When applying for an internship, most companies require students to write and send an internship cover letter as part of the application documents. Resumes from students don’t ordinarily show extensive work history. That makes an internship cover letter different from a typical cover letter because it’s usually a more important factor in persuading a company to hire you.
The cover letter should be customized to the specific internship and should attempt to show how your academic qualifications, skills, extracurricular activities, and any previous work experience make you a suitable candidate for the organization.
Internship cover letters are a key way to highlight skills for students who lack work experience.
A cover letter is your first opportunity to make a good impression with the employer.
Tailor your cover letter to the specific position you’re applying for.
How to Write an Internship Cover Letter
Highlight your skills and qualifications in a way that captures the recruiter’s attention. Here are a few tips to follow when writing an internship cover letter:
1. Use the business letter format
An internship cover letter is a formal document and should follow a business letter format. Your contact information, the date, and the address of the employer should be at the top of the letter. The letter should also include a proper salutation before the introductory paragraph. At the end of the letter, you should sign your name. Use a plain font like Times New Roman or Arial. The font size for the letter should be 10 or 12.
2. State the role you are applying for
The internship cover letter should state the specific role you are applying for and what makes you a good candidate for the position. This is a better approach than writing a general cover letter for any position. Mentioning the specific role you are applying for naturally shapes the content of the rest of the letter.
3. Use keywords
Recruiters often do not initially read resumes/applications in their entirety. Instead, they scan through the document. Using specific keywords that were mentioned in the internship advertisement can help get your application more detailed attention. Review the job description to identify the main keywords that you should include in your cover letter.
4. Mention your academic experience
If the employer requires specific academic qualifications, you should mention your relevant qualifications and achievements in your cover letter. Since most students lack hands-on work experience, the next best things to note are completed courses and significant accomplishments. Highlight those that are most relevant to the job description. For example, if the job requires strong customer service skills, then you might want to highlight psychology courses on relationships that you’ve taken.
5. State relevant skills and extra-curricular experiences
You should mention extra-curricular experiences and skills that are relevant to the job description. These may include sports activities, leadership skills, and volunteer work that you have engaged in.
Volunteer experience in a related field can greatly boost your chances of getting an internship with a company. Even with limited industry experience, you can mention skills you gained from performing in volunteer roles and projects.
6. Proofread before sending
Once you have completed writing the internship cover letter, spend a few minutes reviewing the document for spelling, grammar, and syntax errors. Most employers are keen to notice how well-written (or poorly-written) a cover letter is. Keep in mind that your cover letter conveys the first impression that a recruiter forms of you. Any errors may spoil your chances of getting the job. You can also ask a friend or relative to review the final draft.
7. Follow up
Express near the end of the letter that you appreciate the employer’s consideration and hope to hear from them soon. You may also indicate that you will follow up in a week or two weeks’ time. If you follow up too soon, the employer may perceive you as over-eager (i.e., desperate). Following up lets you know the status of your application and at least confirm that your application was received.
Sending the Letter
Unless the employer has specifically stated that applications should be sent via post or submitted in person, you are likely to send the letter via email. Here are the two main ways you can use to send your cover letter via email:
1. As an email attachment
If the employer requires you to send a cover letter as an attachment, locate the document on your computer and attach it. It’s a good idea to include your name in the cover letter file name for easy identification.
2. Paste in the body of the email
The employer may ask you to send a cover letter as the body of the email. In such a case, don’t include the employer contact information and only include your contact information in the email signature. If you know the name of the recipient, include their name in the salutation.
Internship Cover Letter MSWord Template
[City, State, Zip Code]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear [Recipient’s Name]
I’m writing to apply for the marketing summer internship program at ABC company. I learned about the internship program through New York University’s Career Services Office.
I am currently a senior marketing student at New York University, and I will receive my degree in the spring. In the course of my studies, I have acquired skills in marketing analytics, product development, pricing, digital interment marketing, marketing communications, and public relations. Currently, I hold a 3.9 GPA.
Last summer, I created a social media marketing campaign for a non-profit that sells hand-made artifacts to support homeless families. The campaign returned the highest revenues ever for the non-profit and I was recognized as one of the best-performing volunteers. I also used my marketing analytics skills to analyze the results of the campaign and make recommendations to the marketing department.
I believe I would be a resourceful addition to your marketing team. The summer internship program can provide me with an opportunity to contribute towards the achievement of your organization’s goals and objectives, as well as enabling me to expand my skills.
I will call next week to see if my qualifications and skills are a fit for the candidate you are looking for. If so, I would like the opportunity to discuss my suitability for this position in person at a mutually convenient time. Thank you for your consideration. Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or (555) 555-5555.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to an internship cover letter. CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful: