7 September 2023
How to Write an Internship CV (With Template)
Writing an internship CV is a bit like trying to wrap an oddly-shaped present… It’s fiddly, especially if it’s your first time writing one.
Luckily, we’re here to help you nail your application and land that internship. Think of this as your ultimate guide to internship CV writing, filled with plenty of internship CV examples and tips to ensure it’s the finest CV in the land.
- How to write a CV for internship applications
- Internship CV design
- Can I apply for an internship if I’m a fresher?
Internship CV template
We’ve put together a downloadable internship CV template – it includes all the sections we’ve outlined in this article, so if you’d like to fill it in while you read, go ahead!
Make sure to replace the text with your own words and proofread your CV once finished.
How to write a CV for internship applications
First and foremost, nail the intentions of your internship CV.
You’ll need to tailor your CV towards the industry in question. So as tempting as it is to send one CV out to multiple companies, don’t. It’s not a good look and recruiters can sniff your tactics a mile off.
Create a few CVs if you need to for different opportunities.
But be sure to follow these easy steps each time!
STEP 1: Contact info
Start with your name. Obviously, you wouldn’t start with somebody else’s name. Yes, even if your name is Caledonia. It’s a cool name.
Below that, leave your contact details. Your email address and phone number should suffice.
If you’re keen, you could always include your home address in there too. This lets recruiters know how far you are from their offices and gives them a rough idea of your commute. If you’re feeling iffy, just mention the area you live in. For example, Brixton.
STEP 2: Your Profile
Your profile should be a short paragraph (no longer than five sentences) which should…
- Introduce who you are
- Explain why you are interested in the internship
- Briefly explore your career aspirations.
Keep it brief and focused on the type of internship you are applying for.
If you’re applying for an internship at an accounting firm, it would be a terrible idea to ramble about your cat, your love of the clarinet and your weakness for hummus.
Instead, describe yourself as an ‘analytical and methodical student’. Emphasise your ‘keen interest in accounting practices‘ and ‘seeing how an accountancy firm functions in a professional environment’. This way, the recruiter will be super impressed.
If you’re applying for an internship, you might also need to write a cover letter. Here’s a guide to Writing an Internship Cover Letter. It features a pretty good joke about getting in (and out) of skinny jeans.
STEP 3: Key Skills
Some folks try to shovel their key skills and talents into the profile section. There’s a better way of doing this. Put together a list of bullet points that highlight your strengths and skills.
It’s not uncommon for there to be between 50-100 applicants for a single role. This means employers have to sift through an unholy number of CVs and cover letters during recruitment.
So your CV needs to grab their attention quickly.
It has striking similarities with speed-dating… you need to impress in thirty seconds.
You should focus on the skills that all employers are looking for, such as…
- Good written and verbal communication
Add 4-5 of your own. Look in the job description for the specific skills the job requires.
STEP 4: Education
The first thing to remember when putting together the education section of your CV is to put your most recent qualifications first.
If you’ve just finished your A-Levels, put those grades first and your GCSEs after. You also don’t have to mention what grades you achieved for every subject.
If you do this…
- Physical Education – A
- History – B
- French – C
- Chemistry – A
… you are wasting lots of space on your CV. Remember, your CV should not exceed two pages. Instead, write something along the lines of…
A-levels: History – A, English Literature – A, Product Design – B
GCSEs: four 9’s, five 8’s, two 7’s (English – 9, Mathematics – 8)
If you are currently studying at university, providing a predicted grade is acceptable. Write – ‘currently working towards a BA (Hons) English (2:1).’
Step 5: Previous Employment / Work Experience
You need to list your key responsibilities when describing any previous employment or work experience.
This is a simple way of highlighting what you can bring to a role. Your key skills are there to whet the appetite. But this section is where you give evidence of those skills.
You should also ensure that you give start and end dates for each job, so the recruiter knows you don’t have three jobs on the go. If you were working at Ikea, The Rose and Crown and the Pukka Pie factory at the same time, you would hardly have the time to do an internship.
Step 6: Interests
In this section of your CV, outline what you get up to when you’re not at work, school or university. Again, link your interests and extra-curricular activities to the internship you’re applying for.
If you’re applying for an internship that has its roots in engineering, you could discuss your joy in taking apart car engines. Of course, only include activities that you actually do. Recruiters are like anteaters when it comes to sniffing out the truth.
Also, try to feed in your key skills to the extra-curricular activities you mention.
For example, if you’re in a sports team, talk about your teamwork, leadership, collaboration and communication skills.
Maybe you’ve set up a TikTok fashion page, mentioning creative, organisational, collaboration and entrepreneurial skills.
Craft your interests and extracurricular activities to portray yourself as the ideal candidate for that specific internship.
Step 7: References
Choose referees that know you. It would be a nightmare if an employer contacted your referees and they had never heard of you.
Employers typically ask for you to provide two references. It’s a good idea to choose somebody you know academically. A teacher perhaps. And somebody you have worked with, such as a manager or superior colleague.
Your mother will not suffice. No matter how charming a reference she would provide.
You do not have to provide the details of your referees when you forward your CV. Write –
REFERENCES ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
The recruiter will contact you if they are impressed by your CV and wish to speak to your referees. And that’s it!
Review your work for spelling and grammar errors. Grab yourself a packet of Frazzles, and wait for the internship offers to start pouring in.
Want to set yourself up for success in any future work experience application? Sign up to our FREE Career Coaching Course, a four-day virtual programme in October, to upskill yourself on CVs, applications and interviews.
Internship CV Design
There’s no need to be a graphic design whizz to land your dream internship… but there are a few style choices that will help elevate your CV.
- Stick to a standard font like Arial or Times New Roman. Goudy Old Style might look super fancy, but some people may be put off by it. Absolutely no Comic Sans…
- Ditch logos and profile images. Employers don’t need to see your latest selfie!
- Keep things clean and simple. A plain Word doc or PDF is fine.
Can I apply for an internship if I’m a fresher?
It’s never too early to get the ball rolling with your career
Your first year is a great way to get yourself prepared for more work experience opportunities like placements and further internships when you’re in your second year.
You’ll be glad to know that you can do an internship if you’re in your first year. You can also get yourself in on an insight day.
Getting in early is also a good idea because if you impress during your internship or insight day, you could be fast-tracked for a placement or even a graduate role.
So get that internship CV sorted out, pronto. It’ll do wonders for your career.