Writing an internship request letter can seem like a daunting undertaking, especially if you lack a lot of practical experience. Thankfully, a cover letter gives you the opportunity to discuss how your extracurricular activities and academic experiences have helped you develop great leadership and time management skills.
For each internship application, you want to submit, you should tailor your cover letter in order to stand out. However, your cover letter isn’t the place to restate your entire CV. This is your chance to highlight a few achievements from the job description and provide specific examples of when you’ve used them.
To provide you with a starting point and some ideas, we’ve produced an internship cover letter template, but don’t count on it to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Ideally, you’ll add your own imagination and style to our template.
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship
1. Include your name, date, location, and contact information.
Although some businesses strongly oppose the use of applicant tracking systems, it’s likely that many of the businesses you apply to will use one to screen your resume and cover letter. You will therefore need to make an impression on both a computerized system and actual recruiters.
Have you ever heard the rumor that putting your name on the SAT exam will give you extra points? The same is true when including your contact details in your cover letter. Give the recruiter your current phone number and email address to make it simple for them to contact you.
Before, it was customary for applicants for jobs and internships to mention their precise address on their cover letter because they would mail them directly to the hiring supervisors. To make an internship offer in today’s digital age, the majority of hiring teams won’t need to know your precise home address, so feel free to omit it. To let the team know how close you are to the office, just include your city and state.
Your City, State, Zip Code
2. Include the company, department, and company address.
If you’re preparing a cover letter for more than one internship opportunity, you might find it useful to look out for each company’s entire name, department, and corporate address. You’ll be able to precisely replicate the information in your cover letter if you complete this step separately. Keep in mind that you do not want any typos or errors in your cover letter, particularly when it comes to information that is readily available online.
You can omit the department name if you’re not sure because it might not be as easy to find. Use the address of the site where the internship will be completed or the office where your hiring manager works if your organization has many campuses or operates in different locations.
City, State Zip
3. Address the hiring manager.
Being resourceful will help you stand out from other applicants as a student seeking an internship. By looking out the hiring manager’s name to correctly address them in your cover letter, you can demonstrate your ingenuity. On occasion, the role description will include their title. Then, to find their name on LinkedIn, search for the position. You can only address someone by their title if you can’t find their name. Finding the hiring manager’s name could be more challenging at other times. You should exclude the name if a Google search doesn’t pull up a first and last name. It’s much preferable to give up a little personalization than to address your cover letter to the wrong person.
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.
Explain how you learned about the company or position in the opening sentence, and if you know somebody there, mention them. Next, state your own enthusiasm for the business or position and quickly describe how it aligns with your personal interests. Remember to identify yourself in this paragraph by including your name, educational background, area of study, and interests.
To draw the reader in, you can choose a clever first line. Early in my career, I used one that was effective for me, and it went like this:
“Can I tell you a secret? I’ve been telling stories since I was five years old. No, not fibbing — real storytelling…”
You’ll gain from learning about the company’s culture in this situation. Although this opening statement was effective for startups and more relaxed businesses, a large accounting firm could find it odd culturally.
5. Sell your experience.
Select a few characteristics you believe describe you from the internship post description; however, avoid selecting all of them since this may make you seem disingenuous and cause your cover letter to become overly long. For instance, if I notice that a company wants someone who is “outgoing, organised, hardworking, and willing to take criticism,” I would choose the qualities that best represent me and concentrate on giving instances in the body of my cover letter.
Directly referencing the qualities in your cover letter demonstrates that you have read the job description and makes it easier to scan. The hiring manager may skim your cover letter for words that suggest experience with content if she is seeking someone with content abilities.
Finally, come up with a few interesting instances that demonstrate how you exhibit the most crucial traits. Don’t just say, “I have fantastic customer service abilities,” in your writing. You want to offer proof. If you want to prove your point, write something like,
I served as a resource for incoming students and their parents as an orientation leader at my college last summer. My customer service abilities were improved by this encounter.
Even if you don’t have much (or any) professional experience, consider emphasizing the abilities you’ve developed through extracurricular activities, volunteer work, 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.
In the event that the internship application does not specifically state “please do not contact,” you may choose to end by indicating 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.” Thank the recruiting manager for their consideration, and end your letter on a strong, confident note by saying something like, “I look forward to speaking with you soon.”
You may even take it a step further and issue a call to action to the hiring manager. Include a link to a place where you showcase your work and personality, such as a website, YouTube account, or online portfolio. Include tracking to your link using a URL tracker like Bitly to collect data on how frequently hiring managers are accessing these extra elements.