The Dos & Don’ts of Writing a Killer CV for your Dream Internship

Recruiters receive loads of CVs every day, and usually they don’t have the time to read everything in detail, so what you need to stand out from other candidates is an outstanding CV!

When you search for an internship, your CV is the only chance you get to make a great first impression. Here are some dos and don’ts that will help to create the most appealing CV to catch internship recruiters’ attention!


Be brief and direct

Your aim is to capture the interest of recruiter, and to make them want to know more about you. By mentioning only relevant information, you will have the chance to add more details in a future interview!

  • Keep your profile short (3-4 sentences maximum)
  • Add only significant studies (Universities and A levels only)
  • Mention all your work experiences! Even if they seem irrelevant, they show to a potential employer that you are a hard working person and – especially when you are at the beginning of your career – it can be a good way to highlight you have various skills.
  • Specify only modules and projects related to the job position you apply for
  • Add an application letter! The cover letter is the right place to point out more personal details and show your strong interest for the internship.


Upload a picture

Even if it’s not necessary, a nice picture can make an emotional impact on recruiters. It will help them to put a face on a name, so that they won’t easily forget you!

  • Whether it is a professional picture or just a nice photo your friend took of you, make sure your face is clearly visible
  • Choose a picture with a good quality
  • When possible, SMILE!
  • Avoid pictures of you at a fancy dress party with a cocktail in your hand!


Go visual

According to recent studies recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing an individual resume. That means they don’t have the time to look through a long and detailed CV. So how to fit all your information in just a couple of pages?

  • Use a creative layout and different font styles (bold, cursed, colours to highlight information)
  • Add brand logos / visual graphics
  • Use maximum 2 pages!


Use the right format

The most important part of a great CV is to use the right format. The recruiter will rather spend more time on reading your CV if it’s smooth and easy to read. Here are some must haves related to the format & layout:

  • Use bullet points (like these!) instead of continuous text
  • Sort your work experience & education from present to past
  • Always use PDF as a format
  • Use a free CV builder website! They’re easy to use, can save you a lot time and give you interesting suggestions. Check our article to see the top 5 free CV builders:


And always…

Get a second (sensible!) person to check your CV before you apply for an internship!




Don’t mess with the layout

By using the right layout, you can make a difference among you and other internship candidates. If the structure of your CV is not clear, the recruiter will get annoyed or distracted by useless information or confusing layout.

  • Don’t merge the Cover Letter and the CV
  • Don’t use Word or the Europass format
  • Don’t use too bright or too dark colours


Don’t omit essential information

Your personal details are essential as it simplifies the way for recruiters to contact you. Otherwise if it’s complicated for them to get in touch with you, they will easily give up and move on with another candidate.

  • Don’t forget to mention your contact details (email, international phone number, Skype ID)
  • Don’t forget to state your nationality & native language
  • Don’t forget to point out your study programme


Don’t go mad with details

As the space is limited to 1 or 2 pages, don’t waste time on pointing out irrelevant information.

  • Don’t add Primary school & GCSEs
  • Don’t focus on grades
  • Don’t mention obvious tasks of your work experiences (e.g. serving customers as a waitress, sending emails or taking phone calls as an office clerk, etc.)


And finally…

Don’t forget to attach your CV to your internship application!


Dos and Donts of the ideal internship CV