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I have a "Co Op Status" section on my resume that our Co Op education department recommended we include for our applications for internships.

I'm curious if this is that necessary. Right now, this is what mine says:

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Is that really that relevant? I'll be applying for internships that start in May 2013, so that seems obvious, and the second part seems unnecessary if I've included my estimated graduation data and the fact I'm in second year.

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Why do they recommend this? Obviously they think it's a good idea for some reason..... –  enderland Jan 20 '13 at 1:22
    
Are these positions advertised as co-op work term positions or are the positions open to anyone? –  JB King Jan 20 '13 at 19:36
    
you might need to add an explanation most people would assume coop or co-op meant experinace working at a coperative - or you need to tag the Q with the right country –  Neuro Jan 25 '13 at 15:22
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3 Answers 3

The very term just like that is confusing.

It's helpful to list co-op experience but only if you have it!
Having a section with no history in it is a bad idea, just remove it.

When you have co-op experience just add it in the section where you put work experience but add the co-op info by the group title, e.g. (co-op).

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It sounds like they're very caught up in the little world that is your school and its specific requirements. Chances are the people reading your resume won't know much about those requirements unless they went there themselves.

The rule of thumb I use is that if you would have to explain what it means to a theoretical interviewer, that's time wasted that could have been spent selling yourself. I struggled with a similar issue when I graduated because I was part of an experimental program that hadn't been done anywhere else before (undergraduate robotics). I finally realized that I was dedicating an entire paragraph in cover letters trying to explain it that was really more trying to sell the school on them than my own skills.

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I'm not a fan of that wording due to a lack of information, but I think something making it explicitly clear that you are looking for a temporary co-op block or internship is helpful. First, when recruiting, companies will often be looking for co-op and full time positions at the same time. This makes it very easy for the people (and there are lots of people involved - HR, hiring managers, the people visiting your university doing recruitment, who may be alumni and not part of the rest of the hiring process) looking at your resume know which category you fall in without having to think about your graduation date. Second, many companies keep your resume "on file" for a set period of time, looking to match you with any new positions and being able to see on your resume that you were a co-op candidate helps them.

As someone who has recruited and interviewed co-ops before, I want to see this information easily. At a typical university career fair, I only have a few minutes to talk to you. If I have to ask you if you're looking for a co-op or full-time position, when you want to start, and if you have prior university-approved co-op blocks and then write that down on your resume so it gets back to HR, that's less time that I can learn about your fit for the position or tell you about the company and the work that we have available. Where I recruit, we do a dozen or so on-site interviews the day after the career fair, so that 5-7 minute meeting at the career fair is where I decide if I'm going to bring you in for a 30 minute interview screening the next day.

As a student who had to do co-op blocks as a graduation requirement, those were the only time that I ever included a "Purpose" section on my resume (at the top, right below my name and contact information). I used that section to identify that I was looking for a required co-op or internship experience of a certain duration starting in a specified time period and what types of things I was hoping to do during this block. I also clearly identified how many co-op experiences that I had, as some companies did not hire first-time co-ops/interns.

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