How to craft an excellent internship cover letter
Internships are an important step in any young professional’s career. These positions give you an entryway into the industry of your choice, helping you to learn the ropes and build industry connections that can lead to long-term jobs down the line.
In this guide, we teach you five essential steps for writing a cover letter for an internship application. Continue reading to learn all about:
- Formatting a header for your intern cover letter
- Tailoring your intern cover letter to specific employers
- Writing a strong introduction for your intern cover letter
- Selecting the right skills and accomplishments for your intern cover letter
- Ending your intern cover letter with a memorable conclusion
1. How to properly format a header for your intern cover letter
The first step to writing an excellent cover letter that wins you the internship of your dreams is to create a professionally-styled header.
A cover letter header is the first block of text a reader will see when looking at your cover letter. It helps to not only give the letter structure but to also create a sense of visual flow.
In your header, you should include:
- Your name and professional title
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the company you are applying for an internship at
- The address of the company (this detail is especially important if a company has multiple locations)
Here is an example of a well-formatted intern cover letter header
Mack Jones, Engineering Student & Intern
(123) 456-7890 | firstname.lastname@example.org | linkedin.com/in/mack-jones
To: Applejax Engineering
Internship & Hiring Department
1234 Street Address
2. How to tailor your intern cover letter to specific employers
In addition to creating a header, another step to take is to research the employer thoroughly before beginning to write your cover letter.
Using the information you uncover in your research, you can tailor your cover letter to a specific company and employer. For instance, if a company is involved in a major project, you can highlight which of your skills can contribute to tasks associated with the project.
You should also look up who at a company is responsible for hiring, as this is the person most likely to read your cover letter. Once you discover who this person is, address them directly in your cover letter greeting.
Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings
- Dear Intern Manager Jane Casey,
- Dear Ms. Jane Casey,
- Dear Hiring Manager Paul Newly
3. How to craft a strong introduction for your intern cover letter
Now that you have your header in place and your research ready to go, you can begin writing the body text of your cover letter.
The first paragraph you will write is your introduction. This should feature key information, such as:
- A brief overview of your professional and academic history
If you are a student applying for an internship, you likely lack extensive professional experience. Instead, you should focus on highlighting your relevant academic beckground.
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
- A mutual acquaintance
Naming a mutual acquaintance when possible can go a long way in terms of giving you a competitive edge over others applying for an internship.
Here is an example of a strong introduction from an intern’s cover letter
Dear Intern Manager Jane Casey,
As a senior at Appalachian State University, I have studied communications and public relations for more than three years. In my time at the university, I served as the Assistant Editor and later as the Chief Editor of the school newspaper. While working for the school paper, I met your company’s Head of PR, Mr. John Eggleston, whom I interviewed for a feature. Impressed with my professionalism, Mr. Eggleston strongly suggested I apply for this internship.
4. How to select the best skills and accomplishments for your intern cover letter
After completing your introduction, you can now write the remaining body paragraphs of your letter.
The body paragraphs are where you will provide more in-depth insights into who you are, what skills you possess, and what accomplishments you have achieved that are relevant to the position.
Whenever possible, you should include quantifiable data points in your descriptions, such as statistics relating to a specific accomplishment. For instance, a customer service representative could list the exact percentage of sales they increased during a set timeframe.
Always aim to include the most relevant information possible and find ways to draw connections between your skills and the requirements of the internship.
Here are 6 examples of skills to describe in an intern cover letter
- Communication (describe your communication style)
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Critical thinking
- Time management
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in an intern cover letter
As a marketing student at the University of Central Florida, I have worked diligently to earn the highest academic honors every semester. In addition to maintaining exceptional grades, I have also served as a professor’s assistant for the head of the marketing department for two years.
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5. How to end your intern cover letter with a memorable conclusion
Last but not least, the final step in writing an intern cover letter is to create a memorable conclusion.
Making a conclusion memorable ultimately comes down to letting the employer know how and when to contact you, as well as applying slight pressure by stating when you plan to follow up. This can encourage the employer to contact you quickly, increasing the chances of you earning an interview.
Don’t forget to include a formal sign-off (sincerely, many thanks, etc.) to keep your cover letter sounding professional through the very end.
Here is an example of a memorable conclusion from an intern cover letter
It is with great excitement that I submit this application and letter for your consideration. I am eager to hear from you and hope to speak directly within the next week. You may reach me any day of the week between the hours of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., or from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the evenings. If I have not heard back by next Monday morning, I plan to follow up via phone call at that time.
If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.