I'll be a freshman in college this year, and I'm looking for a computer science internship. I've had 2 CS internship experiences in the past, one this school year/summer, which was very positive, and one the summer after my freshman year, in which I misunderstood the flexibility of choosing what to work on as "ask to switch projects whenever you want, even if you've spent a while working on something without explaining it to anyone" and I was let go. My resume looks a little barren with only one experience listed on it, however. Should I include this internship from several years ago? [the intervening summers I've taken classes at a local university.

3 Answers 3


Just mention the internship you were successful at. Let sleeping dogs lie and don't mention the other internship unless you learned something valuable and relevant there.

Yeah, the resume is a little thin but most interviewers would expect that from you, given your age and the fact that you are still far away from graduating :) you were only a college freshman and you've got three more years to flesh out your resume :)

  • 2
    It sounds like he was a HS freshman for the first internship, not a college freshman Aug 2, 2014 at 20:57

Congratulations on having your first "bad job" - I wouldn't list it on your resume though. Many of your fellow students will be interviewing for internships and jobs without any previous experience, so you're already ahead in the game.

You'll likely be able to find an internship every summer (you've got 3 more before you get your degree). Pad your resume that way.

Also, learn from the failed internship. Think back to the interview and try to figure out the red-flags. Was there a cube farm? Did everyone dress up for work? Was it a family business? A start-up? Figure out what questions you should be asking, and know warning signs so that if you interview with a similar company again you will know to say no.

  • It sounds like the OP misunderstood the role. To mitigate that would require research the role in advance and getting in the habit of asking questions with "obvious" answers.
    – employee-X
    Aug 11, 2019 at 7:36

You have to remember what a resume is: a means to sell yourself by listing your relevant skills and accomplishments. It's not a bibliography.

If you think putting an internship there would harm your chances of getting hired, then don't do it. BUT be prepared to explain that gap in your work history.

  • 3
    he's just starting college, there's really no "gap" to explain. Aug 2, 2014 at 20:58

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