Cold Outeach
8 min read

How to Cold Email for an Internship: A Step-by-Step Guide

Looking for an internship but don't know how to cold email? Look no further! Our step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know to craft the perfect cold email and land your dream internship.
Written by
Vikas Jha
Published on
June 22, 2023

Are you on the hunt for an internship, but struggling to get your foot in the door? You may have heard that cold emailing can be an effective way to secure an internship opportunity. But where do you begin? In this guide, we’ll break down the process into simple and actionable steps to help you craft the perfect cold email and land that dream internship.

Understanding Cold Emailing for Internships

What is a Cold Email?

A cold email is an unsolicited email that is sent to someone you have no prior relationship with. In the context of internships, cold emailing involves reaching out to companies or individuals in your desired industry in the hope of securing an internship opportunity.

When crafting a cold email, it is important to keep in mind that you are essentially introducing yourself to the recipient. You want to make a good first impression and showcase your skills and qualifications in a concise and professional manner.

One way to do this is to research the company beforehand and mention specific projects or initiatives that you find interesting. This shows that you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in the company's work.

Why Cold Email for Internships?

Cold emailing for internships can be a strategic way to get your foot in the door with companies you admire. Many internships are not advertised or may have limited spots, so sending a well-crafted email can help you stand out and demonstrate your interest in the company.

Additionally, cold emailing allows you to showcase your communication skills and initiative, two qualities that are highly valued in the workplace. By taking the initiative to reach out to a company, you are demonstrating that you are proactive and eager to learn.

Another benefit of cold emailing is that it allows you to expand your network and make valuable connections. Even if the company is not currently offering an internship, they may keep your information on file for future opportunities or refer you to other companies in the industry.

Overall, cold emailing can be a valuable tool in your internship search. With careful research and a well-crafted email, you can increase your chances of securing an internship and making valuable connections in your desired industry.

Preparing to Write Your Cold Email

Research Potential Companies and Contacts

Before you start crafting your cold email, it’s important to do your research. Identify companies that align with your career goals and values and research them thoroughly. This will help you understand the company’s mission, values, and culture. You can also learn about the company’s recent projects, news, and events.

Look for potential contacts within the company who may be able to help you or point you in the right direction. This is where LinkedIn can come in handy – search for employees or alumni who work at the company you’re interested in and reach out to them if appropriate. You can also attend job fairs and networking events to meet people in your desired industry.

Tailor Your Email to the Company and Role

Once you’ve identified a company and contact, it’s important to tailor your email to the specific company and role you’re interested in. Avoid generic emails that can give the impression that you’ve sent the same email to multiple companies. Instead, show that you’ve researched the company and have a specific reason why you want to intern there.

For example, if you’re interested in interning at a marketing agency, you can mention a recent campaign the company launched and explain why you found it impressive. You can also mention skills or experiences you have that align with the company’s values and needs.

Create a Professional Email Address

Before you start crafting your email, make sure you have an email address that looks professional. Consider using your name or a combination of your name and industry keywords to create an email address that reflects you as a professional. Avoid using email addresses that are too casual or inappropriate, such as “partygirl123” or “hotdude69”.

Having a professional email address can help you make a good first impression and show that you take your career seriously. It can also make it easier for potential employers to find and remember you.

Remember, the cold email is just the first step in the process of getting an internship or job. Be patient and persistent, and follow up with your contacts if you don’t hear back from them. Good luck!

Crafting the Perfect Cold Email

Writing an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line

When crafting your subject line, make sure it’s attention-grabbing and to the point. Avoid using generic subject lines like “Internship Opportunity” and instead choose something more specific and relevant to the company you’re contacting.

For example, if you’re applying for an internship at a marketing agency, try using a subject line like “Aspiring Marketing Professional Seeking Internship at XYZ Agency.” This not only shows your interest in the company but also highlights your career aspirations.

Introducing Yourself and Your Intentions

Your opening paragraph should introduce yourself and indicate your intention. Be concise and to the point – focus on what you can offer the company and why you would be a good fit for the internship.

For instance, if you’re applying for a social media marketing internship, you could start your email by saying, “My name is Jane Doe, and I am a recent graduate with a degree in Marketing. I am writing to express my interest in the Social Media Marketing Internship position at XYZ Company. As an avid user of social media platforms and a strong believer in the power of digital marketing, I believe I would be a great fit for this internship.”

Highlighting Your Skills and Experience

Use the body of your email to highlight your relevant skills and experience. Focus on what you can bring to the table and how your unique skillset can benefit the company.

For example, if you’re applying for a graphic design internship, you could mention your proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite and your experience designing logos and marketing materials for previous clients or projects. You could also highlight any relevant coursework or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your passion and commitment to the field.

Demonstrating Your Interest in the Company

Show that you’ve done your research on the company and demonstrate why you’re excited about the opportunity to intern there. This can help to build a personal connection and demonstrate your commitment to the company’s values and mission.

For instance, if you’re applying for an internship at a non-profit organization, you could mention a specific project or initiative that the organization has undertaken that resonates with you. You could also highlight any volunteer experience or community involvement that aligns with the organization’s mission.

Attaching a Professional Resume and/or Portfolio

Make sure to attach a professional resume and/or portfolio to your email to showcase your experience and work samples.

Your resume should be concise and tailored to the specific internship you’re applying for. Make sure to highlight your relevant experience and skills, and use action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Your portfolio should showcase your best work and demonstrate your skills and creativity.

By following these tips, you can craft a cold email that stands out from the crowd and increases your chances of landing your dream internship.

Following Up on Your Cold Email

When it comes to cold emailing for an internship, following up is just as important as sending the initial email. It shows that you are truly interested in the opportunity and willing to take the initiative to follow up.

When to Follow Up

It’s important to give the company some time to review your initial email before following up. Typically, waiting a week or two is appropriate. If you still haven’t heard back after that time, it’s appropriate to follow up with a polite email.

However, it’s important to avoid being pushy or demanding in your follow-up email. Remember, the company is likely receiving many emails and may need some time to respond. Keep your follow-up email concise and to the point.

How to Write a Polite Follow-Up Email

In your follow-up email, reiterate your interest in the internship opportunity and thank the company for taking the time to review your initial email. You can also ask if there’s any additional information you can provide to help them make a decision. This shows that you’re still interested in the opportunity and are willing to take the initiative to follow up.

It’s important to keep in mind that the company may have already filled the internship position or may not be interested in your candidacy. However, following up can still leave a positive impression and show that you are proactive and eager to learn.

Handling Rejections and Moving Forward

If you receive a rejection email, it’s important to handle it professionally and move forward. Thank the company for their time and consideration and ask if they have any advice for you as you continue your internship search. This can help you gain valuable feedback and improve your chances of finding an internship in the future.

Remember, rejection is a natural part of the job search process. It’s important to stay positive and keep applying to other opportunities. You never know when the perfect internship opportunity may come along.

Tips for Cold Emailing Success

Proofreading and Editing Your Email

Before hitting send, make sure to proofread and edit your email for any typos or grammatical errors. A well-crafted and professional email can make a big difference in how your email is received.

When proofreading your email, it can be helpful to read it out loud to catch any awkward phrasing or mistakes. You can also use online tools such as Grammarly to check for errors.

Remember, your email is often the first impression you make on a potential employer, so taking the time to polish it can pay off in the long run.

Utilizing Networking Opportunities

Networking can be a powerful tool in helping you secure an internship opportunity. Attend networking events, connect with professionals on LinkedIn, and reach out to alumni or friends who may have connections in your desired industry.

When attending networking events, it’s important to come prepared with business cards and a clear elevator pitch about yourself and your career goals. You should also be prepared to ask thoughtful questions and actively listen to the professionals you meet.

Networking can also be a great way to learn about potential internship opportunities that may not be advertised publicly. By building relationships with professionals in your desired industry, you may be able to uncover hidden opportunities and gain valuable insights into the industry.

Staying Organized in Your Internship Search

As you send out cold emails and navigate the job search process, it’s important to stay organized. Keep track of which companies you’ve contacted, when you’ve followed up, and any other relevant information that can help you stay on top of the process.

You can use tools such as spreadsheets or job search apps to keep track of your progress. It’s also important to set goals for yourself and create a timeline for your internship search.

Staying organized can help you stay motivated and focused, and can also make it easier to follow up with potential employers in a timely and professional manner.

Cold Emailing Success Stories

Real-Life Examples of Successful Cold Emails

One successful cold email example involves a college student who secured an internship at a tech startup. In her email, she demonstrated her passion for the company’s mission and highlighted her relevant experience. This led to an interview and ultimately an offer for the internship.

Another Successful Cold Email Story

Another successful cold email story involves a recent graduate who landed a job at a marketing agency. In his email, he not only highlighted his relevant experience and skills, but also included a creative idea for a marketing campaign that he believed would benefit the company. This caught the attention of the hiring manager and led to an interview, where he was able to further showcase his skills and enthusiasm for the role.

Lessons Learned from Successful Cold Emailers

Successful cold emailers often demonstrate a combination of passion, skill, and professionalism in their emails. They show a genuine interest in the company and take the time to research and tailor their emails to the role and company they’re interested in. And of course, they follow up politely and remain persistent in their job search.

It’s important to note that cold emailing can be a numbers game. You may have to send out many emails before receiving a response. However, each email should still be personalized and well-crafted.

Additionally, it’s important to have a clear and concise subject line that will catch the recipient’s attention. Avoid using generic subject lines such as “Job Inquiry” or “Internship Opportunity”. Instead, try to be more specific and creative, such as “Marketing Graduate with a Passion for Social Media” or “Recent College Grad with a Creative Marketing Idea”.

Finally, don’t be afraid to follow up. A polite and professional follow-up email can show your enthusiasm for the role and remind the recipient of your application. However, be sure to give the recipient enough time to respond before sending a follow-up email.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to cold email for an internship or job, it’s time to put these tips into action. Remember, a well-crafted email can make all the difference in securing that dream opportunity.

What is Alore?

Email Warmer

Generate real engagement to Warm Up Your Email Address without any human intervention

Drip Campaigner

Send emails that generate new business opprotunities for you

Collaborative Inbox

Improve team performance & customer experience - manage multiple email addresses from one place