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I worked as a remote unpaid intern for less than 3 months. It has been more than three years since the internship. Is it ok to omit the internship on my resume as I only have an offer letter, the company is no more, and there are no payslips as it is unpaid and in the US?

I am planning to come back to India in a few years, and when I search for a job in India is it ok to omit that internship on my resume? Will it show up in background checks?

This internship was straight out of completing my Master's and I was not employed between the internship and my Masters program

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    Were the internships related to the field or industry you plan to go back to when returning? What are your reasons for not wanting to include those internships on your resume?
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:15
  • I have only offer letter and no other proof and the company is no more as well so I dont have any one to reach out to
    – netautodev
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:24
  • did you learn something from that internship? Was it relevant to your field of work?
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:27
  • not much honestly it was less than 3 months and they took a while to start the training as it was remote. I am more concerned with not having any exp letters
    – netautodev
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:28
  • Did your internship end well or in good terms? Are you saying that you have no other internship or job experience? (Will edit my answer after hearing your feedback)
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:33
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Updated answer:

Now that you have clarified some things I think you should mention it, so you don't have a gap on your resume to explain, but don't make it the most important thing you mention there.

I hold what suggested earlier: Focus on including paid jobs that you've held for at least 6 months, and most importantly jobs that relate to the one you are applying. (As we usually say here "You should tailor your resume for the specific job you are applying to)."

Now, if this internship is not related to the job you will apply to, then I would suggest you follow my original advise and don't mention it.

Anyways, if a background check ever finds it you should be prepared to explain about this short experience you had.


(Original Answer)

Given all the details you mention I would suggest you don't put it on your resume.

It was a really short time (3 months), it was 3 years ago (plus the years that pass from today and the day you go back to India) and as you mention in comments you didn't learn much from it (if you include it and they ask about it during interviews what are you going to say why it was useful or what you learned?... Not much right...).

I suggest you include or focus on other experiences you have had. Try giving more importance to actual paid jobs you've had, ideally ones that you held for 6 months at the very least, and ones that you actually learned something and are related to the job you plan to seek.

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  • Thanks for the response. it was very helpful. And incase they ask about the gap of three months i can just say that I worked as an unpaid intern and that i only have offer letter right?I am not doing anything illegal or would be caught in background check?
    – netautodev
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:34
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    @netautodev please add those details to your post (by editing it). What do you mean by gap? Were you employed in between of that internship? Did you have a paid job during the time you had that internship? Plus the questions I asked under your post
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:36
  • Added my edit @DarkCygnus
    – netautodev
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:40
  • thanks, updated my answer... cleaning comments shortly
    – DarkCygnus
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:41
  • But is not mentioning illegal? or will it be caught in background check?
    – netautodev
    Sep 4 '20 at 1:45
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When dealing with CVs and the work experience, there are few questions you should answer to yourself:

  • Is this experience relevant? Does it increase your chances of being hired or not? If you don't have any experience prior to that internship, I would most likely list it on my resume, because in that case having something is better than 0.
  • Being paid or not usually means little or nothing to employeer. - They're looking for soft skills and technical skills, and whether you earned some money on the way or not, that's out of the question.
  • If you think you have enough experience, that is - you have some other workplaces and or better companies to showcase, do omit it, since for most of the time, the most up to date experience matters. I don't think employer would care much for your internship after 20 years, he/she would look for 5-10 years at most.

Having said that, like the other answer, if a background check finds it, be prepared to answer it.

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