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Do internships count as work experience?

Writer-TahaBy Taha
23rd Sept 2020
Do internships count as work experience - Smartknower

Starting with your career, you might find it often difficult to convince your potential employers to give you a chance in the work environment just to prove your worth.

And, this happens even more when you have little to no work experience on your resume.

Employers today want such candidates in their workforce who know what they are doing and don’t need to be taught and spoonfed just for the sake of making them understand what works and what not in a company.

As such, they are going to scrutinize if you have ever worked for other companies or if you have any past experience in the field you are applying to.

But hold on. You don’t have any part-time job records, but you have completed internships with a few companies. Was it your work experience or is it just to fill your resume? And since you have had a paid/unpaid internship, can you consider it as work experience?

The answer is yes!

Let’s try to understand.

Do internships count as work experience?

Internships actually do have significant value and yes, you can count them under your past work experience.

This happens especially in such cases when you are applying for entry-level jobs after your graduation. In case you have completed an internship in your graduation phase and now are willing to apply for a job, the internships are going to help a long way than you could ever expect.

Internships help in skill development. But they are also great when companies expect previous work experience from you.

Your grades aren’t everything actually. Sure, they do help you with the interview eligibility with companies, but at the end of the day, your work experience is another significant element that contributes to your placements.

Both paid and unpaid internships could be considered as work experiences. The presence of such ventures in your resume actually depicts that you have had a strong interest in a particular field for a long time now and that you are very likely to perform better at your job.

Things to consider while including internships as your work experience

I am pretty sure you would be convinced that internships are actually an important part of work experience. However, the question is obvious. What next? What are the things that you have to present about your work experience?

Here are some guidelines.

  • Wherever possible, try to make the employer identify about your work and your work role at a particular designation within the company. You can even use numbers to quantify the value whenever possible.
  • Before you dive deep into what you have been doing, mention the responsibilities that you had in the workforce and how you fulfilled them.
  • If you have a few internships at hand, try to highlight the ones that are relevant to the job you are applying for. You can even make changes in your resume and sort them from the most relevant ones to the least relevant ones.
  • When it comes to formatting, I want you to be extra cautious and so does your employer. Mention all the details of your work carefully, mention the name and location of the organization and tell how long you have worked there. Keep it the highlight of your resume.

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When to include your internship experience in your resume?

For the inclusion of your previous work experience in your resume, there are very few basic rules that revolve around this concept.

Don’t be too braggy or don’t be too shy about your work. As per the company’s need and niche, choose how you want to mention your previous work experiences. You might want to start by following these simple guidelines:

  • In case you are applying right after your graduation, you are not expected to have adequate experience in your field. But, any previous work and internships are welcomed. If that’s the case with you, then don’t forget to include your previous work experience as it could give you significant leverage over the other candidates applying for the same job.
  • Do you know that your internships are directly proportional to the job you are seeking? Just like I said, if you have done any previous work or internships in the field you are applying for a job in, don’t make the mistake of omitting such details in your resume. ALWAYS include it!
  • Even if the experience you have had is not that relevant to the company, still your achievements could be showcased with that single company. You could prove that you have been a great team leader, your experience at that job has been amazing and what are some of the important things you have learned during that time with that company.

However, if you have more relevant real-world experience, you may want to omit the internship work. If you already have some experience with some companies and have been doing proper jobs in the past and now decided to transition towards a new one, your previous job experience is going to have more weight over the internships you have done at graduation.

Think about it, if you have had real-world experience or worked with companies before, there’s no need to add internship details, right? Of course, if you are adamant about doing it, then I suggest you push them to the back of your resume and display your previous full-time work first!

[CONCLUSION] When not to include internships?

If you are just a freshly-graduated candidate and have started your journey of finding companies to be placed at, I recommend you keep your internship records clean and way more presentable because they carry weightage.

But not in the long run!

In the past, if you have worked with some worthy clients during your internship phase, it’s worth mentioning that you have had the pleasure of working with them.

However, as you progress and aren’t considered as an entry-level professional, then you might want to give the internship experiences a break. Focus on dedicating that space to the recent work you have done with previous ventures and leave your internship experience off.

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