As a recent graduate or college student, an internship is an exciting way to gain hands-on experience within the field of your choice. Such opportunities allow you to gain on-the-job skills alongside someone who knows the industry, which looks great on your resume. However, as you identify and apply for internships, you must remember that many other students are vying for the same position.
Therefore, one of the best ways to make sure your application stands out from the crowd is to focus on building a comprehensive resume. The process includes creating a captivating cover letter and listing all of your relevant skills, education, and work experience. Yet, the truth is that writing an effective cover letter can be the hardest part. So, we’ve created the following guide to discuss how to write a cover letter for an internship.
Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship
A well-articulated cover letter should highlight relevant experience and skills that make you the best choice for the position. Furthermore, it needs to captivate the reader’s attention enough, so they want to review the rest of your resume. To ensure that these goals are met, you need to address a few key factors. These include:
#1 State Your Desired Role
Begin your cover letter by stating the exact position for which you are applying. Doing so shows that you’re carefully considering what makes you the ideal candidate. Yet, it also implies that you created the cover letter specifically for their opportunity rather than a general letter that could apply to any application.
Many hiring managers scan cover letters and resumes for specific keywords that are related to the position. Thus, you should take time to review the company website and job description to narrow down your keywords. For instance, if an internship specifies “time management” as a skill, make sure your cover letter includes relevant examples.
If you are lacking in the job experience portion, go ahead and list any coursework that you’ve completed that’s relevant to the industry or position. So, if you are applying for a finance internship, you should list all finance-related accomplishments and courses.
Your cover letter’s body is where you want to highlight relevant expertise, education, and knowledge that adds value for the employer. As we mentioned, if you have no real-world industry experience, including skills gained through volunteering, extracurricular activities, previous jobs, and classes can help.
Another critical element is dedicating a sentence or two to explain the qualifications that make you the perfect fit for the internship. Carefully review the internship description to determine the experience and skills the employer is looking for. Align yourself with these goals and figure out which should be prioritized on your cover letter based on their requirements.
Many times, employers offer internship programs to help young professionals or students develop skills while better understanding the industry. As you explain what you bring to the table, also mention what you hope to learn and achieve through the internship.
Once your cover letter is finished, allow yourself plenty of time to edit and review it. Of course, be sure to check for errors with grammar, punctuation, and spelling, but also make sure the letter is a good representation of yourself. If possible, you may even want to ask a family member or trusted friend to review your final copy to provide an outside perspective.
How Should I Send a Cover Letter?
Unless you’re hand delivering your cover letter and resume, you’ll probably have to send it digitally. Some employers require the document to be included as an attachment with your application. However, others will ask you to email your resume and cover letter.
Hence, there are two main ways to send your cover letter via email:
- Attachment: Simply attach your cover letter to an email. This is the preferred method, as it allows the recipient to save or print without effort.
- Copy/Paste: Some people choose to copy and paste the cover letter directly into an email. While this method works, especially with employers who don’t specify sending it as an attachment, it’s not recommended.
There you have it! That’s everything you need to know about how to write a cover letter for an internship.
As you can see, cover letters are key documents when applying for internships and jobs. So, let’s take a moment to recap the most important points and mention a few other details.
First, when writing your cover letter, follow this format:
- A header that includes your contact information
- Appropriate greeting to the employer
- An introduction paragraph
- The body consists of two to three paragraphs
- Conclusion paragraph
- Official salutation
- Your full name
Here are some key takeaways from today:
- Remember to state your objective as it relates to the position.
- Scan the job posting and locate keywords to use in your cover letter
- Back up your skills with relevant courses and other experiences
- The cover letter is the best place to summarize your best experiences, skills, and qualifications to prove you’ll excel in the internship.
- Remembering these tips will help create a compelling cover letter that may just land you a dream opportunity.
If you’re ever in doubt, there are many cover letter builders on the market. These tools work well to help match your resume and cover letter, ensuring that they really stand out from the crowd.
At the end of the day, your cover letter is a crucial part of your application process. Therefore, you should spend time learning how to craft an effective cover letter. Be sure that your final copy includes everything that the hiring manager needs to know about you to prove that you are the best candidate for the internship. Doing these things will ensure that you are on the right track and put you one step closer to securing the position.