4 Easy Ways to Translate your International Internship into a Remarkable Resume

By Eimear Costigan

So, you’re finally back home after months filled with fantastic adventures, great memories, and newly made friends. But no matter how much you try, you struggle to find the words to describe your internship experience to your friends and family back home – there are just too many memories and new experiences. If friends and family are a challenge, how do you then start conveying everything you’ve learned to a potential employer?

 Ah, that’s where we come in again. We’ve compiled a “cheat sheet” of the top 4 tips to help you translate your once-in-a-lifetime experience into a resume that’s sure to be noticed on any future employer’s desk:

1. Customize your resume

Recruiters want to know why you are the only person they should hire for that specific position. Consider having a ‘master resume’ that you can adapt for each position you apply for. Adjust this master resume to include only lessons and skills that you gained on your internship that will be invaluable to the position you’re applying for. Then, tailor it using words that will be familiar and applicable to your chosen industry.

2. Ask an industry specialist to proof read your resume

While it’s always best to have someone who is a stickler for grammar and spelling read over your resume, it helps also having someone from the industry you want to enter to also read through it. So, if you’re working to become a social worker, ask someone in that position as they will best know the style of language that is used, and the skills that will be most useful to mention. This is also a fantastic opportunity to network with a few potential employers back home!

3. Phrases that pay

Whether you need to turn a challenging experience around, or are simply struggling to find the right words for either your cover letter or points within your resume, employers have indicated the following are valuable competencies that differentiate job seekers with international experience:

• Interacting with people with different interests, values, or perspectives
• Understanding cultural differences in the workplace
• Adapting to situations of change

4. Don’t make assumptions – clarify your context

While you may now know exactly what the SAHRC (South African Human Rights Commission) or Dáil Éireann (Irish House of Representatives) means, remember that your prospective employer may not. It’s important to translate your resume into terms and words that will be easily understood by your target audience (your local business community, etc) – again, your reviewers should help you by pointing out anything that isn’t quite clear.

For more tips to assist you with turning international experience into career gold, click here.

Eimear Costigan


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