Internships are a great way of learning invaluable skills in certain industries and professions. They provide people with the opportunities to work in a field that is directly related to the career path they want to pursue.
Internships can also help grow your network and help bolster your resume with experience to help prepare you for full-time employment.
Whatever stage in life you are in, it is not too late to start an internship. While many people around you seem to have great careers, it’s not them you should be focusing on.
Not everyone has it together as much as you think, either. Many are in the same position, trying to gain experience in certain fields but finding it challenging to move forward.
Sometimes, a well-crafted email can transform your fortunes in regards to finding an internship. Whether you’re a student or not, writing and forming a proper email can help your chances of finding an internship to start your journey toward your career goals.
When reaching out to different companies, it is important to perform sufficient research and plan your email properly. Doing so can help you find worthwhile opportunities.
In today’s article, we will be guiding you through how to construct an email when asking for an internship. We will go through some examples and list some helpful tips you can implement to get that internship that you have been striving for until now.
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Asking for an internship via email may feel intimidating but it shouldn’t be. Most of the time, those on the receiving end of the email are open to giving advice and help when possible. But, you have to know where to start before you build an email. The first step is research.
Begin by brainstorming the companies or places you want to reach out to. You can then ask about any possible internship opportunities.
If you’re interested in a specific company, search online on sites such as LinkedIn. Even your school’s alumni directory can help you find connections with your desired companies.
It’s all about networking! Maybe someone in your family or a friend has a contact from the place of work you are interested in. Whoever you find that may be important to the company, write them down and keep a list.
Once you have a list of everyone you want to reach out to, try and prioritize what order you want to contact each person. Ensure you find out something unique about each person so you can personalize your message.
Also, ensure you have a specific goal such as landing a specific internship or simply finding out a little more about any possible opportunities. If you have questions and goals ready early on, you will be ready when it comes to writing your email.
Approach The Company
Once you have researched the company or companies you want to intern at via online services or job boards, you should contact them. Request additional information about any possible internship opportunities. This is where the email comes into the equation.
When emailing, you need to make a good first impression. Let’s take a look at how to properly construct an email for an internship.
Building Your Email
You should always begin your email with an appropriate greeting. As this is one of the first things your recipient will see, it’s vital you make a good impression.
Also, do not send your email from an old email you made in school that may sound unprofessional or whacky. If you haven’t got one, create a new professional-looking email to use.
When emailing someone you have never met such as a recruiter, it’s considered polite to begin with “Dear Mr./Ms./etc” followed by their last name.
This is where your research comes in as you should know what your recipient’s pronouns are. If you couldn’t find out, simply write “Dear [First name] [Last name].
If your research found that the recipient may prefer informal messages, you can simply start with “Dear [First name].”
Some professions require you to write “Doctor,” “Professor,” and so on. Therefore, you should make sure you use the correct greeting for such individuals.
If you know the person you are writing to, you can be very informal and simply write “Hi [First name] but this is quite rare. It’s usually best to stick to a formal tone when cold-emailing a recruiter as this is more professional.
Mention Your Connections
When emailing, always reference how you’re connected to them or the company. Maybe they are someone you have met, studied under, or are a family friend. For professors, reference some classes you have been to and their work that you have been interested in.
For companies, simply mention how you came to hear about the company or if another connection referred you to them.
Discuss What Interests You About An Internship
Next, you need to show that you have done your research and you’re not just sending out a generalized, mass email to different employers and recruiters. Highlight what excites you about this specific internship or something about the company that is related to what interests you.
When emailing about a specific internship, reference the aspects of it that you would find interesting and exciting to work on.
Simply explain why you are interested in working for this specific company or department. Even if there isn’t a current internship available, this opens the door of one being created.
Also, your recipient is more likely to want to help if you seem genuinely interested and enthusiastic about the company.
Do Not Be Vague
So many emails go unnoticed because the writer did not make any specific requests. Be specific about who you are and what you’re looking for. This will make it a lot easier for the recipient to act on your request.
For instance, you could ask to find out more about the company or organization or ask to meet up with someone from the company to discuss internships. Ask if an internship could be created if there isn’t one yet.
You want the recipient to understand what it is you hope to achieve going forward. Take small first steps. Ask for a phone call, a meeting, or further emails. If you’re enthusiastic and specific, you stand a better chance of getting further.
Keep The Email Short
It’s important to keep your email short to show that you appreciate you are taking up the reader’s time.
- Introduce yourself
- Highlight your specific interests regarding an internship
- Ask for what you are looking for
- Propose the next step (phone call, meeting, etc.)
Be concise. Remember, you’re just one of many emails the recipient will be reading that day so, even if they want to help, they are busy and are more likely to respond to emails that are to the point and succinct. As long as your message is plain and clear to see, it will make it easier for them to respond.
Attach Your Resume
Lastly, you should attach an up-to-date resume to your email and, in some cases, a cover letter. However, cover letters are generally for specific postings that are separate from internships.
Make sure your resume is tailored to the occupation you are interested in. You can even update it to be tailored exactly to the internship role you are applying for.
A resume allows you to demonstrate all of your credentials, qualifications, and interests that you couldn’t fit in the email. If these align with the role, you are more likely to receive some correspondence from the recipient.
It can be nerve-wracking when it comes to writing an email for an internship but if you prepare properly, you stand a better chance of getting a reply.
Even if you don’t get an internship this time, it’s a step in the right direction and you would have possibly made another connection to help you work toward your career goals.
You never know. You may get an email down the line from someone you connected with via email and that may be the opportunity of a lifetime.