An Internship Offer Letter is written correspondence sent to an intern from an employer offering an internship position. Interns differ from employees in that the intern often agrees to work for little or no pay for the duration of the program.
While some internships lead to long-term employment, such positions are taken with the understanding that a future job with the company is not guaranteed.
How to Write an Internship Offer Letter
To ensure a mutually beneficial internship experience, a clear, concise internship letter is crucial. Follow these steps, starting with an internship offer letter template:
Step 1: Address the Recipient
Enter the recipient’s full name and double-check the spelling. Accuracy is critical since the internship offer letter can be considered legal.
Step 2: Mention Details on the Company and Internship Position
You will provide a full scope of work with your formal internship agreement, so a detailed list of work obligations is unnecessary. Your offer letter should provide details about the company and how the intern will fit. Outline the general requirements for the position and explain any critical tasks and projects.
Step 3: Provide Information About the Internship’s Duration and Schedule
One of the primary legal requirements is that an internship works with the student’s academic schedule. Be clear about the internship’s start and end date. Outline the scheduling method and how it will accommodate the student’s needs.
Step 4: Be Clear About What Interns Can Expect
Use this section to provide insight into the company’s expectations of the intern. Include information about confidentiality, dress code, professional etiquette, and other important policies and procedures.
Step 5: Provide an Acceptance Confirmation Deadline
Give the potential intern a specific date by which to reply. Ensure enough time to consider your offer and respond thoughtfully and seriously. If you want to hire another if this intern declines, allow yourself enough time to contact other applicants.
Step 6: Include Legal Disclosures
Although the internship offer letter is not a contract, it does serve as legal documentation of the basic terms of the internship. Use this opportunity to include any additional legal disclosures about paid and unpaid internships, academic credit, networking opportunities, and professional development resources.
Step 7: State the Next Steps for the Hiring Process, If Necessary
If needed, advise the intern of the next steps in the internship hiring process. For example, once they accept the position, the candidate may need details about where to report on their first day.
You may also provide their supervisor’s contact information so they can call and coordinate.
When to Use an Internship Offer Letter
Internships allow students and new graduates to gain training and hands-on experience in their desired careers. Employers who hire interns have greater access to new talent as people enter the workforce from colleges and universities.
At the same time, interns gain critical experience that can help them hone their career goals and pursue future employment opportunities.
What Should Be Included in an Internship Offer Letter
An internship offer letter is a formal document outlining the terms of the internship offer. It explains the opportunity and highlights the benefits of working with your company. It provides sufficient information for the intern to decide whether the position is right for them.
Your offer letter for the internship should include the following details:
- Company name and address
- Intern’s name and address
- Company, division, and location of the internship
- Internship start and end dates
- Supervisor name and title
- Intern’s primary responsibilities, including tasks and projects
- Whether the internship is paid or unpaid
- Payment rate or fixed fee and payment terms
- Confidentiality clause
- Professional expectations, including dress code, policies, and procedures
- Deadline to accept the offer
- Supervisor contact information for questions or concerns
- Name, title, and signature of company representatives
Clarifying that the letter overrides any prior discussions about the internship terms ensures transparency regarding the scope of work and benefits, which is significant if negotiations are prolonged.
Primary Beneficiary Test
Since internships are often unpaid, the Fair Labor Standards Act has established seven rules to test whether a position qualifies. This primary beneficiary test ensures employers do not take advantage of interns by treating them like employees without paying them minimum wage.
The seven factors of the primary beneficiary test are:
- The intern and employer understand that there is no express or implied expectation for compensation.
- The internship provides training similar to that offered by educational institutions.
- The internship is part of a course or eligible for academic credit.
- The internship schedule is coordinated with the intern’s academic commitments in mind.
- The internship’s duration is limited to a specific learning period.
- The intern’s position provides them with educational benefits, complementing rather than displacing paid employees.
- The intern and employer acknowledge that the internship does not ensure a paid position after termination.
Not all these rules apply to every internship. While federal laws exist for unpaid internships, some states and localities require that interns receive pay for their work, regardless of whether the internship is part of an academic program. Before you send an unpaid internship offer letter, be sure to review applicable laws and statutes.
Internship Offer Letter Sample
Streamline your internship contract process by downloading this fillable internship offer letter in PDF or Word format.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of internship programs?
The benefits of conducting internship programs are myriad:
- Internships allow employers to create close relationships with local colleges and universities to tap into a new workforce.
- Internship programs give your company greater visibility when recruiting talented new graduates.
- Interns bring new ideas and skill sets, keeping your company from stagnating.
- Interns trained in your company’s methods offer fresh talent you can recruit after they complete their studies.
Can a company accept an internship offer?
A company can take back an internship offer if the intern has not signed an employment contract or other legal agreement. Sometimes, a company rescinds an offer because they discover the candidate was dishonest on their application or they failed a background check or drug test.
A company can also return an internship offer if internal issues prevent it from honoring the internship terms. For example, if the company has financial problems that prevent it from paying the intern per the terms of the offer letter, it may rescind the offer.
How do I send an internship offer letter?
You can send an internship offer letter or email or provide it in person. If you send the letter as an attachment via email, include a short introductory email advising that an internship offer letter is attached.
To ensure the candidate receives the letter on time, consider sending the offer by email and in letter form. You may also call the candidate to advise that the offer letter is coming.
Hiring an intern can be complicated, especially considering the complex federal, state, and local laws surrounding internships. Streamline the process with an internship offer letter template from LegalTemplates.