- How to ask for an internship through email
- How to ask for an internship in an email sample
- Additional factors to consider while drafting an internship application
- How to approach an alumnus for an internship
Internship plays an important role in every student’s life. It provides the field knowledge and experience required to get a break, and first-hand insights into what career to pursue.
But what is an internship? Internships are short-term job opportunities offered by companies to students to gain some entry-level experience to get a kick start in their careers.
Internship opportunities can be paid or unpaid and allow candidates to gather the relevant hard and soft skills along with the basic tricks of the trade to start in the field.
Based on your performance and your network-building capabilities during the internship, you can also convert your internship into a full-time job opportunity.
Now, as a student, it can be a bit of a task to get a recruiter’s attention for an opportunity, especially if your institution does not have a placement cell that can connect you to companies providing internships.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you have landed on the right blog. In this piece, we will take you through ways you can ask for an internship through email and how you can approach your alumni circle for the same.
How to ask for an internship through email
Once you have come across an internship opportunity, the next step is to apply for it. Applying/ asking for an internship through email is the most popular option.
However, you need to understand that writing a formal email is a completely different ball game so first, get acquainted with how to write a formal email and its etiquette tips. This will help you write a clear and concise email that grabs the recruiter’s attention for good.
While you familiarize yourself with the etiquettes, here are some additional tips you need to follow while drafting your email asking for an internship.
Appropriate email id
When creating a formal email id ensure that it has your first and last name in it, you can also add numerics such as your birthdate. In short, a formal email id will look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com.
Perfect the subject line
An impressive subject line is the key while writing an email since it is the first thing the recruiter will notice. An unclear or vague subject line may lead to your email getting ignored or landing in the recruiter’s spam folder.
The tip is to keep it brief, simple, and clear. Here’s a sample subject line:
“Application for a content writer internship opportunity”.
Use appropriate salutations
Another factor to be cautious of is to get the salutation on point. If you do not know the person make sure to keep it professional. Here’s how you can write a professional email salutation,
“ Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms (Last name of the person)
Or in case you do not feel comfortable with this approach, you can write it in the following manner.
“ Dear (First & Last name)
Get your intent across to the recruiter
The first sentence of the email body should clearly state your intention of writing the email. The recruiter gets bombarded with emails daily and they can’t unearth the email’s purpose after going through it entirely.
So, it is best to mention your purpose of writing in the opening sentence of the email for clarity.
Use formal language
An application for an internship falls under the category of a formal email. Therefore it is best to stick to formal language as it looks more polished, serious, and sincere adding weightage to your email.
Add your reference
Make sure to add your reference in case you have found out about the opportunity through a third person like a friend, senior, or alumnus. Mention their name and how you know the person in the email.
Highlight your interests
You need to show that you have done your homework when sending an email asking for an internship opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the recruiter.
So, mention what factors about the company or internship role actually got you interested and that you are not just shooting a mass email.
Always research the company well irrespective of whether you have found out about the opening from a friend, alumnus, or any other common source. You need to know about the company’s culture, mission and vision statements, etc.
Also, go through the company reviews to understand what you are signing up for, what the team is like, and what is the scope of learning opportunities. Research the company’s projects and achievements for your insights and utilize them as talking points in your interview.
You can take your research a step further by reaching out to people who became full-time employees from internships/ had taken up internships and asking them about their experience with the company. This will give you a clear idea of what to expect and how things function in the organization.
Contact the recruiting team
While applying for an internship, the recruiter information may not always be available, especially if you have come across the internship opportunity on your own. In that case, you can ring up the company and ask to speak with the respective person.
Ask them about the email address and contact details on which your application is to be sent. You can also take this opportunity to ask the recruiter about the requirement of a cover letter along with the resume, and so on.
How to ask for an internship in an email sample
Here’s a sample of how to ask for an internship through email.
Sub: Application for a content writing internship opportunity
Dear Anshika Sharma,
I am a first-year student of ABC University with an English literature major. I have recently come across a summer internship opportunity for a content writing role at your esteemed organization from one of your respected employees Mr. Ravi S.Malhotra, who also happens to be an alumnus of ABC University.
I have been following your team’s work for a while now and would appreciate it if I get the opportunity to learn from such a talented team. I would appreciate any information on how to get involved with your company. Please find attached my cover letter and resume for your perusal.
Additional factors to consider while drafting an internship application
Apart from these, do not forget to follow these basic protocols.
Tweak your social media accounts
Do monitor your social media accounts in case you are applying for an internship that requires creativity and you need to link them in your resume/cover letter.
Certain job profiles require you to be an extrovert and keep your social media accounts for public viewing. So check with the requirements of the job role and make the necessary changes to your social media accounts.
Tip: Apart from monitoring your posts, also check through the comments section and erase any comments that might dampen your chances of bagging the internship opportunity.
This is the main part of the internship application and the chance to make or break your opportunity to bag the interview call.
Tailor your resume
One size does not fit all is a golden rule in the job application process when asking for an internship opportunity.
Every company has a different requirement from their interns, making it important for an applicant to present their resume as per the company’s requirements to make the cut.
Read the job description carefully to understand the keywords in order of prevalence and tailor your resume accordingly.
In case you have not heard from the recruiter, you can send a follow-up email to find out about the status of your internship application. You can also take this opportunity to get constructive feedback about your application.
How to approach an alumnus for an internship
Are you in touch with your alumni? If not, now would be a good time to connect with them.
An alumnus is a former student of the same institution. He/she could be your immediate senior who has passed out or even someone of much seniority.
Now, in the case of immediate seniors, you still get the chance of building up a good network in the real world.
But what about the alumni who have passed out way before you entered the institution? How do you approach them? How do you break the ice since you are strangers?
Here are a few tips to help you build a rapport with an alumnus and approach them for an internship opportunity.
Connect with your alumni well in advance
It is downright rude to approach a person and straight away ask “Are there any openings in your organization?”
As a college freshman, you will be unsure, confused, and clueless about a lot of things, and career avenues might not even make it in the top 10 of your concerns at that time.
However, this might come back to bite you when you are in your final year and continue to remain clueless about what career you want, thus making internships important for you to have a final answer at the end of your college phase.
To build a meaningful rapport with an alumnus, it is best to start early in your fresher year. This will allow you enough time to gel with your alumni and also help you to explore your career opportunities in an organized manner as you will have enough time to be guided in the right direction.
Introduce yourself correctly
The adage first impression is the last impression plays a crucial role when you have to introduce yourself to an alumnus who can help you in more ways than one.
So, when you introduce yourself, keep it simple and mention the following:
- Introduce your name, Batch year, and Major course
- Mention how you came across his/her contact
- Politely state the purpose of reaching out
- Attach resume
Here’s how you can write to your alumnus.
My name is Anshika Sharma, I am a first-year student of English at XYZ University. I got your contact from the Alumni Association Contacts. I am writing to you to ask for 30 minutes of your time to discuss your line of work, and if you could kindly guide me as to how to prepare for the field’s demands. I am also attaching my resume to give you an overview of my education and experience.
With the last line, you are offering your resume to the alumnus for an understanding of your education history and experience instead of asking it to be forwarded to HR. This provides you the chance to bond with the person instead of making him/her feel like you just want a favor from them.
Ask relevant questions
Next, ensure you ask relevant questions to get to know the person. For example, “How did you decide what you wanted to do?”, “What news and social media accounts do you follow for industry updates?”, “What are the career growth opportunities in this field?”, and so on.
These questions show that you are genuinely interested in building rapport with the person and are serious about your career decisions.
Reach out periodically
Do not forget to send a thank you message/ email the next day after you have had a conversation with your alumnus. Not only is it a basic courtesy but you can also mention what piqued your curiosity.
You can also send them congratulatory messages when you come across any milestone achievement of their respective organizations or have any questions regarding any industrial development.
This will keep a communication line open and also highlight that you are genuinely interested in building a rapport by taking interest in them and their line of work.
We hope these tips help you in navigating the question of how to ask for an internship. Apart from perfecting the email template for an internship opportunity, do check out how to write a cover letter for internships.
You can also prepare internship interview questions and common interview questions to prepare for the interview.
All the Best!