While once quite rare, virtual internships are becoming increasingly popular. Top companies are offering remote options for full-time jobs and temporary placements alike, and odds are you’ll take on a remote role at some point in your career. Students and professionals who take on virtual internships are well-positioned for coveted roles, both in the office and outside of it. Remote placements ensure you gain real-time experience that is relevant to the cultural shift many industries and companies are making right now. You’ll also gain a certain level of technological fluency, and be fully prepared to succeed in remote work in the future. That means it’s important to know how to list a virtual internship on your resume.
Whether your traditional internship became virtual due to Covid-19 or your host organization has a flexible remote work policy, you need to know how to list a virtual internship on your resume. Of course, remote internships won’t be identical to their traditional counterparts. In some cases, that might mean taking a different approach in how you list a remote internship on your resume. This is especially true if you’re considering applying for jobs that are remote or have flexible work policies. The essential skills for a certain role are likely the same whether you’re working from your sofa or from an office. But there are also skills that allow you to be successful when working virtually. Not everyone has those skills or knows how to show them on a job application, so it’s important to highlight them on your resume.
Here are 6 things to keep in mind to highlight your virtual internship on a resume:
1. Use data to demonstrate success
When you’re listing any internship on a resume (including a remote internship) it’s essential to highlight your successes. The best way to illustrate these successes and to show potential employers what you bring to the table is to use concrete numbers. Nothing is as valuable on a CV or resume as data that demonstrates success! Consider including sales numbers or other success metrics to demonstrate how well you performed in your role. Think about projects you were assigned or tasks you completed. How were they measured? How did you know you did well? In many cases, those same metrics are great for explaining your value to people who weren’t in the room.
2. Identify hard skills
Remote internships and jobs require strong communication skills, great organization, and a lot of self-motivation. Of course, you do want to add each of those things to your resume. But keep in mind that most people who have remote experience will be focusing on those so-called “soft skills.” In order to stand out and to really highlight your own experience, try to identify the hard skills you learned or brought to your role. You probably have several hard skills, even if you don’t think you do. Identify your key technical skills – are you great at editing photos and videos? Do your coworkers always ask you to put the finishing touches on a presentation? Make a list of each of the different programs you used in your role, whether they be customer support platforms or productivity software. If you aren’t sure, ask your manager or mentor!
3. Highlight communication
Communication might fall into the category of soft skills that most people will list on their resume. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t highlight it on your job applications! The communication skills you develop during a virtual placement are essential for a successful career. Whether you’re applying to an office job or a remote position, the ability to collaborate effectively with clients and teammates is invaluable. Be specific when describing your own communication style and skills. Consider the settings in which you feel your communication skills really shine. Maybe you’re a great presenter, an excellent salesperson, or an adept mediator. Whatever your specialty, make sure to include it either in your description of yourself, your skills section or work it into your role descriptions.
4. Focus on projects and impact
While your daily tasks were no doubt interesting, use the limited space available on your CV to focus on bigger projects and your overall impact. Many virtual internships feature similar tasks and assignments, so hone in on what made you and your internship special. Use data to describe your success in long-term projects, and mention the impact that those projects had on the company. If you don’t have any big projects or presentations, think about how your work helped the broader organization to succeed, or how you influenced a team member, client, or competitor.
5. Think about what makes your internship unique
In addition to identifying the projects, skills, and assignments that set your internship apart, it’s also important to consider what made your overall experience unique. Maybe you were offered an in-person internship but were forced to move to remote work because of Covid-19. Maybe you interned with a foreign company and interacted with colleagues from all around the world. Whatever your situation, try to identify at least one way the experience was different from what other young professionals may have had. From there, you can key in on how that unique experience made you the best candidate for future roles.
6. Mention all the critical information
Make sure a potential employer or recruiter gets all of the key information about your role from your resume. The amount and type of information you include may vary depending on your resume format. You may want to include both “remote” or “virtual” as well as the location of the organization’s headquarters. Regardless of formatting, you’ll need to include the dates of your internship, the organization you interned for, and a very brief description of the organization if it isn’t well-known.
Discover our virtual internship program here.