How to Write a Cover Letter for Internship (Examples & Template)

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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

matching resume and cover letter

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: 

Having trouble getting started with your cover letter? Read our guide on how to start a cover letter and get inspired!

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#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:

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:

Now, let’s look at a practical example. Let’s say that the internship you’re applying for requires the following skills:

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!

cover letter example for internship application

Key Takeaways 

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:

Related Readings: 

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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:

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:

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

Jenny Smith


[email protected]

February 13, 2022

Jane Doe, Hiring Manager

Example Company Name

City, State, ZIP code


[email protected]

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.

Example Greetings

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.

Find out more about North Central College

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:

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:

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:

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

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Internship Cover Letter Example

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 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

How to write a resume

All the tips, tools, templates, and examples you need to learn how to write a resume in 2023

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:

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? 

Primary purpose.

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’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. 

Secondary purpose

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 cover letter body

Internship - Best format cover l

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.

Felicity Kendwell

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, 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:

Internship - Writing psychology

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:

Internship cover letter format and common mistakes

Let’s take a look at some of the hidden cover letter pitfalls that beginners often encounter:

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

With, you can create a perfect cover letter in just a few minutes. There's no uncertainty, no hassle. Go out there and win!

Internship - Key takeways cover letter

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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.

Maciej Duszyński, CPRW

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.

Don't worry.

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

internship cover letter example

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:

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

Peter Thurlow

4938 Spruce Drive

Los Angeles, CA, 90045


[email protected]

10 October, 2019

James Watkins

Head of Human Resources

551 Massachusetts Avenue

Los Angeles, CA, 90024


[email protected]

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:

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?

Best regards,

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

Jennifer Kovacs

2448 Frederick Street

Sacramento, CA, 94567


[email protected]

10 November, 2019

Matthew Petersen

Senior Product Manager

One Infinite Loop

Cupertino, CA 95014


[email protected]

Dear Matthew,

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.

A good internship cover letter must convince the employer

To impress the employer, your cover letter for an internship must:

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

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

Cover letter template for an internship - checklist

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:

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 .

Create the perfect resume

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.

And remember:

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

Key Takeaway

How to write a cover letter for an internship

Here’s how to write a cover letter for an internship:

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.

Maciej Duszyński, CPRW

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How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship [Examples & Template]

Caroline Forsey

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.

college student writing their internship cover letter

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.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

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

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 Address

Your City, State, Zip Code

Cell: 555-555-5555

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.

(handwritten signature)

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:

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.

standard internship cover letter template

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.

data-driven internship cover letter template

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.

Entry-level cover letter template

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.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

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Home Cover Letter Examples Cover Letter for Internship

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.

An example of a cover letter for an internship

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.

[Today’s Date]

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:

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.

Lauren Chen

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.

A graphic showing what to include in an internship cover letter

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:

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:

An example of bullet points on an internship cover letter written by a junior marketing student.

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:

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

Paragraph 1

First, formally introduce yourself, and say where you heard about the internship. Add some information about your background and explain why you’re applying.

Paragraph 2

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.

Paragraph 3

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.

Paragraph 4

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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Internship Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

how to write a professional cover letter for an internship

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.

Key Takeaways

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.

The Balance

Internship Cover Letter Sample (Text version)

Joseph Q. Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555

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 555-123-4567 (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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Internship and Career Center

Cover letters, informational videos.

Watch this and other videos on our informational videos page. Check back often for new uploaded content.

Cover Letter Samples

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Personal contact info.

Required : Name, Address, Phone, Email Optional : LinkedIn, Online portfolio

Employer's Contact Info

Name, Department, Company, Address. If no specific person's name use position title or dept. name, If no address use email with city/state

Try to address your cover letter to a person. If no specific name can use "Dear Search Committee,", "Dear Hiring Manager,", or "To Whom it May Concern:"

Beginning Paragraph

Introduce yourself and express your interest in the position. Possible subjects include:

Middle Paragraph(s)

Describe 1-3 of your experiences/projects that show your job-specific skills and qualifications. Make sure to:

Ending/Summarizing Paragraph

Final interest and fit statement in which you:

Closing Signature

"Sincerely", "Best Regards", "Yours", Hand-written signature AND Typed name. Best to hand-write signature but if you are unable to scan document you can use script-like font instead

A cover letter is an important tool to use when applying for a job because it:

You should always include a cover letter when applying for a job unless you are specifically told not to by the employer. We recommend that you write a cover letter (aka letter of intent) after you have drafted and tailored your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) for a particular job description. For academic faculty and teaching positions, see cover letter instructions in Masters, Ph.D.'s and Postdocs section. When applying online and limited to uploading one document, you can create a single PDF document that includes both your resume and cover letter.

What to Include in a Cover Letter

Use the cover letter template and planner to get started. When drafting your cover letter, keep the following DO's and DON'Ts in mind:

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship – A Step by Step Guide

•	man writing on a piece of paper while working on his cover letter for an internship

As a college student or recent graduate, an internship is an exciting opportunity to gain hands-on experience at an organization within your desired field. You can learn on-the-job skills under the supervision of someone who works in the industry and can guide and shape your coursework into practical experience. Not only will an internship look good on your resume, especially if you used professional resume writers , when you eventually enter the workforce, it will help you to build the necessary skills in your chosen discipline. An internship will help you strengthen your performance in your career endeavors.

As you sift through and apply for internships, it is important to remember that many other students are likely also competing for the same position. So how can you set yourself apart from the crowd? 

You want to ensure that you have a comprehensive resume, listing all of your pertinent education, work experiences, and skills. Additionally, you will need to compose a cover letter that helps your application stand out from the rest. 

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to write a cover letter for an internship that is both professional and compelling and will help land you the internship of your dreams.

What do Employers Look for in Internship Applicants?

When you apply for an internship, there is typically a large field of candidates also vying for the same position.  If you know what the employer wants to see in your resume and cover letter, you will be better able to help yourself stand out as an ideal candidate. While the specific skills will vary based on the field and position, all employers are looking for certain traits in their internship applicants.  Here are some of the most common characteristics that you will want to highlight to pique the interest of the employer.

Ability to Communicate Effectively

The cover letter is your first opportunity to let the employer see your communication style and how clearly and concisely you can get your point across to the reader. 

student internship

Experience Working Collaboratively with Others

Every job, particularly an internship where you are learning and taking direction from others, involves working collaboratively with peers and supervisors. When an employer looks to hire an intern, they want someone who will be a team player. Use your past work experiences and any group assignments or projects that are relevant to your intended position to highlight your ability to work effectively with others. 

Evidence of Initiative 

Although the role of an intern is to learn from more experienced individuals in your chosen field, employers will still expect you to take charge of your role within the organization. In addition to mentioning your initiative as one of your strongest skills, give examples of instances where you have taken charge of your own learning. If you volunteered with an organization or approached a professor to participate in a research project in order to gain hands-on experience in your field, these would serve as excellent examples of your initiative to learn and grow.

Capacity for Flexibility and Adaptability

As an intern, your employer will expect you to fulfill many tasks within the scope of your responsibilities. Your role within your position may change without notice, and the employer wants to know that you have the skill set to handle unexpected situations appropriately and professionally. Therefore, it’s essential to convey evidence of your adaptability and flexibility within your educational and work experiences, such as balancing several different responsibilities simultaneously, or shifting your focus in a research project when a new angle presents itself.

How do Employers Evaluate Internship Candidates?

As an internship applicant, you will not have significant work experience to demonstrate capability to an employer. Unless you are applying for a graduate internship, you are also unlikely to have certifications or degrees to help prepare you for a position. Therefore, employers evaluate internship candidates a little differently than they might for a typical employee. 

While they will want to see the general characteristics of strong communication, collaboration, initiative and adaptability, the hiring manager will also be evaluating candidates in the following areas to know if they are the right fit for the internship.

Your Reasons for Applying to the Internship

An employer wants to choose an intern who shows excitement about the position and interest in the company. While you may just be hoping to gain any experience in your field, the employer wants to hire someone who is really interested in that specific job at their organization. Aligning your long-term career aspirations with their company mission, service or product can help the employer see why you would be a worthwhile investment.

Your Knowledge of the Company

In addition to knowing the larger purpose of the organization, an employer wants to know that you have given some thought to the initiatives and goals that their employees work toward. Conducting a little bit of research by visiting the company website or calling the front desk or human resources can help to give you a leg up over other candidates. Highlighting how your goals and their company mission intersect will help the employer understand how you will fit in with their culture and can assist you with landing an interview.

Your Work and Volunteer Experiences

While you won’t have years of work experience to prove your worthiness for the job, an employer will be expecting that you have taken advantage of any volunteer, research, or other hands-on experiences offered through your college or in your

writing a cover letter for internship

 community that provide a foundation for the internship position. For example, a biomedical research company will want to see that you have participated in lab research, inside or outside your coursework.

Your Skills That Can Benefit the Company

Although you will learn a lot from the employer through an internship, the employer also wants to hire a candidate with a skill set that can help the company grow. If you have participated in certain training, workshops, or elective coursework that has prepared you for a certain facet of the internship, be sure to highlight this. An internship should be a mutually beneficial relationship for both you and the employer, and you will be more likely to make it to the next round if the employer can clearly envision your contributions to the organization.

What Should You Include in Your Cover Letter?

When you apply for an internship, a cover letter is your opportunity to address all of the qualifications the employer is looking for and to let them know who you really are. 

While a professional resume will detail your specific education and relevant skills and prior work experiences, your cover letter for an internship will allow the employer to get to know your personal interests and motivations in seeking out the position and the company. In addition, the cover letter is your chance to show the employer what differentiates you from other candidates with similar skills and experience… before they even see your resume.. 

student employment

A cover letter is not the time to be humble and hope that the person reading it will intuit your greatest qualities. It is an opportunity to sell yourself as the best person for the position. 

Employers want you to demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of the internship and how your skills, work experience, and coursework have prepared you to excel in this temporary role. A person who is hiring wants to interview only the best and most qualified candidates, so it is important to show them that you are among that group, right from the beginning of the hiring process.

In addition to highlighting your qualifications in relation to the position for which you are applying, an internship cover letter should reflect a personal touch. Share your passions and interests with the employer as you let them know why you’re the best person for the job. This helps to build a picture of you alongside your application and resume and signal that you are someone they want to learn more about. If you are really into technology, golf, gaming, animal training… whatever lights you up, let that come out in both your letter and your interview.

How to Structure Your Internship Cover Letter

A cover letter for an internship should be written following the format of a formal letter. The typed letter should be completed in a standard font style (avoid “fancy” fonts, go for readable over exciting) and size (11 or 12 point will do), and should fit entirely on one page. While you can format the return address section into a special cover letter header with a different color and font, the rest of the letter should be typed in black ink.

Regardless of the type of job for which you apply, cover letters for an internship should follow a standard structure. The body consists of four paragraphs that each include essential information that employers look at to determine if they want to look at you more closely as a candidate for the position.

Following these key steps of a typical cover letter format will help you to know how to craft a document that conveys your professionalism, interest, and skill set for the job.

Date and Contact Information

Any formal letter begins with your name and contact information and the date. You should include your full name, your current mailing address, a phone number, and an email address. This information will be used to communicate with you about your candidacy for the position, so it is important to double check and ensure that all information is accurate. (Yes, it happens. We’ve heard stories of wrong phone numbers and missed calls.) 

The information will either be written at the very top of the page as a header, or aligned to the left side of the page if following the traditional formal letter formatting. The date should be written separately from the contact information if using a header, or following a space if typed in the typical format. 

Centered header example:

Sample Student 123 My Street | Anytown, NV 12345 | (555) 555-5555 | [email protected]

Left aligned example:

Sample Student 123 My Street Anytown, NV 12345 (555) 555-5555 [email protected]

Employer Contact Information 

The next portion of the cover letter is similar to the first section and includes all of the same contact information for the employer. Begin with the formal name and title of the person listed as the point of contact on the internship job posting. Then, list the name of the company or organization and their mailing address. It is not necessary to include in a cover letter email addresses or phone numbers for the employer as you did for yourself. 

For example:

Dr. William Smith Research Supervisor Community Research Lab Anytown, NV 12345

The salutation is your first opportunity in your cover letter to directly address the point person for the organization. It is important to use a formal greeting with the honorific that the person prefers to go by. It may take some light research on the organization website or through calling the office to ensure that you have the correct contact person and address them accurately, especially if you are uncertain based on their first name or their possible doctoral status. 

Getting this small detail right will show your commitment to the even the finer points of a task and encourage the person to continue reading. Once you are certain as to how to address the person, follow the salutation with a colon instead of the comma that is used for informal letters. 

Dear Mr. Supervisor:

Body of the Letter

The first paragraph is your chance to hook the employer, that is, grab their attention. While it sounds simple, employers are looking for you to mention the specific internship that you want to land. Refer to the role explicitly and use wording similar to the job posting, without copying and pasting. Confirm your interest in the position and your belief that you are the most qualified candidate due to your education, work experiences, and skill set. Keep this paragraph general, but effusive in your passion and interest for the internship. 

I am interested in applying for the position of Research and Development intern at DOW Laboratories. In reviewing the requirements for the internship, I believe that my coursework, research experience, and passion for the mission of your organization will make me an excellent fit for the position.

In the second paragraph, you can begin to get more specific about your background and accomplishments that are relevant to the position. Focus on the highlights and weave in the most relevant information to the specific job. Remember that the employer will also have your resume, so you don’t need to regurgitate all of that information in the cover letter. You want to help them see you as a passionate individual who works hard and has the best education and skill set to excel at the job.

In my past three years of study as an Engineering major at Anytown College, I have balanced a rigorous course load of technology, science and mathematics courses in addition to hands-on learning experiences. I have assisted engineering professor Andrew Roberts in his research for the past two semesters, learning techniques and software that are required for the internship position. Additionally, I have completed an internship with the campus IT department in which I learned problem solving approaches in the development and implementation of new software that will serve me well as an intern at your company.

After you have shared some knowledge about you, the third paragraph is your opportunity to show that you understand the purpose and values of the organization. Bridge your goals, passions, and interests to the accomplishments and mission statement of the company. This section is important because it helps the employer understand where and how you will fit within their company. If you can help connect the dots for them clearly and successfully, you have a much better chance of getting called for the next round in the process. 

Among my prior work experiences was a marketing campaign that I completed through an internship with Anytown Marketing Company last summer. In that role, I assisted in managing the company’s social media platforms and helped design advertisements. I know that the skills and I developed in these areas will be an asset to your company as you aim to diversify your audiences and increase the reach of your advertising campaigns. 

The fourth and final paragraph of the cover letter should be a summary of your interest in and qualifications for the internship to which you are applying. Restate the specific position and make a general statement of your excitement for the opportunity to perform the job and to be a part of the organization. You can also refer to any additional documentation that you have enclosed, such as your resume, and let the employer know that you are eager to hear from them. Also, be sure to thank them for their time and consideration of your application.

I am excited about the Behavioral Science Intern position and I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person to further discuss my qualifications. My resume is enclosed and it provides details of my coursework, research experience, and previous internships that make me an excellent candidate for this position. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

To close out your letter, choose a professional sign off such as”best regards” or “sincerely”. Then, type your legal name several spaces below in order to leave room for your handwritten signature in between. Be sure to use black or blue ink only in order to maintain the professionalism of the letter.

For Example:

Best Regards,

Sample Student

Sample Cover Letter for Internship (free template)

When all of the components of the cover letter come together, you created a document that showcases your thorough preparation and passion for the internship for which you are applying. 

Here is a sample free internship cover letter template that you can adapt to your specific internship application.

how to write a professional cover letter for an internship


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