I read this post which deals with openly paid internships, but I don't think it fully answers this specific question:

When looking for a paid internship only, is it a good idea to include this in your reusme cover letter (in a non-chalant way) such as "I am seeking a paid inernship..." as opposed to "I am seeking an internship..."? The answer should apply to both soliciting you resume (sending it out to companies who have not placed a hiring advertisemnt) and also to those who have advertised but not specified whether it is paid or not. I'm not sure this is the appropriate place, or wait until the interview (if you get one).

I can think of a reaons for both: Specifying that you are looking only for a paid internship may turn off potentional employers who have not requested a resume (in the first place) from first considering you, but could save you (and them) the cost and time of inteviewing for no purpose.

  • What is the norm in your area, paid internships, nonpaid? Is it advertise anywhere what kind it is or are you doing a spontaneous application
    – Brandin
    Feb 25, 2015 at 13:11
  • @Brandin As I said, I would be soliciting them, so they would have no position posted. And I've not heard of any bias for paid/unpaid internships in the area.
    – user32865
    Feb 26, 2015 at 2:04
  • You don't specify location, but unpaid internships are illegal in the US now.
    – grfrazee
    May 16, 2017 at 18:19

3 Answers 3


Be honest and upfront and you will save yourself (and prospective employers) time. They will respect that. Being unclear and having to decline something later after they have made you an offer due to something you could have told them right off the bat will not earn you any points.

Also, be sure you understand recent changes in the law regarding what qualifies as a true unpaid internship vs. a paid one. Basically, if you are doing work of any value to the employer, then you should be paid.

See: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm


Make your intentions clear from the very beginning.

If you only wish to seek paid internship, then say so.

If you'll not, then you'll end up wasting a lot of time communicating with companies who are not going to hire you and at worst you'll burn a few bridges after wasting theirs.

  • The resume cover letter is specific to the application (or should be).
    – Ben Voigt
    Feb 25, 2015 at 14:49
  • @BenVoigt I just wanted to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding anything. I simply removed that part although we're obviously talking about the same thing.
    – Jonast92
    Feb 25, 2015 at 14:50

If you specify that you are looking for a paid internship, you will get fewer responses, that is true. As the responses that you would otherwise have gotten would mostly have been for unpaid internships though, these would not be a good fit for you. I would still send in my résumé to internship positions that do not mention whether the position is a paid one. When it comes to the actual compensation, I would refer to the guidelines in the question you linked, first establish that you want to work for them and they want you to work for them and try to agree on the amount of compensation you will receive.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .