How not to apply for an Internship – 3

Choice is yours; afterall career is yours

Continuing from previous post, I am going to talk about couple of worst mistakes one can make while applying for an Internship. I would also like to share what I think makes a good cover letter.

Below are the 4 Internship cover letters that I received in response to web development internship opportunity with Internshala in Delhi. These cover letters are prime examples of how not to apply for a summer internship. Not only your resume gets rejected for that particular internship, but may also hamper your chances for all future internships with that employer, and in some cases could do damage to your academic institute’s reputation as well.

Cover Letter for Internships

Cover Letter for Internship

Cover Letter for Internship

Cover Letter for Internship

When I read the emails above, it was very obvious that students had not gone through the internship requirements and had applied blindly the moment they found anything containing word “internship” in it. In all likelihood, the cover letters were copied from seniors or friends which made me even more worried. If the candidate does not care to spend 2 minutes of efforts on his internship application, what work and output I could expect from him during the internship? Please, please, please – do not do mass emailing. It does not work – it never has and it never will. One size does not fit all.

So what makes for a good email accompanying your CV? I prefer to stick to KISSS (Keep it Simple, Short, and Specific). An internship cover letter should tell me who you are, what you know about me or this Internship and why should I spend 10 minutes downloading and reading your resume. Of course, all of this in grammatically correct language (SMS language is a strict NO) is a must. This is how I would have applied for this internship –

Hi Sarvesh, (no scope for gender confusion and adds the personal touch)

Hope you are doing well. This is with reference to opportunity for web development internship at Internshala. I, XYZ, am currently pursuing my B.Tech in Computer Science & Engineering (2nd year) from IIT Madras and have a CGPA of 8.55 on 10. I have worked on 3 website development projects before (Required advanced knowledge of HTML, PHP and SQL) for my college/another organization and all 3 portals have been well received by the users. The URLs are following – (Immediate hook for the reader as it’s all so relevant for him)

  1. Link1 (one line for each of the link on what is the website all about)
  2. Link2
  3. Link3

Given my prior experience and knowledge, I believe I am a good fit for the internship. Also since you are looking for someone to start immediately, I was hoping I could work from campus for next 2 months (all the questions on location and availability answered which shows interest) which will also allow me to make students in my college aware of the portal as they can benefit from it directly (again, shows the candidate has thought about what Internshala is trying to do and has additional help to offer)

My CV is attached for your perusal. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. Look forward to hearing from you soon.



2nd year B.Tech (CSE), IIT Madras

+91 – 96507 xxxxx (a good practice in case the employer finds your application so relevant that he decides to call you right away)

Hope this helps. If you disagree, have something to say, ask, critique or know of an internship opportunity that you would like others to know – post it right away! If you like what you read here, please do tell another friend.

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16 thoughts on “How not to apply for an Internship – 3

  • April 10, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    I actually dont disagree with anything but just wanted to convey my appreciation for the article! Will surely share it with frnds :)

    • April 10, 2011 at 8:22 AM

      Thanks :)

      Appreciate the help and wish you all the best!


  • May 27, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    i feel Dear would b better & not a Hi(ders dat respect thing as he/she myt b a senior or the owner if its a medium/small company and the formal touch is also der.)
    U hv more experience in all dis…what say?
    Dear Mr.XYZ,

    • May 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      Whether you choose “Dear” or “Hi” but please do not use the SMS language while writing to the employers ever! It just turns them off – that’s my perspective.


  • August 22, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    the sample cover letter is very helpful, can you please provide us with some sample cover letters to apply for Research Internship.

    • August 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM

      Hi Naren,

      The provided example should give you enough ideas on how to make one – I would encourage originality :)


  • December 17, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    I am a second year engineering student (IT – Department). I am applying for an internship for the first time, so obviously I can’t give references to projects or internships I have done before. So can you please guide me to make my covering letter a bit more appealing?
    I mean I have already mentioned my areas of interest ( eg. operating systems, networking etc).I would be greatly obliged if you tell me what else should I add.

  • August 14, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    You have written a sentence ” they can benefit from it directly” in 4th paragraph from the last of this blog.
    Is this grammatically correct ? I am asking just to clear my confusion.

    • August 18, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Hi Mukul
      The phrase is correct grammatically.

  • December 18, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Thank you for a great advice.
    I am trying to write a cover letter in English for the first time and I was having trouble how to write it. Now I know what to and not to write.

    Thank you very much.

    • December 22, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Hi Chang,

      We are glad the article was of help to you.

      Team Internshala

  • June 11, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Hi Sarvesh,
    I want to apply for internships through internshala but I am confused regarding the manner of writing the answer to, ‘Why you should be hired’. Does it have to be in a format of formal letter or simply an informal write-up, e.g., instead of starting with ‘Dear Sir, Hope this letter finds you in good spirit’, can I simply start with, ‘I am a graduate and Chartered Accountancy final year student’? Kindly help me out as soon as possible.

  • December 13, 2017 at 12:58 AM

    Hi Sarvesh,
    I am a 3rd year Engineering Student (CSE – Department).
    I am applying for an internship for the first time, so obviously I can’t give references to projects or internships I have done before. So can you please guide me to make my covering letter a bit more appealing?


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