When you are applying for an internship, you will likely have to submit a cover letter as part of your application. Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific internship and should include examples from your work, academic, and extracurricular experiences.
How to write a cover letter for an internship
A well-written cover letter should highlight relevant skills and experiences that make you the best fit for the role. It should also capture the employer’s attention, convincing them to further review your resume. To meet these goals, it’s important to include a few key pieces of information:
1. State the position you’re applying for
Around 48% of recruiters and hiring managers aren’t even going to read your cover letter if it’s not customized to the role you’re applying for. Starting your cover letter with the position you’re applying for shows you’ve thoughtfully considered what makes you the best candidate for this specific position. It also prove that your cover letter is customized for this specific internship, and you’re not just randomly applying for the job. It also reminds the audience about the position and provides context for the rest of your letter.
Below is a practical example of how you can mention the role you’re applying for in the cover letter:
Dear Mr. Erick,
It is my pleasure to apply for the Assistant Accountant internship position at the XYZ Company. I can confidently say based on my 1-year experience working as a junior Accountant and my excellent academic results in the Bachelor of Accounting that I’d be a good fit for the position.
2. Use the right keywords
Hiring managers often scan resumes and cover letters for keywords related to the role. Carefully review the job description and company website for clues on which you should include.
How can you find these keywords, you might ask youself?
It’s actually pretty simple – just look at the internship job description and go through the required skills & responsibilities and identify the keywords that you’d think the recruiter would be looking for.
For example, if the job description lists “Leadership” as a desired quality, try listing relevant examples in your cover letter.
Example on how you’d mention this in your cover letter:
During my time as Finance officer at XYZ Company, I got to develop my communication and leadership skills significantly. For over two years, I was in charge of a five people team, which also helped my teamwork skills and my ability to meet deadlines.
NOTE: Using each and every keyword mentioned in the job description (without backing the skills up with experiences) might cause the hiring manager to think that you’re just copying the job ad & don’t actually have these skills.
3. Include Education background.
If you have little to no job experience, your education and relevant coursework is your best chance to show that you’re a good fit for the internship. Include your completed courses relevant to the job description or industry. For example, if applying for a accountant internship, be sure to list your Accounting courses and any significant related accomplishments.
This help the recruiter to know what kind of courses you’ve completed that are relevant to the internship you’re applying for will be a big plus for your application.
4. Provide relevant skills
The body of your cover letter is where you can highlight relevant knowledge, expertise and education that will benefit the employer. Even if you don’t have professional industry experience, you can include skills you’ve gained in previous jobs, volunteer positions, classes or projects you’ve completed, or achievements in extracurricular activities.
For example, in your internship cover letter, instead of just mentioning that you have “good time-management skills,” actually back it up with a past experience that proves it.
During Holidays I assisted my family’s Investment planning business, I learned a lot about time management. In that kind of Investment business, it’s important that things run like clockwork so in addition to time management skills, it also significantly improved my attention to detail.
5. Explain why you’re a good fit for the Position.
This means that you should connect the dots between what the company/organization is looking to gain from its interns and what you can do to provide those services. You should include a one or two sentences relating your qualifications to the internship.
Carefully review the posted job description to understand which skills and experiences the employer is looking for. So, after you research and create an understanding of what is required of you, you should use your cover letter to explain why you’re a good fit for that position.
6. Describe what you would gain from that internship
In most cases, employers have built an internship program to help students and young professionals better understand the industry and develop skills, experiences and relationships that will serve them throughout their career. In addition to explaining what you’ll bring to the table, highlight what you hope to achieve and learn through the internship.
Example on how you can do that:
I am excited for this internship to provide me with the necessary customer service skills and network that will help me grow professionally in my future career as a customer service manager.
7. Review your cover letter before sending
When your cover letter is complete, there’s one final thing to do and that is make sure your cover letter doesn’t have mistakes. set aside time to review and edit. When proofreading, check carefully for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. If possible, ask trusted friends or family members to review your final draft for a third-party perspective or use spell-checking software such as Grammarly and Hemingway.
Simply follow the template below to learn how to format your cover letter properly:
First, formally introduce yourself, and say where you heard about the internship. Add some information about your background and explain why you’re applying.
In the second paragraph, sell your skills and the accomplishments you’ve added to your resume. If you’re writing a cover letter for a part-time job, mention your previous work experiences. Touch upon your passion for the industry, and give examples of when you’ve excelled in a professional or academic capacity.
If you’re writing an internship cover letter with no experience, focus on your academic credentials.
Here you can mention anything that makes your application unique. Do some research about the company, and describe how you’d personally be a good fit for the company’s culture. Or, elaborate on its positive impact on your community (or society at large), and explain why that attracts you to work there.
Finish your application with a call to action. Say you’re ready to be interviewed, and thank the reader for their time. Finally, close your cover letter with “Sincerely,” followed by your name.