Cover letters are a way to introduce yourself to a potential employer. In addition to your resume, they communicate why you are applying to the internship and what you are able to add to their organization. These letters are typically considered a little less important than the resume itself, and therefore they may receive less attention. However, a well-written cover letter can convey to a potential employer a compelling reason to respond to your request for an interview.
An internship cover letter, however, doesn’t necessarily function exactly like a cover letter does for a career opportunity. Rather, it has to work harder. If you are applying for an internship, chances are that you do not have a lot of real work experience.
For this reason, the internship cover letter should have a strong focus on what your career goals are. It is important, however, to talk about previous work experience or extracurricular activities that are relevant. For students who are looking for an internship, any past experiences may be helpful.
A resume’s purpose is to communicate your education, experience, accomplishments, and skills. The cover letter then explains why these assets are beneficial to the specific needs of their organization. When applying for an internship, the cover letter should address the following questions:
- Why are you in particular a compatible fit for the organization?
- Why is this the best time in your career plan to have this internship, therefore making it a mutually beneficial relationship?
- How are your qualifications well-matched with what will better their company?
- What are the next steps in the hiring process for this internship?
Your answers to these questions will help the hiring manager see how you could fit into their organization. The cover letter lets you show the company how your past experiences are relevant and similar to what the employer is looking for in an intern. This also offers information to point out how your strengths will benefit them.
Start with a small paragraph to introduce yourself and talk about what your goals with the internship and your career upon graduation. Discuss how this internship in particular will help you accomplish your goals. In the closing paragraphs, you can address your previous work experience or relevant school projects as well as any extracurricular activities and volunteer work that you have done.
Finish your internship cover letter by asking for an interview with a hiring manager and providing your contact information. Mention again your desire to work with their organization and learn from their company.
Here are some final Dos and Don’ts which writing a cover letter for an internship.
- Limit the letter to a single page.
- Be consistent with your font and formatting throughout the cover letter and resume.
- Consider using the same header in the cover letter as the resume.
- If you are providing a hard copy of these documents, print both the cover letter and the resume on resume paper.
- Use formal and professional language and make sure you have somebody else proof your letter for grammar and punctuation errors.
- Remember to personalize each cover letter individually to the specific company and position.
- Don’t use abbreviations or emoticons.
- Don’t be too verbose or write more only to add length.
- Don’t submit a generic cover letter without tailoring it to fit the specific position.
- Don’t simply repeat your resume in your cover letter. Focus the letter on your unique enthusiasm for the internship.
- Don’t exaggerate or make up any skills or experience that you do not actually have.
Intern Cover Letter Sample 1:
I’d like to submit myself for consideration in your summer internship program. I was first told of the opening by Professor Maringale in the economics department at South University, and he believes, as I do, that I meet all of your requirements and could bring great enthusiasm to your company.
You stated in your ad that your ideal applicant has experience in the financial sector as well as an educational background that can meet the demands of a highly-specialized job. I graduated in the top three percent of my class, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics before returning to the school for an MBA. I’m currently three semesters away from securing my graduate degree.
As for experience, I spent my senior year interning for Starks LLC three times a week while also maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I learned everything from market theory to stock monitoring under the tutelage of their finance department, and I believe these skills have more than prepared me for the vigorous work environment at your company. I’ll be able to balance your books and manage your accounts with ease. I also look forward to the new challenges that will be offered by the internship, especially in the areas of global finance. My goal is to work for a Fortune 500 company within the next 3-5 years.
All in all, I’m a talented, highly-educated economics major, and I believe that I have what it takes to flourish in your internship program. As you can see from my resume, I’m no stranger to hard work and self-discipline. I came from nothing and worked my way up to a graduate program. I’m serious about furthering my education in the financial sector, and I’m committed to learning any and all skills that will help me on Wall Street.
Feel free to contact any of my professors or previous bosses as character references. I’ve included their names for your convenience. I’d also love the opportunity to speak with you face-to-face about the internship program. Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Intern Cover Letter Sample 2:
I am writing to express my interest for the summer internship position at your company. I learned about your organization’s offering at the placement center at the University of Michigan.
I am currently majoring in Environmental Informatics: GIS and Modeling from the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), Ann Arbor and will receive my degree this spring. While I have a comprehensive background in Environmental Informatics, my key focus area through these years has been on environmental research, impact assessment, planning and management.
During the course of the program, I have gained practical and theoretical knowledge in the following key areas:
- Gained knowledge of various methods and skills related to using analytical and computational techniques for solving a variety of environmental issues. I have also gained an insight into the various societal and scientific issues surrounding the problems.
- Took my practical knowledge to the next level by using tools that enabled me to capture spatial data that includes use of OS raster as well as vector data, heads up digitizing, digital photography, scanning, and aerial photography
- Learned how to employ existing models and have spent time developing new models for assisting in the understanding as well as forecasting of various environmental scenarios
- Have used a range of GI mapping tools for customization of commercial GIS and to query and analyze mapped data.
My primary reason for applying for this internship is because you have been in this area of work for the past 50 years and have a global reach. Right now, my career goals are aligned towards becoming an “ecological forecasting specialist” and I strongly believe that your organization can provide me the platform, the experience, and the expertise to pursue this career.
I am excited about the internship opportunity with your organization and I sincerely hope that you will provide me with an opportunity to meet you in person.
Intern Cover Letter Sample 3:
Please find enclosed my resume and application for the position of intern in your department. I am seeking an internship that will allow me to learn more about your business and industry. Also, I hope to learn the skills necessary to earn a full-time position in the industry. I want to work in the industry until my retirement, and I hope that this internship will be a quality beginning to my career in the field.
I believe that seeking an internship at this stage of my life is the best way to learn how to conduct myself in a full-time job in your field. I also believe that learning from people such as yourself is a much better education than I can find anywhere else and am willing to work and do whatever is needed for the internship.
I have completed my undergraduate education recently and I am free to interview at any time. I have listed my contact information, and I hope to hear from you soon regarding the position. I am flexible in my schedule and am willing to work as hard as you ask. This is a time when I can learn what to do in your position, and I hope that experience at your company will propel me to the next stage of my life.
I have also listed references who are willing to speak to you at any time. I pride myself on making good connections with the people around me and I hope that my references reflect that when you speak to them. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your time, and I hope to speak to you soon regarding this position.