable,” but consider the guidelines below when submitting a resume.

APPROVED

  • Heading includes name, address, email, and phone
  • Education is in proper location for career stage
  • Proper length (generally 1 page, exceptions may be made for non-traditional students, teaching candidates, or graduate students)
  • Consistency in dates, dashes, spaces, alignment, bolding, etc.
  • Descriptive statements describing experiences; effective use of action verbs
  • Quality use of space; balance of text and white space
  • Proper formatting and order of information; easy to navigate and important information doesn’t seem hidden
  • Font is easy to read and consistent, not too small/large or decorative
  • Appropriate use of bolding and bullets
  • Format and content are appropriate for objective and/or major

APPROVED WITH RESERVATIONS

Resumes are typically given the rating of “Approved with Reservations” when there are 2-3 “red flags” from the list below, depending on the severity. The rating “Approved with Reservations” will still allow you to use your resume on GoldPASS, but it is highly recommended that some changes be made.

UNAPPROVED

A resume will typically receive a rating of “Unapproved” if there are 3-4 “red flags” from the list below, depending on the severity.

  • Lack of clear format, nothing stands out, difficult to navigate
  • Font style or size makes it difficult to read
  • Difficult to find name or other contact information
  • Lines, colors, or other characters that get in the way of content
  • Paragraphs; essay format
  • Order of headings not appropriate for career stage
  • Order of other information incorrect (i.e. Position Title should be 1st)
  • Lots of high school (>2 yrs out), or other irrelevant information
  • Inconsistencies in dates, dashes, alignment, etc.
  • Lack of descriptive information, “key words”
  • Use of personal pronouns, “duties included” or “responsible for”
  • Use of incorrect wording, abbreviations, etc.
  • ANY misspelling, grammatical errors
  • Overall lack of professionalism

Hopefully this will give you some insight into the thought process that goes into each resume review. Keep working hard on that resume and good luck in the rest of your job search!

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Tips for Your Teaching Resume

By: Whitney

As a teacher candidate, you might have several positions that sound very similar before you get experience such as student teaching or even your first full-time position. You might have done some assessing or behavior management,  which are great to put on a resume, but since you aren’t taking over the classroom yet. It can be challenging to show all of your experiences without being too repetitive. The following is an example of one way you can avoid this problem as pictured on page 33 of the Career Handbook.

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By combining your positions as a classroom volunteer or a practicum student teacher as pictured above you can give employers the gist of what you did while saving room for other positions you have held, without being too repetitive. If you have two experiences that are very different from one another, this method is not the best option because you likely have very different things to say about each position. For instance, this semester my practicum experience is in a classroom that is 1:1 with iPads. This experience looks VERY different than some of my past experiences where I have been in a very low tech school and in a lower grade. Since these positions are so different, and I would like to highlight how I have used technology in the classroom in my latest experience combining experiences as shown above, is not the best option for my resume.

If you do choose to set up your resume in this way, I would recommend you set it up by similar age groups because assessment and behavior management techniques look very different for kindergarten as compared to 6th grade. I would also recommend to split out special education and general education experiences as these experiences will likely look very different. When using these techniques you may have to be a little more generic with your wording so that it fits with the positions. For instance going off the example above, I wouldn’t say that I worked with three students with a specific learning disability because that statement wouldn’t be true for all positions. Instead, you would list it as the example states above (Assisted teachers in providing consistent classroom management according to individual behavioral needs and plans.) because this is likely accurate information for all of the positions you have listed.

When talking about your student teaching experience, consider having this be a separate description and possibly even give it it’s own section. This is because you spend a lot more time in the classroom when you are student teaching. You also have more responsibility and control over the classroom so this is information you will want to highlight on your resume.

Other really great information pieces to include on your resume are specific details such as whether or not you have done behavioral or academic interventions, stating specific disability groups you have worked with content area topics you have taught, or specific strategies you have used such as guided math, flipped learning, or gamification.

If you can give any data with information such as an intervention, this could make you stand out in a group of applicants, especially if you were successful. If you weren’t successful, this could be a great talking point while in an interview. You could discuss what you tried, what didn’t work, and where you went from there.

By combining similar positions on your resume you can not only reduce repeating yourself over and over, but you can also save yourself space for other positions that are related that you would like to have on your resume. If you choose not to combine positions, make sure you are choosing facts about each position that make it different from the ones you already have on your resume. By spreading out the descriptions you likely do in all experiences, you can give solid descriptions of what you did at each one rather than having your resume be generic. While things like assessment and behavior management are important, so are skills such as using technology and interventions. Make sure that you hit all of these skills in your resume rather than just telling them information that you think employers want to hear. Remember, you want to make yourself stand out by highlighting what kind of teacher you are and where you are going to go in the future!

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