How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship in 2023

A cover letter for an internship, also known as a letter of introduction, an application letter, or a personal statement, expresses why you are the best candidate for the position based on your skills and experiences

It should reflect your personal style while supplementing and expanding on your résumé.

Good internships are difficult to come by, especially if you want to work for a well-known company. 

If you’re a student with little or no relevant experience, it can be difficult to persuade employers that you’re the right person for the job. This is where an internship cover letter can help.

When a cover letter is requested, always include one to increase your chances of being considered for the internship. 

In contrast, including a cover letter, especially if it’s optional, gives you an advantage over candidates who don’t submit one. 

Before presenting your skills and experience to hiring managers, consider the following advice and tips.

What is a Cover Letter?

Before we begin assisting you in writing that fantastic cover letter, it is critical that you understand the meaning and significance of a cover letter.

A cover letter is a formal document that provides additional information about a job candidate’s skills and experience to the recruiter.

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What is the Purpose of a Cover Letter?

It’s easy to get off track when writing a cover letter if you don’t know what it’s for. So, before we get into writing tips and internship cover letter examples, let’s talk about why a strong cover letter is so important in the hiring process.

In short, a strong cover letter allows you to:

Expand on your resume’s point-form format – A resume is nothing more than a list of quick facts about yourself. 

It informs an employer about your experience but does not explain how that experience relates to the internship. 

On the other hand, a cover letter can tailor your application to the role – Your resume is a personal history that will not change. 

You’ll almost certainly use the same resume for each internship application. In contrast, the cover letter is your chance to include more internship-specific information.

If a cover letter is indicated as optional for an application, do not omit it. “83% of participants indicated that a great cover letter can secure you an interview even if your resume isn’t good enough,” according to a ResumeLab survey of hiring managers.

That figure may appear high, but consider the information contained in that document. Your cover letter reveals information about your personality, writing abilities, and goals, which a resume cannot.

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How to write your cover letter and what to include

Before you begin, make sure you understand how to write a cover letter in such a way that you appear to be the best candidate for the job.

Are you prepared to write your own internship cover letter? Then take the following steps:

Contact information and date

Include your name and contact information in the header or upper left-hand corner of the page, followed by the recruiter or hiring manager and the date.

Greeting and introduction

First impressions are crucial, and your letter is no exception. Avoid common blunders by always keeping the recruiter or hiring manager in mind

Begin with “Dear” or an appropriate title, such as Mr., Ms., or Mx., and then the person’s first and last names.

Avoid impersonal greetings such as “To Whom It May Concern,” as well as casual greetings such as “Hey” or “Hi.” You should maintain a personal yet professional tone.

Following the greeting, include the position you are applying for in the first sentence, followed by how you discovered the internship, and finally express your interest in the company.

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Reason for applying

Most students seek internships to jump-start their careers, while others may seek internships to learn about potential career paths that are related or unrelated to their field of study. 

Explain in a few sentences how your personal and academic experiences contribute to the company’s or organization’s goals.

Relevant skills or experience

Determine which academic skills and experiences to include in your cover letter. You could draw on relevant expertise such as:

Fellowships or research assistantships

Presentations at a conference or symposium

Taking part in academic competitions

Holding a position of leadership or other significance in a club or campus organization

Jobs on campus (e.g., school news reporter, library assistant, resident assistant, etc.)

Student organization membership and participation

You could also discuss the abilities you gained through extracurricular activities or coursework. 

Soft skills such as leadership and multitasking can be included, as can hard skills such as coding, Python, HTML, or proficiency with the Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office Suite.

Your intended contribution and objectives

Do your research on the company and your role to determine how you can contribute and be an asset to the team. 

Investigate the company’s website or reviews on sites such as Glassdoor to get a sense of its culture, values, and mission. 

Also, please explain why you want to intern for the company and what you hope to learn or gain from it.

Conclusion and sign-off

Finally, express your enthusiasm for the internship opportunity and invite the hiring manager to discuss your application further.

Finish the letter with a sign-off and your signature. “Sincerely,” “Best wishes,” “Kindly,” or “Thank you” are appropriate sign-offs.

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Be adaptable if you lack relevant experience. Consider an unpaid part-time internship to help fill the gap if you have little experience. 

Internships with “required/preferred qualifications” or “would love to see” in the job description should be avoided because they may limit your competitive chances.

When writing your cover letter, be creative in describing what you’ve done, whether it’s problem-solving at school or elsewhere, organizing or facilitating an event, or starting a new group or game; all these are experiences you can bring to an internship. 

Make an excellent first impression, highlight your qualifications, and demonstrate why you deserve to be considered in your cover letter.

Identify transferable skills

Transferable skills can be easily transferred from one job to another. 

Create a list of experiences from your responsibilities, such as caregiving or babysitting, volunteer experience, or courses you took related to your major, to identify your transferable skills. 

Take note of the complex and soft skills you successfully used beneath each respective listing.

Select appropriate experiences.

After you’ve created your list of skills, look for correlations between the required skills in the job description and your list of skills. 

Participating in a group project improved your communication skills or ability to work well in a group. Have you developed skills that allow you to multitask and resolve conflicts with grace? 

Match one or two of your experiences from your list to those listed in the job description, depending on the internship’s expectations.

Sell your story and skills.

Discuss specific experiences that demonstrate you have comparable skills to do what the job requires in your cover letter. 

Tell hiring managers how you made a difference or overcame a challenge and how those skills apply to the role.

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What are the Internship cover letter guidelines?

Your internship cover letter should be:

  • Half a page to a full page
  • 1-inch margins, single spaced
  • Written in a 10- to the 12-point font (Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri)
  • Unless otherwise specified, electronic or email submissions should be submitted as a PDF.
  • Printed on letter-sized US paper (8.5 by 11 inches) if you’re mailing

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How should I send an Internship Cover Letter?

Unless you’re hand-delivering your resume and cover letter, you’ll almost certainly send your cover letter electronically. 

Employers may request that you attach your cover letter file as part of your application. Sometimes, they will request that you email your cover letter and your resume.

You can accomplish this in two ways:

  • Include your cover letter in the email. If an employer requests that you attach your internship cover letter, you can locate the file on your computer and attach it to your email. Make sure your name is included in the file name.
  • Copy and paste your cover letter into the email’s body. If the employer does not explicitly request the cover letter as an attachment, you may copy and paste it into the email body. Make sure to change the greeting to the recipient’s name (if you know it).

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What is an internship cover letter? 

A personalized letter demonstrating a student’s or recent graduate’s suitability for an internship position based on relevant skills and experience is what an internship cover letter is.

What should an internship cover letter include? 

An internship cover letter should include the following:
The applicant’s reasons for applying.
Relevant skills and experience.
Intended contribution to the company.

What if the applicant lacks experience? 

If an applicant lacks relevant experience, consider volunteer work, personal responsibilities, and participation and performance in coursework pertinent to discuss applicable transferable skills.

Is a cover letter necessary in 2023?

Yes, you should include a cover letter with your resume. This is why most job postings require you to submit a cover letter.

Do I need a cover letter for an internship?

A cover letter allows you to include information that a resume does not allow for, as well as explain (in words) how your experiences relate to the role you’re applying for. As a result, a cover letter for an internship is required as part of your application package.

What can I include in a cover letter when I don’t have work experience?

If you lack work experience, you can share examples of volunteer work, extracurricular activities, schoolwork, academic programs, sports, community organizations, and other ways you have gained knowledge and skills that qualify you for the position.

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In your internship cover letter, you can summarize your best qualities, skills, and experiences to demonstrate to employers that you have the knowledge required to excel in the position. 

Following these guidelines, you can create a compelling letter and move one step closer to obtaining your desired internship.

We hope you find this article helpful.

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