How To Get A Summer Internship

Jul 2, 2019

You’ve landed on this webpage because you’d like to know how to get a summer internship! Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Getting a summer internship is going to significantly increase your employability and boost your chances of landing a great graduate job.

We will begin with a video from the founder of Graduate Coach, Chris Davies before outlining how to get a summer internship.

How to get a summer internship: an overview

Now we will outline some actionable steps you can take in order to secure yourself a summer internship.

There are three main steps in this guide:

  1. Searching for summer internship opportunities
  2. Sending high-quality summer internship applications
  3. Nailing your interviews

Part 1: Searching for summer internship opportunities

Before you start looking for summer internship opportunities online, it is important to define the type of internship you are looking for.

Action: Decide if you want a role where you’ll primarily be forging business relationships, using data to derive insights or applying the specialist knowledge from your degree.

Go to job or career fairs or expos

Take your CV and a covering letter and hand it out to everyone. Speak to people. Network. Take their contact details and give them yours. Make sure they remember you so that you will be in their mind when they recruit.

Visit internship websites

There are websites that direct people to available internships in all sorts of fields. Doing a simple search like Internship websites UK, for instance, leads to a listing of internships in fields as diverse as publishing, graphic design, website design, digital marketing and more.

You can also find lists of companies offering internships or summer jobs. Get busy. Do your homework and start applying!

Write an achievement-based CV

Getting your CV right is vital. Most employers offering summer internship programmes will ask you for a copy of your CV. You need it to give the right impression to the hiring team.

It must be properly formatted, professional-looking and demonstrate that you will bring value to the company through the internship experience.

Demonstrating your skills on your CV

When applying for summer internships, it is important that you clearly demonstrate your skills with evidence of how you developed them.

When applying for both internships or graduate jobs it is important that you demonstrate the following key employability skills.

employability skills for a summer internship

Draw upon your academic, extracurricular and employment experiences and extract the examples that show your competencies.

It is important that you tailor your CV to every summer internship application. Do this by including the most relevant examples and experiences to the internship position you are applying for.

Write an outstanding cover letter

How to get a summer internship

This, with your CV, is your introduction to the company you are applying to and it is competing with hundreds of others. State who you are; what you are interested in and why you would like to work/intern at their company. Impress them with some knowledge about the company that you have researched. Show that you are keen to work there. Again, if you are not confident about doing this properly, Graduate Coach can help.

Do an internship search to find internship opportunities.  Thousands of companies in the UK advertise internships online. Doing a search, for instance, on UK companies offering internships, will produce a long list of firms and charities looking for interns and their contact details.

After adapting your CV and covering letter to make them appropriate for where you are applying to, send them off. The more companies you contact, the better your chances of getting an internship. You can also look at job listing websites such as indeed, jobisjob, totaljobs, jobrapido, trovit etc for more leads to help you find your dream internship.

Cold canvassing can also work. Call the companies you are interested in and ask to speak to someone in HR or whoever is in charge of hiring or internships. This is another way of introducing yourself which you can follow up by sending you CV and covering letter.


Charities and other organisations working in welfare and even animal welfare are always looking for volunteers. It might not seem to make sense to work for nothing but it does. You can prove yourself as a volunteer and get letters of recommendation at the end of your stint, which will stand you in good stead when you apply for a job.

Employment rights and pay for interns

If an intern is classed as a worker, they should be paid the national minimum wage of £7.70 per hour if aged 21 to 24 or £8.21 per hour if aged 25 or older.

Prepare for your interview

If you get past the first step and are asked to go for an interview with the company or organisation offering the internship, be prepared.

You would never have gone into an exam without preparation at university and an interview is just that – a test to see if you are the candidate they are looking for.

About 85% of graduates say they are nervous about being interviewed. This will be a huge stumbling block in landing a good job or an internship for that matter. You can build confidence by being prepared. Research the company.

Find out as much as you can bout its ethos, position in the marketplace, what it offers that is unique, for instance.

This will help you ask intelligent questions and impress the interviewer.

The trick is to appear confident but not arrogant. Expert coaching will help you be successful in this critical part of any job or internship application. Graduate Coach can help you and remove any nervousness which will hamper your chances.

Increasingly, more and more internship applications require candidates to complete a video interview. Be sure to read our guide on how to prepare for a video interview.

How To Get A Summer Internship: summary

Thanks for reading our post on how to get a summer internship!

There are several benefits of getting an internship over the summer holiday.

  • You’ll gain valuable work experience and transferable skills
  • It will help you to make informed career choices
  • Having experience will help when it comes to finding a graduate job
  • The experience will help you to stand out from the competition
  • Graduate recruiters build a talent funnel. Successfully completing an internship can increase your chances of being hired by the company as a graduate. Check out our post that shares top graduate scheme application tips.

Our founder, Chris Davies, has published two books packed with invaluable information: The Student Book and The Graduate Book. Also visit our website where you will find a series of blog posts with more excellent advice, a list of the services they off and contact details.

Good luck!

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  • Learn seven things you can implement today to enhance your job search strategy.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the graduate job market.
  • Find out how you can find your dream job with guidance from a graduate coach.

Please see our Jobs page for graduate jobs.

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