How to Write a Cold Email to Land the Internship of Your Dreams

Internship cold email

A cold letter is a cover letter sent to a company that is not currently seeking new employees or interns. It is an unsolicited attempt to convince a company that they should take you on despite not advertising any available positions. While it may seem like a less-promising tactic when compared to applying for an open position, it can actually be quite effective when you take the right approach.

After all, internships frequently lead to jobs with the same company and increase your odds of securing employment in your field. Here are a few tips on writing a cold email for your dream internship.

Identify Several Potential Contacts

If you only email one person, you are less likely to make the connection you need in order to gain an internship. Research the company and identify as many potentially helpful contacts as possible. For an internship, you may want to try the manager of the area you are interested in, the appropriate hiring manager, and maybe a few employees within the desired area for advice on how to get in touch with the people who make hiring decisions.

Have a Good Hook

If you’re going to try to convince a company to hire you despite not needing any new interns, you better have a good hook to get their attention. You need to explain quickly and concisely why they should consider creating a position for you. Talk about how hiring you would benefit the company and why you are so invested in fitting yourself into the company. You should also bring up any skills that would improve your chances of being noticed by the company.

Keep Your Email Short

Since your email is going to be unexpected and unsolicited, your contacts are not going to want to read an entire novel. You need to narrow your points down to just a few sentences, communicating as effectively as possible so that your reader will grasp what you want without extra effort. You should also be sure to make room for a “thank you” line. Even if you may not hear from the person, you should thank them for their time. Keep things polite and professional. Need help with writing the right email, check out these cold email templates.

Express an Interest in Communicating Further

Your email should end by requesting a time to speak with the person further about the possibility of an internship. Let them know that you will be following up and when but also provide any necessary contact information in case they get back to you first. If they are nearby, ask to speak to them in person. If not, a phone call is your next best option.

Cold emailing may not always be successful but if done properly and persistently, your odds of landing a dream internship become much higher. Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the company and identify several potential contacts. Email them with a clear, persuasive hook while keeping things short and concise.

Always be sure to thank them for their time and keep the formatting professional. Your end goal is to either secure a physical meeting or a phone call to discuss your opportunities further. Provided you stay positive, persistence, and professional, you may well be just steps away from landing that internship.

James Mitchell recently left a stressful career in finance because he wanted to find a more fulfilling career. Today, he is working as a freelance consultant. In addition to his new career, he enjoys volunteering for and finds it very rewarding to connect young people with lucrative career opportunities.

Image via Pixabay by Sprachschuleaktiv

4 thoughts on “How to Write a Cold Email to Land the Internship of Your Dreams

  1. Hi! My name is Ashton Umbarger and I am a senior at Southeast Missouri State University, studying Public Relations. After reading this article, I thought a lot about the tips you have given and providing an explanation on how to master ‘Cold Emailing’. I have never thought about this technique being something I could do and end up being so beneficial for my future. You mention “Have a Good Hook” as one of your main points and the email being concise, while listing some of your major skills that could be of major benefit in landing this internship. My question for you is, how do you go about listing your skills and not sounding like you’re trying too hard for this position or you thinking too highly of yourself to the employer?
    Thank you!

    1. Rather than focus on what you want to tell the prospective employer, begin with what he/she needs. Tailor bullet points about yourself that directly address each of the things they’re seeking. Hiring managers only focus on those who clearly demonstrate capabilities they want. And keep whatever you say short. Never more than three well-written paragraphs that are visually attractive. Don’t write sentences if bullet points can convey the same message.

  2. Hello,
    My name is Casie Levy and I am studying public relations at Southeast Missouri State University and after reading this article I had a question.
    In the section Identify Several Potential Contacts, you bring up that you should email many people to build up potential contacts. That you can do some research on getting their information. I was wondering what is a good way to do that investigating? I know previously finding contact information for a company can be difficult. What is the best way to find their contact information?

    1. LinkedIn is an amazing research and networking tool. You can find people who work in your target companies, and you’ll often find people you know are in their network. I encourage my students to make it a point to have 500+ LinkedIn connections before they graduate. If you do that, you will have created a network that helps you land your next job.

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