As is the case with many jobs, internships have gone remote. This trend was made more popular by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the shift to virtual work benefits students and recent graduates. In fact, according to a recent study by a non-profit organization, The Washington Centre, over 60% of students surveyed believe that a remote internship is just as valuable as an in-person opportunity. Additionally, over half of the respondents felt included in the organization where they were currently interning remotely, and 92% felt engaged at their internship. Internships are an excellent way to enhance your skills, improve your resume and make connections to help you succeed at jobs, whether remote or in person. Virtual internships have a unique advantage in that they are very flexible, cost-effective, and are a great way to gain skills before entering the job market.
Search for internship opportunities
Conducting an effective internship search requires a multifaceted approach to find an internship role that fits you. Keep in mind that an internship is a way to explore career possibilities and gain work experience, so keep an open mind about the type of jobs you would like to do later. Many great careers were born by interning in new fields. Spend time checking multiple resources to see what is available, as this is the best way to find your fit.
Check with career services at your college
The best place to start your virtual internship search is at your college career services office. Searching for remote internships is like the traditional internship search. The office may have internship listings for students or recent graduates from your school. There is a lot of overlap between searching for traditional internship roles and searching for virtual internship roles. A good number of internship vacancies will be for virtual internships. In addition, the career services office may offer to connect you to networking events in the area around your college, which should give you more networking opportunities. Also, if your institution has an alumni network, learn how to exploit the opportunity to connect with alumni who may render valuable assistance with your search.
Use your network
In addition to the career network available at your college, check LinkedIn groups affiliated with your institution, and connect with alumni who work at the firms you would like to work.
Let your family and friends know that you are seeking an internship. If you have worked or interned previously, notify your former colleagues that you are job hunting. The more people who know you need assistance, the higher your chances of success.
Find a company that matches your long-term goals
While making your choice, ensure that you choose organizations with the same goals and values as you. Conduct research, become familiar with the company culture, study the company page, learn about the company, the talents they want, and what the company is all about.
Once you have found some companies of interest, create a customized letter of introduction for each organization. Explain why the skills and experience you have would make you an excellent candidate for a remote internship, even if there is currently no opening for one.
Highlight the skills you have, mention your willingness and ability to learn quickly, and your determination to find an internship. In summary, be open-minded and persistent in your search.
Find and apply though job websites
One of the quickest ways to find internship listings is to look online. You can use general job listings websites and niche websites that focus on internships.
The job board of your college is a fine point to start your search for internship opportunities—request access to your school’s job and internship database. You may be able to find open positions to which you can apply online. Also, inquire about other available resources.
Use search engines: Check for internship listings quickly and easily. Use search engines to search for terms like “remote internship” and look at the options that show up. You should be able to narrow down your search after going through these options and the website listings that seem suitable for you. If you are not satisfied, you can search for more specific terms like “remote internships in tech” or “remote internships in finance” as examples to narrow down the search quicker.
LinkedIn: Search LinkedIn Jobs by searching “internship” as the job type or experience level, or type “internship” in the search box. Then select “remote” to view internship listings.
Indeed: Visit Indeed’s Remote Internships page to find companies that are hiring interns in this way. You can also use Indeed’s advanced search feature: select “internships” as the type of job, and add keywords such as “remote” or “virtual” and the job title or type of position (for example, computer science, marketing, performance management).
Idealist: You can search for internships at non-profit organizations on Idealist. Add “remote” as a keyword to generate a list of options to consider.
College grad: Make use of the College Grad website, check the internships box, search for internships using the keyword “remote” and the job title or type of internship that interest you to find listings.
Tips for getting your application noticed
Even though the hiring process is remote, there are ways you can highlight your credentials and stand out from the crowd of applicants.
Mention your remote experience: Make sure to highlight any experience you have working virtually. Examples of these are attending virtual classes and completing group projects remotely.
List your remote-friendly skills: Remote employers generally look for people with excellent written and verbal communication skills, time management, skill, and experience with technology.
List the applications you know how to use: List the applications you use to communicate and collaborate with people virtually, such as Zoom, Google Drive, or Slack.
Update your resume: Update your resume to match the keywords in each internship description, and write a strong cover letter explaining why you’re interested in the role and what you have to offer. On a final note, watch out for job scams, as they have increased significantly since the start of the pandemic. If you are not sure about the genuineness of an internship listing, ask your college career advisors, friends, and colleagues for help, you can also research the company yourself on the internet.