How do you target the right interns for your internship and project?

Writing job adverts

Writing a job advertisement is the first step of the hiring process. Using inclusive language that avoids bias will help engage your target audience. Here are some things to consider while writing your advert:

  • Specifics

    Remember candidates may not have experience, so don’t be too prescriptive, but it’s great to be clear what they’ll be working on and learning during their internship. If you can, mention that interns will be “part of a supportive team”, and describe the mentoring and on-the-job training opportunities that will help applicants feel safe and supported in their role. 

  • Skills

    Distinguish the must-have skills from the nice-to-have skills. Research shows that less confident but often equally capable candidates, are less likely to apply if they are not able to tick all the skill requirements. This distinction gives applicants the confidence that while they may not have all the skills you ask for, they have enough of your desired skills to apply.

  • Marketing

    Use your job ad to sell the opportunity! Think like a marketer and describe the exciting work that interns will be doing with your team. What will they learn? What will their project achieve? Using keywords that candidates will identify with in the job title and description, improves the chances of them being interested.

  • Challenge

    Offer challenges within the role to attract candidates with the drive and passion for the type of project you are offering. It is important to offer support along with these challenges, thereby giving interns the confidence that they will be able to meet the job requirements.

  • Environment

    Your company’s office environment and proximity to public transport can be very important to students who are considering their options. Explaining your company’s work culture could help candidates understand if they’ll fit in and what it’ll be like to work with your team.

  • Contact

    If candidates have questions, make it clear who they can contact. If you have a ‘Careers’ page on your company website that answers commonly asked questions, you could link to it in the job ad. For candidates applying for their first professional role, it’s important that they can find answers to questions they may have.

  • Background

    A brief description of your organisation, what you do, what the team does and your core values and goals will help candidates to do their research before they meet you.

  • Promote

    Describe the role and your organisation with concise and clear language. Remind applicants of what your company can offer them and how your role will help them to develop. What can you offer in terms of work culture to attract the attention of the right candidates?

  • Relatability

    Ensure your language is relatable. We suggest informal language, e.g. refer to the reader as “you” rather than referring to the “successful candidate”. Applicants will then feel directly engaged and encouraged.

  • Bias

    Be careful to avoid bias while writing job adverts. Gendered language has been proven to limit the number of potential applicants. Kat Matfield offers a useful resource which allows employers to copy their advert to so they can test for bias.

Finding students

Students can be sourced through tertiary providers or through independent platforms. The following are by no means comprehensive lists. 

If you are from a tertiary provider or independently provide a mechanism that makes it easy for employers to connect to the right student or graduate, please contact us using the Contact Box below to discuss having your organisation’s details listed here.

Tertiary Providers

  • Ara Institute of Canterbury

    Ara Institute of Canterbury

    Ara Institute of Canterbury offers a Career Hub where employers can advertise their internships and graduate roles.  

  • Auckland ICT Graduate School

    Auckland ICT Graduate School

    The Auckland ICT Graduate School will link industry to postgrad students for internships and employment.

  • AUT Internz

    AUT Internz

    Employers may advertise their internships to AUT students on the AUT Internz dedicated website. It’s a free service.

  • Manukau Institute of Technology

    Manukau Institute of Technology

    Manukau Institute of Technology offer a jobs board where employers can list internships, roles for graduates and other roles. A Recruitment Consultant is available to offer assistance.

  • NZUniCareerHub


    NZUniCareerHub is a platform that allows employers to advertise internships, graduate programmes, and other roles including part-time and short-term to university students. Students and recent graduates of all NZ universities (except Waikato) have access to NZUniCareerHub.  As well, employers may profile their organisation on the platform. There is a small advertising fee for this service.

  • Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology

    Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology

    Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology has multiple campuses in Bay of Plenty and Taupo. Employers may list roles directly  through a template provided on the website here

  • Waikato University

    Waikato University

    Employers can advertise their full time graduate roles and internships to Waikato university students and recent graduates through the My Career page. It’s a free service.

  • Wellington ICT Graduate School

    Wellington ICT Graduate School

    The Wellington ICT Graduate School has an Industry Engagement Manager to help industry connect to their students for internships and employment.

Independent platforms

  • Summer of Tech

    Summer of Tech

    Summer of Tech provides an independent platform for employers to source students and graduates for any tech internship. This service is available to tertiary students regardless of their institution or qualification. There is a fee for employers to access this service.

  • Summer of Biz

    Summer of Biz

    Summer of Biz provides an independent platform for employers to source students and graduates for marketing and HR roles. Summer of Biz is available to tertiary students regardless of their institution or qualification. There is a fee for employers to access this service.

  • Enspiral Dev Academy

    Enspiral Dev Academy

    At Enspiral Dev Academy, graduates complete a 9-week developer programme which provides intensive practical development in a course environment.

  • Student Job Search

    Student Job Search

    Student Job Search is a government funded platform which is used by employers to source for professional roles, internships and casual roles.

  • NxtStep


    NxtStep is a platform for employers to promote themselves and connect to students and advertise internships and gradate roles and vice versa. 

  • Sexy Summer Jobs

    Sexy Summer Jobs

    Sexy Summer Jobs is a Dunedin Business Internship Programme.

Employment Brand

  • Your website

    Consider having a ‘Careers’ page on your organisation’s website. This can be a great way for prospective employees to find out more about you, and what it’s like to work on your team. This can mean you get more, better prepared applicants for your roles.

  • Social media

    LinkedIn has become a popular place for recruitment. Employers can advertise roles and find candidates who match their requirements, meanwhile applicants are able to find out about companies, employees and roles in one simple location. 

    More and more roles are being shared through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, via digital word-of-mouth. Students will often closely follow the companies they’d most like to work for in the hope of seeing roles come up which they would like to apply for. This can be a good way to make professional yet familiar contact with students who may not find your job advertisement elsewhere.

People assumed interns would be interested in slides, and bars, and gadgets, and things, but what they were really interested in was the data, the challenging work, the global nature of the work, and being able to work on a problem that would be released and go live.

Julie Reddish

Flux Federation Tech

Leave a question

This resource was designed and compiled by interns sourced through Summer of Tech 2017.