How To Put an Internship on a Resume (Examples + Tips)

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July 8, 2024
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Edited by
Camille Trent
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19
min read

3 key takeaways

  • If you don’t have a lot of formal work experience, internships are valuable career experiences to include on your resume.
  • Listing internships on your resume is similar to listing any other job, with a few small changes.
  • With Teal's Resume Builder, you can create a resume that makes the most of your internships.

Getting that first job often feels like a catch-22. You need work experience to get a job but you need a job before you can gain enough work experience.

If you’re a recent graduate or someone without a lot of career history, including an internship on a resume bolsters your practical experience, lowering that initial barrier of entry.

While movies would have you believe that internships are not serious or career-defining, the data shows they carry real weight with employers. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, an internship within the same industry is the most influential factor when a company is deciding between two similarly qualified candidates.

Wondering how to list an internship on a resume? This guide has the details you need, including: 

  • Why you should put an internship on your resume
  • Where to list internships on your resume
  • Tips for adding internships to your resume
  • Common mistakes to watch out for

Struggling to land interviews with your resume? Get started with Teal's Free Resume Builder.

Why should you include an internship on your resume?

While it’s easy to discount internships and think of them as poor substitutes for professional experience, these experiences can be the difference between newly employeed and second choice.

Internships equip you with relevant experience in a specific field, provide the opportunity to forge connections within your industry, and help you build a solid knowledge base and transferable skills with hands-on practice in a real-world setting.

Plus, committing your time and energy to an internship—especially one that coincides with your education—shows employers that you are ambitious and eager to learn, grow, and gain skills that will positively impact your career and the success of your employer. When companies actively hire for a growth mindset, highlighting that drive and motivation helps you stand out.

That said, if you have several years of professional experience under your belt, you’ll likely remove internships from your resume and dedicate that space to your formal and full-time work experience. 

Ultimately, whether or not to include internships on your resume is a judgment call. Here are some circumstances when it’s best to list them:

  • When you’re a recent grad or entry-level employee looking for your first job without a lot of other work experience
  • When you’re changing careers or switching to a new industry and took a related internship to gain knowledge and exposure
  • When you interned with a company that’s a big and noteworthy name in your industry (for example, you work in tech and took an engineering internship at Google)
  • When you interned for the company you’re applying to

Like any other aspects of your professional history, relevance and recency matter. If an internship is more than a decade old, it’s time to remove it from your resume and fill that space with a more up-to-date or pertinent position. 

Where to put an internship on your resume

Your internship experience can be incorporated in several different places on your document. You might list your internships in:

  • Your work experience section
  • A separate section dedicated to internships
  • Your resume summary

With Teal's Resume Builder, you can add and edit your resume sections as needed. Within the “Design” menu and the “Sections” tab, it’s easy to rename or rearrange the information on your resume by simply clicking and dragging the different section blocks. 

Teal Resume Builder section reordering and renaming feature
With a drag-and-drop interface, Teal makes it easy to rename and reorder your resume sections.

Here’s a closer look at each of those three sections and how to effectively showcase your internship experience in each.

Work experience section

In most cases, your internships are listed in your work experience section. Your internships can be incorporated with other paid positions in this section, and you’ll sort your jobs in reverse-chronological order.

Internship on a resume example 1

Example of how to show internship experience on a resume
Your internship can be included with your other previous jobs in your resume’s work experience section.

Dedicated internship section

If you have several internships or want to separate them from the rest of your work experience, you can create a dedicated internship section.

Pulling your internships out into their own section can make it easier to highlight them, especially if they’d otherwise be listed with an assortment of less relevant jobs. 

In a separate internship section, you can list all of your internship experiences in reverse-chronological order with plenty of detail, while putting your part-time and other positions in a less-detailed section underneath.

Internship on a resume example 2

Example of how to add a dedicated section for internship experience on a resume
You can create a dedicated internship section on your resume to separate your internships from your other work history.

Resume summary

While you won’t give a detailed rundown of your duties and responsibilities in this spot, you can also incorporate a mention of your internship (and some related achievements) in your resume summary.

This short paragraph goes at the top of your resume and highlights your top qualifications, relevant skills, and impressive accomplishments. Here’s an example that incorporates an internship: 

Example of how to mention internship experience in the professional summary portion of a resume
If you don’t have a lot of formal experience, incorporate some of your internship experience and achievements in your resume summary.

Struggling to write your summary? Teal’s Resume Summary Generator will do the hard work for you. Within Teal’s Resume Builder, add a professional summary and then click the “generate with AI” button. Teal will automatically write a resume summary you can edit and use.

Teal's Resume Builder offers the ability to write professional summaries for a resume with AI
Teal’s Resume Summary Generator will write a metric-driven professional summary with the click of a button.

Although it’s not part of your resume, your cover letter is another spot where you can add color and context to your internship. Check out this detailed guide to learn how to write a cover letter for an internship.

How to list an internship on your resume

Regardless of how you choose to structure your internship resume, there are several formatting rules and best practices that always apply. Every internship listing should include the same basic information:

  • Job title or internship title (e.g. “Marketing Intern”)
  • Company name
  • Dates of employment
  • Bullet points that detail your duties and relevant accomplishments

Much like any other job listing, you also need to remember the importance of relevance. Take a close look at the job description to pull out keywords, technical skills, soft skills, and other qualifications the employer emphasizes. Those are details you should incorporate into your own resume (provided you  possess them). Potential employers want to know how your experience satisfies the position requirements, and the perfect resume will connect those dots for them. 

Ready to create an internship resume that adequately captures all of your relevant skills and accomplishments? Take a look at the internship scenarios below to understand how to properly list them on your resume.

How to list a current internship on a resume

If you’re currently working an internship, you’ll list the basic details of that job. However, instead of sharing an end date for your internship, you’ll write “present.” You should also use present tense for the action verbs that start each of your bullet points.

Current internship on a resume example

Example of how to put a current internship on a resume
List your current internship and duties on your resume by marking the end date as “present” or “current.”

How to list a past internship on a resume

Listing your past internship on your resume is similar to listing a current one, with a few exceptions:

  • You’ll share the end date (month and year) that you stopped working that internship
  • You’ll use past tense for your action verbs, as those are no longer present responsibilities

Past internship on a resume example

Example of how to put a past internship on a resume
Treat past internship experience the same as you would past work experience on a resume, using past tense in the description.

How to list an incoming internship on a resume

What if you’re creating a resume and want to include a future internship—meaning one you’ve accepted an offer for but haven’t officially started yet? 

Instead of the typical date range attached to a position, you’ll write “Anticipated Start Date” or “Expected Start Date” with the month and year you plan to start your internship. If you have an end date (for example, if it’s a summer internship that ends in August), you can list that too.

Listing job duties is tougher in this situation, as you haven’t worked in the position yet. Revisit the job description to pull out the major responsibilities you’ll handle in that job. Remember to use the present tense for those duties rather than the past tense.

Upcoming internship on a resume example

Example of how to put an incoming internship on a resume
Add "Expected Start" next to the work experience date range when listing an internship you landed but have not yet started

When listing an upcoming internship, include an “Expected” or “Anticipated” start date and refer to the job description when writing your bullet points.

Pro tip: Teal's Matching Mode feature surfaces the most relevant skills and other keywords from every job description for you to use in your resume.

Looking for more tips on listing upcoming roles? Check out this guide on how to write an incoming job on your resume.

How to list multiple internships on a resume

If you’ve held multiple internships (and they’re all within the last 10 years and relevant to the job you’re applying for) but not many other professional jobs, you can list multiple internships on your resume. Again, it’s up to you whether you break them out into their own section or incorporate them in your work experience section.

When listing multiple internships, remember to:

  • List them in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent one at the top
  • Include more bullet points and detail with more recent internships and less with older internships
  • Use the present tense for current or future internships and the past tense for previous internships

Here’s an example of what a resume with several internships can look like: 

Example of how to put multiple internships on a resume
List multiple internships on your resume the same as you would other work experience on your resume

If you have multiple internships, list them on your resume in reverse-chronological order.

Teal's resume creator can take some of the complexity out of the classic “internship on resume” puzzle. Using the AI feature, you can automatically generate work achievements and a professional summary. Teal can also give you expert suggestions to make your resume even stronger and compare your document to the job description to offer targeted suggestions about which keywords to include.

Browse the template options to find the right internship resume template for you and then use the design options to customize your font, alignment, section order, and more. Put simply, you don’t need a professional resume writer if you have Teal.

6 common mistakes to avoid when listing internships on resumes

The above internship resume examples will help you get all of your relevant information down on paper. But to create an internship resume that stands out to hiring managers, there are a few common resume mistakes to know and avoid.

1. Ignoring the employer’s directions

Take a close look at the job posting to see if there are any specific instructions. Sometimes potential employers will provide explicit directions—such as including the contact information for your intern supervisor with your internship listings. Failing to follow those directions makes the hiring manager far more likely to pass on your application.

2. Including irrelevant experience

When you don’t have years of formal work experience behind you, it’s tempting to include every single one of your intern job duties to beef up your document. But as with anything else, quality is more important than quantity. Use the job posting as your guide to include only the most relevant skills and experiences on your resume.

3. Exaggerating your responsibilities

Similarly, resist the temptation to lie or over-inflate your responsibilities and contributions. While you absolutely should quantify your achievements and demonstrate your impact, there’s no need to lie on a resume.

Hiring managers don’t expect you to be well versed in your industry or responsible for making major company decisions. There’s no shame in answering phones and providing general assistance. Those tasks just may not be the ones you add to your resume, unless you improved those processes or used them to contribute to business growth.

4. Failing to quantify achievements

That doesn’t mean the descriptions of your summer internships should be generic. You can be honest while still using numbers and metrics to show the ultimate impact of your work. Teal’s AI Achievement Generator within the Resume Builder can automatically generate results-first bullet points to use on your resume.

If you’re starting an internship soon, take this as a reminder to keep notes about what you achieve in that position. Those details will be invaluable when you write future resumes.

5. Forgetting to update

Your career is ever-evolving—and so is your resume. While internships might carry a lot of weight on your resume when you’re just getting started (or are making a career change), they won’t have as much pull when you have several years of experience. If you’re 10 years in and still have your first internship on your resume, it’s time to make some updates.

6. Neglecting your education section

Most people work internships while they’re attending college or pursuing some other education. So, while it’s not a direct part of your internship listings, remember to also give your education section some focus and attention. 

Include your degrees, relevant coursework, and other related professional development opportunities to complement your internship on your resume. That’s another way to show the hiring manager you have existing skills and knowledge to bring to the position, even if you don’t yet have a lot of formal work experience. 

Avoid these mistakes and your resume will stand a better chance of scoring you an interview. When that happens, get prepared with these common internship interview questions.

Showcase your internship experience with Teal

Gone are the days when interns were glorified coffee fetchers. Today, internships are valuable career stepping stones that can equip you with the skills, experience, knowledge, and connections you need to thrive in a new job.

It’s up to your resume to showcase everything you took away from your internship and prove to hiring managers that you not only have the “real-world experience” they keep asking for, you also know how to make the most of every opportunity. Put the above tips to work to highlight your internship experience and prove you’re ready for your next step.

Ready to create your best resume? Get started with Teal’s Resume Builder for free today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an internship good for a resume?

Yes. An internship provides valuable professional experience, especially for recent graduates or people without extensive formal work history. You should include an internship on your resume if it’s recent (within the last 10 years) and relevant to the role.

Can you put a future internship on a resume?

You can list an upcoming internship on your resume, provided you’ve officially accepted the offer. Along with the job title and employer, write “anticipated start date” and the month and year you expect to begin your internship.

How do you describe yourself in a resume for an internship?

How you describe yourself on your internship resume will depend on the job posting. Your goal is to present yourself as qualified for that specific role, so review the job listing carefully and then incorporate relevant keywords and skills into your own document. Teal's Matching Mode feature recommends the most important parts of the job description to add to your resume.

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a freelance writer focused on the world of work. When she's not at her computer, you'll find her with her family—which includes two adorable sons and two rebellious rescue mutts.

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