How to find a virtual internship
Over the past year, many companies have launched virtual internships as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These days, finding a virtual internship is easier than ever. If you can’t make it to an in-person internship or have an opportunity to work for a great company remotely, you can!
But with the launch of virtual internships, there’s more concern around how to find one. We have a few great tips on how to find an internship that will set you up for success in your future and career.
What is a virtual internship?
A virtual internship is the same as an in-person internship; only you’ll do most of the work remotely rather than in an office. However, you should still anticipate being online during your set business hours, available for virtual meetings, and responding on both email and messaging applications.
You will likely be asked to complete task-specific projects and meet deadlines the same way you would in person. You must stick to your schedule and join any meetings you can — as this is the way you’ll learn how to succeed in the industry.
Depending on which industry you’re interning in, you may even have the opportunity to attend webinars and classes online to expand on your knowledge and skillset.
How do you find a virtual internship?
There are so many ways to go about searching for an internship in a specific industry. Online tools like LinkedIn, Handshake, and GlassDoor allow you to search for keywords in one location so that you can narrow the search down. Choose from things like the industry, location, and even pay.
With a virtual internship, having a polished resume and an excellent cover letter matters just as much as any other job. It will help to have a second set of eyes on it as well. You’ll want to research internships within the industries and use keywords specific to the roles you’ll be applying for. Ask a professor or college counselor to help you if you feel stuck.
Lastly, more than ever, being a clear and concise communicator is essential with virtual internships. You want to have prepared answers and be well-spoken during video and telephone interviews. It sometimes helps to practice saying your answers aloud to a friend or family member.
LinkedIn Profile Basics
Your LinkedIn profile should reflect that you have skills imperative to the virtual world. Listing things like the below can make you stand out if a hiring manager takes a look at your profile:
- Clear communicator
- Excellent written communication skills
- Adaptable and calm under pressure
- Independent problem solver
Lastly, ask previous professors, supervisors, or mentors to leave you positive recommendations. If a future employer can easily see that you have fans, they’re more likely to put you at the top of the list.
Reach out to your career counselor or professor
Reach out to previous professors that work in the industries you’re interested in and see if they know of any internship opportunities. Your professors are a great place to start and can be excellent references for making it through the competitive process.
You can also go to your college career counselor. Counselors at colleges work with companies nationwide to give students access to internships. They’ll know about any companies in the area that are looking for virtual interns.
When should you start your virtual search?
Companies have different deadlines for internships, but it’s always a good idea to apply sooner rather than later. Internships are highly competitive, especially in the virtual field, and the sooner you get your foot in the door, the more successful you’ll be.
Generally, it’s best to start applying for internships three to six months in advance. That way, you’ll come prepared with your school schedule, and they can work around your education.
If you prepare in advance for the intern search, you’re much more likely to be successful at finding one that suits your interests. Reach out to the people you know, write your resume, and put your best foot forward!