How to Cold Email for an Internship and Win (With Templates)

Internships are the path in which great careers begin. You might be lacking in experience, but you’re certainly not lacking in drive and initiative.

In fact, your drive and initiative are why you’re here. Most people don’t consider contacting job opportunities directly, but that’s not you.

You’re an out-of-the-box thinker, ready to fulfill your dreams no matter what. So first of all, good for you!

And second of all, you’re in the right place. I’m a master of cold emailing, and in this guide, I’m gonna teach you to use it to get the internship of your dreams.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

What Makes an Effective Cold Email?

First, let’s establish what an effective cold email looks like.

It should be short and to the point. This is no time to hedge your bets or be overly polite. Your main goal is to introduce yourself, explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the internship, and ask for an interview.

Second, it should convey your enthusiasm. Internships mean long hours, hard work, and dedication, so you want to show your future employer that you’re up for the challenge.

Focus on the skills and experiences that you can bring to the table, but also mention some of your goals or dreams you want to fulfill while working there.

Third, use the exact words from the job description. This isn’t the time to be creative – employers are usually looking for a specific set of skills and experiences, so make sure to use their language in your email.

Not only will this make your email more effective, but it also shows that you took the time actually to read and understand what they’re looking for.

Finally, don’t forget to include a call to action. Now that you’ve made your case ask for the interview and ensure they know they need to respond.

Giving yourself a deadline is also a great way to establish professionalism and show them you mean business.

infographic for cold emailing effectively

Crafting Your Internship Cold Email

So now that you know what makes a great cold email, it’s time to craft yours.

1. Research Your Target Company In-Depth

The most crucial step to a successful cold email is your research. You need to know your target company inside and out.

Read through their website and understand their process. Look up their mission statement, company values, and business objectives. The more information you have, the better!

Here’s what to look for specifically:

  • Company history. How long have they been operating?
  • Company mission. What are their values and main objectives?
  • Company culture. What kind of people do they usually hire?

2. Find the Right Person to Contact

Now that you have a decent understanding of your target company, you can start to find the right person to contact.

Try to find someone from the human resources department or the hiring manager—they’re the ones in charge of finding internship candidates.

The easiest way to do this is through LinkedIn. You may have to pay for a premium subscription, but the raw power of its HR database is more than worth it.

Just find the company profile and search for “Recruiter,” Hiring Manager,” or “HR Leader.”

Alternatively, you can check the company’s About page. Not all of them do this, but many feature their entire staff along with their positions.

3. Write Your Cold Email

Now that you’ve found the right person to contact, you can start writing. Your goal is to strike a balance between being professional and enthusiastic.

Use a direct subject line, such as “Application for Internship at [Company],” and make sure your email is addressed to the right person.

You can use the following template to build your cold email:

Dear [Name],

I am writing to apply for the [position title] position at [company name].

[Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself and state why you’re interested in the position.]

[Paragraph 2: Highlight past experiences that make you a great fit for the role.]

[Paragraph 3: Explain why you’d be an asset to the company.]

[Paragraph 4: Ask for an interview and provide your contact information.]

I look forward to hearing from you and speaking further!


[Your name]

Personalizing Your Email

Effective personalization is the key to converting cold emails.

Make the most of it by using the person’s name and mentioning things you’ve learned about both the company and the person in your research.

This will show your interest in the company’s culture and mission. Ensure you also provide examples of your skillset that relate directly to the job you’re applying for.

Finally, provide a link to your LinkedIn profile or your website. This gives the hiring manager a chance to learn more about you and understand what you can bring to the table.

Avoid Passive Voice

Read through your cold email and make sure it sounds powerful. You want to demonstrate that you’re a go-getter and that you’re not afraid of a challenge.

If you use passive voice, it will sound like you’re not really sure what you want. This is the opposite of what you want to convey.

This is why it’s important to focus on “action words” such as “created,” “developed, or “achieved.”

By using language that demonstrates your achievements, initiatives, and leadership abilities, you’ll have a much stronger effect on your target audience.

4. Follow Up and Stay Positive

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear back right away. Employers get dozens of applications every day.

Stay positive and keep trying. Then, follow up with them after a week or two and let them know you’re still interested.

Additionally, make sure to keep track of your progress. Whether you’re waiting for a response or following up, keep note of the date and any other relevant information in a spreadsheet.

After 2-3 follow-ups without a response, it’s probably best to move on and focus on other opportunities.

What if You Get Rejected?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the internship you’ve been applying for. Even with an effective cold email, you can still get rejected.

The key is to stay positive and take the rejection for what it is: a learning opportunity. Use the feedback to improve your cold emails and try again with a different employer or even a different position.

More Internship Cold Email Templates

If you’re still not sure what to say, check out these templates:

Template 1:

Subject: Application for Internship Position at [Company]

Dear [Name],

I recently came across the [position title] internship position posted on [website] and would be interested in applying for it.

I have a strong interest in [background/field], which is why I am applying for this position. I am currently enrolled in [university], majoring in [major], and I am confident that I have the skills and experiences necessary to excel in this role.

I am a hard-working, dedicated, and detail-oriented professional, and I am eager to use my knowledge to contribute to the success of [company]. My goal is to gain valuable experience and build my professional network.

I have included my resume and a link to my LinkedIn profile for you to review. I look forward to speaking with you and discussing the details of this opportunity. Please reach out to me at [email address] or [phone number

Thanks for your time and consideration.


[Your name]

Template 2:

Subject: Request for Internship Interview at [Company]

Dear [Name],

I am writing in response to the [position title] position posted on [website]. I am eager to apply and believe I fit the role well.

My background includes [background/qualifications], and I am confident that my skills, experiences, and goals make me a valuable asset for [company]. I have a strong interest in [field/industry] and a passion for learning and developing my skills.

I am eager to learn more about the position and how I can contribute to the company’s success. I would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss this further. I am available for the next two weeks and can be reached at [email address] or [phone number].

Thank you for your time and


[Your name]

Template 3:

Subject: Request for Internship Opportunity at [Company]

Dear [Name],

I am writing to apply for the [position title] position at [company name].

I have experience in [background], and I am confident that my knowledge and dedication to hard work make me an excellent fit for this role. I am passionate about learning and developing my skills, and I believe I can bring the same dedication and enthusiasm to [company].

I am eager to learn more about the position, the requirements, and the company. I have included my resume and a link to my LinkedIn profile. I would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss my qualifications and the details of this opportunity. You can reach me at [email address] or [phone number].

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your name]

Don’t Be Afraid!

Writing a cold email can be intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Be professional, be enthusiastic, and be yourself.

Lastly, cold emailing is a skill by itself. No matter how much you read about it, it takes some practice to find the right voice to present yourself with—you may send 10 cold emails before you find a strategy you like!

Hopefully, it won’t take you too long, though. And even if it does, don’t give up! Babe Ruth led in home runs, yes, but he also got tons of strikeouts.

Good luck out there, and happy cold emailing!

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