Published on November 26, 2014
There is no doubt that completing an internship abroad greatly adds to your professional skill set and employability. However, as you look to communicate this international internship experience to potential employers, it is essential to learn how to effectively market these newly acquired skills. As you make changes to your resume/CV and LinkedIn profile following your internship, we at The Intern Group would give you the following tips:
Describe, not label, your foreign language skills.
Go beyond just putting the level of your foreign language (“Basic,” “Intermediate,” or “Advanced”), as these labels are ultimately subjective. Instead, we recommend listing the tasks that you accomplished in your foreign language, as this will communicate much more about your skill level to potential employers. For example, you could note that you used your second language to give a 20-minute presentation, participate in local business meetings, or speak on the phone with local contacts.
Demonstrate cultural competence.
Certainly, one of the most important skills you will acquire from an international internship is cultural competence, or the ability to interact and work professionally with people of differing cultural backgrounds, beliefs, nationalities, and preferences. This is an extremely useful skill in today’s international market that should be emphasized when sharing about your internship experience abroad.
Show results, not your tasks.
One important tip to keep in mind when revising your resume/CV and LinkedIn profile is to describe the results you achieved on the job, rather than just mentioning your day-to-day tasks. For example, rather than writing that you “answered phone calls and emails from potential clients daily,” quantify your results-- perhaps 20 people with whom you corresponded became clients of your company. This sounds much more impressive to recruiters and demonstrates the long-term results of your daily tasks. Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify your results, as this will communicate a clearer message of what you accomplished.
Attach examples of your work.
On your LinkedIn, take advantage of the feature that enables the attachment of documents. Under your listed internship experience, attach 1-2 examples of your work-- for example, a presentation you created or a report you wrote. Just be sure to get permission from your supervisor first, as work done by interns is typically considered property of the company for whom they were working.
Ask for recommendations.
When adding an internship or work experience on your LinkedIn, a recommendation from a colleague will give an added boost to the value of that experience in the eyes of recruiters. Upon leaving your internship, we recommend asking your supervisor or mentor to write a LinkedIn recommendation that outlines your greatest strengths in the workplace. Having the recommendation of an expert in your desired industry sector will help you stand out as you seek future employment.
These are just a few ways by which you can more effectively market your newly acquired skill set and cross-cultural experience from your internship abroad. Finally, we recommend adding your international internship to your resume/CV and LinkedIn immediately following its completion, while the specifics of the experience are still fresh in your mind. Best of luck!
Photo 1. The Intern Group