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The title may be a little unclear. For a summer internship, I really cannot afford to be accepted into an unpaid internship. On my cover letter ahead of my Curriculum Vitae, should I mention I'm applying for a paid internship, or do most firms already assume this? I appreciate any help!
Normally, the office will (if they choose to reply) explain to you clearly if it is an unpaid position. I don't think you need to explicitly emphasize that you are looking for a paid position. It looks a bit awkward to me.
No, you shouldn't. All offices will let you know what you will be paid or whether its an unpaid internship. They don't expect you to show up for an internship without knowing what or if you will be paid. That's how it usually works in north ameria. It might be different in europe where interns are treated differently usually due to local laws.