Sending a cold email is an effective way of looking for internships. If you have just completed your formal education and are looking for a break in the industry but do not have enough contacts and recommendations, sending a cold email can help you attract the attention of potential employers.
Contrary to popular belief, although cold emails are unsolicited, they are not spamming emails. You can draft a well-written cold email and send it out to prospective employers, letting them know of your interest, even if you have never spoken to them before.
It can not only help you land up with an internship but can also help you reach out to several people, helping you build a network through some of the responses you receive, which is sure to benefit you in some respect in your career.
How to Compose Cold Emails for Internships?
Here is a guide on how to compose the perfect cold email for internships.
Creating a Professional Email Account
One of the reasons why many cold emails do not reach the inbox of your prospective employers or hiring managers is because if you send the cold email from your personal account, the filtering system at your employer’s end might filter it out as spam. Employers and HRMs often have to sift through hundreds of emails per day, so many may use filters to keep out spam emails.
On the other hand, having your puppy’s or your crush’s name on your email account, something you have been using since your teenage years, is also not very professional. Hence, it is time to upgrade, and creating a professional email is the first step. You can try Outlook or Gmail to do so and create a crisp email ID. Once that is done, you can start sending the emails.
1. Selecting Your Recipients
You should never send your cold emails to generic company accounts for an internship. Always address them to a particular person. Do your research and send the emails to a specific person in the company, like a hiring manager, team leader in a particular team, or any other contact you may come across.
Even if they are not directly involved in the hiring process, they will be able to guide you to the right person. You can look at the company website or browse through LinkedIn to get the contact information for various recruiters and companies. It would be best to address them correctly, as in Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Dr., and not write something generic like “To Whom it may Concern“. If you are unsure about the name, you can start conventionally with Respected Sir or Madam.
2. Be Specific with the Subject
You need to create a strong subject line in the email to ensure that the recipient knows exactly that it is not another spam and does not simply hit Delete without reading it. Subjects like “Application for Internships at…” and the company’s name are effective ways to grab the recipient’s attention.
Since this is the first thing that the recipient would notice, you should make it as strong and specific as possible. Suppose you are looking at internships for a graphic designer. In that case, you can create a subject line like “Graphic design Internship Opportunities at Company Name”.
3. Create a Strong Case for Yourself
You must remember that the company you are applying to might or might not have an internship program. Cold emails are usually meant for companies that do not because the ones that do will have a procedure in place to formally apply for the internships. You would not need to send cold emails.
Hence, while sending unsolicited emails, you need to be very clear about why you are interested in interning with this company and how you feel it will help you learn and grow. This is an essential part of your email. It should be as personalized as possible to make it stand apart from the other emails the recipient might get.
You can also write if you are interested in a summer internship or if you are open to fieldwork as well. Mention that you have been following some of their projects over the past months. Learning from them will help you enhance your skills and get an in-depth knowledge of the industry, which is crucial for a novice just starting.
4. Highlight Your Achievements
Once you have set the right tone, move on to highlighting your achievements and elaborate on why you think that the company will help you get a direction. Talk about any degrees or certifications you have just received and any models or prototypes you have built or any project you have been involved with.
Write about any recognition you might have won because of them and how an internship will help you learn more. Talk about how committed you are to making a mark and contributing to the industry and how the internship will be a valuable learning step.
You can end the email by thanking the recipient for taking the time to go through your email and politely ask them to look through your resume for details of your educational background. Do not forget to add your contact details.
5. Following Up
The recipient of your email could be holding an important position in the company. It is possible that they could have forgotten to respond to your email even if they intended to. Once a week has lapsed, follow up by sending another email. You can ask if they have gone through the email and if it will be okay if you call to discuss the opportunity further.
This is also a way to show that you are genuinely interested in the internship. This is why some hiring managers deliberately hold on to their first response. Following up will help you understand where you stand. You can also start sending cold emails to other organizations if the company is not interested in hiring interns.
However, make sure that you have gone through the company website thoroughly. If there are specific rules about no internships, then respect that. Or, if the company says that the internships are not paid, do not expect to be paid or try to push for it. Also, refrain from sending emails after emails. It is unprofessional, but it can also be a tad frustrating. You can send one to two follow-up emails, but if you still do not get a response, you should stop pushing and focus on another company.
What if You Get a Response Rejecting Your Email?
Once you have sent out your cold emails, it is quite possible that a few of them will be rejected. Please take it in your stride and make sure you respond with an email thanking them for their time. You need to remember that it is just a way of connecting with the company and a rejection is not the end.
Sometimes, the company will also state why they cannot hire you as an intern and thus can be a learning opportunity for you. Next time, you can fulfill those criteria when you send cold emails again. You can start sending cold emails to other organizations again, making sure that you personalize the emails to suit the profiles of the various organizations you are interested in interning with.
Template for Sending a Cold Email
Here is a template for sending a cold email. You can customize it according to your profile and the company you are applying for.
Applying for Graphic Design Internship Opportunities at “Company Name”.
Respected Sir/ Madam,I would like to apply for an internship at your reputed organization (company name). I have been following your company’s growth for quite some time now, and I believe it is one of the best organizations to work in at present in the field of graphic designing. Your company is reputed for using cutting edge technology to create high-end graphics. It has been responsible for attracting clients to a multitude of organizations in the recent past.
I have recently completed (name of your degree/ course) from (name of university/institute). As a part of my final semester, I had to create a logo for (company name), which was highly appreciated by my superiors. I am interested in learning more and acquiring skills that will further help me contribute to the industry. And I believe your organization is one of the best places to learn from at present, with some of the best names in the industry being a part of your company.
My resume is attached for your perusal. It would be most kind of you to consider my application for the internship and show me how to embark on a successful career.
Sending the first cold email might seem a little tricky at first, but sending out the rest becomes easier once you send it. It might seem awkward to send out unsolicited emails to someone you do not know. You might feel worse if the first couple of responses are only about rejections.
However, you need to keep persisting, and soon, you are sure to get a positive response. Sometimes, a company might refuse your application for an internship just because they do not have anything suitable for you. However, they might be impressed with your cover letter and resume, and they may contact you back when they have suitable requirements. So, send your cold emails and look forward to beginning an interesting and exciting career.