With an influx of international students attending Japanese universities, competition for English-based internships has increased. While it may be challenging to differentiate between strong candidates, an outstanding resume will lead to a better application. A resume is the first step in career building. Career-related skills such as resume writing is outside of academia, so many students find it hard to approach. However, there are many online resources that offer tips and tricks to crafting the perfect resume.

Resources for Resumes

One of the approaches covered in this article is the Harvard University template. A resume should be only one page, because a resume’s purpose should be to present information in a clear and concise way, with enough details to demonstrate the candidate’s experience and skills. From a recruiter or hiring manager’s point of view, a resume should be easy to skim and orderly because they go through tens or even hundreds of resumes per day. The main difference between a resume and a CV is length; a CV includes a comprehensive list of all of the candidate’s skills and experience. A resume only details the key achievements; it is often tailored for different positions if the person has a variety of skills and experience.

Formatting a Resume

A resume should have consistent and clear text, such as Times New Roman or other professional fonts. It should not be too colorful or artistically abstract which may detract from the important information that is listed. The text size should also be uniform and easy to read (nothing less than 11 pt font). Finally, the information should be accurate. It is morally corrupt to lie about your experiences as well as embarrassing if others find out that the information doesn’t accurately represent you.

Basic Information

The top should include your legal name, along with contact information such as school email and phone number. The first header should be education, starting in reverse chronological order. On the right-hand side should be the location as well as duration. If the position is still ongoing, then it should be listed from its start date to “Current.” It is also helpful to include major, GPA, test scores, certifications, clubs/academic organizations, and relevant courses if needed. The coursework or certifications provided should be relevant to the job position you are applying for.

Education Background

Following education is a list of experiences. This may include job experiences, such as previous internship positions. If you do not have any previous internship experience, it is also helpful to include other part-time jobs or any other job-related experience. Beneath each title should be a short description of what the job entailed. The sentence should begin with an action verb, such as “achieved,” “analyzed,” or “conducted.” It is helpful to use specific keywords that pertain to the job such as “analyzed consumer surveys,” for a marketing analysis internship. Furthermore, it is important to use quantitative information, such as detailing a number of hours worked using certain software or proficiency in a certain field. This also includes amounts of money (in terms of fundraising), number of hours, team size, or number of participants.

Leadership Experiences

The third section is a list of leadership experiences. This may also be altered to include volunteer experience or any other experiences related to the job position. This section is for relevant clubs, organizations, or positions that showcase your leadership or other skills. Similarly, a description should be included to explain what the position was. To reiterate again, it is crucial to provide concise information by using action verbs and relevant figures to help the recruiter or hiring manager visualize your position.

Skills and Interests

The last section is for skills and additional interests. For technical positions, this may be an entire section devoted to technical skills, such as programming languages or software used. This section may also include language proficiency and hobbies. Depending on the job position, this section may be altered to provide different information that may appeal to the person reviewing your application.

Crafting a resume may be challenging but it is a step in the right direction to finding an internship. Many academic institutions offer resume workshops or resume reviews for students. Take advantage of these opportunities to create a stronger resume that may lead to an internship. Good luck!