The Ultimate Guide To Landing A Virtual Internship During The Pandemic

Landing an internship in college is hard. With everything being virtual, the search gets even harder. However, there are multiple steps you can take to make this search go more smoothly.  job applicant handing her documents and resume to employer during interview Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

First, in your hunt for a virtual internship, it’s important to keep in mind that most of the do’s and don'ts of regular internship searching are the same. The first most important step: the resume. It’s so incredibly important to have your perfected resume on hand and continue updating it with new jobs or relevant information. Also remember to format your resume correctly. Different industries have different expectations (a business or finance resume would have to be very standardized while a marketing one could be a bit more creative) and you should check which format is preferred for the type of internship you are looking for. Also, try to get someone to look over your resume to check for any typos or spelling errors. Once you have your resume perfected and ready to go, now you are ready to start looking for your virtual internship! 

It may be more challenging to secure a virtual internship since a lot of companies may not even have the resources to provide a virtual internship. However, a fun positive is that since location and work commute is not an issue, you can basically find an internship anywhere in the country! In order to find opportunities and keep up-to-date with all available resources, turn to online platforms such as Linkedin and AngelList. It’s absolutely crucial that you are constantly on the lookout for any opportunities, which means being active on these platforms. Other helpful resources include the ones your school provides, whether that is Handshake, email newsletters, the career center or any other school resource. Make sure to take advantage of everything your school has to offer!

Once you have found the opportunities and internships that you like, it’s time to start cold emailing. The purpose of a cold email is to reach out to someone at the company you’re interested in to learn more about their experiences there. At the same time, it also helps you get your foot in the door, as a strong conversation could put you at an advantage over other applicants. When you send a cold email, always make sure to include a short background about yourself, demonstrated interest in their job and a closing statement that asks them to hop on a quick call with you to chat. Also, remember that super important resume I talked about earlier? Always make sure to attach your resume, along with a signature if you want, at the end of a cold email.

woman sitting at laptop Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Once you schedule and get on a call with them, it’s important to remember to stay professional even if the chat seems casual. In the beginning of the call, introduce yourself and outline what you hope to gain from the call. For example, thank them for their time and let them know that you’re interested in the internship and hope to learn more about their experiences at that company. Ask them thoughtful and interesting questions. Try not to ask questions that can be answered with a quick Google search, and instead ask questions that you are genuinely interested in. 

Lastly, when it comes to the most important part of the process—the interview—make sure you know the standard video interview expectations and etiquette. Even though the interview will probably be over Zoom, which might seem like an awkward platform to use, make sure to stay professional! Dress the part by wearing business professional attire and make sure to remain professional throughout the interview. But still make sure to have fun with it and be yourself! At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the company you are interning at fits with your character so always stay true to yourself during this process.

people on zoom call Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels  With all of those tips in mind, you are now ready to land your virtual internship! Good luck!