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4 Ways to Improve Your CV for Online Internships

CV on a table

4 Ways to Improve Your CV for Online Internships

Thinking about how to get an online internship? We’ve got you!

While many might think that the first step is to find the right company, there’s actually a lot more research and preparation to consider before you jump into any applications.

Finding the right internship takes diligence and hard work – so it’s important to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible!

Why go for an online internship

With the world opening back up and students returning to their lives on campus, one might ask: why opt for an online internship? After all, it can feel more real and rewarding to work at an office in person.

And while this can actually be true for some, over 60% of workers actually prefer to work remotely or in hybrid setups. There are reasons why, of course – ones that are applicable for interns (and aspiring interns, too):

Convenience is a huge factor when it comes to why students often opt to take on online internships. With classes back in person, it can be difficult to travel back and forth, or simply manage schedules. Remote internships allow a certain level of flexibility that you can’t get elsewhere!

Another factor to consider is experience. It’s quite unlikely for workplaces to stay fully in-office as far as future terms go – only 4% of employers in the U.S. are requiring employees to return to their offices full-time, so completing a virtual internship can actually help exercise your remote work skills! From collaborating virtually to completing work on your own, online internships can prep you for the real thing.

Preparing to find the best virtual internship

So now that you know why an online internship might benefit you, you might be wondering…

“How do I get one?!”

A lot of students worry about qualifying for internships, particularly about the level of experience that they have. And while this is a common and understandable concern, the thing is that internships are made for gaining experience! You don’t have to have a perfect track record in order to get one.

The first step to getting a good online internship is to prepare yourself – and what better way to do that than by sharing what you already know?

A curriculum vitae, or a CV, is a document that lists your academic credentials. (Think resume, but more student-friendly!) It helps companies figure out how you can help them and what you can learn from them. Creating a good, up-to-date CV can help you land just the right position.

Person handing recruiter their curriculum vitae on a clipboard

How to make your CV more attractive

Of course, tons of other students out there are looking for opportunities, too. It can be challenging to stand out from the crowd! Luckily, a little bit of research and preparation will go a long way. Here are some handy tips to help you out:

1. Make your CV specific

Many people – even adults – make the mistake of creating a general CV or resume and sending it out to a bunch of different companies.

Essentially, it’s like shouting into the void saying, “please hire me! This is everything I’ve done, like, ever.”

From a recruiter’s perspective, of course, that seems a little bit lazy. You’re going to want to tailor fit your CV for the specific company or position that you’re applying for! All you basically need to do is to pick your most relevant experiences or skills and show the company that you’re a good fit.

For example, if the job description requires interns to “have a good grasp of economic concepts” or “must know how to use Google Suite,” then you’ll want to highlight either your academic background in economics, membership in an economics-related organization, or previous roles and activities that have required you to use Google Suite.

These simple changes can help highlight you as a better choice among a pool of candidates – even if you don’t have things perfectly down to a T, just knowing the basics or showing your interest helps a ton!

2. Format it properly

Another common mistake that aspiring interns make is submitting an unpolished CV.

With design apps and cute trends making it seem cool to dress up your credentials, it can actually be counterproductive to have something overly loud! Canva- or Photoshop-designed CVs can potentially prevent document-scanning softwares from reading your application. A lot of recruiters use programs like these to check applicants out, so don’t risk not being considered just by trying to add some razzle dazzle to your CV.

Instead, focus on the proper spacing, font size, and descriptions on your CV! Not only does that make your document readable by different software, but it shows that you know how to present yourself professionally.

When submitting your credentials, also make sure to take note of any file format or size requirements. Do you need to submit it as a Word file or PDF? Would they prefer it as an image? Make sure that you use a universally available font, too, and that all of it is readable after exporting!

Be mindful of small details – they make the biggest difference.

3. Stay active

Another way to impress companies is by showing them what you can do!

Yes, CVs are typically academically-focused, but there’s also a great opportunity for you to share what you’ve done outside of your schoolwork. If you’ve done any volunteer work, have a part-time job, or are a member of any student organizations, this is also a great chance to share it! This will highlight you as someone who’s both a student and also an active member of your community.

When sharing these involvements on your CV, make sure that they have some type of relevance to the role that you’re applying for. If you’re taking up a social media internship, it’s best to share information of how you’ve helped manage pages and create content for your organization. You could also even share your own personal reels and posts!

Avoid sharing information that doesn’t seem important – for example, if you’re applying for an accountancy internship, the recruiter won’t be able to do much with the information that you were once a lifeguard at your summer camp. Be selective about what you share and highlight only THE best information.

Showing that you’re able to balance different activities and work on meaningful projects is a major plus when applying for remote internships!

4. Share your achievements

While this tip might seem glaringly obvious, it’s actually something that a lot of people overlook.

Make space in your CV for achievements – whether they’re certifications, special mentions, or awards, it’s great to share that you’ve been recognized in the different spaces that you’ve already been in. Taking this extra step to show the validation you’ve received for your skills definitely gives you an edge!

Additionally, your achievements don’t always have to come from awarding bodies, either.

When you’re writing the descriptions of your academic history or organizational roles, it’s also important to concisely but accurately describe what you were able to accomplish in that role. It doesn’t have to mean that you were employee of the month for six months straight – you could just simply sneak in that you “significantly contributed to team performance” or “improved workplace organization by doing so and so.”

It’s all in the wording sometimes! (And it wouldn’t kill you to be proud of yourself, too. 😉)

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