For students or recent graduates, internships offer invaluable experience within any field. They are stepping stones into a full-time position by either gaining experience in the company or gaining skills necessary for a full-time position.
For majors that are heavy in writing, writing internships can offer an opportunity to expand your resume, build your portfolio with writing, and gain interactive experience with others in the writing field.
There are several different types of writing internships. Each can offer a new experience to build upon after receiving a college degree. These internships can vary in types. They can range from full-time paid internships to unpaid internships or internships for credit.
Many internships are in a greater internship program that offers experience with mentors or employees that are higher up in that company and involve networking with other interns at the company.
Writing Internship Basics
There are a variety of different majors that can apply for writing internships. Some types of majors are English, film, journalism, or communications.
Before applying for writing internships, consider the qualities that you have gained in college thus far. Someone who is applying for writing internships should have research skills, the ability to meet deadlines, and knowledge of the different writing styles.
Also, consider the timing of your internship search. If you struggle with time management when applying for internships, our blog has great suggestions on how to manage that.
There are a variety of different experiences that would make you a good candidate for a writing internship. Good experiences to have blogging, storytelling, revising, basic graphic design, and digital marketing. If you have these skills, make sure to highlight them on your resume and in your cover letter.
If you are detail-oriented, innovative, creative thinker, and collaborative. A writing internship could be for you!
Types of Writing Internships
When looking for internships, it is best to pick a niche route with your writing skills. Different routes can be in journalism, writing screenplays, becoming a novelist, and many others.
It is essential to consider which route and search for an internship in that specific area because you will gain experience that will translate well for entry-level positions.
A journalism intern focuses on tasks such as news articles, press releases, blog posts, copywriting, and an occasional marketing-related task. They will also focus on specific skills such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when writing blog posts and other types of articles.
Creative Writing Internship
Within a creative writing internship, there are many different tasks that you would be asked to do. A few of those are copywriting, blog post writing, and story writing.
Nonprofit Writing and Grant Writing Internship
Nonprofits are a great way to gain experience in your writing skills while learning more about how nonprofits operate. A large portion of nonprofit internships is grant writing interns. For a grant writing specific internship, they will look for applicants with strong research and analytical skills.
Application Process for Writing Internships
In general with internships, if they are summer internships, they will begin hiring in the fall before that internship would start. Otherwise, writing internships can also take place any time outside of summer. Companies might be looking for specific fall, winter, or spring interns, or an intern during a busier season.
A great place to start looking for internships is on the companies’ website themselves. Then another great place to get exclusive company information is Scholars. Lastly, it is a good idea to look at Linkedin for jobs, and network with people from that company who have something in common with you.
There are a larger variety and amount of writing internships in larger cities such as New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Many United States internships are transitioning to a remote format in 2021 due to COVID-19.
In writing internships, a resume is especially important because it is another form of a writing sample. The content is important because you will want relevant skills and experiences that would make a good writing intern. A resume should always be polished, but for a writing internship, it should be well-written as well. Your bullet points on your resume should be engaging to a recruiter.
For a cover letter, like a resume, it is also another form of a writing sample. Ensure that your cover letter has a specific voice and is overall polished.
When employers ask for a writing sample, they are looking for a piece of your best professional work. This could be any piece, whether that be a published article or a school paper. However, you should consider what the role will be and choose a piece that will match the closest with the work that you would be doing as an intern.
If you struggle with finding a piece of professional writing that you like, consider writing blog posts to showcase your writing skills.
In terms of the length of writing samples, companies will let you know how long a sample should be. However, if there are no specific guidelines, the general length should be two to five pages long.
These are types of questions that may be asked in a writing internship interview:
- How do you prioritize projects?
- Are you more of a collaborative or independent worker or an independent worker?
- How do you begin your research process?
- What makes good content to write about?
- How do you assess an article for SEO optimization?
- What style guides are you familiar with?
- What is your experience with X publishing software?
What Is It Like to Be a Writing Intern?
To be a writing intern is to gain invaluable feedback from people currently in the writing field. While being a writing intern your work will constantly be assessed and critiqued. But, having your work checked, it will allow you to grow as a writer.
With the writing that you will do, it is a hands-on learning experience. With this experience, it allows you to have a greater chance of getting a full-time career following this internship. Future employers will see that you have that hands-on experience that will make you a more valuable and knowledgeable employee.
During your time as a writing intern, you will be required to do real-life research. This will allow you to learn what sources are reliable and helpful in the real world. This can be very different from sources that you would utilize in a school-setting.
Practice! A writing internship will allow you to practice your skills over and over while developing new ones. This practice will help you build your portfolio and writing samples that will be valuable when searching for a full-time position.
Not only will you be practicing writing, but you will be practicing other skills such as your time management and peer-reviewing.
This experience will build your resume. The position will get space on your resume and showcase that you are capable of more jobs due to your experience. Along with having it on your resume, it is important to go further in-depth in a cover letter about your experience being a writing intern.
Why Do a Writing Internship?
A writing internship allows you to get a trial run on a writing career. This allows you to assess if a writing career is a good fit for you personally and professionally. An internship allows you to have the chance to switch your major or your career track if necessary.
A writing internship does not have to be for writing based majors. Many other majors benefit from having experienced writing skills. Other industries such as art history and marketing require strong writing skills.
Whether or not you are considering a writing internship, it may be beneficial to improve your writing skills by joining writing-based clubs on campus such as Her Campus. To learn more about the benefits of writing for Her Campus, check out the Scholars podcast with the founder of Her Campus, Windsor Western. Along with joining the club to gain writing experience, Her Campus offers several opportunities for internships for students.
Looking for writing internships or other industries to intern in? Scholars can help! Check out our blog for more tips and tricks to finding and landing jobs in other types of companies. Plus, our podcast features exclusive interviews with managers at a wide variety of companies to intern at.