When reaching out to someone on LinkedIn about an internship opportunity, the key is to be professional, concise, and make a compelling case for why you are a strong candidate. Here are some tips for crafting an effective outreach message:
Do your research
Before reaching out, learn about the company and the person you want to contact. Read their LinkedIn profile and any available information about their work and background. This will help you tailor your message.
Personalize the message
A generic message is easy to ignore. Personalize your note by referencing something specific from their profile – maybe you share an alma mater, you admire a project they worked on, or you have a connection in common.
Briefly explain who you are, your educational background, and your interest in an internship at their company. Share why you are specifically interested in interning with them.
Highlight relevant skills and experience
Based on the internship description and qualifications, highlight your relevant coursework, activities, and experience. Focus on hard and soft skills that make you a strong candidate. Quantify your achievements when possible.
Convey genuine excitement about the prospect of interning with the company. Be specific on why you are interested – their mission, projects, culture, tech stack, etc. Enthusiasm for the role will make you memorable.
Ask about the opportunity
Politely ask if they anticipate any internship opportunities in the near future. Inquire about the best way to apply or express interest. Let them know you would appreciate any referrals or advice.
Thank them sincerely for taking the time to read your message. Express appreciation for their consideration of your inquiry.
Before sending, double check your message for any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors. Read it aloud to catch any awkward phrasing. Ask someone else to review it if possible.
If you don’t hear back within 1-2 weeks, consider a polite follow up expressing continued interest. But don’t harass them with constant contacts.
Sample Message Structure
Here is an example structure for an internship outreach message:
[Personalized opening referencing something you have in common or complimenting their work]
My name is [Your Name] and I am a [year] student at [College] majoring in [field of study]. I came across your profile while researching internship opportunities at [Company]. I am extremely interested in interning with [Company] because [reasons why you are interested].
My background in [relevant coursework] and experience [internships, jobs, activities] have prepared me well for this role. Specific skills I can bring to the team include:
– [Skill 1]
– [Skill 2]
An internship with [Company] would allow me to apply my skills in [their industry] while gaining valuable real-world experience. I am incredibly excited by the prospect of contributing to [specific projects/products].
I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss any potential internship openings you may have for this coming summer. Please let me know if you have any advice regarding the best way for me to formally apply.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Tips for Sending Connection Requests
Before reaching out directly about an internship, consider sending a connection request first with a polite note:
- Personalize the request by mentioning a shared connection, university, or interest.
- State that you would like to connect because you are interested in opportunities at their company.
- Promise to reach out in 1-2 weeks after connecting to inquire about potential internships.
- Thank them for considering your request.
This gives them some context for who you are before you directly ask about job opportunities. It also allows you to message them after connecting.
If you don’t receive a response within 1-2 weeks, consider a brief, polite follow up:
I hope you have been well. I wanted to follow up on my previous message inquiring about summer internship opportunities at [Company]. Please let me know if the timing might be better in a few weeks or months for me to reach back out.
I remain very interested in contributing to [Company] as an intern. Thank you again for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
This shows you are still enthusiastic without being overly pushy. Gauge their level of response to determine if more follow up is warranted.
Things to Avoid
When reaching out about internships, be sure NOT to:
- Send generic messages lacking personalization
- Come across as desperate or entitled to an internship
- Make spelling/grammar mistakes
- Use overly casual language
- Reach out with unrealistic expectations
- Contact someone repeatedly without a response
With the right approach, a LinkedIn message can be a great way to get your foot in the door with companies you want to intern for. The key is being professional, doing your research, and personalizing your outreach. With a compelling introduction of yourself as a candidate, you can open up exciting new internship prospects through LinkedIn networking.
Additional Tips for Interning
In addition to messaging contacts, here are some other tips for landing great internships:
- Apply early – Many companies recruit interns months in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute.
- Leverage your network – Ask family, friends, professors if they have any connections at companies that interest you.
- Attend career fairs – Come prepared with customized resumes and pitches for recruiters.
- Enhance your online profiles – Bolster your LinkedIn profile and other online presences to stand out.
- Practice interviewing – Hone your interview skills through practice questions and mock interviews.
- Research companies – Interviews will go better if you know your targeted companies well.
- Highlight transferable skills – Even without direct industry experience, highlight adaptable soft skills.
- Customize your applications – Always tailor resumes, cover letters, and messages for each application.
By combining thorough preparation with proactive networking, you can unlock exciting internship opportunities.
The Benefits of Interning
Here are some of the great benefits students can gain from internships and externships:
- Gain industry experience – Apply classroom learning in a real work environment.
- Explore career interests – Rotate through different roles to find the best fit.
- Make connections – Network with professionals and mentors.
- Learn soft skills – Develop communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.
- Boost resume – Gain skills and experience to strengthen your resume.
- Earn recommendations – Secure references for future job applications.
- Increase hireability – Companies often hire former interns as full-time employees.
- Obtain academic credit – Meet requirements through a for-credit internship.
- Gain confidence – Develop self-assurance handling responsibilities.
The hands-on experience and professional development make internships invaluable for launching your career after graduation. Investing time in professional internships can pay off in the long run.
Types of Internships
There are a variety of different types of internships and externships students can pursue:
- Traditional internships – Work at an organization’s office on projects and tasks.
- Virtual internships – Handle responsibilities remotely through online work.
- Part-time internships – Balance an internship with school or another job.
- Full-time internships – Immersive experience with a full work week.
- Paid internships – Receive an hourly wage or stipend.
- Unpaid internships – Volunteer time in exchange for experience.
- College credit internships – Meet requirements through a for-credit opportunity.
- Startup internships – Gain experience with an emerging company.
- Nonprofit internships – Contribute to mission-driven community organizations.
- Government/public sector internships – Work in city, state, or federal agencies.
Different types of internships offer varied benefits. Assess your goals, needs, and options to determine which types of opportunities are the best match.
Top Industries for Interns
Many industries value intern talent and recruit students proactively. Here are some top industries for interns:
- Tech – Software engineering, IT, app development, cybersecurity, etc.
- Business – Consulting, marketing, HR, finance, real estate, etc.
- Media – Journalism, television, film, music production, etc.
- Healthcare – Hospital, pharmaceutical, biotech, health tech, etc.
- Politics – Government, campaigns, public policy, etc.
- Nonprofits – Philanthropy, social justice, environment, etc.
- Legal – Law firms, legal aid, compliance roles, etc.
- Engineering – Manufacturing, construction, chemical, systems, etc.
- Education – Teaching, curriculum design, ed tech, etc.
Perform research to find well-regarded internship programs in your fields of interest. The right industry internship can propel your future career success.
Questions to Ask Before Accepting an Internship
When considering an internship offer, here are some key questions to ask:
- What tasks and responsibilities will I be handling?
- What training and onboarding will be provided?
- Who will I report to and work with on projects?
- What learning objectives will the internship meet for me?
- Is the internship paid or unpaid?
- Will academic credit be available?
- What does a typical day or week look like?
- Is there potential for a full-time job offer after interning?
- What should I do to make the most of this internship?
Getting answers to these questions will ensure the internship lines up with your goals and expectations before accepting.
Making the Most of Your Internship Experience
Once you secure an internship, be proactive to maximize the opportunity:
- Arrive early and stay late when possible to take on extra tasks.
- Treat it as seriously as a full-time job.
- Come prepared with questions to show engagement.
- Network and build connections with employees.
- Find a mentor who can give advice and feedback.
- Ask for additional assignments if you have down time.
- Attend meetings, trainings, and company events when possible.
- Soak up new skills, tools, and knowledge.
- Keep an eye out for problems you can help solve.
- Consult with your manager regularly to improve and learn.
Being proactive and owning your development will ensure you gain as much as possible from the experience.
Following Up After an Internship
After interning, follow up with professional contacts made:
- Thank your manager and team members for hosting you.
- Connect with colleagues on LinkedIn to stay in touch.
- Request recommendation letters from key leaders.
- Inquire about future internship or job opportunities with the company.
- Share feedback on your experience to help improve their program.
Maintaining these relationships after the internship can lead to impactful references and future job prospects.
Keys to Internship Success
To set yourself up for success:
- Be proactive – Take initiative and seek out projects.
- Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask for help, guidance and feedback.
- Learn rapidly – Absorb as much knowledge as possible.
- Develop skills – Pursue growth in both hard and soft skills.
- Build connections – Network genuinely with colleagues.
- Project confidence – Believe in your potential even as an intern.
- Deliver great work – Produce high-quality contributions.
- Cultivate mentors – Seek advice from supportive leaders.
- Work hard – Bring energy and dedication every day.
- Have fun! – Bring enthusiasm and enjoy the experience.
Embodying these principles will ensure you maximize your learning, productivity, and growth from any internship.
The advice above summarizes how to effectively reach out to contacts about internships on LinkedIn. By being professional, personalized, and proactive, a LinkedIn message can help launch exciting new opportunities. Securing the right internship can provide invaluable experience to equip you for career success after graduation.