You might feel that you’ve had the rug pulled from under your feet. Career opportunities have been yanked back all over the place and this is deeply disappointing for both parties. Whoever rescinded your offer are missing out on your talent and, I can assure you, they know this!
This does not mean you’re doomed to an empty summer. There are ways in which you can claw back something from this bad news. Firstly, if your main concern is how your CV will look to future employers, keep in mind that staying home and looking after yourself IS enough.
Take control of your CV
When it comes to the CV, you can showcase anything that demonstrates your skills. Therefore, you do not have to wipe your successful internship offer from history. Writing successful applications takes persuasion, self-confidence, and a proactive mindset. You could place this information in your Achievements or Work Experience section. If you do, it might look something like this:
Internship at XYZ - offer accepted. Cancelled due to COVID-19 Jul-Aug 20
- If this is in your work experience section, you could add a couple of bullet points underneath.
- The content of these bullet points depends on what you decide to do next.
To fill this section out, The National Association of Colleges and Employers suggests getting feedback on the accomplishments, experience, and skills that brought about this offer. If you would like to hear more of NACE's ideas, you can take a look at their article linked above.
You could also propose virtual ‘informational interviews’ with the people you would have been working with. This might involve designing an interview schedule to learn all about their roles. A move like this would show initiative, creativity, curiosity, and many other desirable qualities.
Further to this, if you’re feeling cut off, you could introduce yourself to senior professionals in your field and propose a virtual coffee date. According to Business Insider, networking thrives in the virtual landscape. This is one way to maintain a connection with your desired field or industry and feel like you’re still part of something. If you're considering these ideas, be aware that that no one expects this from you. It is just a way to help you feel better.
Embrace virtual working
What you’re going through now is a glowing example of handling a difficult situation. In future interviews you could highlight your experience working virtually as a strength that you can bring to an organisation. Merely getting through this pandemic is enough but if you are looking for ways to fill your time and develop those virtual skills, see below for suggestions.
- Try building your LinkedIn page. It can be much more than a virtual CV. Science of People offers a full guide to not only promoting yourself but adding value to the field or industry you’re in. My Future also has a rich selection of resources to help you with LinkedIn. It even contains the assessment matrix that we advisors use to help you build your profile.
- Consider Massive Online Open Courses. Saiyada’s blog on COVID-19 and Your Career has more suggestions in this area.
- Research using websites, podcasts, books, e-books, and even TED Talks on your desired skills.
Remember: Opportunities can be taken from you, but no one can take your knowledge!
Or just get through what lies ahead
If you are considering the above because you are in fear of being unemployable and/or you feel you’re not using your time well, this article by the Scientific American offers a refreshing perspective. Hopefully, after reading it, you will feel assured that you are doing the best you can in the face of unprecedented worldwide chaos. You never know, your future employer might be struggling with the same lockdown problems you’re dealing with now.
Since everything is shut down, you won’t need to explain why you’re not thriving in work at this time. In the end, looking after yourself will be the smartest move you can make.