Copywriting Internship Guide: Tasks, Requirements & More
What does a copywriting intern do and how do you land that position? Click to find out!
It’s well-known in the industry that the best way to land a copywriter position at a reputable company or top agency is by completing a copywriting internship for them. But what is it exactly that copywriting interns do and how do you land the position?
That’s what we’ll go through today —and we’ll even show you how to build your first copywriting portfolio, even if you have no prior experience.
To bring you the most up-to-date information, we’ve scoured dozens of job posts, so you don’t have to. We’ve also talked to creative directors and senior copywriters, starting a discussion on what copywriting intern tasks usually are and what makes them beneficial both for the interns and their agency.
What does a copywriting intern do?
Everybody agrees that copywriting interns should do more than just admin tasks and making coffee —and also more than purely shadowing others to learn.
Copywriting interns typically first help with the research needed to get familiar with the brand or client. It’s essential as it helps with understanding their audience, competitors, and reasons behind branding and ToV decisions.
They can then often start writing copy, where the specific tasks will depend on what the project needs at the moment. Creative directors and senior copywriters often mentioned their interns writing social media captions, emails, or copy for websites and landing pages.
It’s important to highlight though that interns don’t write it all on their own. They usually do so under the guidance and supervision of a more experienced copywriter. With them, they revise and polish the copy before it gets approved and published.
Editing and proofreading
The third typical task in a copywriting internship is editing or proofreading. While it doesn’t sound as difficult a task as writing, you need to know both the brand and the main copywriting principles to be able to do it well.
Checking and adjusting the copy to match the tone of voice of a brand can sometimes be even harder than writing it in the first place.
The typical requirements for copywriting internships
If you look at copywriting internship job posts, you’ll see that the requirements are not nearly as daunting as you’d think. Contrary to junior copywriter positions, internships typically don’t ask for previous experience.
Instead, they’d like you to be currently studying or have studied English, communications, marketing, or something along those lines. That shows them both that you’re really interested in the field and that you already have some of the essential skills and knowledge you’ll need for the internship.
Apart from that, companies tend to ask for skills such as:
- Great communication and teamwork as you’ll work with others and possibly even get in touch with clients
- Time management and organization skills to keep up with the fast pace of the projects
- Attention to detail paired with exceptional grammar and spelling, for obvious reasons
- Being proactive, curious, and creative, so you can get the most out of the opportunity and they can have a teammate that’s inspiring to work with
- Basic design skills and knowing how to use Adobe or other software are usually a huge plus
How to get a copywriting internship
If you’re interested in snatching a copywriting internship position after reading through this post so far, the next logical question is: how do you actually get one?
1. Find internships that are good fits
One of our best tips is to not apply to any and every copywriting internship you come across. Even though they’re all training you to become a copywriter, there are a lot of differences in terms of industry, company culture, team setup, tasks, compensation, and so on.
So think about what your priorities are when it comes to internship hunting and what your ideal position would look like. Then compile a list of job posts that fit your criteria and only apply to those.
With fewer applications to hand in, you can also invest more time into perfecting your materials for each.
2. Create a copywriting portfolio
Amongst the materials you need to prepare to get called in for an interview is a copywriting portfolio. In this industry, it’s an absolute must, so that they can see your writing skills even if you have no formal experience.
What if you have no copywriting experience?
If that’s the case, here’s how you can create projects for a portfolio:
- Choose a brand for each (they can be fictitious)
- Give yourself a brief or task (e.g. write an email to launch a summer sale campaign)
- Write about how you’d get to work on it, your creative process
- Complete the task and show the finished result
Make 3-4 of these, choosing either brands from different industries, or different copywriting formats to show the versatility of your copywriting skills.
How to create a copywriting portfolio
As a best practice, your portfolio should be in the form of a website. It feels way more professional than a simple PDF and allows you to make instant updates.
Even if you have no experience with building websites and little design skills, creating a portfolio website with a tool like Copyfolio will be much easier than you’d imagine. You just choose your profession (copywriter) and goal with the site (portfolio) when you register and it’ll generate custom templates for you based on that.
All you have to do then is add your projects (as case study pages, PDFs, or external links), get a custom domain or URL ending, and personalize the copy a little. If you want to take it a step further, you can set custom colors with global palettes to be on brand, perfect your SEO settings for better discoverability, or even start a blog there.
Check out some copywriting portfolio examples for inspiration, get your projects ready, and don’t put off making your portfolio any longer!
3. Research the company and practice for the interview
With these two things done, you’re ready to apply. Our third tip is to also take time to research the role and company for each of your applications.
Whether it’s for writing a copywriter cover letter or asking relevant questions at the interview, it’ll show your interviewers that you take it seriously and really do want to work for their company.Practice both your questions and replies to the most frequently asked interview questions you’re likely going to get. Not sure what to say for those? Check out our TikTok videos here and here to get some help with that.