As a college student, asking for an internship can seem very nerve-racking, especially when everyone else around you is landing one except you. However, you don’t need to worry because here we’ll tell you how to do it, from researching what internships fit you best and building a solid application to finding the right person to contact and reaching out to them. Sometimes, the only thing separating you from the best internship of your life is a well-crafted email.
To ask for the desired internship, you first need to prepare. Some steps must be taken beforehand to increase your chances of getting a positive answer.
Before anything else, you need to get curious and start researching all the opportunities and open internships available. Take note of the ones that spark your interest and those you desire to be chosen for.
Keep in mind the organizations and companies you would like to work for and pay special attention to the requirements and deadlines each internship has so that you can be sure you can apply to them. Tools like LinkedIn can be of much help when it comes to reaching out to people you want to work with.
As we said before, preparation is key, so before sending in your email or application, ensure you have a hefty skillset ready to be put to work. Asking yourself if you have what it takes to excel in this job is one of the most challenging questions to ask for an internship. That means acquiring all the experiences you can that are relevant to the position you want to land. This will be positive for your resume and future employers, as they usually value students who are not only willing to learn but also are proactive and experienced when it comes to getting the job.
Crafting a strong application and a professional email is one of the most important aspects of asking someone for an internship. Regardless of the kind of internship you’re after or who you’re asking for it, there are some key tips you want to follow to secure your journey to success.
A cover letter is a one-page document you send with your resume that provides additional information about skills and experiences related to the job you’re pursuing. This is important as it is the first thing your potential employer will read about you.
It has to be simple but professional, addressing the employer in a friendly but formal way. Try to be engaging and keep it short, as people who read these are generally very busy and don’t have much time to read. Stick to the information strictly relevant to the internship. It is very advisable to personalize the cover letter so that it can be in accordance with the person you’ll be sending it to.
Your resume needs to be perfectly polished before sending in your application. This means tailoring it according to the job you are trying to land. Include all experiences and previous jobs that relate to the desired position in an organized way and emphasize the skills that make you perfect for it. In addition, try to make yourself easy to contact so that employers don’t bump into any obstacles when contacting you.
Now that we’ve done all the necessary preparation, it’s time to contact the person who can lead you to your next big opportunity.
Finding the right person to approach is the key to the whole process. Most internships and sites leave a way of contacting employers if you want to apply, so addressing these people using the form of contact they’ve left is the best option.
However, what happens when you want to contact someone without their contact information? Well, there are ways to go around that problem. As said previously, LinkedIn and other networking sites are suitable for this kind of situation. Look them up online and try to find doors you can go through. If it’s a company, search for their website and find an email to which you can send your application.
Writing a compelling email that starts with a professionally written greeting is the safest bet when asking for an internship. The tone is also important; sometimes, it is better to err on the formal side. Don’t forget to state who you are, how you are connected to this person, or how you heard about the opportunity/company. If necessary, follow up after the initial contact so they know you are very interested and enthusiastic.
This is a step that can intimidate the most experienced candidates. Nevertheless, you should be fine sticking to the basics and giving it your all. Besides that, remember to dress appropriately and ask questions about the internship, the kind of job, the tasks involved, and what a typical day might look like for you working as an intern. Answer questions honestly, but highlight all the value you can bring to the company and how you can help them grow. Be confident and thank the interviewer for their time when it’s all done.
Asking for an internship offer is a major step in every student’s academic journey, so much so that the whole process can seem frightening when you’re just starting. But even so, there are ways to make it easier and more enjoyable. That means you don’t need to panic: just start researching and making contact, as you can be an email away from the best internship that can kick-start your career.