Virtual Internships: A Growing Trend and Great Opportunity

deskThis is a guest post by my friends Lauren Porat and Cari Sommer, co-founders of Urban Interns.

The job hunt is fierce. But a phenomenal new type of internship is on the rise, and it’s one that will boost your skills while at the same time allow you the flexibility of working from home and on your own clock. Employers are turning more and more to virtual interns, and we’re seeing a real rise in this on UrbanInterns.com. In fact, The Wall Street Journal published a story about this a few weeks ago.

Other advantages of a virtual internship? You don’t have to go to school in a major city to get access to awesome companies, and a lot of these positions are in areas that you’re probably already pretty skilled at, like social networking, blogging and research. We’re also seeing a rise in these positions at small businesses in particular, which is a great opportunity for you because you get exposure to management and get to play an important role as an intern at a small company.

So what’s the best strategy for going about finding a virtual internship? Here are some tips:

Promote yourself as a social networking genius. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other niche social nets are surprisingly foreign to a lot of small business owners. In addition, this type of task is time-consuming –- they need helping hands to execute the strategy and to be the social media face of the brands they’ve worked so hard to build.

Make sure all your online profiles are up to date, but at the same time would not offend any small business owners who might find them. Prospective employers will probably try to research you before hiring, because they can’t meet you in person. Your online presence should be a professional reflection of yourself –- one that employers would feel confident representing their companies.

Be aware of your virtual interview. When you’re applying for a virtual job, your interview could be on the phone or via Skype. In either case, keep the constraints of your interview in mind and be fully prepared. In other words, make sure your phone and Internet connections are good with no static before starting. You also won’t be able to rely on body language to convey yourself or interpret your interviewer’s mood, so be extra cautious with your words.

Now, what are you waiting for? Go to www.urbaninterns.com/login and fill out your profile to get discovered by hundreds of employers looking for virtual interns. In addition, Urban Interns currently has local jobs in NYC and Boston, and we’re rolling out eight new cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington, DC) very soon –- be the first in line for jobs in those cities as well as virtually! Note: if you’re not in one of those areas, select “Other.”

If you have any questions, please free to email Lauren and Cari at info@urbaninterns.com.

Image: Eric_I_E

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