How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship
You have found the perfect internship. One that will kick start your career. You can’t wait to gain great experience in your field of study.
Congratulations! But to secure that offer, you need to make a bold impression with your application.
It is obvious you will need to prepare a well-tailored resume. But that is still not enough to secure the position. You also need to accompany your resume with a persuasive cover letter that clearly explains why you are the ideal candidate. Otherwise, you will just be like any other candidate in the pool.
An internship cover letter allows you to show why you are the right intern. Additionally, this letter enables you to make a great impression. An impression that will make it easier for you to secure the position.
But how do you make sure your internship cover letter makes a great impression? How do you tailor your letter to the specific internship? Here are a few tips you will find very helpful:
Tips for writing an internship cover letter
Nail your cover letter format
Make sure your internship cover letter follows accepted conventions. For example, make sure your letter has a maximum of five paragraphs (try to stick to four paragraphs).
Going past that length will make your letter seen as unprofessional. That is not something you want to happen to you.
- Paragraph 1: Start by formally introducing yourself and saying where you heard about the internship. Add some info about your background and touch upon why you are applying.
- Paragraph 2: Use this paragraph to sell your skills and accomplishments. Prove your passion for the industry and give examples of when you have excelled before. If you are writing a cover letter for an internship with no experience, feel free to focus on your academic credentials.
- Paragraph 3: Use this paragraph to mention anything that makes your application unique. If you have done your research, describe how you would be a good fit for the company‘s culture. You can even try elaborating on how the company is making a positive impact on your society at large.
- Paragraph 4: Finish your application with a call to action. Say that you are ready for the interview and will follow up within a week if you don’t hear back. Finally, thank the reader for their time, and close with “Warm regards” or “Yours sincerely.”
Motivation is more crucial than experience.
Hiring managers are more interested in seeing that you are ready to learn. They know you have little or no work experience, so don’t worry if you have no extensive work experience to show.
Just show your willingness and enthusiasm to learn. That is all.
Here are ways to show your motivation:
- Show passion by describing relevant interests
- Give examples of when you used initiative
- Don’t lie or embellish the truth
Describe what you feel you would gain from the internship
What do you think you will learn at the end of the internship program? It is good to let your temporary boss know your expectations when preparing your cover letter. Just remember not to get too personal as that can hurt your application.
Provide specific examples
Have you mentioned any particular skills or abilities? Then be sure to support with specific examples from your past work, extracurricular or academic.
Always go the extra mile.
The beauty of going above and beyond in your cover letter is a sign that you will exceed expectations once accepted. So, make an effort to go the extra mile to secure that excellent internship position.
Going the extra mile to find out who to address your letter to is a move that will wow hiring managers. Luckily, today, it is possible to find contact details. You can make a call, visit the “about us” page on the website, or visit the company‘s LinkedIn page.
Individualize your cover letter
Make sure to customize your cover letter for each application. Some employers can tell when you have used a previous cover letter to apply for the current role. So, always make sure to tailor your letter to avoid employers seeing you as a joke.
Scan the job posting for relevant keywords and include them in your cover letter. Doing so demonstrates you understand what the role is all about. Not to mention that using keywords increases the chances of applicant tracking systems (ATSs) scanning your letter.
Keep in mind that some ATSs are designed to recognize specific keywords in every application.
Share your research
Have you researched the company? Do you have anything tangible about the company? For example, past research or company culture. It is ok to mention such research in your cover letter. Such facts wow employers in accepting you as an intern.
Emphasize your academic experience
In the event you have limited work experience, use your academic experience to show you have particular skills. For example, you can pick a successful team project to show you can collaborate with others.
Towards the end of your letter, say how you will follow up with the employer. You might say that you will call the office to follow up in about a week. If the company had indicated you don’t call, then skip that part.
Remember to check your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors. A single error has the potential to disqualify you from a position you are a fit match for. You can use tools like Grammarly to improve your internship cover letter.
Sending an email cover letter
If you are sending your cover letter via email, your format will be slightly different than a traditional letter. Just do this:
- List your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message.
- Start your email message with the salutation.
- Add your contact details in your email signature, and don’t list the employer’s contact information. Also, don’t list your contact information at the top of the message.
Are you now ready to write your cover letter? If you’re looking for a resume builder, you can head over to our partners at VisualCV. They can help you select a variety of resume templates, designs, and styles that we help you learn about here.