Jul 01 2022

How to Write a Professional Email Asking for an Internship?

Adela Belin photo Adela Belin Content strategist and writer
Internships & Careers

As you graduate and step out of the college gates, you will enter a world of internships, freelance opportunities, and fresher jobs. As you explore more, you realize that your first step is to land a quality internship position in a credible organization.

Original: SourceBefore you know it, you’ll have to start writing professional emails asking for an internship.

Importance of Writing Professional Internship Request Emails

Internships help students gain hands-on experience. This enhances and develops their knowledge, exposure, and valuable skills in the workplace. Internships are an excellent opportunity to learn the works and ropes of a company and are the perfect way to avail networking opportunities.

An internship email request is usually addressed to the HR or hiring manager of the desired organization, or a job recruiter looking to hire students. This type of email is meant to persuade the hiring manager to accept you as an intern in their company.

Internship request emails need to stand out, be to the point and have relevant information in them. It should also include a cover letter to explain in brief why they should pick you to be an intern in their company.

10 Factors to Consider While Writing a Professional Email Asking for an Internship

There are several others like you who are probably vying for the same internship. What will help you stand out is a well-crafted, professional internship request email.

Here are 10 factors you must consider while writing a professional email asking for an internship.

Determine your industry or niche

Before you start looking for recruiters or jobs, you must know the niche or job industry your interest lies. Find out what kind of internship you are interested in, and where you could experience growth and inherit industry-specific knowledge.

You can look for internship opportunities through LinkedIn, job boards, and your school’s alumni directory to find relevant connections or even career placement options.

Start evaluating your priorities and understanding what you need from your internship. If there are specific needs required to complete your internship, such as earning extra credit, preparing for your future career, or looking for job prospects through the internship, make sure to pick opportunities that fulfill these needs.

Similarly, it is also important to consider factors such as financial issues and if you can afford to work unpaid, personal interests, corporate culture, employee experience, and more, and keep them aligned with your goals.

Do thorough research

Once you’ve figured out what kind of industry you would like to specialize in and do your internship in, it is time to now look for related companies or recruiters who can help you in landing an ideal internship opportunity.

This also narrows down the list of companies and recruiters you would want to approach, making it easier to reach out to these companies for more information regarding their internship availability.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a specific company to intern with, go to their website and learn more about the company. Look up who you’d be conversing with and what job or internship opportunities are available.

This will lead you to craft personalized emails to each recruiter, for each company that you are interested in, with the prior knowledge you already have after researching everything about them. Eventually, this would catch the attention of recruiters or the hiring team of your desired organization.

Identify the position you’re seeking

Find out the position and role that will suit you the most, and state clearly what you desire out of this internship opportunity.

This will also make you come across as a detail-oriented candidate who pays attention to the company announcements, knows the job market space, has prior quality knowledge, and is willing to learn more and contribute to the company.

Adjust your resume & cover letter accordingly

Even though your question about the internship is the same, it is beneficial for students to personalize their email according to who or what company they are reaching out to, instead of a generic one that shows no originality and minimal effort.

Since you have most likely researched the company and its recruiters, try to find a common interest and use it while asking about the internship availability. This would make it easier to catch the recruiter’s attention and establish a well-rounded conversation.

Adjust your resume according to each company you apply to, use keywords in your cover letter as well as in your resume that the company uses for AI resume screening to showcase their goals, missions, the scope of work, field of work, work culture, strengths, career opportunities, etc.

Use a good subject line

Recruiters get a lot of emails and sift through them every day. So, the best thing you can do to immediately catch the eye of your recruiter is to write a specific, short, and straightforward email subject line that’ll hook their interest to open your email in the first place.

Examples of a bad subject line:
  • Dylan Ross - Internship Application.
  • Internship Request for Regina Hill.
Examples of a good subject line:
  • Fall Engineering Internship Application: Lucas Craine.
  • Johanna Sergey: Internship Application for X Company.

Highlight your skills and interests

When sending cold call application emails to specific companies or recruiters, it is important to show them that you’ve done your research on the company and aren't just sending generic emails.

That is why you should showcase your interests by highlighting what kind of projects related to the internship excite you. Let recruiters know what you wish to achieve and learn through the opportunity, and elaborate on the aspects of the internship role that interests you, and will eventually enhance your career growth.

Make sure to include why you would like to work with this particular company or department, and how your skills and academic interests would be aligning with the company’s work ethics and professional profile.

As an intern, you would most likely not have enough experience in your specific industry, but you can use your academic achievements and projects to demonstrate what you’ve achieved in the past and how.

Here’s a fascinating video by Improvement Pill about finding your passion.


Explain how you’d be a good fit

Learn more about what this particular internship offers, and requires out of its interns through the internship description.

Tailor and add key information in your email accordingly, and craft a weighty statement describing how you are an ideal candidate for this internship position, how you can contribute to the successes of the company, and why you should be chosen for this opportunity.

Highlight your best skills, assets, achievements, and methods that align with the internship objectives, making the decision to hire you a ‘plus point’ to their company.

Make your specific request

This is the time to explain what your expectations are and what you are looking to gain out of this internship. Don't be vague about what you want, be specific – your priorities should be stated clearly and aligned with your career goals. This will make it easier for your recruiter to understand you and what you’re looking for in their organization.

If you are looking for a specific internship position, add either a reference number or a link to the job posting in your email. If it's an internship request for a position to be created in their company, you can specify what field you are interested in and how you would be an asset to the company.

Add credible references

If you have references – people who would vouch for your work – add them to your email with their designation, valid contact details and if required, a letter of recommendation.

Make sure these references are relevant to the internship position or the company you’re applying to. It could be your professor, mentors, previous organization, etc.

If there are no relevant references you can trust, avoid adding any in your email, as it is better to have no references than references that can cause hurdles for you to get your desired internship.

Similarly, if you have any sources in the company you’re applying to, highlight the connection you have to them, and how they referred the internship opportunity to you.

Ask questions

Before you hit ‘submit’, think of asking any questions you might have missed during your research about the organization, scope of work, employee experience, etc.

Through this you show your employer that you have further interest in the position, are eager to deliver quality work, and are going to put your full knowledge and effort into the deliverables.

Eventually, this is a method to impress your recruiters, leading to a higher chance of them replying to your email and considering your potential candidature.

Wrapping Up

Since internships are a vital element of academic reviews and future career opportunities, you can see why making the right impression through a professional email is a game-changer.

Every aspect of the email, right from writing the subject line to pushing your skill sets to a prospective recruiter, needs to go according to plan. You cannot afford to slip up on any of the steps involved in crafting that effective and well-worded email.

The steps suggested on how to write a professional email asking for an internship will go a long way in shedding light on areas of discomfiture or ambiguity, hand-holding you through the entire process. Good luck and happy interning!

last edit at Aug 09 2022