Internship Cover Letter Example
The cover letter — also known as the application letter — is the perfect “covincer” for getting an internship position. In some instances, it's more powerful than a graduate’s temporarily thin resume. Whether you’re fresh out of college, just finished high school or simply moving from one professional field to another - internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. They lead to mentorships, dream jobs, awesome projects, stable salaries and incredible growth opportunities.
Internships are typically associated with relate to desirable employers, exclusive fields or difficult-to-learn professions. The competition can be high, but that should not stop you, with a whole arsenal of tools and knowledge from Resume.io to back you up.
You might have already perfected your resume. If not - make sure to check out our profession-specific cover letter examples, cover letter templates and general resume writing guide. Now you’re looking for the final touch to seal the d
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In this guide, along with the corresponding internship cover letter example, we’ll go through the following topics to help you write the best cover letter possible:
- Outline the goal and competitive advantage of your cover letter
- Explain the cover letter structure and provide free examples and templates to check out
- How to maximize the effect of each cover letter paragraph: header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion
- Insights into the psychology of cover letter writing, from the hiring manager’s perspective
- Common mistakes to avoid when writing your internship cover letter.
However, let’s rewind for a moment. Ask yourself: why do I even need a cover letter? If the application process explicitly requires you to submit one, the answer’s easy. But it's crucial to understand why a cover letter is a useful tool for ANY type of career opportunity.
What is an internship cover letter?
A cover letter is a relatively free-form document, roughly 300 to 400 words and limited to one page, submitted along with your resume. The goal is to introduce yourself to the company and hiring manager by briefly outlining your achievements, character, skills and personal qualities. In addition, the cover letter establishes a direct and immediate personal connection, explaining why you’re a great pick for the position. Of course, it’s easier to understand these ideas based on real cover letter samples and templates, which you can analyze below.
What if the internship job application doesn't require a cover letter? Unless you are specifically directed not to submit a cover letter, then send one anyway! It will increase the likelihood of a personal connection with the employer/hiring manager.
The "percentage approach" to getting a great internship position is explained below. With just a half-hour invested with resume.io’s expert tools, you can up the chances of reaching your professional goal. Creating just one short document is a small price to pay for the opportunity of an awesome career in the future!
In our resume writing guide , as well as our occupation-specific guides, we note that the resume is a highly structured document. The only part where you get to “sound like" yourself is in the resume summary (profile). Those three to five short sentences don't allow much room to convince the hiring manager you are diligent, creative and a delight to work with — someone worthy of a chance.
Ultimately, you want to stand out from the crowd of generic pitches that flood companies every day. An effective internship cover letter can help you achieve that human connection and emotional resonance.
As we noted already, internships are a highly competitive avenue to your future career goals. What we want to do is to maximize your chances. A key realization in the hunt for a great internship is that you’re playing a game of percentages. In a vast pool of candidates, each one has access to a number of tools and tactics that add up to a percentage chance of success: 30%, 60%, 90% or some other likelihood.
Your goal isn't to find some trick to hack the system. Your goal is to maximize the number of tools that influence that golden outcome. Sounds like a bit of work, right? But it also sends an extremely hopeful message: everybody has a chance!
Based on a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), of the graduating seniors who received at least one job offer, 57.5% previously had an internship position.
What does this mean? First, the drive towards intern positions is high. You need to stand out and increase your chances. Second, while correlation doesn't equal causation, the signs of internships leading to careers are still quite strong.
Let’s take Imaginary Candidate A, who has a prestigious degree or certification. Let’s be very generous and say that this advantage provides a +50% chance of getting to the interview. But if Imaginary Candidate A has been resting on their laurels, the competitive advantage ends at that 50%. With a bland resume, without a cover letter, without employer research, the percentages of success stop adding up.
Now let’s consider Imaginary Candidate B. This applicant has an awesome resume, perfectly tailored to the employer — let’s assume an arbitrary +30% — and it is optimized for the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), so that adds another +15%. Candidate B also did research on the employer and position, earning another +15%, and has a passionate, professionally convincing cover letter, also worth +15%. So the chances of success for Candidate B sits at 75%. Out of the two candidates, who do you think is going to get that interview? The numbers, of course are semi-arbitrary, but the point stands.
Best format for an internship cover letter
The cover letter structure for any intern position will usually be the same or similar, regardless of profession or position. Cover letters should include these key components:
The cover letter header
- The greeting
- The introduction
The cover letter body
- The conclusion
- The signature.
For an in-depth look at writing each of these sections, as well as free example sentences - make sure to check out our overall guide to cover letters.
Dear Mr. Vince,
I am applying for the internship role in Business Administration at your esteemed organisation.
I am currently in year 2 of a Masters in Business Administration and I'm eager to gain experience, which hopefully would help me to garner a full time position in your company in the future.
The skills I possess would make me an ideal fit for the role, as I'm meticulous with detail, have a can-do positive attitude, and fit in well in different environments.
I enjoy working as part of a team, but I am equally comfortable working on my own initiative.
London Bridge Support Services is a company that I'm excited at the prospect of working for, as you have an outstanding reputation for delivering a quality service to customers. This is shown by the awards you have claimed over the years and your reviews on Glassdoor etc.
My long-term career goals are to work with a company that offers challenges and develops employees, and this internship would help give me the knowledge and experience I need to achieve this.
It would welcome the opportunity to discuss my experience in more detail and, of course, hear more about your organisation.
The header of an internship cover letter performs two functions. The primary one is to provide all the necessary contact/personal information that the employer requires. If you’re submitting your cover letter through an online application system, keep the header brief; don’t bloat the document.
However, the cover letter is likely to circulate within the company, so it’s useful to have some of your info up there, to avoid becoming “nameless."
The secondary function of the header is to visually grab the reader's attention, as most people’s eyes move from top left to bottom right on any page.
The goal of the cover letter header: supply the necessary contacts, identify the document as belonging to yourself and to grab visual attention.
Align document styles!
It’s always a good idea to align the writing style and formatting of your resume and cover letter, including in the header. First, it shows you’re organized and consistent. Secondly, this will allow hiring managers to associate the documents with you personally and recognize them easily. This is called emotional and visual coding. People will remember two documents that looked and “sounded” similar. Most importantly, they’ll remember you!
If you’d like your cover letter and for your resume to work as a powerful duo - check out our guide and ready-to-edit example for an internship resume . Aligning the styles, thoughts and formatting of the resume and cover letter is a tried and true tactic that has been shown to yield great results for many professionals!
The cover letter greeting
Your internship cover letter greeting should be respectful and open-minded. Keep in mind that internships are a junior position. The degree of formality will be defined by the character of the organization to which you’re applying.
The goal of the cover letter greeting: address the recipient, establish a connection in the right tone. If you have the recipient's name - use it. All human beings perk up when reading their own name.
The importance of names and addressed greetings.
You might not always have the name of the person you’re addressing. Sometimes, even sleuthing for it may cross privacy lines. If the organization to which you’re applying took pains to hide the identity of hiring decision-makers, uncovering the name of the manager through stalker-like research might raise red flags.
However, if the information about who’s going to read your cover letter lies on the surface, do NOT underestimate the power of addressing people by name. Address them in a group if you have to. Name several people (“ Dear Mr. Jones and Mrs. Smith”) or address one and include a respectful mention of a group (“ Greetings, Ms. Lee and the ABC Company team,”).
It has been proven on a scientific level, that hearing your own name elicits a neuro-chemical reaction in the brain. People respond to a personal approach. This is even more resonant in our age of cold digital communication that only imitates real socialization.
In the absence of a name, try to use warmer or less "faceless" words. Try “team,” or if the company has a warm, sociable image, sometimes “family” is good ( “Greetings, Resume.io team!” or “Greetings to the Hallmark company family”).
The cover letter introduction
This is one of the most crucial parts of the cover letter, as it contains your opening sentence — your best foot forward. Avoid being bland at all costs, but don’t go too far with eccentricity. As an intern, you want to open by projecting: respectfulness, energy and work discipline/ethic.
The goal of the cover letter introduction: grab emotional attention, don’t ramble, introduce yourself in one powerful, friendly but professional sentence.
A good tactic is to drop in one or two of your most impressive and relevant achievements / factual results/ qualities/ skills you have.
This is the main text-heavy section of your internship cover letter. Use it to strengthen and expand the opening theme of your introduction. Explain WHY you’re a good fit for the internship role, and what qualities and achievements prove that.
The STAR method is a great way to describe your achievements in terms of S ituation, T ask, A ction and positive R esult. Strong action verbs help you convey a sense of accomplishment and energy. Describing hard and soft skills shows concrete tools you have as an intern ( think : time management, software knowledge, emotional intellect, engineering skills).
These are all the bread and butter of resume writing. Learn more about them in our general resume writing guide and our guide for an Internship resume.
The goal of the cover letter body section: provide the best examples of your productivity, strengthen your case for being hired on the basis of abilities and skills. Expand on the bold introductory statement by showing evidence (even in the form of personal qualities, if you lack experience).
The conclusion and signature
The conclusion might be tricky part for some people, even if you aced the cover letter introduction and body sections. The key is to land on “determined” but not “too arrogant/forceful”.
You don’t want to come off as entitled, but you don’t want to look indecisive either. Show that you are eager to talk about ways of contributing to the company, but don’t presume.
The goal of this section: create an effective call to action by conveying that you’re enthusiastic about the interview and contributing to the company. Finish on a passionate but respectful note. Avoid presumptuous demands!
Writing psychology: cover letter tools and strategies
As a future intern, there are a few ideas/emotions you want to convey:
- Eagerness and ability to learn: briefly described how you acquired new skills and/or thrived in new environments.
- Knowing what you want (focus and determination): describe specific productive goals not vague platitudes.
- Passion and sincerity: show that you care about your work and have lots of professional energy.
- Professional focus: make your statements specific to your professional field if you can, demonstrate you have at least a basic understanding of the industry.
Rational versus emotional (fast versus slow)
Anything meant for people to read — emails, cover letters and even articles — rely on understanding psychology. One of the basic principles used in behavioral economics is the division between fast (intuitive/emotional) and slow (deliberate/rational) thinking, as outlined by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman .
Fast thinking governs most of our day-to-day decisions. Slow thinking “turns on” as a response to our active analysis, or as a response to emotional thinking. This is why it’s so important to inject at least some passion, emotion and energy into professional writing. This is also why it’s vital to use people’s names, and why it’s critical to grab the reader's attention.
Use tools like emotional language (sparsely sprinkled in like stardust in key places), direct personal addresses and unique, sincere thoughts to trigger emotional responses. You will make the recruiters stop and rationally consider you through slow thinking.
How to be heard and understood
A great way to make sure a certain point, idea, achievement or personal quality is taken to heart by the hiring manager (or anyone generally) is to open a sentence or paragraph with an emotional trigger as described above. Then move on to the factual data. You can even bookend factual proof with strong emotional points.
Check out and analyze this example: “As a truly passionate person, I fall in love with my projects and put my heart and soul into ensuring they succeed ( emotional ). This is why my debate team in college reached the national semi-finals under my leadership and why in my last job as a coffee shop manager I came up with a system of shifts that increased profits AND the level of worker happiness by reducing stress (factual).
I thrive on satisfaction from a job well done, love contributing to the well-being of others and I know I will bring the same hard work and passion to this internship position if given the opportunity.” (closing on a strong emotional message, with a touch of humility to counterbalance the confidence).
Tone of voice and accuracy
Tone of voice is key for an internship cover letter to hit home. Now, you may not be into marketing and brands, but it pays to research how the company “talks” to its employees and the general public. Look at the organization's website, social media page and even the management's blogs/pages. Determine how formal, friendly or humorous the style of speech is speech, what are the corporate values and what personality types (for example, organized or creative) influence the company. Tailor the tone of your letter accordingly.
Accuracy lies with two important factors:
- Adhering to the internship job listing and application requirements. This is your holy writ when it comes to a cover letter. Analyze the requirements, the general idea, the needs of the company. Look at your cover letter and listing side by side and make sure they correspond textually and in spirit.
- Staying concise. A busy person, like a hiring manager, will become overwhelmed if you are too vague or try to describe your life story. What you want is to provide enough sparse emotional triggers and interesting facts so they want to find out more.
Internship cover letter format and common mistakes
Let’s take a look at some of the hidden cover letter pitfalls that beginners often encounter:
- Typos and overly complex grammar. Proofread. Spell-check. Get a friend/relative to review your text. Don’t be ashamed or afraid of “peer review”. Fortune favors the brave and feedback is the key to success.
- Formatting errors and fonts. Common text editors are the bane of many beginners. They’re messy, prone to buggy formatting and headers. This is especially dangerous in cover letters, where you often need to place text at the top. Choosing a font can be headache, but is critically important for readability. Tools like resume.io solve these issues for you.
- Visual style. It’s a blank page with a few paragraphs. Simple, right? No, hardly ever. The balance of sentences and white space is key. If you’re a designer, you can handle this yourself. If not, it's best to use professional tools.
- Generic “copypasta” and word bloat. Understand this: nobody is expecting an intern’s cover letter to resemble a scientific treatise or a CEO’s letter to shareholders. Avoid long formulaic sentences like “ In pursuance of the opportunity for internship, I’m writing to respond to the listing from the ABC Company…”. You’re a relatable person, so keep it short, straightforward and energetic.
Paid or unpaid?
Surveys from NACE show that paid internships correlate more favorably with receiving job offers: 66.4% of graduates who were in a paid internship position were offered a job. Conversely, only 43.7% of unpaid interns received a job offer. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but a good stat to keep in mind.
Key takeaways for an internship cover letter
- The cover letter is the final “convincer” that lets you influence hiring decision-makers. It’s vitally important and extremely useful EVEN if the internship doesn’t require one.
- Adhere to the cover letter structure and remember the goals of each section.
- Use emotion and psychology to drive home factual points for your internship.
- Convey the right tone of voice and remember what employers are looking for in an intern.
- Avoid generic text and formatting traps from text editors. Use an appealing visual style (including design elements) to grab attention.
With resume.io, you can create a perfect cover letter in just a few minutes. There's no uncertainty, no hassle. Go out there and win!
Other educative cover letters and resumes examples from the same industry:
Searching for additional inspiration for cover letter writing? View our related education cover letter examples below.
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- Library Assistant
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Resumes examples for:
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How to Write a Cover Letter for Internship (Examples & Template)
You’ve found the perfect internship and it’s now time to apply and land the position!
But, in addition to your resume, you also have to write an internship cover letter.
You might end up staring at the blank Word document for hours and nothing comes out.
We don’t blame you; cover letters are hard to write even if you have a decade’s worth of work experience, let alone if you’re a recent graduate or a student.
Worry not, though; in this article, we’re going to teach you all you need to know to write a compelling cover letter for your internship.
- Do you need a cover letter for an internship?
- How to write a compelling cover letter for an internship
- Plug and play internship cover letter template
Do I Need a Cover Letter for an Internship?
First things first—if you’re wondering whether you actually need a cover letter for your internship application, the answer is yes .
An internship application is just like any other hiring process, meaning that a recruiter will go over your resume , cover letter (and maybe even references), and decide whether you’re qualified for the position.
And yes, recruiters contrary to what you might think, recruiters do read your cover letter. 56% of recruiters prefer a cover letter with an applicant’s application.
This is reasonable - a cover letter allows you to add essential information you didn’t have space for in a resume, as well as explain (in words) how your experiences are tied to the role you’re applying for.
As such, a cover letter for an internship is essential and complementary to your application package.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s go over all the best ways to write a cover letter for an internship.
How to Write a Cover Letter for Internship
#1. respect the format.
Before you can focus on your cover letter’s contents, you should first make sure you’re sticking to the right format.
Otherwise, your cover letter will be disorganized and the recruiter will have a hard time following your train of thought.
So, here’s the format that your cover letter for an internship should follow:
- Header with contact information. This includes your full name, professional email, phone number, and LinkedIn profile (if you have one). Underneath your contact info, you should add the date and the receiver’s information (the recruiter’s name and title, the company/organization name, and their physical address).
- Addressing the recruiter. Greeting the recruiter with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern” is common, but not the best approach. Want to show the hiring manager that you did your research? We recommend you address the hiring manager by name directly. Our guide on how to address a cover letter covers everything you need to know on this topic!
- Opening statement. Your opening statement should be brief, but at the same time professional and attention-grabbing. Here, you introduce yourself, mention the position you’re applying for, and potentially a key achievement or two.
- Body. The body of your cover letter consists of 2-3 paragraphs where you highlight your education, provide background for your skills, and explain how you (and the company) would benefit from each other professionally.
- Closing paragraph. Your closing paragraph is your chance to include a call to action, to thank the recruiters for their time, or mention anything important you left out.
- Formal salutation. End your cover letter with a formal salutation such as “kind regards,” “sincerely,” or “best regards.” Our guide on how to end a cover letter can teach you all you need to know on the topic.
Having trouble getting started with your cover letter? Read our guide on how to start a cover letter and get inspired!
#2. State the Position You’re Applying For in the Opening
Recruiters hate one-size-fits-all cover letters and resumes.
Around 48% of recruiters and hiring managers aren’t even going to read your cover letter if it’s not customized to the role you’re applying for.
And one of the easiest ways to do this is by mentioning the role you’re applying for right in the cover letter opening.
This allows you to:
- Show that you will be tailoring the rest of your cover letter for that position alone.
- Prove that your cover letter is customized for this specific internship, and you’re not just randomly applying for the job,
Here’s a practical example of how you can mention the role you’re applying for in the cover letter opening:
Dear Mr. Jacobs,
It is my pleasure to apply for the Communications Assistant internship position at the United Nations Development Programme. I can confidently say based on my 2-year experience working as a journalist and my excellent academic results in the Mass Communications Major that I’d be a good fit for the position.
#3. Mention the Right Keywords
When reviewing your application, hiring managers tend to scan your cover letter or resume and look for the right keywords that would make you qualified for the internship you’re applying for.
E.g. If you're applying for a job in graphic design, the recruiter is probably looking for keywords like “Photoshop,” “Illustrator,” or “InDesign.”
As such, it’s very important to include the right keywords in your cover letter.
How can you find these keywords, you might ask?
It’s actually pretty simple - just look at the internship job description and go through the required skills & responsibilities and identify the keywords that you’d think the recruiter would be looking for.
Then, do the following:
- Sprinkle some of those keywords throughout your cover letter. When relevant, back them up with an experience. E.g. don’t just say “I’m good at Photoshop,” say how you’ve taken 3 different Photoshop classes and used Photoshop for 2 different projects.
- Don’t include keywords that don’t apply to you, they’ll just make it seem like you’re copy-pasting from the job description.
- Research and add other popular soft skills that recruiters look for in applicants for the role you’re applying for. E.g. If you’re applying for an internship as a communications assistant, chances are, you’ll need strong communication skills (even if this is not something listed in the job description.
Now, let’s look at a practical example. Let’s say that the internship you’re applying for requires the following skills:
- Ability to meet strict deadlines
Here’s how you’d mention this in your cover letter:
During my time as Editor in Chief at my University’s newspaper, I got to develop my communication and leadership skills significantly. For over two years, I was in charge of a 7 people team, which also helped my teamwork skills and my ability to meet deadlines.
Keep in mind, though, that it IS possible to overdo it with the keywords.
44% of hiring managers say they will dismiss a resume or cover letter that looks as if it has copied the job posting.
Using each and every keyword mentioned in the job description (without backing the skills up with experiences) might cause the hiring manager to think that you’re just copying the job ad & don’t actually have these skills.
So, don’t just copy-paste all the keywords from the job description, and if you DO mention a lot of those keywords, make sure to back them up with practical experiences.
#4. Highlight Your Education
If you don’t have a lot of work experience, your education and relevant coursework is your best chance to show that you’re a good fit for the internship.
Letting the recruiter know what kind of courses you’ve completed that are relevant to the internship you’re applying for will be a big plus for your application.
Say, for example, that you’re applying for an internship as a graphic designer. To make your internship cover letter impactful, make sure to mention all the relevant courses and related accomplishments.
Here’s an example of how you could do that:
As a Visual Design major, I have completed several courses that have helped me build my professional portfolio. A few of the most beneficial ones have been Design & Layout and Visual Communication: Theory and Practice. I have also gained valuable experience doing the layout of the university’s newspaper for 4 years and of several books as independent projects.
#5. Provide Background For Your Skills
It’s one thing to just claim that you have a set of skills and another to prove it.
Anyone can say that they’re great at doing something, but what makes all the difference is when you can actually put your money where your mouth is.
For example, in your internship cover letter, instead of just mentioning that you have “good time-management skills,” actually back it up with a past experience that proves it.
During the summers I assisted my family’s wedding planning business, I learned a lot about time management. In that kind of business, it’s important that things run like clockwork so in addition to time management skills, it also significantly improved my attention to detail.
#6. Explain Why You’re a Good Fit For The Position
In addition to just listing out the skills that are relevant and beneficial for the internship, you should also explain why you are a good fit for the position.
This means that you should connect the dots between what the company/organization is looking to gain from its interns and what you can do to provide those services.
So, after you research and create an understanding of what is required of you, you should use your cover letter to explain why you’re a good fit for that position.
For the sake of the example, let’s assume you’re applying for an internship at a Human Rights organization. A big chunk of what the role requires is categorizing virtual files of the cases the organization has worked on in the past.
What you want to do, in this case, is show how you can help with that particular job as an intern. Here’s how:
I have spent 3 summers working at the National Library, where I was tasked to sort and categorize books based on their topic, author, and year of publication, and also memorize where each section fits in the library. I believe this skill, which I have perfected over the years, can really be of use for the internship position at Organization X.
#7. Describe What You Would Gain Professionally
In addition to showing (and proving) your skills and how you can benefit the company, you should also explain how getting the position will benefit YOU .
When it comes to internships, oftentimes they serve the purpose of helping students and young professionals acquire in-depth knowledge about the industry, create a network, and develop skills that will benefit them throughout their careers.
So, it will surely help you make an even better impression if you show that you are self-aware about what you’ll get out of the internship and how it will help you grow professionally.
Here’s how you can do that:
I am excited for this internship to provide me with the necessary customer service skills and network that will help me grow professionally in my future career as a customer service manager.
#8. Proofread Your Cover Letter
After all, is written and done, there’s one final thing to do and that is make sure your cover letter doesn’t have mistakes.
A spelling or grammar mistake probably won’t disqualify you, but at the same time, it will probably be a red flag for recruiters that you’re not too attentive.
For this reason, ask a friend to proofread your cover letter or use spell-checking software such as Grammarly and Hemingway .
Want to know what other cover letter mistakes you should avoid? Our guide on cover letter mistakes has all you need to know on the topic!
#9. Match Your Cover Letter & Resume Designs
Want your internship application to truly shine?
Match your cover letter design with your resume!
Sure, you could go with a generic Word cover letter template, but why fit in when you can stand out?
At Novorésumé, all our resume templates come with a matching cover letter template , guaranteed to make your application truly special.
Cover Letter for Internship Template
Struggling to create a cover letter for your internship?
Simply follow our tried-and-tested internship cover letter template!
And that’s a wrap! You should now have all the necessary information about how to create a cover letter for an internship.
Now, let’s do a small recap of the key learning points we just covered:
- Cover letters are a must when you’re applying for an internship.
- When you start writing your cover letter, make sure you respect the format: the header with contact information, the greeting to the recruiter, an opening paragraph, the body with 2-3 paragraphs, and a closing paragraph followed by an official salutation and your name.
- Some of our main tips on how to write a cover letter for an internship include: state the position you’re applying for, make use of the right keywords, and back up your skills with experiences.
- Use a cover letter builder and match it with your resume to make sure your cover letter truly stands out from the rest.
- Entry-level Cover Letter
- Do I Need a Cover Letter in 2023?
- Top 21 Cover Letter Tips
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- Cover Letter for an Internship: Examples & Tips for All Interns
Cover Letter for an Internship: Examples & Tips for All Interns
Internships matter as companies want to employ those who already have work experience. Find one with a great cover letter for an internship. Here’s how.
As seen in:
A good internship cover letter must convince the employer you’ve got the skills, willingness, and determination to succeed in your internship role.
All the more so as companies tend to offer jobs to those who gained internship experience with them.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a cover letter for internship positions that will get you more interviews than any cover letter you’ve written in the past. Plus, you’ll get to see two full-length internship cover letter examples you can copy, tweak, and adjust to your needs.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Create your cover letter now
Sample cover letter for a resume— See more cover letter samples and create your cover letter here .
Send your cover letter for internship positions along with an internship resume that proves you’re the #1 pick. See our guide: How to Write an Internship Resume
Looking for a specific internship cover letter? See:
- Marketing Intern Cover Letter Sample
- Engineering Internship Cover Letter Sample
- Accounting Internship Cover Letter Sample
- Architecture Internship Cover Letter Sample
Let's start with the cover letter samples for an internship, and then we'll show you how to make yours just as amazing.
The first sample internship cover letter is aimed at a position with a corporate financial institution—notice how the formal tone of this cover letter reflects a more “traditional” company culture.
Sample Cover Letter for an Internship
4938 Spruce Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90045
10 October, 2019
Head of Human Resources
551 Massachusetts Avenue
Los Angeles, CA, 90024
Dear Mr. Watkins,
I was truly elated when my student project on cash flow improvement won the first prize in a local business club contest. Two months after that, my solution was implemented at a construction company where it cut change orders processing time by 20%.
I must admit it was no random win, though. I always had a strong desire to pursue a career as a leader in the finance function. As I believe the only way of reaching this goal is through adopting a results-oriented attitude reflected in initiative and accountability, I used my time at university to develop these. I also gained hands-on quantitative, analytical, and problem-solving skills by completing such courses as:
- Statistical Inference in Management
- Analytical Methods for Business
- Business Communication
I would love to demonstrate to you that my GPA of 3.98 doesn’t just show my commitment to learning but also reflects my inherent passion for finances and propensity to grow among like-minded people.
When Professor James Henry told me about an internship opportunity with TD Finance, I knew this was an unmissable occasion for further growth, surrounded by outstanding financial professionals.
Could we schedule an appointment next week to discuss how I could contribute to the Finance Leadership Development Program and help your company find optimal solutions to its current business needs?
The second cover letter example you’ll see comes from a candidate applying for a more creative, tech-y internship. That’s why it’s written in a more casual, relaxed way.
Cover Letter Sample for an Internship—Software Engineering
2448 Frederick Street
Sacramento, CA, 94567
10 November, 2019
Senior Product Manager
One Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
I was thrilled to see my iOS app for task management getting rave reviews from App Store users and commendations from more experienced developers on GitHub.
But this is only one out of three apps that I am working on after my classes at CalTech, from which I am about to graduate with a BA in Computer Science. Truth be told, I am quite positive that the other apps will also be well-received since—inspired by Apple engineers—I design them with one person in mind. The person who will use it.
This is why apart from completing a study program in algorithms and complexity, I took additional courses in UI/UX and graphic design as well as consumer psychology.
When Doctor Sarah Warren suggested I applied for the internship, she was spot on. I believe that Apple’s unique approach to building intuitive and simple software while respecting the customer’s needs creates the environment I would love to grow in and contribute to.
Can we schedule a call this week to discuss my ideas on how I can contribute to the projects I would be working on with some of the best software engineers on the planet?
PS—I would love to show you how my A/B testing initiatives helped me optimize the navigation panel.
Now, here's how this works.
To impress the employer, your cover letter for an internship must:
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship
- Point out the particular position you’re applying for.
- Include the right keywords.
- List your relevant education and coursework.
- Add relevant skills and abilities.
- Describe why you’re the perfect match for the internship role.
- Explain what the company will gain by hiring you.
- Proofread your cover letter.
Let's dissect the examples and see how to write a cover letter for an internship like that.
Want to keep your cover letter short and to the point? Learn more here: Short Cover Letter Examples for a Speedy Job Application
Use the Best Internship Cover Letter Template
Just like a well-written thesis, your internship cover letter must contain several recognizable sections that make it easy to read and comprehend.
The checklist below will help you see to it that you’ve included everything that’s necessary:
Cover Letter Template for an Internship—Checklist
- Your Contact Details
- Company Contact Information
- Dear + [Hiring Manager’s Name]
- Paragraph #1: Introduction with an achievement to hook the reader
- Paragraph #2: Relevant skills/coursework + why you fit perfectly
- Paragraph #3: Your passion + why the company appeals to you
- Paragraph #4: Call to action
- Salutation [e.g. Best regards + your name]
- Postscript (optional)—One more achievement of yours
Of course, nothing is set in stone and you’re free to modify the structure and rearrange the sections of your internship cover letter. However, we recommend that your document includes all the information listed above.
Pro Tip: Take a good look at the internship offer before you sit down to typing anything up. See if the company is looking for specific skills , coursework , experience , or characteristics. Double-check formal requirements. Note everything down and include all the key information.
If you don’t know how to format your cover letter for an internship right, our cover letter builder will do it for you. Alternatively, you can check out our guide on Cover Letter Format
Start Your Internship Cover Letter Right
The very first sentence of your cover letter for an internship should make a lasting impression on the hiring manager.
If it doesn’t, they’ll move on to the next candidate—
Maybe they have something more interesting to say.
To prevent this from happening, you need to roll out the big guns right away.
The good example below is Apple-worthy. And I don’t mean the fruit.
Internship Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]
What is it exactly that makes this internship cover letter introduction stand out?
The first sentence is the earthquake—it tells the recruiter what the candidate’s biggest achievement is. The section that follows is supposed to reinforce and sustain the wow effect by:
- Adding more relevant achievements.
- Introducing the candidate through her actions.
- Showing she’s a match by specifying her field of study.
- Explaining how she’s aligned with the company’s own values.
In short, it’s a killer internship cover letter opening. In contrast to the one below:
Yeah, right. Next.
What's wrong with internship cover letters like that?
Well, nothing. Provided it's the only one the manager reads and their expectations as to the candidates are rather low.
Everybody applying for this internship will promise to work hard. Everybody is about to earn a degree. Everybody completed coursework.
If companies were looking for just anybody , no one would even bother posting any job ad in the first place. They’d just offer the internship to a random passer-by.
Plus, the 2019 NACE Job Outlook survey shows that for prospective employers it’s the internship with their organization that’s the most important hiring factor. So open your cover letter like you’re applying for your future job!
Pro Tip: In this day and age it’s likely you’ll be typing up an email cover letter for an internship. If that’s the case you can skip the street address and start off with the greeting. Just remember to put your phone number (and email address if you like) under your name at the bottom of the message.
Don’t have a great idea for starting your internship cover letter? This guide will help you out: How to Start a Cover Letter
Write a Rockstar Internship Cover Letter Middle Sections
Here’s the deal—
Your internship cover letter needs to show you’re cut out for the role.
Internships are addressed to a specific set of candidates. The ones who fit the specified criteria will be considered—the others will be ignored. All the more so as the number of applicants pursuing summer jobs is soaring , especially with financial institutions.
The second paragraph of your cover letter for an internship is the right place to show you have it all.
Look at the example below:
Internship Cover Letter Examples [Middle Paragraphs]
Why is it so effective?
It’s tailored to a specific internship opening. The employer is looking for candidates willing to take on leadership positions, displaying a results-oriented attitude, with good analytical and problem-solving skills. In addition, one of the requirements for this internship role is a GPA of 3.5 or higher .And this is exactly what the middle section of the cover letter highlights. Plus, it contains the right keywords .
Now take a look at the example below. It’s cute but completely misses the point and doesn’t address the employer’s specific requirements for the position.
Relevance is key to landing the internship role. If you know who the employer seeks, show them you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for.
Pro Tip: If you have no internship offer to fall back on, one way of addressing the employer’s specific needs is by arranging an informational interview with the company’s current or former employees.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Not sure about the best length for your cover letter? Our guide has all the answers: How Long a Cover Letter Should Be
End Your Cover Letter for an Internship With a CTA
Your cover letter for an internship doesn't only have to introduce you to the recruiter.
It should also help you land you the interview.
Don't forget to ask.
There's nothing wrong about asking… if you know how to do it in a professional way.
Call me at your earliest convenience won't work.
Here's what you can do instead:
Cover Letter for Internship Examples [Ending]
Why does this ending rock?
First off, it mentions the name of the person that referred you. This simple addition will help you establish rapport with the reader. How so? By including the name of someone the recruiter knows, you're no longer just a name on a sheet of paper. You’re a real person with a mutual friend.
The last paragraph of your internship cover letter is also the right place for a call to action. To add a sense of urgency, suggest a particular time to meet— this week, for example.
When you're asking for something, make sure you show that you have something to give back.
Have a look at what your ending should not look like:
Honestly, I don’t even think with an ending like this you have to actually thank anybody for their time. They’ll never give it to you in the first place.
After all, a generic internship cover letter will cause a generic reaction (read: rejection).
Internship opportunities are for those who can shake the hiring manager from their stupor.
Pro Tip: Adding the postscript at the very end of your internship cover letter will additionally draw the reader’s attention. However, it’s an optional section so use it only when you really have an ace up your sleeve.
Can’t come up with an ending worthy of the recruiter’s attention? Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to sign off in an unforgettable manner in our guide on How to End a Cover Letter
Here’s how to write a cover letter for an internship:
- Grab the hiring manager’s attention from the very first sentence.
- Show off your relevant skills and add info on coursework.
- Let the recruiter see you’re cut out for the role.
- Explain why you believe the company’s values are in line with yours.
- Include a call to action, i.e. ask the hiring manager for a call or meeting.
- See to it that both your cover letter and resume are relevant and targeted.
This is it! That’s how you write a great cover letter for an internship. If you have any other questions or would like to share your advice, give us a shout out in the comments below. We’re always happy to hear from you.
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Cover Letter for Internship: Examples + How to Write
February 14, 2023 | By the Resume Genius Team | Reviewed by Rebecca Tay, Ph.D.
Landing an internship isn’t difficult if you can put together a good cover letter. We’ve outlined how to write a cover letter for an internship that will land you the role you want, and provided a free internship cover letter example.
If you want to give your application a unique look, use a fresh template for your cover letter .
Additional Examples Similar to a Cover Letter for an Internship
Internship resume, college student cover letter, high school student cover letter, accounting intern cover letter, internship cover letter template (text format).
Choose the right cover letter format to ensure your cover letter looks polished and is easy to read.
Benjamin Locke Hart Marketing 2793 Limer Street Atlanta, GA, 30328 (770) 616-1847 [email protected]
Dear Mr. Locke,
I’m writing to you regarding the marketing role that opened up at Hart Marketing recently. I came across the job description on LinkedIn and was delighted to find that my academic accomplishments meet all of the necessary requirements. I am seeking a challenging but rewarding internship, which is why I was drawn to this exciting opportunity.
As a junior marketing student at the University of Georgia, I have acquired skills in advertising, PR, product development, and market research. Currently, I hold a 3.8 GPA and have been on the Dean’s List every semester. I have strategically focused my coursework in the following areas:
- Marketing analytics
- Marketing management
- Survey research
- Strategic internet marketing
- Integrated marketing communications
Using my knowledge of the above, I designed a marketing campaign for a local pet grooming business that yielded the highest return on investment based on our given budget. The campaign was so well received that I was awarded third place in UGA’s business plan competition.
I would be delighted to have an opportunity to personally interview with you. Please accept the enclosed resume and feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I appreciate your time and consideration.
How to write a cover letter for an internship
Learning how to put together a cover letter for the specific job(s) you want will help you land more interviews.
Ready to write your own internship cover letter? In the following video our resident career expert Corissa breaks down how to write a cover letter for an internship, step-by-step:
Good internships aren’t easy to land, especially if you’re applying to a well-known company. If you’re a student with little or no relevant experience, it’s challenging to convince employers you’re the person they should choose for the position. That’s where an internship cover letter comes in.
Not only is it a great opportunity to make up for your lack of experience, recent cover letter statistics show that a quarter of hiring managers think cover letters are “very important”. Your cover letter provides space for you to not only communicate your passion for the role, but also to highlight relevant skills and education which might not fit on your resume.
Here are five tips to help you write a cover letter for an internship that showcases your qualifications and convinces employers that you’re the right person for the job.
1. Focus on your motivation and passion
Internships are entry-level positions. So most hiring managers aren’t expecting you to have much formal work experience.
Instead, hiring managers look for interns with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn . These qualities show you’ll take full advantage of the training you’re given.
A resume doesn’t leave much room for communicating passion and motivation. So, it’s essential that your internship cover letter conveys this passion by explaining your motivation for applying.
Here are three ways to communicate your motivation to employers in a cover letter for an internship:
- Describe your relevant interests. For example, if you’re applying for a beauty internship, talk about how you’ve been giving family and friends makeovers since you were young.
- Give an example of when you showed initiative. For instance, talk about how you started a campaign for green issues during college.
- Express interest in the company’s business by citing specific practices or products you’re excited about working with.
Additionally, if you lack relevant work experience, you can focus on other experiences you have that qualify you for the internship.
For example, mention any relevant college coursework , extracurriculars , or volunteer work experience that relates to the industry you want to intern in. This will make you appear eager to build your knowledge and seem more qualified.
List these experiences in bullet points in the body of your letter. Here’s an example of what that looks like in practice:
2. Showcase your ambition
Not all interns make coffee and organize filing cabinets. Many companies give promising interns real projects that affect the company’s bottom line and then offer the best interns jobs once their internship has finished.
Your cover letter should show you’re interested in doing more than just helping full-time employees out. Communicate that you’re both capable of handling the responsibilities of the job and driven to excel.
One of the best ways to emphasize your ambition in your intern cover letter is by adding hard numbers. Hard numbers provide a clearer picture of your specific achievements and show the reader that you can get results.
For example, if you were active in local politics in college and are applying for a political internship, you might include a bullet point like this:
Organized fundraising event for Congresswoman Harriet Lopez, raising $38,000 for her re-election campaign.
3. Address the hiring manager by name
One of the best ways to impress the hiring manager is simply by using their name when you start your cover letter . Instead of writing “Dear Sir/Madam,” or “ To Whom It May Concern ,” do some research first to figure out the name of the hiring manager or department head.
If their name isn’t available on the company website or in the job ad, here are a couple of other ways to find the hiring manager’s name:
- Call the company you’re applying to and ask for the relevant person’s name
- Search for the hiring manager’s name by looking through the company’s employees on LinkedIn
Using the hiring manager’s name shows that you’re serious about the internship and willing to take the extra effort to make a personal connection with them. Just by knowing how to address a cover letter properly , you’ve already made your application more impressive.
4. Focus on your education
If you don’t have much work experience yet, use your cover letter to focus on the qualifications you do have. Specifically, you should showcase your education.
For example, if you’re applying for a computer science internship , mention specific classes or relevant coursework you’ve taken in computer science. In particular, draw attention to what you’ve achieved in your classes (e.g., any class projects you’ve finished) to provide real examples of what you can do.
Focusing on your relevant academic qualifications shows employers that you’re already passionate about the field. It indicates that this internship isn’t just about adding length to your resume — it’s a way to advance your career and increase your knowledge of an industry you’re interested in.
5. Use the right internship cover letter format
A cover letter for an internship position should follow certain formatting. For instance, your cover letter should be four paragraphs long and use up about one full page (but no more than that).
Although this might sound short, it’s still plenty of space to describe your talents.
Simply follow the template below to learn how to format your cover letter properly:
Internship cover letter format
First, formally introduce yourself, and say where you heard about the internship. Add some information about your background and explain why you’re applying.
In the second paragraph, sell your skills and the accomplishments you’ve added to your resume. Touch on your passion for the industry, and give examples of when you’ve excelled in a professional or academic capacity.
If you’re writing an internship cover letter with no experience , focus on your academic credentials.
Here you can mention anything that makes your application unique. For example, do some research about the company, and describe how you’d personally be a good fit for the company’s culture. Or elaborate on the company’s positive impact on your community (or society at large), and explain why that attracts you to work there.
Finish your application with a call to action . Say you’re ready to be interviewed and thank the reader for their time. Finally, close your cover letter with “Sincerely,” followed by your name.
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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship [Examples & Template]
Published: June 01, 2021
Writing a cover letter can feel like a daunting task, particularly if you don’t have a lot of real-world experience. Fortunately, a cover letter is actually a chance to explain how your extracurriculars and classes have taught you exceptional leadership and time management skills.
To really stand out, it’s important to personalize your cover letter for each internship application you plan to submit. Your cover letter isn’t an opportunity to reiterate your whole resume, though. This is your chance to pick out a few accomplishments from the position description and dive into examples showing how you’ve exhibited these skills.
We’ve created an internship cover letter template to provide some initial structure and inspiration, but we don’t expect this template to be one-size-fits-all. Ideally, you’ll supplement our template with your own creativity and flair.
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship
- Include your name, date, location, and contact information.
- Include the company, department, and company address.
- Address the hiring manager.
- Set the context for your application.
- Sell your experience.
- Close the letter with grace and a call to action.
There are different formats you can use when writing internship cover letters, but you can’t go wrong with the traditional business letter format. Business professionals use this template style to apply for full-time roles, so your cover letter will stand out above the rest. Remember to proofread, use formal terms such as “Dear” and “Sincerely,” and lean towards a professional tone in your body copy.
1. Include your name, date, location, and contact information.
Although some companies are firmly against using applicant tracking systems, chances are many of the companies you apply to will screen your resume and cover letter using one. That means you’ll need to stand out to both an automated system and human recruiters.
Have you ever heard the myth that you’d get credit for writing your name on the SAT exam? The same applies to adding contact information to your cover letter, but it’s 100% true. Make it easy for the recruiter to get in touch with you by providing an up-to-date phone number and email address.
In the past, it was common for job and internship seekers to include their exact address on their cover letter as they’d mail them directly to the hiring managers. In today’s digital world, most hiring teams won’t need to know your exact home address to extend an internship offer, so feel free to leave it off. Simply include your city and state to give the team an idea of your proximity to the office.
Your City, State, Zip Code
Email: [email protected]
2. Include the company, department, and company address.
If you’re writing a cover letter for several internship opportunities, you’ll find it helpful to search the full name, department, and headquarters address of each company. Doing this as a separate step will help you copy the information accurately in your cover letter. Remember, you don’t want any typos or mistakes in your cover letter, especially when it comes to information that can be easily found on the internet.
Finding the department name may not be as simple, so you can leave that out if you’re unsure. If your company has several campuses or operates in different cities, use the address of the location where the internship will be performed or the office location where your hiring manager works. If your internship will be remote, use the company’s general headquarters address.
City, State Zip
3. Address the hiring manager.
As a student looking for an internship, you’ll definitely set yourself apart from other applicants by being resourceful. You can show your resourcefulness by searching for the hiring manager’s name to properly address them in your cover letter. Occasionally, their title is stated in the role description. You can then search for the role on LinkedIn to identify their name. If you can’t find a name, you can instead address them by title only. Other times, though, finding the name of the hiring manager could be more difficult. If a Google search doesn’t return a first and last name, your best bet is to leave the name out. Sacrificing a bit of personalization is much better than addressing the wrong person in your cover letter.
Dear X, (try to find the hiring manager’s name… if you can’t, you can put “Dear [Company A] Hiring Committee”)
4. Set the context for your application.
In the first paragraph, explain how you heard about the company or position, and if you know anyone at the company, mention them here. Next, express your own interest in the company or position and explain briefly how it relates to your own passions. Don’t forget to introduce yourself in this paragraph, writing your name, your education level, your major, and your interests.
You may opt for a creative first line to capture the reader’s attention. One that worked for me early in my career went something like this:
“ Can I tell you a secret? I’ve been telling stories since I was five years old. No, not fibbing — real storytelling... ”
This is where you’ll benefit from researching the company’s culture. While this opening statement worked well for startups and more laid-back companies, a big accounting firm might find it culturally off-beat.
5. Sell your experience.
Scan the internship position description and pick out a few qualities you think apply to you — just don’t choose all the descriptors mentioned as it could appear disingenuous and make your cover letter too long. For instance, if I see a company is looking for someone who’s “outgoing, organized, hardworking, and willing to take criticism,” I would pick those that describe me best and focus on providing examples in the body of my cover letter.
Mentioning the traits directly in your cover letter shows you’ve read the position description, and makes your cover letter more scannable. If the hiring manager is looking for someone with content skills, she might scan your cover letter looking for the words that indicate experience with content.
Finally, brainstorm a few compelling examples to show how you embody the most important characteristics. Don’t just write, “I have excellent customer service skills.” You want to prove it. Support your claim by writing something like,
“ Last summer, I worked as an orientation leader at my college, serving as a resource for incoming students and their parents. This experience strengthened my customer service skills. ”
Even if you don't have a lot of (or any) job experience, think about highlighting skills you've gained from extracurriculars, volunteer experience, or even passion projects:
“My passion for dance led me to become a volunteer dance teacher which helped me develop as a leader.”
6. Close the letter with grace and a call to action.
If the internship application does not explicitly state “please do not contact,” you might choose to conclude by specifying how you will follow up, such as, “I will call next week to see if my qualifications are a match,” or, “I am eager to meet with you to discuss this opportunity, and am available for an interview at a mutually convenient time.” Conclude by thanking the hiring manager for taking the time to consider you, and end on a positive, confident note, such as, “I look forward to speaking with you soon.”
You may even go a step further and give the hiring manager a call to action. Include a link to your online portfolio, a website, or even a YouTube channel where you display your work and personality. To see how often hiring managers are viewing these additional items, include tracking to your link using a URL tracker like Bitly to capture that data.
Sample Internship Cover Letter
Featured resource: 5 free cover letter templates, event planning internship cover letter.
1 Hireme Road
Boston, MA, 20813
Email: [email protected]
May 20, 2021
Event Planning Department -- Internship Program
35 Recruiting St.
Boston, MA, 29174
Dear Internship Coordinator,
At the suggestion of John Smith, a senior marketer at Company A, I am submitting my resume for the Event Coordinator internship position. I am a junior at Elon University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Event Management, and am passionate about event planning. I am thrilled to hear about Company A’s Event Coordinator internship program and feel my experiences and skills would be an excellent match for your organization.
As an executive member of the Student Union Board at Elon, I am in charge of organizing, promoting, and implementing multiple school-related social activities per week, while being challenged to design new events. I work cohesively with a diverse team made up of students and faculty, and I also foster relationships with novelty companies.
My experience as an Orientation Leader has further prepared me for this internship. It was essential that I remain positive, outgoing, and energized during move-in day and act as a liaison between new students, families, and faculty in a fast-paced and demanding environment. I was expected to maintain a highly professional customer service ethic while interacting with families and new students.
My Elon University experiences, executive board membership, and orientation leadership role have prepared me to be successful in the Event Coordinator internship program. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can add value to Company A.
Marketing Internship Cover Letter Template
Marketing Department — Internship Program
I am a passionate, creative, and driven Elon University student with leadership and event planning experience, as well as strong communication skills. I am seeking opportunities to showcase my writing abilities in a challenging and stimulating environment. My skills and experiences will enable me to deliver successful results as a digital marketing intern for Company B.
Please allow me to highlight my key skills:
- Prior experience writing blog posts and press releases for marketing objectives
- Strong communication skills and ability to adopt voice for diverse audiences and varying purposes
- Efficient in managing multiple projects with fast-moving deadlines through organization and time-management skills
- A firm understanding of grammar rules and how to write effectively
- Experience in leadership positions, both as Student Union Board executive leader and as an Elon Orientation Leader
- Proven ability to form positive relationships with people from around the globe, exhibited by my internship experience in China last summer
- Experience organizing, promoting, and implementing social events
- Proficient in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, and Premiere), and social media platforms
In closing, I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can be an asset to Company B. I will call next week to see if you agree that my qualifications are a match for the position. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Internship Cover Letter Templates
Standard internship cover letter template.
Use this cover letter template as a foundation for your cover letter. You can customize it to fit your experience and the companies you’ll be applying to.
Download this cover letter template
Data-Driven Internship Cover Letter Template
If your major is data-driven like STEM, marketing, or accounting, this is the internship cover letter template for you. With this template, you can include the data highlights of your class projects and assignments to show the hiring manager that you can support your experience with credible facts.
Entry-level Cover Letter Template
As you approach your senior year of college, you may be looking for entry-level roles rather than internships. Cover letters are just as important for full-time roles as they are for internships, so use this template to make the transition in your job search.
Wrapping Up Your Letter of Recommendation
A resume isn’t always enough to make an impression. Including a cover letter in your internship application is the first step to setting yourself apart from other applicants. Study and apply the six steps for writing a professional internship cover letter and use one of these samples or templates to customize it. Your resume gives the highlights of your time in college while your cover letter tells the story of how those experiences will serve you as an intern with your future employer. Use it to your advantage to land the first role in your career as you navigate college and beyond.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Internship Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
What To Include in a Cover Letter
Tips for writing an internship cover letter, internship cover letter examples, internship cover letter template, how to write an email cover letter, email cover letter example, frequently asked questions (faqs).
Emilie Dunphy / The Balance
If you are applying for an internship, you will likely have to submit a cover letter as part of your application. Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific internship for which you're applying and include examples from your work, academic, and extracurricular experiences.
When writing a cover letter for an internship position, it's important to share your most relevant qualifications with the hiring manager. When you don't have much (or any) formal work experience, you can include school activities, volunteering, educational programs, and other learning experiences.
- Take the time to write a customized cover letter for each internship you apply for, and include your most relevant qualifications for the position.
- When you don't have work experience, you can include academics, extracurricular activities, and volunteering.
- Be specific, and share examples of the skills the employer is looking for in your cover letter.
- Carefully proofread and edit your cover letter prior to sending it.
Your cover letter should include your contact information, a greeting, the reason you're writing, why you're a qualified applicant for the position, and a closing.
Contact Information: How you address the cover letter will depend on whether you are sending a printed or email cover letter and the contact information you have for the employer. In a printed letter, the contact information will be at the top of the letter. For an email, add your contact information below your typed name.
Salutation: The salutation is the greeting you include at the beginning of a cover letter. For example, “Dear Hiring Manager.”
Body of Letter: The body of a cover letter includes the sections where you explain why you are interested in and qualified for the job for which you are applying. This typically includes an introductory paragraph, a paragraph or two describing your qualifications, and a closing paragraph.
Closing: When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job, it's important to close your cover letter in a professional manner. For example, “Sincerely” or “Respectfully.”
Signature: In a printed cover letter, you’ll add a written signature above your printed name. For an email cover letter, add a space after the closing and type your name.
Use Business Letter Format. Use proper business letter format when sending a cover letter by mail. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the contact information for the employer. Be sure to provide a proper salutation, and sign your name at the bottom. If you are sending the cover letter via email , you do not have to include the contact information at the top. Instead, place this as part of your email signature at the end of your letter.
Customize Your Cover Letter. It's important to write a unique cover letter for each internship for which you apply. Highlight skills and abilities you have that relate to the specific internship listing. The main emphasis of your cover letter should be convincing the reader that you will be an asset as an intern.
Provide Specific Examples. If you mention that you have a particular skill or ability in your cover letter, be sure to prove this with a specific example from your past work, academic, or extracurricular experience.
Add Keywords to Your Letter. One way to individualize your letter is to use keywords from the internship listing. For example, if the listing says the intern needs to have excellent “time management skills,” include an example of how you have demonstrated time management skills in the past. You'll be able to show the hiring manager that they have the skills you are seeking.
Emphasize Your Academic Experience. In the letter, you can mention academic experience, if applicable. Especially if you have limited work experience, you might use examples from school to demonstrate that you have particular skills. For example, if the internship requires you to work as part of a team, provide an example of a successful team project you worked on during one of your college courses.
Include Extracurricular Experiences. You can also include details about your relevant experience from extracurricular activities or volunteer work . For example, a reporter for a college newspaper can point to interviewing and writing skills; a history of volunteering at a shelter can provide an example of strong interpersonal and organizational skills .
Mention How You Will Follow Up. 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 (don't follow up any sooner). However, do not include this if the internship listing specifically says not to contact the office.
Carefully Proofread and Edit. Be sure to thoroughly proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors. Many internships are very competitive, and any error can hurt your chances of getting an interview. Also, avoid using too many words to convey your information and intent. Keep your points brief and targeted.
Review sample printed and email cover letters for internship positions, and get a template to download to use as a starting point for your own letter.
Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.
Internship Cover Letter Sample (Text version)
Joseph Q. Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 email@example.com
October 26, 2022
Director, Human Resources BC Labs 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Ms. Smith,
I am writing to apply for the scientific research summer internship position that was listed in the Anytown University Career Services Office. I believe my research and conservation experience make me an ideal candidate.
I have had a great deal of research experience in chemistry, biology, and geology, both in the lab and in the field. Most of my experience is in environmental field studies. I am currently conducting research in our school's outdoor laboratory to assess the water quality of a nearby pond. I know water quality assessment is a component of this internship, and I know my previous experience makes me a prime candidate for this.
Last summer, I worked as a conservation assistant at the National Trust's Clumber Park. Along with trail maintenance and building, I also served as a research assistant for the research organization at the park. I conducted an analysis of soil samples, and input data from various research projects. I received a special commendation from the director of the research organization for my attention to detail and dedication to research.
I believe that I would be an asset to your program. This internship would provide me with the ideal opportunity to assist your organization and expand my research skills.
I will call next week to see if you agree that my qualifications seem to be a match for the position. If so, I hope to schedule an interview at a mutually convenient time. I look forward to speaking with you.
Thank you for your consideration,
Signature (hard copy letter)
Joseph Q. Applicant
If you're sending your cover letter via email , your format will be slightly different than a traditional letter. List your name and the job title in the subject line of the email message.
Include your contact information 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). Start your email message with the salutation.
Subject: Liz Lerner – Marketing Intern Position
Dear Mr. Peters,
It was with much interest that I read your posting on the ABC College job board inviting applications for a marketing internship at Brand Solutions Inc.
As an honors student in marketing, I have successfully completed upper-division coursework in marketing management, print and online advertising, social media management, and data analysis, which have provided me with a firm understanding of rising market strategies and technologies.
This coursework included on-site practicums with Boyd Brothers LLC and Boulevard Bistro, where I helped the owners of these businesses establish their first-ever social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This involved setting up their accounts, creating photo and video content, writing posts, launching digital ad campaigns, and tracking user engagement via Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics. I am also well-versed in the use of Adobe Creative Cloud for graphic design and Microsoft Office suite.
Impressed by the press that Brand Solutions Inc. has received in Market Branding Today and on Forbes Online , I am eager for the challenges and opportunities I would experience as your next marketing intern. My resume is attached; may we please schedule a personal interview to discuss my qualifications for this role in greater detail? Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.
Liz Lerner firstname.lastname@example.org 555-123-4567 www.linkedin.com/in/lizlerner (optional)
Do I have to write a cover letter for an internship?
If a cover letter is listed as optional, you don’t have to include one. However, a cover letter provides you with the opportunity to showcase the credentials you have for the position. When you don’t have formal work experience, your cover letter is a good way to highlight the talents, attributes, and experience that make you an ideal candidate for the role.
What can I include in a cover letter when I don’t have work experience?
When you don’t have work experience, you can share examples of volunteering, extracurricular activities, schoolwork, academic programs, sports, community organizations, and other ways you have gained skills and experience that qualify you for the position.
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How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: Examples & Tips
Reviewed by Jacob Imm
Mar 18, 2022
Before the days of applying for jobs online, the cover letter had the perfect name; it was the cover page for your paper resume. Today, the cover letter doesn’t physically cover anything. It’s simply one of the many digital attachments you’ll add to your internship application form.
While your cover letter is no longer the first page of your application, it’s still the hiring manager’s first impression of you as a person. Whether you’re on the job search or you’re applying for an internship position that could carry you straight into your career, it’s essential to make that introduction count.
This guide on writing an internship cover letter will help you put your best foot forward.
What is the Purpose of a Cover Letter?
Without a solid understanding of a cover letter’s purpose, it’s easy to wander off track when writing it. So, before we provide writing tips and internship cover letter examples, let’s explore the importance of a strong cover letter in the hiring process.
In short, a strong cover letter gives you the chance to:
- Expand on the point-form nature of your resume – A resume is little more than a list of fast facts about you. It tells an employer about your experience, but it can’t explain how that experience is relevant to the internship. A cover letter, on the other hand, can
- Tailor your application to the role – Because your resume is a personal history, it’s unchanging. You’ll likely use a very similar resume for each internship application. Conversely, the cover letter is your opportunity to add more internship-specific details.
If you see that a cover letter is optional for an application, don’t skip it. According to a ResumeLab survey of hiring managers, “83% [of] respondents claimed that a great cover letter can secure you an interview even if your resume isn’t good enough.”
That figure may seem high, but think about the information that document holds. Your cover letter offers hints about your personality, your writing skills and your goals—all things that a resume can’t do.
Writing An Internship Cover Letter, Step by Step (With Examples)
A typical cover letter for an internship should include five sections:
- An introduction
- A body section (one or two paragraphs)
- A conclusion
Open up a blank document, make yourself some coffee or tea, and follow these five steps for a top-notch cover letter.
Step 1: The Header
A header provides essential information at first glance. Your header should include your full name, your email address, your phone number and, if relevant, your physical or home address. This section of your header can be aligned in the center or left justified, depending on your preference of format.
Below your personal information, you should include the date and the hiring manager details on the left side of the page.
An Example Header
February 13, 2022
Jane Doe, Hiring Manager
Example Company Name
City, State, ZIP code
Step 2: The Greeting
The greeting sets the tone for the rest of the cover letter; aim to be courteous and conversational. A greeting is also incomplete without a name. Always try to address the hiring manager by name to prove you’ve done your research.
In professional workplaces, you should use their title and full name. For more casual businesses, you may opt to use only their first name.
If you can find the name of the hiring manager:
Dear Ms. Jane Doe ,
Hello Jane ,
If you can’t address your letter to a specific person:
Dear Hiring Manager ,
Step 3: The Opening Paragraph
The first paragraph contextualizes your application and introduces you to the hiring manager. It should include your reason for applying and a high-level summary of your qualifications.
While you may be tempted to start with a line like, “I’m applying to work as an intern at Example Company,” aim for something more compelling. The hiring manager already knows which position you’re applying for; take this opportunity to wow them instead.
An Example First Paragraph
With my graduation from the Example School business program around the corner, I’m looking to bring my passion for marketing into a workplace that drives change in the industry. Between my in-school experience and my work helping entrepreneurs, I’m confident I can bring fresh new ideas to Example Company as an intern.
Step 4: The Body Paragraph(s)
The following one or two paragraphs should be where you sell yourself. Write about any significant accomplishments and the relevant experience you have. Adding statistics or verifiable facts can further elevate your cover letter.
An Example Second Paragraph
My knowledge of market trends and knack for visuals have propelled me to the top of my classes. My time in the debate club has allowed me to hone my communication skills. Outside of college, I’ve helped fellow students grow their businesses by offering my knowledge of digital marketing. For one dropshipping operation, I increased sales by 25% over three months by leveraging social media ads.
Step 5: The Closing Paragraph
This section is where you can relate your experience to the internship and explain why you’re the best candidate for the role. Be sure to include a thank-you and a sign-off at the end.
An Example Final Paragraph
These accomplishments are aligned perfectly with the work that Example Company does. Apart from my technical skills, I believe my ambition makes me an excellent candidate for this internship. To me, self-improvement is a never-ending journey, and I’m excited for the opportunity to learn from the best at Example Company.
Thanks for taking the time to read my cover letter. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Internship Cover Letter Tips and Tricks
Once you understand the framework of a standard cover letter, it’s time to fine-tune the appearance and the content. Here are some general cover letter tips that you can leverage when applying to internships.
Make a Strong First Impression
Before a hiring manager begins reading your cover letter, they’ll notice the formatting. Cover letters should be simple; there’s no need to go overboard with borders or graphics.
For a proper cover letter, be sure to:
- Use a professional, easy-to-read font like Calibri or Arial
- Write in 10- or 12-point font
- Align your document to the left
Remember: Shorter is Better
You can value a company’s time and your own by keeping your cover letter short and to the point. Writing three or four paragraphs is sufficient, and it should all fit on one page.
To keep your cover letter on the shorter side, you can omit some of your accomplishments or your less relevant experience, as this information will be available on your resume.
Keep the Tone Conversational
Your writing should be professional without feeling robotic. Consider the following two sentences:
“I am writing this cover letter to apply for the internship at your company.”
“I’m writing to express my interest in Example Company’s summer internship.”
Notice how the first line feels somewhat sterile. The lack of contractions and plain language remove all of the personality from the sentence. On the other hand, the second line feels warm and engaging while remaining business-like. That’s the tone you’re striving to achieve.
Demonstrate Your Worth
The company you’re applying to knows you want to intern there; otherwise, you wouldn’t have sent them a resume! Instead of writing about why you want the internship, focus on how the company can benefit from taking you on as an intern.
Don’t Worry About Your Lack of Work Experience
Companies know that interns from colleges typically have little to no work experience. Rather than mentioning your lack of on-the-job experience, find ways to make your coursework and extracurriculars highlight your relevant skills.
For example, you can talk about:
- How you took the lead in a school project
- Your appreciation for teamwork as a member of the football team
- A victory at the state science fair
- Your time tutoring other students
Work Smarter, Not Harder
You should tailor your cover letter to each internship you’re applying to, but you don’t need to start from scratch every time. Instead, try drafting up a “template” cover letter with your major accomplishments, transferable skills, and tweak it to suit each new application.
Don’t Forget to Edit
There’s nothing more off-putting in a cover letter than an obvious typo or a formatting issue. These errors may seem insignificant, but to a hiring manager, they show a lack of attention to detail.
To perfect your writing before sending your application, try these proofreading tips:
- Read your cover letter out loud
- Change the font to make errors more visible
- Use grammar-checking software
- Ask a friend to read your cover letter
- Use a text-to-speech tool and listen back to your writing
Where to Find More Support for Writing Cover Letters
The best colleges recognize the important role that internships play in helping students reach their career goals and provide the necessary support to help students land these roles. Many schools offer cover letter workshops or help from career counselors. From answering questions like “ What is an internship ?” to explaining the differences in an externship vs. internship , you can always find help.
Look for a college like North Central College, where students and alumni can access online resources surrounding internships and jobs or work directly with the Office of Career Development to put their best foot forward.
For more advice on landing your dream internship, view our list of common internship interview questions and how to prepare.
Jacob Imm is the assistant director of communications at North Central College Office of Marketing and Communications. He has 11 years of collegiate communications experience and has worked with hundreds of college students. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.
Tomaszewski, M. (2021, December 23). Is a Cover Letter Necessary in 2022? Do I Need a Cover Letter? ResumeLab. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from https://resumelab.com/cover-letter/are-cover-letters-necessary
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