Internship hunting can be tough, but sending cold emails doesn't have to be! You might even find that sending a cold email gets you quick access to principal decision-makers. So, if you're ready to land your dream internship, read on for our top tips on how to write an internship cold email that gets interviews!

In this article, we’ll share:

  • What Is An Internship Cold Email?
  • What Does A Good Internship Cold Email Process Look Like?
  • Internship Cold Email Templates

What Is An Internship Cold Email?

Let’s start from the beginning here and focus on what a cold email is. A cold email is a form of unsolicited email that usually offers a service, begins a networking request, is the start of a sales funnel, or is an unexpected request for information.

Cold emails are sent as what could be referred to as an informed shot in the dark. As the writer, you know who you’re sending it to, you know what outcome you’d like to achieve, and you know what you’re offering. The recipient, however, knows nothing about you. Chances are they don’t even know you exist.

That means that your cold emails need to be written in a way that is engaging, enticing, and non-threatening. People received dozens, potentially hundreds, of unsolicited spam emails every day. First, you need to make sure you don’t look like spam; then, it’s all about making yourself look different from everyone else.

Going back to our definition. An internship cold email is an email offering yourself as an intern. It could be in a professional or educational capacity. Whatever the industry is, the preferred outcome is the same. You’d like the recipient to take you on as their intern.

What Does A Good Internship Cold Email Process Look Like?

Lots of people will approach internship cold emailing as a quick process. One where you collate a few emails, send out the same copy-and-paste email, and hope someone bites. You might get lucky, but there is a far more comprehensive approach that won’t guarantee success but will give you a better chance at it. What follows is that step-by-step process.

Before you get going on the process, you’ll need to do some basic preparation first.

There are several factors to consider when preparing to send a cold email for an internship. The most important step is to understand the internship's goal. This usually involves asking yourself questions such as what field you are interested in, whether you want to fill your summer vacation, gain experience for your resume, or change careers. Answering these questions will assist you in determining the primary goal of the internship, which is essential when crafting a targeted and effective cold email.

Research Companies

The next factor is considering if the company can actually help you achieve your goal. Research the company and investigate its resources. See if they are a good fit for you and if they’ll help you achieve what you want to achieve. This is your due diligence, and it’s important to respect the value that you could bring to the company rather than going for the first that replies!

Track Down The Appropriate Email Addresses

Now you need to find relevant email addresses. The first step is to locate the hiring manager or other relevant individual in charge of internship programs and obtain their email address. If you want to have a higher success rate, you should avoid using generic email addresses like "[email protected]." These email addresses tend to go into admin inboxes and rarely make it to the person you need them to get to. To find the correct email address, you can use a variety of tools and online resources such as LinkedIn and Hunter.

Verify Those Emails

Once you've done that, make sure that the email address is correct and up to date. If you're using a cold email tool, such as Instantly, you can verify emails automatically, meaning you can be sure that emails will end up in inboxes rather than bounce.

Draft Your Email

The next step is one of the hardest. Drafting the email itself. There are lots of parts to consider here. The subject line, the greeting, the body, a call to action. The list goes on. We’ve created some templates at the end of this article for you to use as inspiration. You’ll also find more within Instantly’s library.

The key here is personalization. People tend to ignore emails that seem like they’ve been sent to many, many addresses. The more personalization you can include in the email, the better. That means, at a minimum, addressing the person by name and, at best, including personal connections or networking.

Send The Emails

The next step sounds simple. Send those emails to all of your found email addresses. Depending on how many you’re sending to, this could be quick or it might take days. Remember that using a tool that automates this process for you will take a small investment but will save you a great deal of time.

Track The Analytics

This step is only really valid if you’re using an email tool, but it’s a critical part of the process. Email analytics include stats such as deliverability, open rate, link clicks, response rates, and more. All of this will give you an idea of how successful your campaign has been, and if required, it’ll give you an indication of where you need to improve next time.

Follow Up

Very few people respond to the first email that they receive. It might require 2, 3, or more emails before their interest is piqued and they consider sending a response. Follow-ups should be polite and still engaging with your value attached. You’re not chasing them. You’re offering something more to grab their attention.

Check out our follow-up email templates here.


Fingers crossed, someone replies and offers you an interview! Now is your time to shine!

Internship Cold Email Templates

Struggling for inspiration on your email body? We’ve got these templates for starters and many, many more in our library.

Template For An Internship At A Corporate

Subject: {{Your Name}} Interested in {{Department}} Internship at {{Company Name}}

Dear {{Hiring Manager's Name}},
I am writing to express my interest in the {{Department}} Internship at {{Company Name}}. As a {{Year of Study}} student majoring in {{Major}}, I am excited about the opportunity to apply my developing skills and gain hands-on experience in a business environment.
I have always been impressed with {{Company Name}}'s commitment to {{your suggestion here}}, as well as its reputation as a leader in {{Company’s Industry}}. I am particularly drawn to the {{Department}} department and its focus on {{specific projects or initiatives}}.
As a {{previous experience or skills related to the department}}, I am confident that I would make a valuable contribution to the team. I am eager to learn from the experienced professionals in your team and look forward to gaining insights into the industry that will help me develop my career.
Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my resume and would be happy to provide additional information if needed. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
{{Your Name}}

Template For An Academic Internship

Subject: {{Your Name}} Wants to Join the {{Department}} Team at {{Academic Institution}}

Dear {{Hiring Manager's Name}},
I hope this email finds you doing well! As a {{Year of Study}} student majoring in {{Major}}, I am eager to apply my skills and gain hands-on experience in the world of academia. That's why I am excited to apply for the {{Department}} Internship at {{Academic Institution}}.
I've always been fascinated by the work done at {{Academic Institution}} and its reputation for being a leader in {{specific field or research area}}. I believe that joining the {{Department}} team would be the perfect opportunity for me to learn from experienced professionals and gain valuable insights into the academic world.
As someone who is passionate about {{related academic or research interests}}, I am eager to get involved in the exciting work being done by the {{Department}} department. Whether it's contributing to {{specific projects or initiatives}} or working alongside my colleagues to support the broader goals of the team, I am ready to hit the ground running and make a meaningful contribution.
Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my resume and would be happy to provide additional information if needed. I look forward to hearing back from you soon!
Best regards,
{{Your Name}}

Key Takeaways

Sending out endless cold emails hoping for an internship at the end of it is a daunting process. There are, however, steps you can take to increase your chances of success. Consider the steps in this guide, and use the templates provided as a starting point for your own. Before you know it, you’ll be starting your internship in the placement of your dreams!

  • Use the templates as a guide; rather than simply sending them, you need to personalize them to your skills and personality.
  • Investing in a cold email tool will make the process far easier.

Ready to supercharge your internship requests? You could get started with Instantly for free today.