Application for the internship: Tips & sample templates

The internship is sometimes not in a good reputation. For some, it is the epitome of exploitation, underpayment and professional dead end - for others, it remains the best way to work. The truth is somewhere in between. Admittedly, there are still many trainees who work for hours without (significant) pay without any prospect of being taken over. But there are also the others who would never have found the entry into the dream job without an internship. But how do you apply for internships? Although there are many parallels to the classic application process , but also some special features ...
Application for the internship: Tips & sample templates

Application for the internship: The best tips
The basic process of searching, researching and applying is always the same - regardless of whether you are applying for an internship or a job.

The differences are, however, in detail and are particularly clear when formulating the letter : For internships, for example, formulations are possible that would be taboo when applying for a job.

Similarly, it is wise to put yourself in the position of the Personalers : Most companies do not write an internship , but several. Therefore, never apply for "an internship", but specifically for one of the advertised or at least describe the job exactly, otherwise the HR specialist does not know where to sort them.

Successfully apply for the internship: First research!
Before you look for a suitable position, make clear what the internship should bring you:

Do you just want to get insights into a particular profession?
Do you want to get a foot in the (hard) door of an employer?
Do you want to be taken over immediately as an ex-trainee and thus slip smoothly into the job?
The order of the questions makes it clear that the demands on the internship and the demands on you will always be higher.

On the one hand, as a graduate, you can offer more, but you can expect more - even when paying. As a student trainee or student in the first semester, it usually looks different. But the danger of exploitation and precarious conditions is not so high.

In order to get a feel for what awaits you in your target industry, internship evaluation portals such as are suitable for initial research . There you can also contact former interns.

Or you go on a job search: You can also use our job market to search for internships . Here you will also find current vacancies for trainees ...

Now make the career jump and find dream jobs!

There are also special internship exchanges. Here is a small selection (the order does not represent a rating):

Formal requirements for the successful internship application
Formally, of course, the application for an internship differs from any other. This includes:

  • Cover letters
  • Tabular CV - with signature
  • (School) certificates
  • Maybe a letter of recommendation

In addition, the application must have a consistent typeface and design, flawless spelling and a individual tonality . Recognize mass merchandise immediately and usually sort them out immediately.

In the cover letter for an internship, you must also mention that you are interested in a job interview and are happy to be available for it. A classic call-to-action that increases your chances of being invited at all. As well as with a clever PS .

Apply for a student internship
Application internship student internshipThe application for a student internship can be special case . Not only because this internship is organized by the school and is usually supervised by a teacher who discusses the goals and visits the interns on the farm.

Some companies treat applications from student interns a little differently. That sounds ominous, but is more of a simplification and can play in the cards accordingly, since the application process in a student internship often runs less bureaucratic.

In this case, a complete application portfolio can be demanded in a classic way, other companies already have a short application .

Since a student internship is often awarded on vitamin B and contacts in the company, the falls application phase sometimes even turns out to be shorter or straight away.

If you want to do a pupil internship, it is therefore advisable to first ask the envisaged employer and to inform. Here you will not only find out if there is any possibility of doing an internship, but at the same time how the application should look like.

The cover letter: Content requirements
Once you have found a suitable job, you have the most labor-intensive part ahead of you: writing the application letter.

The good news is: because you as a trainee usually have little practical experience and qualifications, you do not have to score points. The HR manager just does not expect that.
The bad news: your motivation for the job and for the selected company is now much more important and often crucial.
Your cover letter MUST make it absolutely clear why you (just) apply for this position, what you hope for and why you are so interested in this company. It is crucial that you answer as many as possible four central questions in the letter of application , these (see video):

If there is a specific call for the internship, you should pay close attention to it and accurately reproduce key concepts. Experts distinguish between so-called

Must-requirements and
Can requirements .
For example, if the job advert mentions that the trainee has a driving license or needs to be able to speak English fluently, you will not need to apply.

On the other hand, find soft formulations in the offer if such as "would be desirable," or "ideally, you also bring ...", then the more challenges you can provide, the better your chances. But no knockout criterion.

What always brings plus points with applicants are non-university experiences . So be sure to mention, in case you ...

already other similar placements have completed
engage in a student initiative.
participate in professional events or even organize them.
in the club could acquire special and appropriate skills .
have additional or even exceptional language skills.
However, do not list such experiences and skills simply as a list, but select them specifically: the application only contains information that is relevant for the internship position .

Construction and formals when applying
DIN5008 standard writing example graphic rules
The graphic above shows you the most important components for the structure of your letter :

  • Contact details of the sender
  • Contact data of the addressee
  • place and date
  • Subject line
  • salutation
  • Text part with introduction, main part, final
  • salutation
  • signature
  • (PS: Postscript)

Likewise, the recommended distances are listed here. Important: An application according to DIN 5008 is not mandatory.

Since it is a German standard , you will hardly come into contact with it outside Germany. However, she is welcome in this country, as her clear structure is used for business letters. Central to your cover letter is the entry.

Entirely obsolete are introductory sentences such as:

  • With great interest…
  • I would like to apply as ...
  • I'm interested in…

The interest on your part is simply assumed. What's more interesting for the company is what you have to offer . What is your motivation? What exactly fits the internship to your inclinations and previous experience?

Where are there overlaps between your skills and qualifications and the needs of the company? How do you think you can contribute to the company's success? The less the work experience, the more you have to look at the private sphere.

Being able to motivate soft skills such as team spirit, leadership, sense of responsibility, reliability or others can often be documented with hobbies . Team sports, coaching and other honorable appointments say a lot about the applicant.

In the final part you say goodbye with a formulation that shows a certain degree of self-confidence and courtesy. You should avoid the subjunctive phrase :

  • I would be happy about a job interview.
  • I would be very grateful for an invitation to the job interview.
  • I would like to tell you more about me.

All these sentences sound too submissive, so conclusive sentences are a good idea, in which you seem firm and ask the HR manager to get in touch with you:

  • Have I piqued your interest? Then I look forward to a personal conversation.
  • I look forward to your positive response with great pleasure.
  • If you have any further questions, please contact me by phone or e-mail.
What to do if work experience is required?
Application internship pattern free student initiative applicationAnyone who applies for an internship is often at the beginning of their careers and is looking for an entry , contacts and first work experience, which can be stated in other applications and used as a plus point.

The confusion is therefore often particularly great when in the job advertisement for an internship already longer work experience is expected and expected, in order to even have a chance on the internship. Here's something that career starters have to deal with time and again, the so-called Permission Paradox .

You are applying for a job that requires experience. Unfortunately, you do not have enough work experience. However, to gain work experience, you need a job. However, a majority of potential employers deny you exactly that. The problem is the solution at the same time.

Some applicants then go over this point and still send their documents . After all, it should be clear to every company that a trainee does not bring a trainee who has already been trained over the years into the team. But that's exactly where the crucial point can lie.

If an employer is specifically looking for an intern who already has extensive skills and deep knowledge, you may not be awarded a real internship, but rather are looking for a cheap worker who can perform and take on many tasks without being entitled to high pay.

The CV: structure and content
Especially in the case of the CV, many people who want to apply for an internship are having a hard time. Probably the most common problem : Anyone applying for a normal internship or even a student internship usually does not have too many stations to list in the CV. So many ask themselves the question: How should I fill the document at all?

First of all, do not worry too much about the length of your resume. In internship applications - especially in the case of a student internship - the staff are well aware that you do not have many years of professional experience with different sections. So it's fine and not a hindrance if your resume is not that long.

Otherwise your curriculum vitae should be oriented towards the classical structure - whereby you can of course omit the part of the professional experience or other internships, if this does not apply to you.

Application internship student internship curriculum vitae design graphic
There are some aspects that are essential in each CV:

  • Personal data. Name, birthday, place of birth, current address
  • Contact information. E-mail address, telephone number
  • Previous career. Which school (s) did you attend from when to when? Which degrees have been acquired?
  • Special skills. If you have attended a special course or have relevant skills, these are part of the CV.
  • Interests and hobbies.
  • Place, date and signature

On the other hand, the belief that is still widespread is wrong. Curriculum vitae should include information about parents or siblings. This information is unnecessary in the CV.

For example, in a student internship , you can also specify your favorite subjects and also score points in the hobbies that should suit the intended internship. In this way you convey a complete picture of your interest and also of your personality .

Although an unsolicited application can in principle lead to an internship, especially in a student internship, it makes sense to first ask by phone if a company offers such jobs at all.

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