Should Cancelled Internships Go On Your Resume?

COVID-19 has forced employers to cancel internships in many industries. Students enrolled in internship programs in the Spring semester as well as the Summer, received unwanted news about their positions were being cancelled.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) asked the employers if the cancelled internships should be mentioned on their resume. In agreement, the employers provided supporting reasons to KEEP the cancelled internships on the resume.

Some of these points were:

  • Demonstrating student’s interest and effort for applying and achieving the internship
  • It explains gaps in the resume timeline or lack of internship experience
  • Listing the internship with top companies would act as an advantage to land jobs in the future
  • Offers for research experience for undergraduates, for students who plan to apply to medical school or graduate school should also be mentioned on the resume as it speaks to the student’s abilities.

NACE recommends to provide your cancelled internship information in this way –

XYZ Company – Internship offer accepted. Rescinded due to COVID-19 – Summer 2020”

Innovative ways you use your cancelled internship to demonstrate your strengths and skills

  • Mention it on LinkedIn
  • Use “cancelled” instead of “rescind” as this may change meaning for the employer (“rescind” may sound as if you had a part to play in discontinuing the internship.)
  • Ask for feedback to the employer – what did they see during the internship interviewing process? (skills, personality, fit)
  • If you do not have space in your resume to mention the cancelled internship, you could add it in the cover letter or can use it as an example for an interview question (Sample interview questions: How have you overcome challenges in the past? Give us an example of how you’ve pivoted? How have you solved a problem that was not in your control?)

However, we recommend that you do not use too much space on your resume or cover letter to talk about your cancelled internship. In the end, employers want to read about your skills and experiences you gained while working. You can choose to remove it once you get a full-time job or another internship. Be smart about when to bring up the cancelled internship.

Do you have more questions? Schedule an appointment with our career counselors.

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