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Internship on a Resume — Work Experience or not?

Internship on a Resume — Work Experience or not?

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In a job market where many entry-level jobs require knowledge and experience of a subject, internships are becoming increasingly common.

Internships are a great way to gain experience in a job market, and for a company to train a new potential employee.

Should you include this in the job experience section on a resume?


Does an Internship Count as Work Experience on a Resume?

Internships can always be counted as work experience on a resume. Because they are work done for official companies, they can be formatted in the same way that any job would be. You should not include internships that are irrelevant, too short, or if you have sufficient “real” job experience. 

Be sure to properly label an internship experience. There are subtle differences between internships and job shadowing.

Some fields even have specific names for these experiences, such as medical internships known as clinical rotations

No matter what the type, however, this type of work can and should be listed on a resume for those with little job experience in the field.

Include what kinds of responsibilities you held, and the relevant skills you learned from the internship experience. 

Once you have relevant “real” work experience, such as being hired by said company or one of a similar field, you should not include internships in this section.

Usually, the new job experience will replace and be more impressive than the internship experience. 

If you are hired at the same company as a full-time employee, you do not need to separate the internship and the “real” work. Simply put that you have been working at X company, and list the dates from the time you began the internship. 


Does an unpaid internship count as job experience?

While paid internships are usually more intensive and career-oriented, unpaid internships are also a great way to gain experience in the field.

This type of experience counts as job experience on a resume and can be included the same way as paid internships would be. 

You do not need to include the fact that it was an unpaid internship.

Much like not including salaries on a resume, telling a potential employer that you were willing to work for free will likely make them think you will accept less pay. 


Does an internship count as volunteering?

Internships technically share many of the same traits as volunteering, but these two types of experience are weighed differently by employers.

It is not a good idea to include an internship in the volunteering section unless you are an intern for a volunteer organization. 

Internships are almost always considered work experience, whereas volunteering may either be included in the volunteering or the work experience section. Be careful with the differences here, because including experience in the wrong section will stand out to an employer in a bad way.

Internships are for gaining specific experience in a field in order to begin a career in that field, and volunteering is usually a selfless or generous donation of one’s time toward a cause.