If you are a new graduate or student who feels like their internship plans are in limbo due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you are not alone. Usually at this time, people would be searching for, applying to and confirming their autumn internships across the world. However, as they move online to finish their school year and consider the next step of their career, students are facing unprecedented uncertainty.
1. Research and plan
While the number of internships being offered is lower than in previous years, there are still internships being offered by employers that you can apply for. Search for seasonal internships using terms like “remote”, “virtual” or “online” in your field of interest or by employer. Remote internships are still a great way to gain experience and find future opportunities through internal recruitment and industry connections.
Applying for a remote seasonal internship may also open opportunities that had not been as accessible to you before the coronavirus spread. As virtual internships open, you may be able to apply for autumn work that is offered by international, national and non-local companies.
2. Create a timeline for your search
Searching for an internship is a full-time job in itself. To make the most of the time you have available for your internship search, we recommend setting up a schedule. Block time on your calendar every day and dedicate it to a particular intern-search activity.
Most internship seekers are more efficient when they focus on one type of task at a time, rather than trying to multitask. For instance, you may use Sunday nights to go through recent job listings, weed out the ones worth applying for, and customize your resume/letter for each of those applications.
3. Use your university’s career services
Especially in these times of uncertainty, a school’s career center can be a great resource for networking opportunities and other guidance. Career services staff have transitioned to interacting with students virtually to understand their situations and provide advice.
For students who had started the job interview process but hadn’t officially landed offers due to the pandemic, career services staff are working with them to determine how they can maintain relationships with those employers for when they start hiring again, or redirect their job searches altogether.
4. Create or revamp your resume, cover letter, and online profiles
An internship resume is one that focuses primarily on your skills, education, and other strengths since you may not have extensive work experience to show yet. It can be challenging to create one as you might feel like you don’t have enough to include in a resume. However, writing your internship resume is an opportunity to reflect on your strengths and what makes you unique.
Even if you don’t have the work experience, you likely have other unique experiences that have helped you develop important skills that would make you a great addition to a company’s team. Use this opportunity to think about your achievements so far, including your education, volunteer experience, extracurricular activities or any area of your life where you might have shown exceptional skill, achievement or creative thinking.
5. Develop connections with your networks online
If your autumn internship goal was to improve your industry network and learn more about your area of specialization, look into online networking to meet like-minded people and create space for potential opportunities. Many industries already populate specific online networks, such as scientist groups on Twitter or active web developer forums. These networks will become more important as social distancing measures continue.
Create professional social accounts on the networks that are appropriate for your field or future career path. Make connections, ask for remote informational interviews and meet people who share your interests and career goals online instead of in-person.