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How to apply for summer internship : DOs And DONTs - [Guide]

Question asked by Kaustubh Katdare in #Internships on May 6, 2014
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare · May 6, 2014
Rank A1 - PRO
This part of our Summer Internships For Engineers: The Definitive Guide focuses on how to apply for internship when you find your dream one. So far, we've had an overview of Internships and why are they necessary. We also focused a bit on ways of finding your dream internship. In this part of the guide we will try to form a plan for applying to internship once you've found the right one for you. As I wrote in my earlier part of the guide, this section is going to be quite important and you should pay lot of attention. Take down your own notes as you read this article.

Summer Internship Application Process

There are three major ways you'd typically apply for an internship in any company. The overall process in each of the cases is similar and involves submitting your resume to the company along with a cover letter. Both these are equally important and we'll do a thorough review of both in some time. Please be patient as this one is going to be a long and detailed guide. The only intention is to help you address the most common issues.

1] Applying directly through company website: Many websites will have a form or a section on their website dedicated to Internships. Many students often neglect the notices, disclaimers and skip most important parts like eligibility criteria and instructions. I'd strongly advise you to read through all the instructions and eligibility criteria before you decide on filling up the form. It will help in minimizing your rejection chances and make sure that you don't miss out on the opportunity you are aspiring to grab.

2] Applying through your college: Check with your college authorities for the application process and other formalities necessary. Since your college's name is involved, your college may request feedback to the company once your internship is over. It's important that you are aware of the entire process. Pay attention to it. I'd recommend getting all your documentation reviewed from authorities.

3] Direct application: This is one of the most common ways of applying for internship and a lot of students mess it up with their cover letter and resume. Do not worry because we've got you covered. We'll soon discover what are the great ways of writing a cover letter and pepping up your resume so that the company thinks that it'd be their loss not to hire you as an intern.

Writing Cover Letter for Summer Internship

Cover letter is the email that you will write to the concerned authorities in the organisation you are applying to. Since cover letter is the first thing your potential recruiter will see, it's important that it's written in correct language and states the purpose clearly. Go through the following paragraphs very carefully.

A crash course in professional email / cover letter writing

How to write subject of your email: The subject of your email should be very concise and to the point. Since you are applying for internship, the email subject should make it absolutely clear what's the purpose of your email. Instead of writing a useless email subject like "Hi", "Hello" or "Hellooo!!!"; be very professional. Following is one example of a good subject line for the cover letter-
  • Application for internship : (Ref Code, if any)
How to write the body of your cover letter: A note to Indian engineering students - DO NOT use SMS language in your application. It's a sure-shot way of getting your application rejected without anyone really taking time to go through your application. I will not provide a sample cover letter; but leave you with a scaffolding to construct your email:-
  • Start with introduction: "Dear Mr/Ms XYZ, I am <your name>" from <college> currently studying in <course, sem>.
  • State the purpose of email: I wish to apply for the post of intern ...
  • State 'Why' : Read this: Start with why
  • Assurance: Assure that if given an opportunity, you will perform to the expectations
  • Conclude: Thank the receiver of the mail for reading your email and add your sign "Regards, <your name>
Pepping Up Your Resume For Internship

After reading your cover letter, the next thing your recruiter will do is open your resume. Make sure that your resume has stuff that is relevant to the recruiter and not how you won drawing competition in your school. We've prepared a sample resume format for the engineers and it is available for download in our 'Downloads' section: Simple Resume Template For Engineers. Download it and fill up the required information. You should be good to go.

If you do not want to follow the format, you could follow any format of your choice. Do not forget to mention your academic performance along with any awards or special achievements.

Following Up

This is the part where a lot of opportunities are missed! Always follow up once or twice after you make the first contact. If the receiver of the email is too busy to check your application; they might just ignore it for the time being and then forget about it forever. By following up (aka sending a reminder email) you are not only making sure that you get noticed, but also indicating that you are quite serious about the internship. However you should be little careful. Give the receiver some time to get in touch with you. Keep a gap of at least 2-3 business days between your mails. Don't look desperate! A simple mail stating "Hello <name>, I hope you are doing well. I am writing to know whether you got a chance to go through my application" should do the job.

If you have questions, doubts or comments about the application procedure for summer internships, post them below. I'll try my best to answer them for you.

In the next section, we will see how to prepare for Internships once you get a call or are shortlisted. Posted in: #Internships

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