What is an Internship Cover Letter?
When applying for an internship, most companies require students to write and send an internship cover letter as part of the application documents. An internship cover letter is different from a typical cover letter since the student needs to work a lot harder to show why they should be hired.
Most students lack “real work experience,” and it means that the focus of the internship cover letter should be on what you intend to do, rather than past work experiences. 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 makes you a suitable candidate for the organization.
How to Write an Internship Cover Letter
When writing an internship cover letter, you should 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 an official document and should follow a business letter format. Your contact information, the date, and the contact information of the employer should be written at the top of the letter. The letter should also include a proper salutation before the introductory paragraph. At the end of the last paragraph, 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 disclose the specific role you are applying for. Stating a specific position shows the company that you considered a specific role that makes you the best candidate rather than writing a general cover letter for any position. Mentioning the specific role you are applying for shapes the content of the rest of the letter, and the employer will know what to expect from you.
3. Use keywords
Most of the times, the employer does not have all the time to read all the internship applications word by word. Instead, they will scan through the document for specific keywords that were mentioned in the internship advertisement. Review the job description to identify the main keywords that you should include in the application.
For example, if the job advertisement states that suitable candidates must have problem-solving skills, you should use a past example to demonstrate that you have that skill.
4. Mention your academic experience
If the employer requires specific academic qualifications, you should mention your relevant academic qualifications and achievements in the cover letter. Since most college students lack hands-on work experience, you should mention completed courses and significant accomplishments that are relevant to the job description.
5. State relevant skills and extra-curricular experiences
You should mention extra-curricular experiences and skills that are relevant to the job description. Such experiences may include sports activities, leadership skills, and volunteer work that you have engaged in during your college years.
For example, volunteer experience in a related organization can greatly boost your chances of getting an internship in the hiring organization. Even with limited industry experience, you can mention the skills you gained when performing past volunteer roles, projects, and non-relevant experiences.
6. Proofread before sending
Once you have completed writing the internship cover letter, you should spend a few minutes reviewing the document for spelling, grammar, and syntax errors. Most employers are keen to see how the internship application letter is structured, and any errors may spoil your chances of getting the job. You can also ask a friend or relative to review the final draft, and correct or highlight any errors that may be present in the document.
7. Follow up
If the employer does not categorically prevent candidates from contacting them, you should indicate towards the end of the letter that you will follow up in a week or two weeks’ time. If you follow up too soon, the employer may get the perception that you are too impatient. Following at the right time helps you know the status of your application, or at least know if the employer received your internship application.
Sending an Internship Cover Letter
Unless the employer has specifically stated that internship applications should be sent via post or hand-delivered, 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 the cover letter as an attachment in the email, you should locate the MS Word document from the computer and attach it. Remember to include your official names in the cover letter file name for easy identification.
2. Paste in the body of the email
The employer may also ask you to send the cover letter as the body of the email. In such a case, don’t include the employer contact information at the top of the message, and only include your contact information in the email signature. If you know the name of the recipient, include that name in the salutation.
Internship Cover Letter Word Template
[City, State, Zip Code]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear [Recipient’s Name]
I am writing to apply for the marketing summer internship program at ABC company. I learned about the internship program through New York University Career Services Office.
I am currently a senior marketing student at New York University, and I will receive my degree in 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 will provide me with an opportunity to contribute towards the achievement of your organization’s goals and objectives as well as allow 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 at a mutually convenient time. Thank you, and should you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or (555) 555-5555.
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