The Preparation

How to write a resume

Create a resume that works: the personal marketing brochure

Before you begin developing your resume, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my ideal internship?
  • What skills and experiences will the interviewer value?
  • What roles can I help with as an intern?

When you know these things about your interviewer and the internship you want, you can cater to them in your resume. This is what the big ad agencies in the world get paid millions of bucks to do for companies like Pfizer and Coca-cola.

Take a TV commercial for a pharmaceutical company--it will focus on how great you will feel after using their product. The product itself is barely mentioned. For allergy medication, the commercial is a scene of people rolling in fields of flowers with big smiles. These companies are selling solutions, not drugs. And it works fabulously.

Your resume needs to sell you as a solution for the company.

A company with a successful focus on the consumer is Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola sells carbonated syrup, but commercials never describe the company as a manufacturer of carbonated syrup. Commercials show beautiful models and happy people who want to "teach the world to sing in perfect harmony." Coke is selling satisfaction, not soda.

Coke is selling happiness; you are selling helpfulness—that is what an intern needs to be—helpful. Depending on the internship, what will make you helpful varies. So think about what makes you helpful and write about it in your resume.

Once you know and understand your market, there are ways to take your resume to the next level.

  • A good resume is a glorified application. This resume explains to the interviewer the following information in this order: dates of employment, company, title held and job functions in sequential order. It concludes with when and where you received your education. It is good because the interviewer can get a clear summation of your past experience and education to date.
  • A great resume is a marketing brochure. This resume highlights how your experiences to date can add value to an organization. It describes the knowledge, skills and abilities you have developed and relates it to your employer’s needs.

Good resumes identify where you went to school, the jobs you have had and your responsibility in those jobs.

Great resumes extract your relevant accomplishments to highlight them. This prompts the interviewer to ask about them with the future in mind.

Great resumes also pave the way for great interviews. A well-crafted resume will prompt the interviewer to target specific areas that are most relevant to the internship...