How to write an email asking for an internship
An internship is an incredible opportunity to get an insight into an industry and boost your career – but competition is high, and you’ll need to stand out if you want to secure the position – and we can help.
If you want a career in engineering, finance, or the creative industries, you’ll likely need to do one or more internships.
In this guide on how to write an email asking for an internship, we provide some essential strategies, break down the structure, and provide 9 successful samples.
Of course, we can’t guarantee that you’ll secure the role of your dreams, but follow our guide on how to write an email asking for an internship, and you’ll stand the best chance.
Tips for internship email
The experts advise you to send out between 10-20 internship emails every week. That’s a lot of messages to write, edit, and target – but it’s critical.
There are likely to be thousands of students and early-career professionals who are searching. If you’re unwilling to do the work, you’ll not get the position. It’s that simple.
To successfully secure an internship in any industry, you need to do your research, develop a strategy, and supply every piece of information the recruiter needs. Let’s break this down into steps:
1. Research the opportunity
If you want an internship with a business, you must demonstrate more than enthusiasm and skills – you have to use your initiative.
One of the biggest traps job seekers fall into is speaking about themselves too much. Some internship emails can read: “I want, I want, I want.” That’s going to leave recruiters cold. So instead of talking about you, flip it to focus on them.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- Is there something specific about the industry, the business, or the team that I find inspiring?
- What problems can I solve for this business?
- How can I sell my skills to this person?
- What can I offer that other candidates can’t?
By focusing on the recruiter, you can make your internship request more interesting to read and highly appealing. Instead of focusing on what the opportunity means to you, you’re offering evidence of how and where you can add value.
2. Attach your resume, contact details, and links to social media
An internship email aims to build a personal connection and pique someone’s interest.
Your email is about getting them to learn more – such as reading your CV and checking out your social profiles or personal blog. The idea is to do enough to get them to take the first step.
Some of the things you should include in every internship application email are:
- Your full name
- Phone number
- Relevant social media links (LinkedIn, Twitter)
- Links to portfolio or website (optional)
- Personal blog
Don’t overload the person with information; focus on what will help your application. For example, you might be proud of your teenage heavy metal band, but a banking recruiter might not be as impressed.
Another thing to consider here is the email address you use and the social profiles you share. When applying for an internship, use a professional email address (your name is best, but if you can’t secure that, go for something basic and bland).
If you’re sharing social profiles, be sure you want the person to see them. Recruiters will screen social media channels to look for anything that could impact their business. So be sure to sanitize your social media and remove any rude, offensive, or plain stupid social posts.
3. Remember to follow-up
Businesses will receive tens, hundreds, and, for the most popular opportunities, thousands of applications. So, should you follow up if you are still waiting for a reply?
A follow-up email to an internship application demonstrates interest, enthusiasm, and perseverance – all traits you’ll need to be successful in your career.
In some cases, it can make you stand out against the competition, who may be happy to simply accept no for an answer.
More prosaically, your application may have been lost, discarded, or ignored. Sending a reminder ensures that it’s at the top of the recruiter's inbox – and that can’t be a bad thing.
Internship email format
You’re applying for a job with your internship email, so you’ll want to keep it professional and formal. To achieve that, you should follow a standard formal email format. That includes 5 core elements:
- Subject line
- Body copy
- Email ending
Let’s look at these in more detail and bring them to life.
1. Internship email subject line
Your subject line should be serious and state what the internship email is about. If the internship opportunity has been advertised, include the title and reference (if there is one) in the subject line. Here’s how that can work:
This works because it’s simple, clear, and targeted. Another reason for using a totally basic subject line is that the recipient is unlikely to read it straight away but to file it away for future reference.
Finally, a clear subject line (even one as dull as this) means there’s no way it’ll be mistaken for anything else.
If you’re emailing someone cold to ask about opportunities or introduce yourself to someone, you’ll need to take a different approach.
Your subject lines should aim to grab attention and encourage them to click open your email. They need to be engaging and fun but functional too. Here are a couple of examples:
- Do you have any internship opportunities?
- Experienced (engineer, marketer, scientist) searching for internship opportunities!
- Could I be your next intern?
Your internship email subject lines should be shaped around your industry and specialty. Also, ensure you test and learn, reviewing what subject lines get results and replies and those that don’t.
Over time, you’ll build up a picture of the subject lines that are performing best.
2. Internship email body
Your internship email body copy is where you put forward your case to the company contact. We provide some examples below of how you can write engaging internship email body copy, but the fundamentals of every effective email are:
- Introduce yourself, and explain why you’re emailing
- Provide insight into who you are
- List what you’re providing with the email (resume, links to social accounts, etc.)
There are no limitations on how long your emails can be, but we’d suggest being conscientious. Think about just how much time the person will have (not much) and how interested they will be (not much).
Our advice: keep it as short as possible.
3. Internship email end and sign-off
You’ll want to end your email on a high note, so ensure that you include the following:
- Set out the next steps (what you want from the person)
- Include contact details
- Provide a positive sign-off
When setting out the following steps, you should clarify what you are asking the person to do – and what you will do yourself. You’ll want to be friendly, not forceful – but you can set some timelines.
Don’t be afraid to say you’ll follow up on your messages, too, as it shows you’re serious about securing a position.
How to cold email for an internship
This cold email template for an internship is one you can copy, paste, and pump out to organizations that may be searching for interns.
This template provides the foundations, but you’ll need to fill it out with some information and provide some personality too.
Cold email template for internship
9 internship email examples
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Here are 9 internship email samples suitable for (almost) all situations you might experience. The internship email samples all follow the same standard format and include all the basic essentials.
You can copy and paste these examples, but a better way to use them is as the building blocks for your own internship emails. When you’re competing with hundreds of other applicants, originality pays!
How to write an internship request email
1. Internship request email sample
This email requesting an internship is a standard approach that covers all bases. You can see how we’ve built a case for them to consider you as a candidate and provided clear instructions on how to contact you.
2. Sample email to express interest in an internship
Sometimes you won’t want to apply for an internship, but indicate your interest – and here’s how. This sample email to express an internet in an internship focuses on the fundamentals and is about creating a connection.
You’ll need to add some extra information to customize it for your sector and specialty.
3. Internship introduction email sample
What’s an internship introduction? It’s a way to introduce someone you know who may be suitable for an opportunity. Read this internship introduction email sample, and it will soon become clear.
4. Sample follow-up email for internship
If you’re not received a reply to your original message, it’s time to send an internship follow-up email. The key here is to be professional, not pushy. Instead, you want to remind the recipient about the previous message and encourage them to open and reply to it. You’ll have to strike the right tone of voice to achieve this, or you could come across negatively.
5. Internship interview thank you email sample
Of course, an internship email is the start of the process. If you’ve been lucky enough to be invited to an internship interview, you should always send a thank you once you’re done. Use this internship thank you email sample to make the best impression on any interview panel.
How to respond to an internship offer email
6. Internship acceptance email sample
Woo hoo, you’ve been offered an internship (congratulations!). Now it’s time to create an accepted internship email.
Here’s how to accept an internship offer via email:
7. Internship rejection email sample
Sometimes, you may be offered an internship that you can’t accept. In most cases, this will be because you’ve accepted another.
Or it could be that the terms, conditions, or internship location aren’t acceptable. Whatever the reason, you can use this internship rejection email sample.
Here’s how to decline an internship offer via email:
How to write an email at the end of an internship
8. End of internship goodbye email sample
You’ve come to the end of your internship and have built bonds and made friends – so now is the time to say thank you.
An internship farewell email plays a part in securing your reputation and creating connections that could kickstart your career.
Here’s an excellent end-of-internship goodbye email sample.
9. Sample thank you email after internship
You can send a farewell email at any point, but there’s only one chance to send a last day of internship thank you email (on your last day!)
This sample is similar to the example above but is targeted at your colleagues rather than your boss (or bosses). So here’s our sample thank you email after an internship.
Internship email template
Flowrite's internship email template
There is no 100% right or wrong way to apply for an internship. But having an effective template, proper grammar, and email format will help, as you need to most likely send many, many emails to land you dream internship.
This is where Flowrite comes in. Flowrite's AI-powered smart templates can help you craft better emails, like this:
Final words on internship emails
Getting an internship isn’t easy. Unless you’re really lucky, you’ll need to spend days, weeks, and even months sending messages.
We can’t guarantee you’ll get an internship, but by following the information and advice in this guide, you’ll stand a great chance. The critical thing is to find ways to create connections, moving beyond the basics of your email to build a personal link.
No template alone can achieve this, you’ll need to work on it yourself – but put in the effort, and the rewards will be yours!
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