Email Tips for College Students to land the Internship of Their Dreams
February 27, 2016
Being a college student can be rough. With a careful balance between academics, social life, looming finals, and, for some, the anticipation of graduation, there is often not enough time to consider what happens after the degree. For college students, school is their currently livelihood, their job that they are putting all their mind to, but college and universities are a very different environment from everyday work life.
In order to transition securely from school to work life, an internship is a student's best bet. They give the experience that will help them later in life and help students determine their desired field of work.
However, a big roadblock can be getting an internship in the first place. For most universities, you have dozens, at the least, graduating or majoring in a field close enough to yours making them just as qualified for the same internship as you. This makes every opportunity a possible dog fight. So how do you get a leg up?
To land that internship the best way is to start off great: not good, great. To do that, you start with the opening email that requests the internship. This email would include the resume and cover letter, which would have hopefully been looked over by a school career center advisor.
The Email Structure
The email should start with a formal greeting and the name and prefix of the personnel who handles the hire such as "Dear Mr. Brian Woodrow".
The first paragraph should be 2 to 3 sentences long and will include your name, the school you are applying from, and what position you are interested in. Express your availability and reason for applying for the position in the paragraph as well.
The second paragraph is the body of the email and will hold the meat of your application in around four sentences. This should explain your reason for choosing them specifically to apply for and any experience you have, in general, with the position you are vying for. It would be good to include some pointers toward your resume and cover letter such as "I worked on the school paper: my resume explains the details of the position" to give some subtle encouragements to keep looking.
For the conclusion be sure to make it a piece of action. Give your phone and email, and it may aso be beneficial to schedule a time that you will reach out to them for information on the follow up. Don't make it sound like a question: there will be a follow up. Take a little initiative. Be confident in yourself!
Email Etiquette and Additional Advice
Throughout the email there should be a balance between graciousness towards the company you are applying to but hold a measure of confidence in your ability. This can be a complicated balance and, for such an important part of the application process, it is not unheard of to spend hours going over the words of a relatively small email.
Before sending the email, make sure the subject line is eye catching and explains the purpose of the email. "Creative Journalist student looking for experience" is a simple sentence that gives strength, your professional ability, and a purpose of the email.
Finally, send it and give yourself a reward for stepping up to try and improve your work ability and well roundedness.