22 April 2024

How to Write an Internship CV (With Template)

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It’s not uncommon for there to be 50-100 applicants for an internship, meaning recruiters often have to sift through an unholy number of CVs.

So your CV needs to grab their attention quickly. Not unlike speed-dating, you should be looking to impress in the first 30 seconds otherwise they’ll lose interest.

Our ultimate step-by-step guide to writing a CV for an internship (complete with examples and a downloadable template) will help you land more interviews than you know what to do with.

What is an internship CV?

There is so much more to an internship than making tea and photocopying. An internship is a real job with real responsibility, and securing one requires a real CV.

A CV for an internship is the same as any other professional CV, except it will focus more on your key skills than previous work experience. (So don’t worry if you haven’t stepped foot in an office before – this won’t rule you out of the game.)

You can do an internship or insight day even if you’re a fledgling first year. Getting in early is a good idea because if you slay, you could be fast-tracked for a placement or graduate job.

So get that internship CV sorted out, pronto. It’ll do wonders for your career.

Internship CV template

There’s nothing more daunting than starting with a blank page. Instead, start by downloading our FREE template, which features all the sections you should include in your CV. 

TOP TIP: Fill out the template as you work your way through the steps below. Just remember to replace the text with your own words and proofread your CV before you send it. 

Want to create your template from scratch? You don’t need to be a graphic design whizz to secure 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.
  • Use a consistent colour scheme and 1 to 1.5-point spacing to stay professional. 
  • Ditch logos and profile images. Employers don’t need to see your latest selfie! 
  • Keep your CV template clean and simple. A plain Word doc or PDF is fine.

What you should (and shouldn’t) include in your CV 

First and foremost, you should always tailor your CV towards the specific internship, industry and company you are applying for

As tempting as it is to send one CV out to multiple companies, don’t. It’s not a good look and recruiters can spot this a mile off. Showing that you have made the effort to research the employer and what they are looking for will have them leaping for joy.

Now, follow these seven simple steps to nail your application every time…

STEP 1: Contact Details

Start by including your full name, phone number and email address (make sure this isn’t something unprofessional like groovygal99@gmail.com). 

Put your details at the top of the page so that it’s easy for recruiters to get in touch with you about next steps. You could even write your name in bold and use a bigger font so it stands out.

There is absolutely no need to include a photograph or any personal details, such as your date of birth or gender. If you have an online portfolio, relevant blog or LinkedIn account, you can link to those by converting your CV into a PDF.

STEP 2: Your Profile

Your CV profile is a short paragraph (no longer than five sentences) that should…

  • Introduce who you are
  • Explain why you are interested in the internship
  • Briefly highlight 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, for example, it would be a terrible idea to ramble on about your cat, your love of the clarinet and your weakness for hummus.

Instead, describe yourself as an ‘analytical and methodical thinker’. 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.

Hear from the RateMyPlacement Team what NOT to do when writing your internship CV… 

STEP 3: Key Skills

Some folks try to shovel their key skills and talents into their profile. There’s a better way of doing this. Put together a list of bullet points that highlight your strengths and skills.

To stand out from other applicants, try focusing on the soft skills that all employers are looking for, including…

  • Dealing with conflict
  • Negotiating/influencing
  • Resilience
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving

Add 4-5 of your own. Check the job description for the specific skills the internship requires.

STEP 4: Education

Reverse chronological order is preferred by most recruiters and ATS (the software used to scan CVs), so start with your most recent qualifications.

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, a CV for an internship shouldn’t exceed two pages. Here’s an example of how this could look…

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 Literature (2:1).’ You may also want to include any end-of-year results or standout marks in relevant modules. 

Level up with our FREE online session: Build An Effective CV, run in partnership with Sage and The University of Law.

STEP 5: Previous Employment / Work Experience

Writing your very first CV can be tricky. As tricky as eating a packet of crisps in the library. How on earth do you write a CV for an internship if you haven’t got any experience? 

The best way round this is to think about what defines you beyond your academic achievements – have you, for example… 

  • Volunteered in your local community or organised an event?
  • Picked up some technical skills like coding or PhotoShop?
  • Joined a sports team or society at university? 

If you do have previous professional experience, you should list your key responsibilities to show 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.

As always, try to match what the employer is looking for. For example, if they are looking for ‘problem solvers who are full of initiative’, tell them about a time you solved a problem at work.

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

This section of your CV is totally optional, but it can be a useful way of showing recruiters you have what it takes to do the job – even if you don’t have the experience. 

Did you gain any relevant skills at school or uni, like time management or public speaking? Did you win an award? Or captain a basketball team? 

Craft your interests and extracurricular activities to portray yourself as the ideal candidate for that specific internship. So for a marketing internship, you could share how you built your online personal brand on LinkedIn or set up a successful TikTok fashion account. 

If you’re applying for an internship, they might ask for a cover letter too. Here’s our guide to Writing an Internship Cover Letter. It features a pretty good joke about getting in (and out) of skinny jeans.

STEP 7: References

Employers typically ask for you to provide two references. It’s a good idea to choose somebody you know academically. A tutor or teacher perhaps. And somebody you have worked with, such as a manager or superior colleague.

Your mum or dad will not suffice. No matter how charming a reference they would provide.

You do not have to provide the details of your referees when you first send your CV. Write –


The recruiter will contact you if they are impressed by your CV and wish to speak to your referees. And that’s it!

Triple-check that your spelling and grammar is on point. Grab yourself a packet of Frazzles, and wait for the internship offers to start pouring in…

How to use ChatGPT to write your CV

If you’re still stuck for inspiration or need some extra help creating your CV template, you can always try ChatGPT.

This free chatbot is on everyone’s lips at the moment. But did you know that as well as telling it to read you Harry Potter in a Welsh accent or write a hit grime rap in seconds, you can use it to take your internship CV game to the next level? 


  • You can create a full internship CV in less time than it takes to make a cuppa
  • ChatGPT can even research potential employers and tell you about their values/culture
  • It allows you to focus on the content of your CV, rather than structure or grammar
  • You can access it any time, anywhere


  • ChatGPT has limited knowledge of anything that happened after 2021 so its research may be out-of-date and not always accurate
  • It doesn’t have the same attention to detail as a human (yet) so is not error-proof
  • It may not fully understand the specifics of your experience and career goals 
  • It won’t be able to capture your personality or unique writing style 
  • The Advanced CV Checker requires ChatGPT Plus, which will set you back around £25 for an annual membership

With that in mind, it is essential that you still take the time to carefully check your CV before sending it out to recruiters. To help ChatGPT on its way, make sure you include as much detail as possible about the job description and your own experience, for example… 

Hi ChatGPT, my name is [NAME] and I need your help creating a CV for a law internship that highlights my skills and strengths. I am currently doing a degree in History at Newcastle University and have previously attended an insight day at Linklaters. I am applying for a summer internship with the law firm DLA Piper, and they are looking for candidates who are self-starters and independent thinkers…” etc.

Then, simply wait for ChatGPT to work its magic – and voilà! You’ve got yourself an internship CV.