How to Write an Intern Job Description (with Examples)

Are you looking to bring on an intern for your company? It’s essential to create a job description for interns that will attract the best candidates.

In this article, we will provide templates and examples of writing an intern job description that is both informative and appealing. We’ll also offer tips on what to include in your posting similar to how we did with job descriptions for positions within your company. We’ll finish off with some examples of intern job descriptions that are tailored toward position that end after a certain time or have the chance to roll over into a permanent position.

Let’s dig into it.

Difference between an internship and a part-time job

Internships are unique professional learning opportunities typically reserved for college students or recent graduates. They are often unpaid (a recent study showed that around 40 percent of internships are unpaid), and they give young adults the opportunity to sample what it’s like working in a certain industry, often one they want to work in during their professional careers.

It became legal for companies to offer unpaid internships in the 1940s when the Supreme Court ruled that certain people are considered “trainees” and weren’t guaranteed a wage. It then became accepted that young professionals would be completing internships without the expectation of getting compensated. Thankfully for college students, there has been a stronger push from the 2010s on to make sure that interns are paid a wage, given internships are time consuming, typically given to students, who often have tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and take away time a young adult can theoretically spend getting paid to do a different job.

On the flip side, a part-time job is one that guarantees income. You are paid a wage (most commonly hourly) for your work. There is no limit on your employment in most cases, unless a company specifies this beforehand. Part-time jobs also don’t offer college credit for professional development, which some colleges require of their students. (That is where internships come into play.) While high schoolers and college-age people may have part-time jobs, this type of employment is taken advantage of by all ages.

Internships are also unique compared to apprenticeships, which are paid, lengthy, individualized trainings that lead to employment in the field the person trained in.

Must-have information for your intern job description

Here is what you must have for a job description for an intern to start:

  • The job title
  • Your company name
  • Location of the internship
  • Weekly hourly requirements
  • Any salary, benefits, housing arrangements, etc. interns may get
  • Age or school year requirement
  • If the internship offers college credit

Beyond that, you’ll want to give a brief overview of what the intern will be doing day-to-day. This includes any sort of task that the intern would be trained on during the duration of the internship. You may also want to list any specific requirements or preferences for your intern, such as a particular major in school or skillset.

The main reason you’ll want to include this information is to make sure your internship listing is as informative as possible. This will help candidates determine if they are a good fit for the position while avoiding any confusion about what the job entails. When you provide as much information as possible, you allow the candidate to make an informed decision about if they want to work under the conditions and stipulations you provide.

Best practices for intern job descriptions

There are a couple tips you can follow when writing a job description for interns. These tips will help best optimize the job description to land you the best candidates.

First, make sure your job description has very clear expectations of the role. You want to highlight what the intern will do and how you will help them gain professional skills in a desired field. That’s what internships are for–to help young adults gain career experience in a professional setting. Detail skills or experience the intern will learn.

This information will help candidates determine if they are interested in the position and can also help them gauge how much time they would be committing to the internship.

Next, emphasize why your company is a good place for a candidate to spend a semester of their time. Often, interns will apply to companies they want to eventually work for. However, not every student gets their dream internship. Some interns search for internship to fulfill a course requirement, or they are left scrambling to find a last-minute internship. Let candidates know why your company is a good company to intern for by describing company culture, values, and perhaps even success rates your company has had with training interns.

Lastly, do not promise employment after the internship. If you plan for this position to roll into a permanent position, perhaps you should be selling this position as a contract roll with the opportunity for full-time employment–not an internship. Be open about how long the internship is for, how much the internship pays, how frequently it pays, and list any other benefits (housing stipend, meal per diem, etc.) that will be available during the internship.

Typical intern requirements and qualifications

Intern requirements and qualifications can vary significantly from company to company and from internship to internship. However, a few things are commonly looked for in an intern include:

  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Strong communication abilities
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite or Google platforms
  • Time management and critical thinking skills
  • Taking initiative

Some of these are hard skills that candidates may have learned or developed in school, but others are soft skills that are interpersonal and come naturally to some while others need to practice. Internships are a great place to practice these skills that interns will need in professional settings once they graduate.

On top of all this, look for interns who are passionate about the company’s mission and vision. In an interview, candidates who show they researched your company and understand what you do shows that initiative we were talking about before.

What to do if you don’t have enough information to write a job description?

If you’re not sure what to include in your intern job description, it’s best to reach out to other members of your team who may have more information. Information gathering is a vital part of a hiring manager’s job on a day-to-day basis, and this especially rings true when trying to write any sort of job description. Once you have the information, it can help give you a better idea of the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of the position.

Additionally, you can review job descriptions for positions the internship will support and train under. While the interns won’t be doing the jobs for the mentors and trainers, you can identify skills and responsibilities the trainer does on a day-to-day basis and explain how the intern will support them.

Intern job description templates

Now that you understand the basics of writing an intern job description, it’s time to create your own. The four intern job description templates and examples below will help get you started.

For these examples, we’re simply covering what the intern job description would look like. Make sure to include information about your company at the bottom of the internship posting, too.

Woman working at a computer on coding software

Example #1 — Software development intern job description

Internship Description

We are looking for a software development intern to join our team for an eight-week period lasting from late August to early November. The internship requires 20 hours of on-site work per week.

The ideal candidate will have base-level knowledge in Java or Python and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in computer science. Our paid software development internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience with current software development techniques and train under professionals with dozens of years of experience in the software development field. The intern will work with a team of developers to design, develop, and test software applications for our company.

Responsibilities

  • Assist the design team with accomplishing tasks related to the development of new software that streamlines customer sales and relationships
  • Test software applications that the development team builds for efficiency and note any bugs
  • Document application development processes
  • Participate in code reviews with experienced web developers

Requirements

  • Entry-level experience with Java or Python
  • Enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree program in computer science or a related field
  • Familiar with software development
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Benefits Of This Internship

  • Practical experience with current software development techniques
  • Shadowing, mentoring, and training opportunities with experienced developers
  • Opportunity to participate in code reviews for softwares used by thousands of employees
  • $15/hour salary and free lunch every day
  • Proper paperwork offered to fulfill course credit for an institution

Example #2 — Accounts payable clerk intern job description

Internship Description

We are looking for an accounts payable clerk intern to join our team from May to July over an eight-week period. The ideal candidate will have experience with basic accounting skills and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in business administration or finance. The internship is not paid but we do offer course credit for required for necessary college or university requirements. Our accounts payable internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience with billing, invoicing, and accounts receivable on-site. The intern will work with a team of accountants to process payments, invoices, and receipts. The internship is 15 hours per week.

Responsibilities

  • Assist team members in gathering invoices and receipts from employees
  • Review and approve receipts following company process
  • Enter data into our internal accounting software
  • Handle basic customer inquiries about invoicing and billing

Requirements

  • Enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree program in business administration or finance
  • Familiar with basic accounting formulas and terms
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A desire to learn and take initiative with problem solving

Benefits Of This Internship

  • Practical experience with billing, invoicing, and accounts receivable
  • Shadowing, mentoring, and training opportunities with experienced accountants and an accounting department that services over 2,000 employees
  • Opportunity to enter data into accounting software and interact with and help solve real-time problems employees face
  • Flexible with which five-hour shifts the intern works during the week
  • Free parking on-site and a weekly lunch on Wednesdays
  • Proper paperwork offered to fulfill course credit for an institution

Example #3 — Social media intern job description

An iPhone displaying app logos for Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, What's App, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

Internship Description

We are looking for a social media intern to join our 10-member team for the winter. The internship pays $2,000 over 10 weeks from January to March, with $1,000 paid on February 1 and the remainder paid at the end of the internship. The internship is remote and requires 15-20 hours per week depending on the workload of a certain week. The ideal candidate will have experience in managing a Twitter, TikTok and Facebook feeds and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in communications or marketing. Our social media internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience with a social media presence of over 150,000 followers. In addition, the intern will work with a team of professionals to manage our company’s social media accounts.

Responsibilities

  • Help execute a strategy for the company’s Twitter, Facebook and TikTok accounts
  • Monitor social media analytics for the team’s social media accounts
  • Opportunity to establish a presence on Snapchat and Instagram

Requirements

  • Working knowledge of Twitter, Facebook and TikTok
  • Enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree program in communications or marketing
  • Understanding of basic social media analytic measurements
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to handle a flexible work schedule based on workload

Benefits Of This Internship

  • Practical experience with current social media techniques and platforms
  • Mentoring with a social media manager with over four years experience
  • Opportunity to help grow a brand with over 150,000 followers
  • Internship pays $2,000 over the entirety and is fully remote
  • Proper paperwork offered to fulfill course credit for an institution

Example #4 — Sales associate intern job description

Internship Description

We are looking for a sales associate intern to join our team from June to August. The ideal candidate will have working knowledge of market research and data entry platforms and processes and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in business or economics. Our business internship provides an opportunity for students to gain practical experience with basic sales processes in the healthcare IT space. The intern will work with a team of professionals to help establish communication with new clients and assist sales managers with leads. The internship pays $12/hour and requires 20-25 hours per week pending business.

Responsibilities

  • Conduct cold calls and learn market research tools to help establish lines of communication between the company and new clients
  • Enter data into Hubspot, a customer relationship management software. (There is no prior experience necessary but prior experience helps.)
  • Shadow sales managers on pitches and meetings to learn sales procedures for the company

Requirements

  • Interest in sales and market research
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in business or economics
  • Must be heading into junior or senior year or are a recent graduate
  • Familiar with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or similar spreadsheet softwares
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Benefits Of This Internship

  • You’ll get to learn sales procedures with professionals who have locked down more than $600,000 in sales
  • Will get to conduct sales calls and lead a sales meeting by the end of the internship
  • Receive real-time feedback from mentors of how to best lock down sales meetings and accounts
  • Role is compensated at $12/hour over 20-25 hours per week
  • Meals and travel expensed when attending sales meetings with managers
  • Proper paperwork offered to fulfill course credit for an institution

Conclusion

We hope this article will help you write an intern job description. The best way to attract top candidates is to be as specific as possible about the responsibilities of the position and the skills and qualifications required. The more transparent and informative you are, the more likely you will be to get candidates who want to work for you and dedicate their time to learning within your company.

Need help finding talented employees? Visit Insight Global's Staffing Services page to get started.