Cover Letters

How to Write an Internship Cover Letter

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An internship is a great way to learn about a job without a full employment commitment. Whether you are in college or thinking about changing your line of work, an internship can give you the experience to help you decide if it’s a path for your career.

When you apply for an internship, you will send a cover letter with your resume. This article explains the purpose of this cover letter and gives you tips on how to write one.

What is an internship cover letter?

An internship cover letter is one of the documents you will include with an internship application. The purpose of the cover letter is to summarize the information on your resume in a way that tells the employer why you are best qualified for the internship.

While there is a correct format to the cover letter, you can still be creative. You can show that you are excited about interning with the organization. As you talk about your education and work experience, you are introducing yourself to the organization. They can gain a better understanding of who you are than from just reading your resume.

How do I write an internship cover letter?

Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you write your internship cover letter:

1. First, use the correct format

Your cover letter is a business letter, so be sure to follow the correct format. If you are sending your application by regular mail, you should start your letter with:

  • Your name, address and contact information
  • The date
  • The name of the person receiving your application (if known)
  • The organization’s address
  • Salutation or greeting (e.g., ‘Dear…’)

If you are sending your application by email or an online form, begin with the salutation. You don’t need to include everything before that. You will, however, want to add your contact information to your email signature at the bottom.

2. Second, do your research

Find out as much as you can about the organization from websites or other resources. Use this information to show how well-suited you are to the organization. Draw attention to aspects of the organization that match your career goals and aspirations.

3. Third, make each letter unique

Target your cover letter to the specific internship you are applying to. You can do this by highlighting areas of your education and experience that are most relevant to that particular internship. Discuss aspects of the internship from the internship description that match with things on your resume. Not only does this show the employer your interest in this internship, but it also draws attention to ways you are qualified.

4. Then, use keywords from the listing

Use words and phrases from the internship listing that relate to your education and experience. For example, if the listing says the intern must have good communication skills, mention how you have developed your communication skills through editing the school newspaper.

5. Next, provide examples

Your resume will contain a list of your work experience to date. In your cover letter, you can describe how that experience is relevant. Select two or three examples of things you have done and briefly describe your tasks and responsibilities in a way that connects to the internship.

6. Then, highlight relevant academic and nonacademic qualifications

An internship is an entry-level position, so you will not be expected to have a lot of experience in that industry. Be sure to draw attention to classes you have taken that align with what the organization is looking for. Include volunteer work or other work you have done that demonstrates both hard and soft skills you can use.

7. Last, check your letter for grammar and spelling mistakes

Internships can be very competitive, so it is important that your cover letter is error-free. Take time to reread your letter. Watch out for spelling mistakes, especially ones that your word processor’s spell check might not catch. Also, make sure you are using correct grammar. Have a friend or family member read your letter. Often an objective reader will see mistakes you don’t see because you are too familiar with the text.

Internship cover letter template

You can follow this template to write your internship cover letter:

Your name and contact information

The Date

Recipient’s name
Recipient’s address

Dear [recipient],

Purpose of the letter and why you want to apply for the internship.

Most relevant education and experience.

Example(s) of your experience.

Closing,
Your name

Example internship cover letter

Dear Mr. John Jones,

I am writing to apply for the summer internship at BookWise Literary Agency listed on Internships.com. I am currently in my final year of a four-year bachelor’s degree in English Literature at State University. After graduation, my desire is to work in publishing. This internship is the perfect opportunity for me to better understand the publishing industry. I have experience both as an editor and a book reviewer that I believe make me an ideal fit for this position.

My current coursework has me reading widely from both classic and contemporary American literature. I have taken courses on creative writing, literary analysis and the mechanics of writing, which have improved my writing skills and helped me understand what makes a good story.

In the summer before college, I interned at The City News, our local paper. I had the opportunity to sit in on editorial meetings and hear how they made decisions on which stories to pursue. The editor-in-chief often asked for my own editorial feedback. I learned a great deal from her about the editorial process.

For the past three years, I have been running a book review blog, BelleOnBooks.com. Every week I post a review for a book I have read. My preferred genres are young adult and suspense, but I read a variety of genres. I have over 10,000 followers and often receive advance reader copies of books from publishers to review.

I am interested in learning about publishing and am excited for this opportunity to read new submissions, write editorial letters and be a part of bringing new books into the world.

Enclosed is my resume where you will find more details on my education and experience along with contact information for references.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Belinda K. Smith

Learn More: Access and download a free online ‘Internship Cover Letter Sample’ from Resume.com