In a match of Cricket, to get out on a duck hurts, but to get out on 99? Hurts even worse, why? Because you built the inning one run by one run, kept your cool when the chips were down and worked the loose deliveries through the gaps. And just when it was your turn to take that single to reach 100, raise your bat and kiss the glory – you became impatient, lost your nerve and could not finish. You came so close.
Now imagine the same thing happening to your internship hunt, you have spent days, weeks or even months trying to find that one dream opportunity and now you have found it – all that is left to do is to contact the relevant person and let him/her know how you and the particular internship are made for each other. You drop an email, and then another and then one another, but you never hear back – sounds familiar, has happened to you? Read on.
Having been actively involved in recruitment for different organizations in last 4 years and having screened hundreds of resumes, I have some experience on the most common and the most irritating pain points a recruiter feels when looking at an application. Now these mistakes are committed even by the seasoned professionals, so to expect students to be aware and avoid them completely would be asking for a little too much.
So, what I have done is put together a series of articles on how not to apply for an internship through which I hope to share some illustrative examples of the common mistakes and how to fix them.
To begin with, have a look at this screenshot which shows Internshala mail box 24 hours after I posted an available internship with Internshala here and on a few other portals. What do you notice other than circled bits?
There are 33 emails which all look very similar on first glance except for the names. Now Internshala is a one week old entity with a relatively small user base. Imagine how would the mailbox of a recruiter of a bigger company look like – there would be close to 100 emails of which he has to select and download a few in 5 minutes that he has. And if the subject of your email (the only opportunity for you to talk to him without him having to open the mail) does not excite him – chances of your email being opened and read are as good as you hitting a six on the last ball of the match.
What’s more painful is that some of us do not even read what we have written as subject before clicking “send” button and hence spelling mistakes, poor grammar, generic gender address (dear sir/madam) as circled in red are common indicating lack of seriousness – does your the first job before first job not merit even 5 minutes of your attention?
So how could you window dress your subject in a manner that I would be enticed to walk into the shop and read your email? I would suggest that having a key word such as name of the institute or education stream (if that’s a USP and relevant to the internship), or a key skill or experience should work. For example if someone applied for this internship with “IIT Madras – 2 PHP/SQL projects – Delhi” as subject line – it would be very difficult for me to not read that email and that person is already better off than rest of the 32 applicants.
Now, do you see the difference a well crafted subject line may make to your chances of getting that dream internship?After all the devil lies in the detail and whoever said “What’s in a subject line” did not live in an era of information bombardment :)
Have something to say, ask, critique or know of an internship opportunity that you would like others to know – post it right away!