I had an internship, and it ended as normal. I put it on my resume as a job since this is my first real "job" in the field I am pursuing. My resume does not list the reason for leaving the job -- this question pertains to online job application forms that ask me what the reason for leaving the job listed on resume is.

Since the drop-down menu or options menu on most job applications lists for reasons leaving job:

  • Termination
  • Resignation
  • Promotion (which really doesn't apply to my internship)
  • Laid Off

With no "Other" option, which best represents the reason I left my internship? I understand that internships are an agreed upon time which expires at the end of it, without being labelled as any of these, but I must pick one in order to represent the internship.

  • 5
    Clarification: I believe the OP is specifically referring to an online application with a drop down menu with fixed options, where it's not possible to enter something manually.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 19:20
  • 6
    Of the choices given, I would consider Laid Off to be the best one for the situation. Terminate implies you were fired for cause, Promoted is clearly not true and Resigned implies you left by choice. But Laid Off implies the company ended the relationship with no fault on your side. Personally If I were to interview with such a company, I would explain that none of the choices reflected the situation I was in and they should consider including Contracted Time Successfully Completed or something similar for future applications from people who work on short term contracts like Internships.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 19:37
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    I know that, I am suggesting that if you get to the interview and you explain that job, you suggest they might want to fix that for later openings.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 20:33
  • 2
    Before you fill in the form at all, ask yourself "If this company can't even design a simple web form intelligently, do I really want to trust them with my future career?"
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 0:02
  • 1
    @vontell "termination" usually implies you were fired.
    – Brandin
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 7:35

2 Answers 2


As with the other posts, the direct answer to your question is "none of the above". It was a fixed-term contract which reached the end of its life.

However, you've clarified that the actual problem you're facing is how to fill this in on badly designed forms which don't give you sensible options. What I'd do here is to put "resigned" - why? Because that's the "best reason" for leaving a job, but make sure you clarify somewhere else on the form that it wasn't "really" a resignation, but just the end of an internship - the last thing you want is for someone to be able to accuse you of lying on your application form.


There is no need to say the reason why a job ended on a resume. If they are interested they will ask. But in the case of an internship it's pretty obvious why you are not working there anymore. The internship has ended.

Simply write start date and end date with a description of what you did there

In response the recent edit, simply select resignation. It's closer to reality. It's not quite what happened but it's the closer to reality you can get from their choice. It was an implicit resignation at the end of the internship. If they call you to ask about it, simply make it clear it was an internship and that they website didn't let you specify other.

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    @HannoverFist: "In today's world, every company has a website that require things like this to be filled out or selected from a list." Not one company I have ever applied for has required a stupid system like this. Not even one. Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 3:29

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