How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

Leah Tyus

A cover letter for an internship, also called a letter of introduction, an application letter, or a personal statement, expresses how your skills and experiences make you the best candidate for the position. It should showcase your personal style while expanding upon and complementing your  résumé .

Always include a cover letter when it is requested to solidify your chance of becoming a candidate for the internship. Conversely, including a cover letter , particularly when it’s optional, gives you an edge over candidates who don’t submit a cover letter. Consider the following guidance, tips, and examples before presenting your skills and experience to hiring managers.

Write with confidence Grammarly helps you communicate clearly Write with Grammarly

How to format your cover letter and what to include

Contact information and date.

In the header or upper left-hand corner of the page, include your name and contact information and then that of the recruiter or hiring manager, followed by the date.

Your Name Berkeley, CA (000) 000-0000 [email protected] linkedin.com/in/myname

Recruiter’s Name or Title [Recruiter’s position if name is provided] Company Name Anytown, USA

March 4, 2022

Greeting and introduction

First impressions are important, and this holds true for your letter. Avoid common mistakes by keeping the recruiter or hiring manager foremost in your mind. Begin with “Dear” or an appropriate title, like Mr., Ms., or Mx., followed by the individual’s first and last names.

Avoid impersonal greetings, like “To Whom It May Concern,” or casual greetings, like “Hey” or “Hi.” You want to strike a personal yet professional tone.

Here’s a tip: If you’re unable to locate a name for the salutation, try alternatives , like “Dear Team [Company Name].”

After the greeting, include in the first sentence the position to which you are applying, followed by how you discovered the internship, then express your interest in the company.

Here’s a tip: Use language that makes your reader feel seen and reveals your excitement for the position.

Dear Ms. Reader,

I am writing to express my interest in the Editorial Internship at Firtree Magazine. I’m a subscriber, and Firtree’s content ignited my interest in environmental justice journalism. I was excited to see the editorial internship opportunity listed on Handshake, my university’s job database.

Content paragraphs

Your cover letter should have two to three body paragraphs that cover the following information:

Reason for applying

Most students seek internship opportunities to jump-start their careers, while others may seek internships to discover potential career paths that are related or unrelated to their course of study. In a few sentences, explain how your personal and academic experiences lend themselves to the company’s or organization’s objectives. 

As a computer science major, I believe in Google’s informational access initiative. I’m particularly interested in user experience and how usability and accessibility are interconnected. I would be glad to use my strong coding abilities to help the company expand and deepen this area of research and development.

Relevant skills or experience

Identify academic skills and experiences to add to your cover letter. You might pull relevant experience such as:

  • Research assistantships or fellowships
  • Conference or symposium presentations
  • Participation in scholastic competitions
  • Occupying a leadership or other significant role in a club or campus organization
  • Campus jobs (e.g., school news reporter, library assistant, resident assistant, etc.)
  • Membership and participation in student organizations

You could also describe the skills you acquired through extracurricular experiences or coursework. These can include soft skills, like leadership or multitasking, and hard skills, like coding, Python, HTML, or proficiency with the Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office Suite.

Here’s a tip: Quantify your successes to stand out.

As the social media lead for the University of Michigan’s Writing Center, I frequently use Photoshop and Premiere Pro to produce brand-specific content. I release five to ten social media posts a week using the Creative Cloud.

Your intended contribution and goals

Do your homework on the company and role to identify how you could contribute and be an asset to the team. Explore the company’s website or its reviews on sites like Glassdoor to get a sense of its culture, values, and mission. Also, state why you want to intern for the company regarding what you hope to learn or gain.

I’ve noticed Pixar’s increased focus on films with characters of varied abilities. I think my two years as a research assistant working with neurodivergent children could help enhance the information Pixar’s content producers are seeking while providing me valuable hands-on experience for a career in the film industry.

Conclusion and sign-off

To conclude the letter, reiterate your excitement about the internship opportunity and invite the hiring manager to discuss your application further. 

Wrap up the letter with a sign-off followed by your signature. Appropriate sign-offs include: “Sincerely,” “Best wishes,” “Kindly,” or “Thank you.” 

I look forward to learning more about the design internship and welcome the opportunity to further discuss my application and suitability for the role. You may reach me at [email protected] or over the phone at (000) 000-0000.

Devon Reader

How to handle little or no related experience in your cover letter

If you don’t have much related experience, be flexible. In instances where you have little experience, consider an unpaid part-time internship that can fill the gap. You may want to hold off on internships with “required/preferred qualifications” or “would love to see” in the job description since these might limit your competitive chances.

When crafting your cover letter, get creative about how you talk about what you’ve done, whether it’s problem-solving an issue at school or otherwise, organizing or facilitating an event, or starting a new group or game—these are all experiences you can bring to an internship. Use your cover letter to make a good impression, tout your qualifications, and demonstrate why you deserve consideration.

Identify transferable skills

Transferable skills are abilities you can easily take from one job to another. You can identify your transferable skills by generating a list of experiences from your responsibilities, like caregiving or babysitting, volunteer experience, or courses you took related to your major. Beneath each respective listing, note the hard and soft skills you successfully used.

Choose appropriate experiences

Once you’ve generated your list of skills, identify the required skills in the job description and look for correlations. Did participating in a group project improve your communication skills or ability to work effectively on a team? Have you cultivated skills that help you multitask and resolve conflict with poise? Depending on the internship’s expectations, match one or two experiences from your list to those listed in the job description. 

Sell your story and skills

In your cover letter, discuss the specific experiences that show you have comparable skills to do what the job requires. Let hiring managers know how you made a difference or overcame a challenge and how those skills apply to the role. 

In my economics class, I led a group of four peers to construct and present a product where I focused on delegation and team support. I shared praise and provided constructive criticism. My actions helped us work collaboratively, and we earned an “A” on the assignment. My interpersonal skills and open approach to teamwork make me a strong candidate for the  Communications Internship.

Internship cover letter guidelines

Your internship cover letter should be:

  • Half a page to one page long
  • Single spaced with 1-inch margins
  • Written in 10–12 point font (Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri) 
  • Submitted as a PDF for electronic or email submissions unless otherwise instructed
  • Printed on US letter size paper (8.5 by 11 inches) if mailing

Perfecting tone

Tone conveys your attitude about a given topic or subject. Aim to present yourself as professional, likable, and genuinely interested in the company. For an internship cover letter, aim for a tone that is professional yet friendly.

Getting tone right can be difficult. Fortunately, Grammarly’s tone detector can help you nail the appropriate tone and ensure you come across as intended.

When to follow up

It’s tempting to ask for a status update about your application, but before you do, double-check the job description. Confirm when the application period closes, if applicants are asked not to inquire about status updates, whether a response date is provided , and submission portal updates . Requesting an update too soon or when it’s not advised may make you come across as impatient or as someone who didn’t bother to read all of the application information.

According to one study , inquiring “one to less than two weeks” is an appropriate time to reach out. Call or email the point of contact and politely inquire about the status of the application process.

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

Approximately two weeks ago, I submitted my application for [Internship Title] and wanted to inquire about the status of my application and/or learn when a decision will be made.

Please let me know if additional information is needed. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sample internship cover letter

Jane Smith Berkeley, CA (000) 000-0000 [email protected] linkedin.com/in/janesmith

Ms. Ronny Reader Hiring Manager Firtree Magazine Los Angeles, CA March 4, 2022

I am writing to express my interest in the Editorial Internship at Firtree Magazine. As an avid reader, John Forrest’s 2019 article, “Not Only the Land Is Burned by Forest Fires,” sparked my interest in environmental justice journalism. Naturally, I was excited to see Firtree’s Editorial Internship opportunity listed on UC Berkeley’s Handshake job database, knowing Firtree’s commitment to climate justice aligns with my career interests.

I am currently a junior pursuing my bachelor’s degree in English literature at Cal, which has strengthened my written communication skills. This is evident in my 3.85 grade point average and consistent placement on the dean’s list for the past three semesters. I work as a staff writer at The Daily Californian , Cal’s student-run paper. As a staff writer, I produce articles on a bi-weekly basis. Producing at this level in tandem with my coursework has sharpened my time management skills. Pitching on a weekly basis has strengthened my creative thinking and ability to stay abreast of current ecojustice news. My skill set aligns with Firtree’s goal of delivering interesting, informed content to your audience. 

Outside of academics, my volunteer experience has cultivated my interpersonal skills. Each week I tutor in writing at the local high school, which has taught me to communicate complex ideas effectively and engage with different learning styles and backgrounds. I believe this experience will help me communicate with my peers at Firtree and with interview subjects in the field. 

Having the opportunity to intern with Firtree would allow me to gain hands-on editorial experience to prepare for a full-time journalism career while contributing to Firtree’s continued success. I welcome the opportunity to further discuss my application for clarification or questions related to my experience. You can reach me at (000) 000-0000 or by email at [email protected].

Polished, mistake-free writing

Every writer needs feedback on their work, and cover letters are no exception. You want the hiring manager to see your experience and personality in your internship cover letter, not grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. To ensure your writing shines, use Grammarly to help catch typos, get rid of repetitive wording, and strike the right tone. 

Internship cover letter FAQs

What is an internship cover letter? An internship cover letter is a personalized letter that demonstrates a student’s or recent graduate’s suitability for an internship position based on relevant skills and experience.

What should an internship cover letter include? An internship cover letter should include reasons for applying, appropriate skills and relevant experience, intended contribution to the company, and the applicant’s goals/desires.

What if the applicant lacks experience? If an applicant has little or no related experience, draw from volunteer work, personal duties, and/or engagement and performance in relevant coursework to discuss applicable transferable skills. Find examples of your skillset inside and outside of the academic setting, be it sports, babysitting, event planning, or organizing groups or games. 

How do you format an internship cover letter? The cover letter should be formatted and organized to include the following in a single-page document:

  • The applicant’s and hiring manager’s contact information and the date of the letter
  • Greeting/salutation
  • Opening paragraph
  • Body paragraph showcasing applicant’s suitability for the position
  • Closing paragraph

write a cover letter for an internship

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship [Examples & Template]

Caroline Forsey

Published: September 15, 2023

Writing a cover letter can feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a lot of real-world experience.

college student looking at an example cover letter on her mobile device

Fortunately, a cover letter is actually a chance to explain how your extracurriculars and classes have taught you exceptional leadership and time management skills.

→ Click here to access 5 free cover letter templates [Free Download]

We’ve created an internship cover letter template to provide some initial structure and inspiration. For the best results, download our template, then add your own creativity and flair with the tips below.

write a cover letter for an internship

5 Free Cover Letter Templates

Five fill-in-the-blank cover letter templates to help you impress recruiters.

  • Standard Cover Letter Template
  • Entry-Level Cover Letter Template
  • Data-Driven Cover Letter Template

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

  • Include your name, date, location, and contact information.
  • Include the company, department, and company address.
  • Address the hiring manager.
  • Set the context for your application.
  • Sell your experience.
  • Close the letter with grace and a call to action.

There are different formats you can use when writing internship cover letters, but you can’t go wrong with the traditional business letter format. Business professionals use this template style to apply for full-time roles, so your cover letter will stand out above the rest. Remember to proofread, use formal terms such as “Dear” and “Sincerely,” and lean towards a professional tone in your body copy.

1. Include your name, date, location, and contact information.

Although some companies are firmly against using applicant tracking systems, chances are many of the companies you apply to  will screen your resume and cover letter using one. That means you’ll need to stand out to both an automated system and human recruiters.

Have you ever heard the myth that you’d get credit for writing your name on the SAT exam? The same applies to adding contact information to your cover letter, but it’s 100% true. Make it easy for the recruiter to get in touch with you by providing an up-to-date phone number and email address.

In the past, it was common for job and internship seekers to include their exact address on their cover letter as they’d mail them directly to the hiring managers. In today’s digital world, most hiring teams won’t need to know your exact home address to extend an internship offer, so feel free to leave it off. Simply include your city and state to give the team an idea of your proximity to the office.

Your Address

Your City, State, Zip Code

Cell: 555-555-5555

Email: [email protected]

2. Include the company, department, and company address.

If you’re writing a cover letter for several internship opportunities, you’ll find it helpful to search the full name, department, and headquarters address of each company. Doing this as a separate step will help you copy the information accurately in your cover letter. Remember, you don’t want any typos or mistakes in your cover letter, especially when it comes to information that can be easily found on the internet.

Finding the department name may not be as simple, so you can leave that out if you’re unsure. If your company has several campuses or operates in different cities, use the address of the location where the internship will be performed or the office location where your hiring manager works. If your internship will be remote, use the company’s general headquarters address.

City, State Zip

3. Address the hiring manager.

As a student looking for an internship, you’ll definitely set yourself apart from other applicants by being resourceful. You can show your resourcefulness by searching for the hiring manager’s name to properly address them in your cover letter. Occasionally, their title is stated in the role description. You can then search for the role on LinkedIn to identify their name. If you can’t find a name, you can instead address them by title only. Other times, though, finding the name of the hiring manager could be more difficult. If a Google search doesn’t return a first and last name, your best bet is to leave the name out. Sacrificing a bit of personalization is much better than addressing the wrong person in your cover letter.

Dear X, (try to find the hiring manager’s name… if you can’t, you can put “Dear [Company A] Hiring Committee”)

4. Set the context for your application.

In the first paragraph, explain how you heard about the company or position, and if you know anyone at the company, mention them here. Next, express your own interest in the company or position and explain briefly how it relates to your own passions. Don’t forget to introduce yourself in this paragraph, writing your name, your education level, your major, and your interests.

You may opt for a creative first line to capture the reader’s attention. One that worked for me early in my career went something like this:

“ Can I tell you a secret? I’ve been telling stories since I was five years old. No, not fibbing — real storytelling... ”

This is where you’ll benefit from researching the company’s culture. While this opening statement worked well for startups and more laid-back companies, a big accounting firm might find it culturally off-beat.

5. Sell your experience.

Scan the internship position description and pick out a few qualities you think apply to you — just don’t choose all the descriptors mentioned as it could appear disingenuous and make your cover letter too long. For instance, if I see a company is looking for someone who’s “outgoing, organized, hardworking, and willing to take criticism,” I would pick those that describe me best and focus on providing examples in the body of my cover letter.

Mentioning the traits directly in your cover letter shows you’ve read the position description, and makes your cover letter more scannable. If the hiring manager is looking for someone with content skills, she might scan your cover letter looking for the words that indicate experience with content.

Finally, brainstorm a few compelling examples to show how you embody the most important characteristics. Don’t just write, “I have excellent customer service skills.” You want to prove it. Support your claim by writing something like,

“ Last summer, I worked as an orientation leader at my college, serving as a resource for incoming students and their parents. This experience strengthened my customer service skills. ”

Even if you don't have a lot of (or any) job experience, think about highlighting skills you've gained from extracurriculars, volunteer experience, or even passion projects:

“My passion for dance led me to become a volunteer dance teacher which helped me develop as a leader.”

6. Close the letter with grace and a call to action.

If the internship application does not explicitly state “please do not contact,” you might choose to conclude by specifying how you will follow up, such as, “I will call next week to see if my qualifications are a match,” or, “I am eager to meet with you to discuss this opportunity, and am available for an interview at a mutually convenient time.” Conclude by thanking the hiring manager for taking the time to consider you, and end on a positive, confident note, such as, “I look forward to speaking with you soon.”

You may even go a step further and give the hiring manager a call to action. Include a link to your online portfolio, a website, or even a YouTube channel where you display your work and personality. To see how often hiring managers are viewing these additional items, include tracking to your link using a URL tracker like Bitly to capture that data.

Sample Internship Cover Letter

Featured resource: 5 free cover letter templates, event planning internship cover letter.

1 Hireme Road

Boston, MA, 20813

Email: [email protected]

May 20, 2021

Event Planning Department -- Internship Program

35 Recruiting St.

Boston, MA, 29174

Dear Internship Coordinator,

At the suggestion of John Smith, a senior marketer at Company A, I am submitting my resume for the Event Coordinator internship position. I am a junior at Elon University, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Event Management, and am passionate about event planning. I am thrilled to hear about Company A’s Event Coordinator internship program and feel my experiences and skills would be an excellent match for your organization.

As an executive member of the Student Union Board at Elon, I am in charge of organizing, promoting, and implementing multiple school-related social activities per week, while being challenged to design new events. I work cohesively with a diverse team made up of students and faculty, and I also foster relationships with novelty companies.

My experience as an Orientation Leader has further prepared me for this internship. It was essential that I remain positive, outgoing, and energized during move-in day and act as a liaison between new students, families, and faculty in a fast-paced and demanding environment. I was expected to maintain a highly professional customer service ethic while interacting with families and new students.

My Elon University experiences, executive board membership, and orientation leadership role have prepared me to be successful in the Event Coordinator internship program. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can add value to Company A.

(handwritten signature)

Marketing Internship Cover Letter Template

Marketing Department — Internship Program

I am a passionate, creative, and driven Elon University student with leadership and event planning experience, as well as strong communication skills. I am seeking opportunities to showcase my writing abilities in a challenging and stimulating environment. My skills and experiences will enable me to deliver successful results as a digital marketing intern for Company B.

Please allow me to highlight my key skills:

  • Prior experience writing blog posts and press releases for marketing objectives
  • Strong communication skills and ability to adopt voice for diverse audiences and varying purposes
  • Efficient in managing multiple projects with fast-moving deadlines through organization and time-management skills
  • A firm understanding of grammar rules and how to write effectively
  • Experience in leadership positions, both as Student Union Board executive leader and as an Elon Orientation Leader
  • Proven ability to form positive relationships with people from around the globe, exhibited by my internship experience in China last summer
  • Experience organizing, promoting, and implementing social events
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, and Premiere), and social media platforms

In closing, I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can be an asset to Company B. I will call next week to see if you agree that my qualifications are a match for the position. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Internship Cover Letter Examples

1. hospitality internship cover letter, why this cover letter example works:.

Passion, a willingness to learn, and previous industry experience are the factors that make this cover letter stand out. The hiring manager is able to see that the candidate has a genuine interest in the field of hospitality and takes their future in the field seriously.

How to incorporate these tips:

Start by analyzing your own experience and interest in comparison to the internship you're applying for. Do you have any examples, facts, or figures that you can include in your letter? This will help the hiring manager understand your interest in the position and give them more of a reason to hire you over the competition.

2. Supply Chain Internship Cover Letter

This student has concrete experience in three specific areas of the supply chain: demand forecasting, inventory management, and logistics strategies. Naming these areas of expertise is not only helpful for landing the internship, it helps the hiring manager structure the team by pairing them with other interns and mentors who can complement that skillset. If there's anything a hiring manager loves more than a prepared hire, it's a hire who's proactive!

3. Fashion Design Internship Cover Letter

Hands-on experience isn't possible in every field of work, but when you aspire to work in the fashion industry, there's no better way to stand out for an internship. In this internship cover letter example, Peter shares that he has practical experience designing clothing which demonstrates his ability to illustrate, design, and produce a material product which is exactly what Sleeves & Thread is looking for. 

Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. If you're planning to work in an industry that produces material goods, technology, or even provides services, a great way to prove your chops is to do it before you get the job. This might look like starting a small summer side hustle, working pro bono, or taking on projects at school for extra credit. Whatever route you choose, make sure to take on projects that build a quality portfolio that hiring managers will want to see.

4. Finance Internship Cover Letter

Rebecca takes the time to highlight her skillset, but she also balances her cover letter with reasons why Banking Corporation will be a great fit for her budding career. She gives plenty of reasons why the company is appealing to her which helps balance the cover letter.

The obvious point of a cover letter is to sell your skills to the hiring manager in order to secure the internship. However, it's important to remember that the hiring process is a two-way street. It's beneficial to incorporate reasons why you want to work for the business. Explaining what the business is doing that aligns with your personal goals and values can be the factor that tips the scale in your favor and gets you hired.

5. Marketing Cover Letter Internship Example

If you work in the industry of the arts, creative, or marketing, chances are you'll have more freedom when it comes to drafting your cover letter. Here, Robin takes a novel approach by weaving colorful language that practically jumps off the page. With just enough pizazz, her personality shines through which could leave the hiring manager wanting to learn more.

It may be tempting to throw in flowery language for the sake of standing out, but proceed with caution. A better approach would be to imagine you're seeing the internship opportunity for the first time, then share your excitement with a friend. Next, write down what you said, exactly as you said it, and edit from there to include the key points of a cover letter we mention in this article. You'll sound natural while still getting your point across succinctly.

Internship Cover Letter Templates

Standard internship cover letter template.

Use this cover letter template as a foundation for your cover letter. You can customize it to fit your experience and the companies you’ll be applying to.

standard internship cover letter template

Download this cover letter template

Data-Driven Internship Cover Letter Template

If your major is data-driven like STEM, marketing, or accounting, this is the internship cover letter template for you. With this template, you can include the data highlights of your class projects and assignments to show the hiring manager that you can support your experience with credible facts.

data-driven internship cover letter template

Entry-level Cover Letter Template

As you approach your senior year of college, you may be looking for entry-level roles rather than internships. Cover letters are just as important for full-time roles as they are for internships, so use this template to make the transition in your job search.

Entry-level cover letter template

Wrapping Up Your Letter of Recommendation

A resume isn’t always enough to make an impression. Including a cover letter in your internship application is the first step to setting yourself apart from other applicants. Study and apply the six steps for writing a professional internship cover letter and use one of these samples or templates to customize it. Your resume gives the highlights of your time in college while your cover letter tells the story of how those experiences will serve you as an intern with your future employer. Use it to your advantage to land the first role in your career as you navigate college and beyond.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.

Professional Cover Letter Templates

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

The 23 Best Cover Letter Examples: What They Got Right

Letter of Interest Tips, Templates & Examples [A 2023 Guide]

Letter of Interest Tips, Templates & Examples [A 2023 Guide]

15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application

15 Cover Letter Templates to Perfect Your Next Job Application

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Cover Letter

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Cover Letter

How to Start a Cover Letter to Impress Employers [+ 14 Examples]

How to Start a Cover Letter to Impress Employers [+ 14 Examples]

Eight Cover Letter Greetings for Every Situation

Eight Cover Letter Greetings for Every Situation

7 Expert Cover Letter Tips to Get the Job

7 Expert Cover Letter Tips to Get the Job

Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform

  • Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
  • MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
  • University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
  • Top Courses
  • Join for Free

How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: 9 Tips (+ Examples)

A strong cover letter can get you noticed when applying for an internship. Find out how to craft a standout cover letter today.

[Featured Image]:  A woman wearing a brown sweater, is sitting at a desk, working on her cover letter.

You’ve found an internship, and it’s the opportunity you’ve been looking for to put you on the path to your dream job. However, the internship application requires you to send a cover letter .

Cover letters give you space to contextualise how your previous work experience and relevant skills make you a good fit for the position. They expand on your resume meaningfully, grabbing a hiring manager’s attention and demonstrating why you’re undeniably the right person for the internship. 

In this article, you will learn how to put your best foot forward with nine tips for your internship cover letter. You will also find examples alongside each tip and a cover letter template to help you compose your own. Whether you’re a high school student, recent college graduate or career switcher looking to start a new path, these tips are for you. 

Internship cover letters: Why you need one

Cover letters provide hiring managers insight into applicants' experience, skills, and aspirations. As a result, cover letters benefit early-career seekers applying for internships because they provide a more detailed picture of their backgrounds than their resumes might. 

Whether a job description asks for a cover letter or not, sending a unique resume to each internship you apply to is wise. Adding a cover letter can sometimes be the difference between landing the internship or not. 

Research conducted by ResumeGo between 2019 and 2020 found that cover letters can have a positive impact on how applications are interpreted by hiring managers. Among their many findings, the researchers found that [ 1 ]: 

87% of hiring managers said they read cover letters. 

65% of hiring managers said cover letters influence their hiring decisions. 

81% of hiring managers valued cover letters tailored to a specific position over generic ones. 

78% of hiring managers said it was easy to tell when a cover letter was generic. 

These statistics suggest both the impact a cover letter can have when applying for an internship and the importance of crafting one that speaks directly to the position. One thing is clear: cover letters matter. 

How to write a cover letter for an internship 

A cover letter is your chance to stand out from the crowded applicant pool. In this section, you’ll learn nine high-impact tips to help you craft a cover letter highlighting your professionalism, aspirations, and qualifications. 

1. Properly format your cover letter.

Proper formatting helps hiring managers quickly scan your cover letter for key information, such as your contact information and skills, and conveys your professionalism. From top to bottom, your cover letter should have the following elements: 

Keep to one page only : Your cover letter should be only one page. This will keep it focused, impactful, and easily scannable for hiring managers.  

Header at the top: Include your contact information so hiring managers can easily contact you. 

Greetings: Open with a greeting to the hiring manager. This is a formality that makes your letter more personal. 

Intro: Include a brief introduction that describes who you are, what you are applying for and your key qualifications. 

Body: The body of your cover letter is where you detail your experience, skills, and education. 

Conclusion/Call to action: Include a call to action that encourages your reader to contact you. 

Salutations: Finally, you want to leave the reader with a good impression by including a formal greeting followed by your full name. This conveys a sense of professionalism and friendliness. 

In the following tips, you will learn more about handling each of these parts of your resume to make them as impactful as possible. 

2. Use a professional email address.

The header of your cover letter is where you include your contact information, full name, phone number, and email address. 

While it may seem insignificant, one of the most important things you can do in your header is to include a professional-sounding email address. In this instance, the simpler the email address, the better. Create an email address that is a simple variant of your name with a standard free email provider, such as Gmail. 

3. Personalise your greeting. 

While many cover letters are addressed 'to whom it may concern', a more impactful way to catch a hiring manager’s attention is by addressing them by name directly. 

In addition to making your cover letter more personal, this tactic highlights that you’ve researched and created a job-specific cover letter rather than sending a generic one. This can positively impact how a hiring manager views your resume and cover letter. 

You can find out who the hiring manager is by doing some straightforward research online. Some job descriptions will instruct you to email a specific person. In other cases, you might need to visit the organisation’s website and see if you can identify the person who heads their internship or hiring efforts. 

If this doesn't work, you can also reach out to the organisation directly by either email or phone to see if they can give the name of the hiring manager who will be looking at internship applications. Let them know that you are applying for the specific internship and would like to address the hiring manager directly in your application. 

If you cannot learn the hiring manager's name, don’t worry—your application likely won’t be penalised for a common, courteous greeting.

4. Include key information in the intro.

Your cover letter should include a short introduction that immediately identifies the specific internship position you are applying for and the key background information relevant to the position. Ideally, keep your introduction to only a few sentences, making sure to stay within four. 

Much like a thesis statement in a school paper, the introduction of your cover letter helps the reader understand your purpose for writing and the qualifications that make you ideal for the position. 

‘Dear Ms Angelou, 

I am writing to apply for the editorial assistant internship position at Little House Publishing. An avid reader since I first played Grimm’s (macabre) Fairy tales as a five-year-old, I have made storytelling my personal and professional calling. As an English major at the University of Delhi, I have been an editor of our school’s literary magazine for three years, brought two theatre productions to life as dramaturgs, and taught reading and writing to countless middle schoolers.’ 

5. Show how you and the internship are a perfect match. 

The key aim of your cover letter is to demonstrate to the hiring manager why you and the internship are a perfect match for one another. 

As a result, you should craft your letter to emphasise how your skill set and experience have prepared you for the position and why it can help you achieve your professional aims. Remember, an internship is as much an educational opportunity as a work experience, so don’t be afraid to note what the internship offers you and what you offer the internship. 

To identify how you and the internship are a good match for one another, do the following: 

Read through the job description and identify the skills and experience you possess. 

Identify what experience, skills, or understanding you will gain from the internship.

Include these points in your cover letter. 

'After studying Python for the last two years, IBM’s data science internship will finally allow me to see programming at work in the real world. Throughout high school, I’ve spent hours combing through data, creating visualisations, and posing questions to data big and small all by myself. At IBM, I will be a part of a community that takes data seriously, contributing to projects but learning even more.' 

6. Emphasise your education and extracurriculars.

While most jobs require relevant work experience, most internships typically expect applicants to have little or none. This is particularly true for internships geared towards secondary school and college students. 

If you’re a student without much (or any) relevant work experience, then you should emphasise your education and extracurricular activities. You’ll be able to highlight your skills, interests, and concrete achievements for hiring managers as much as previous work experience would allow you to do. 

'As a computer science student, I have taken advanced courses on machine learning and programming data structures, achieving top grades in both. Later, I used these skills in the AI club when I taught a machine to recognise different hand gestures visually.’

7. Use active language and note concrete outcomes. 

One of the key ways to create impactful writing is to use active language that shows the reader how you achieved concrete outcomes. This method will help your reader fully comprehend what you have done and what you have ultimately achieved. 

Active language (also known as active voice) is when the subject of a sentence acts upon an object rather than the object being acted upon by an object. For example, consider the chart below: 

In the first sentence, the emphasis is on the woman (the subject) doing an action ('programming') on the computer (the object). Meanwhile, the second sentence emphasises the computer rather than the action performed by the subject (the woman). Focusing on the action, the first sentence highlights the woman’s work and keeps the sentence shorter. 

Using active language that clearly describes how you accomplished a specific result will keep the attention on you and what you can do.  

'As a writing tutor, I taught middle schoolers how to write in the active voice to help them articulate themselves with impact. To do this, I analysed sentences on the blackboard, edited essays live, and reinforced concepts week to week.  Our results spoke for themselves: test scores improved by 78 per cent in just two months.'

8. Consider using a bulleted list to highlight your technical skills. 

To make it more scannable, consider including a bullet point list of your relevant skills in the body of your cover letter. This technique helps readers catch important skills that you possess that help you stand out from the applicant pool. 

'Throughout my education and extracurriculars, I have improved many skills relevant to the internship, including: 

Collaboration

Problem-solving

9. Include a call to action and salutation at the end of the letter. 

Your cover letter should leave the hiring manager wanting to reach out to you and a good picture of you. To leave them wanting to hear more from you, end the cover letter with a brief statement about your desire to speak more about the role soon and close with a professional salutation, such as 'sincerely'.

'I look forward to talking soon about how I can contribute to the team this summer. Thank you for the opportunity, time, and consideration.

Sincerely, 

Abraham Lincoln'

Landing an internship can help you start your career. To ensure you’re ready for that first day on the job, you might consider taking an online course or gaining a Professional Certificate in data science , project management , or social media marketing . 

Article sources

Resume Go. “ Cover Letters: Just How Important Are They? , https://www.resumego.net/research/cover-letters/.” Accessed January 1, 2024. 

Keep reading

Coursera staff.

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

write a cover letter for an internship

How to write an internship cover letter: 7 tips & an example

Learn how to create a cover letter that helps your internship application stand out.

So, you’re ready to find the perfect internship and kickstart your professional career. You’ve researched opportunities, made a list of your dream companies, crafted a great resume, and are about to apply. But what should you upload for the application’s “cover letter” field?

You’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you how to write a great cover letter that will help you stand out from the crowd and get you hired. It’s often the first thing a hiring manager will see when they open your application, so it's important to get it right. After all, first impressions are everything!

Read the internship posting carefully before writing your cover letter. Pay attention to the intern’s primary responsibilities and the desired candidate’s skills and experience. Keep the job posting handy so you can refer to it while writing.

Now that you’re ready to start writing, let’s get into our guide for creating the perfect cover letter for every application on your to-do list.

1. Customize each cover letter

One of the most important intern cover letter tips is to avoid using the same generic letter for all your applications. Recruiters and employers can tell when you didn’t take time to create a unique letter for their specific internship. Instead, open your cover letter by sharing why you’re excited about this particular internship and employer and why you’re a good fit. Include information about the company and the role you’re applying for (pro tip: Use language from the application!).

2. Structure the cover letter’s flow effectively

A well-crafted cover letter should grab the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager and effectively convey key information. Achieve this by structuring your cover letter with an engaging introduction sentence and impactful first paragraph, an informative body paragraph or two, and a strong closing paragraph. It's also important to strike a balance between conveying key information and maintaining a concise and engaging tone throughout your cover letter.

Cover letters shouldn’t be very long — three or four paragraphs are plenty. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Now is not the time to be chatty! Save the chit-chat to showcase how friendly and personable you are during the interview.

Hiring managers are busy, and you want to ensure they read your cover letter from start to finish. That’s why it’s key to emphasize only the most important points relevant to the internship you’re applying for while keeping the cover letter as short as possible so it’s easy to read.

write a cover letter for an internship

3. Include keywords and supporting details

It is common for employers to scan resumes and cover letters for keywords related to the internship. First and foremost, use the company name. Next, incorporate any skills or experiences listed in the job description.

While your resume lists your technical skills and experience, a cover letter should include details about desirable soft skills like time management and communication skills. If you’re mentioning soft skills, provide support. For example, if you want to highlight your leadership skills, detail a time when you led a group project or served as a student group officer.

As you consider which skills and experience to mention in a cover letter, take a look at the ones listed in the application or job posting. Pointing to those shows the hiring manager why you’re the best candidate for that role and demonstrates that you’ve read the job description carefully. Taking the time to review the role strengthens your case as a sincerely engaged and interested applicant.

4. Highlight coursework and extracurriculars

Don’t worry if you don’t have much work experience. Describe relevant coursework and major projects you’ve worked on as a college student that demonstrate your knowledge and skills. You can also add any student group involvement or volunteer opportunities.

These combined experiences show your initiative and help you stand out as a candidate (even if you’ve never been paid to do those things). Just because you didn’t make any money doesn’t mean you didn’t do a great job! You’ll have the chance to demonstrate how well you performed in those roles during the interview, so get ready to discuss the experiences you mention in the cover letter in greater detail.

5. Share what you’d like to accomplish

Cover letters aren’t just for telling employers why they should hire you. They’re also an opportunity to share what you believe you’ll get from the specific position. Whether it’s gaining a new skill or learning more about an industry, share why the role is important to you. This tells the employer that you’re not just trying to satisfy course credits with your internship — you’re also looking for valuable work experience that will kickstart your career. Who knows, maybe they’ll want to hire you as a full-time employee later.

6. Professionally format the cover letter

Your cover letter format is just as important as what’s in it. Aim to keep your cover letter concise and limited to one page. Use a clean and readable font, like Arial or Calibri, with a font size of 10 to 12 points and proper spacing and margins for a professional appearance.

Include a header with your contact information, including your full name, phone number, professional email address, and optionally, your LinkedIn profile or relevant online portfolio. Also, try to find the hiring manager’s name to address the letter. Rather than starting with a salutation like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear hiring manager,” try to find the actual name of the person you’re addressing. Lastly, don’t forget to close with a professional sign-off, such as “Sincerely” or “Best.”

Get help with formatting your internship cover letter by downloading our free template . Again, remember to tailor it to the company and internship role you’re applying for!

7. Proofread and ask for feedback

Once your cover letter is ready, carefully read through it and check for spelling, punctuation, grammar mistakes, and typos. Have a friend or family member review it and give feedback. If you have a classmate majoring in English or communications who wouldn’t mind taking a look, even better!

Another option is to reach out to your school’s career center . Schedule an appointment to review your cover letter and resume and ask any other application- or interview-related questions. Your school wants you to succeed in your career, so take advantage of all the tools they have to offer while you’re attending.

write a cover letter for an internship

Example cover letter

Here’s an internship cover letter example to use as a starting point. Remember to tailor yours to the specific job you’re applying for rather than just copying and pasting this one:

[Your Full Name]

[Your Contact Info (include relevant social media accounts, if applicable)]

[Hiring Manager’s Name]

[Hiring Manager’s Job Title]

[Hiring Manager’s Contact Info]

Dear [hiring manager’s full name],

As a passionate [college/university] student majoring in [relevant field], I am eager to immerse myself in [Company’s Name]’s groundbreaking work in the [relevant industry] through your internship position. I firmly believe my [specific skills or coursework] will allow me to serve as a valuable asset on the [Company Name] team while expanding my knowledge to real-world challenges and harnessing invaluable hands-on experience within the industry.

With a passion for [specific aspect of the industry or role], I am confident in my ability to [relevant job responsibilities or tasks]. During my studies, I have developed a solid foundation in [mention relevant coursework or projects], which has equipped me with the [skills or knowledge] necessary for success in this role. Additionally, my experience as a [relevant internship or extracurricular activity] has allowed me to further refine my [specific skills or abilities].

I am particularly drawn to [Company Name]'s commitment to [mention a value, mission, or specific project]. The opportunity to work alongside a talented and innovative team while contributing to [Company Name]'s growth is truly inspiring. My strong [communication/analytical/technical, etc.] skills, coupled with my dedication and adaptability, make me an ideal fit for the [job title] role.

I welcome the chance to discuss my qualifications and learn more about [Company Name] in an interview. Thank you for considering my application. I have attached my resume for your review. Should you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address].

Thank you for your time and consideration.

[Your Name]

Do you need a cover letter for an internship?

While a cover letter isn’t mandatory for all internship applications, we recommend submitting one. A cover letter provides an opportunity to showcase your qualifications, skills, and enthusiasm for the internship position. It allows you to personalize your job application, demonstrate professionalism, and communicate your interest in the role and organization.

A well-written cover letter can significantly enhance your chances of standing out among other candidates and securing the internship. Hiring managers know that job and internship seekers are likely applying to many other opportunities at the same time, so ensure they know their company is one you would especially like to work for.

How do you write an internship cover letter if you have no experience?

If you lack professional experience, you can still present yourself with confidence, highlight your relevant skills and achievements, and convey your eagerness to learn and contribute. Here are some tips for accomplishing this:

  • Focus on transferable skills. Highlight relevant transferable skills acquired through coursework, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, or volunteer work. These skills can include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, organization, research, or leadership skills.
  • Emphasize academic achievements. Showcase your academic achievements, such as high grades, honors, or specific coursework relevant to the internship. Discuss how your academic knowledge and skills can apply to the internship role and contribute to the organization.
  • Showcase relevant projects or coursework . If you have completed any projects or coursework that align with the internship position, describe them in detail. Highlight the tasks, methodologies, and outcomes to demonstrate your ability to apply your knowledge in a practical setting.
  • Leverage extracurricular involvement. Discuss any relevant extracurricular activities or leadership roles you have held. For example, if you were part of a club or organization related to the internship’s field, explain your involvement and how it has developed your skills or provided you with relevant experiences.
  • Express eagerness to learn. Emphasize your willingness and enthusiasm to learn and grow in the internship. Highlight your passion for the field and commitment to acquiring new skills and knowledge. Demonstrating a positive attitude and eagerness to learn can compensate for a lack of direct experience.
  • Connect with the company's culture , mission, and values. Research the organization and align your cover letter with its mission, values, and projects. Show that you are genuinely interested in their work and how your background and aspirations align with their goals.
  • Network and seek recommendations. If possible, reach out to network contacts who may have connections or insights into the internship opportunity. Requesting recommendations or endorsements from professors, advisers, or professionals in the field can bolster your application.

write a cover letter for an internship

Land your dream internship

The ultimate goal: landing your dream internship (and, later, your dream job!). An effective cover letter can help make that happen. It's your chance to shine, showcasing why you're the perfect fit for the position. A personalized and compelling letter grabs employers’ attention and helps you stand out from the crowd. Remember to be authentic, highlight relevant experiences, and let your passion shine through.

Don't underestimate the impact of a well-crafted cover letter and the opportunities that lie ahead. This is your opportunity to show potential employers your skills and abilities and share some of your background with them before the interview.

Head over to Handshake today to open doors to exciting internship possibilities. Not only can we connect you with the best companies looking for talent just like you, but you can also set up job alerts so you won’t miss that golden opportunity. Happy job searching!

Find the right jobs for you. Get hired.

Related stories, most recent stories.

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Career Planning
  • Finding a Job
  • Cover Letters

Internship Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

write a cover letter for an internship

What To Include in a Cover Letter

Tips for writing an internship cover letter, internship cover letter examples, internship cover letter template, how to write an email cover letter, email cover letter example, frequently asked questions (faqs).

Emilie Dunphy / The Balance

If 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 for which you're applying and include examples from your work, academic, and extracurricular experiences.

When writing a cover letter for an internship position, it's important to share your most relevant qualifications with the hiring manager. When you don't have much (or any) formal work experience, you can include school activities, volunteering, educational programs, and other learning experiences.

Key Takeaways

  • Take the time to write a customized cover letter for each internship you apply for, and include your most relevant qualifications for the position.
  • When you don't have work experience, you can include academics, extracurricular activities, and volunteering.
  • Be specific, and share examples of the skills the employer is looking for in your cover letter.
  • Carefully proofread and edit your cover letter prior to sending it.

Your cover letter should include your contact information, a greeting, the reason you're writing, why you're a qualified applicant for the position, and a closing.

Contact Information:  How you address the cover letter will depend on whether you are sending a printed or email cover letter and the contact information you have for the employer. In a printed letter, the contact information will be at the top of the letter. For an email, add your contact information below your typed name.

Salutation:  The salutation is the  greeting you include  at the beginning of a cover letter. For example, “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Body of Letter:  The body of a cover letter includes the sections where you explain why you are interested in and qualified for the job for which you are applying. This typically includes an introductory paragraph, a paragraph or two describing your qualifications, and a closing paragraph.

Closing:  When you're writing a cover letter or sending an email message to apply for a job, it's important to close your cover letter in a professional manner. For example, “Sincerely” or “Respectfully.”

Signature:  In a printed cover letter, you’ll add a written signature above your printed name. For an email cover letter, add a space after the closing and type your name.

Use Business Letter Format. Use proper business letter format when sending a cover letter by mail. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the contact information for the employer. Be sure to provide a proper salutation, and sign your name at the bottom. If you are sending the  cover letter via email , you do not have to include the contact information at the top. Instead, place this as part of your email signature at the end of your letter.

Customize Your Cover Letter. It's important to write a  unique cover letter  for each internship for which you apply. Highlight skills and abilities you have that relate to the specific internship listing. The main emphasis of your cover letter should be convincing the reader that you will be an asset as an intern.

Provide Specific Examples. If you mention that you have a particular skill or ability in your cover letter, be sure to prove this with a specific example from your past work, academic, or extracurricular experience.

Add Keywords to Your Letter. One way to individualize your letter is to use  keywords  from the internship listing. For example, if the listing says the intern needs to have excellent “time management skills,” include an example of how you have demonstrated time management skills in the past. You'll be able to show the hiring manager that they have the skills you are seeking.

Emphasize Your Academic Experience. In the letter, you can mention academic experience, if applicable. Especially if you have limited work experience, you might use examples from school to demonstrate that you have particular skills. For example, if the internship requires you to work as part of a team, provide an example of a successful team project you worked on during one of your college courses.

Include Extracurricular Experiences. You can also include details about your relevant experience from extracurricular activities or  volunteer work . For example, a reporter for a college newspaper can point to interviewing and writing skills; a history of volunteering at a shelter can provide an example of strong  interpersonal  and  organizational skills .

Mention How You Will Follow Up. Towards the end of your letter, say how you will  follow up  with the employer. You might say that you will call the office to follow up in about a week (don't follow up any sooner). However, do not include this if the internship listing specifically says not to contact the office.

Carefully Proofread and Edit. Be sure to thoroughly proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors. Many internships are very competitive, and any error can hurt your chances of getting an interview. Also, avoid using too many words to convey your information and intent. Keep your points brief and targeted.

Review sample printed and email cover letters for internship positions, and get a template to download to use as a starting point for your own letter.

Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.

The Balance

Internship Cover Letter Sample (Text version)

Joseph Q. Applicant 123 Main Street Anytown, CA 12345 555-555-5555 josephq@email.com

October 26, 2022

Director, Human Resources BC Labs 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321

Dear Ms. Smith,

I am writing to apply for the scientific research summer internship position that was listed in the Anytown University Career Services Office. I believe my research and conservation experience make me an ideal candidate.

I have had a great deal of research experience in chemistry, biology, and geology, both in the lab and in the field. Most of my experience is in environmental field studies. I am currently conducting research in our school's outdoor laboratory to assess the water quality of a nearby pond. I know water quality assessment is a component of this internship, and I know my previous experience makes me a prime candidate for this.

Last summer, I worked as a conservation assistant at the National Trust's Clumber Park. Along with trail maintenance and building, I also served as a research assistant for the research organization at the park. I conducted an analysis of soil samples, and input data from various research projects. I received a special commendation from the director of the research organization for my attention to detail and dedication to research.

I believe that I would be an asset to your program. This internship would provide me with the ideal opportunity to assist your organization and expand my research skills.

I will call next week to see if you agree that my qualifications seem to be a match for the position. If so, I hope to schedule an interview at a mutually convenient time. I look forward to speaking with you.

Thank you for your consideration,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Joseph Q. Applicant

If you're sending your cover  letter via email , your format will be slightly different than a traditional letter. List your name and the  job title in the subject line  of the email message.

Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer's contact information (also don’t list your contact information at the top of the message). Start your email message with the salutation. 

Subject: Liz Lerner – Marketing Intern Position

Dear Mr. Peters,

It was with much interest that I read your posting on the ABC College job board inviting applications for a marketing internship at Brand Solutions Inc.

As an honors student in marketing, I have successfully completed upper-division coursework in marketing management, print and online advertising, social media management, and data analysis, which have provided me with a firm understanding of rising market strategies and technologies.

This coursework included on-site practicums with Boyd Brothers LLC and Boulevard Bistro, where I helped the owners of these businesses establish their first-ever social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This involved setting up their accounts, creating photo and video content, writing posts, launching digital ad campaigns, and tracking user engagement via Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics. I am also well-versed in the use of Adobe Creative Cloud for graphic design and Microsoft Office suite.

Impressed by the press that Brand Solutions Inc. has received in Market Branding Today and on Forbes Online , I am eager for the challenges and opportunities I would experience as your next marketing intern. My resume is attached; may we please schedule a personal interview to discuss my qualifications for this role in greater detail? Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response. 

Liz Lerner liz.lerner@email.com 555-123-4567 www.linkedin.com/in/lizlerner (optional)

Do I have to write a cover letter for an internship?

If a cover letter is listed as optional, you don’t have to include one. However, a cover letter provides you with the opportunity to showcase the credentials you have for the position. When you don’t have formal work experience, your cover letter is a good way to highlight the talents, attributes, and experience that make you an ideal candidate for the role.

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

When you don’t have work experience, you can share examples of volunteering, extracurricular activities, schoolwork, academic programs, sports, community organizations, and other ways you have gained skills and experience that qualify you for the position.

CareerOneStop. " Cover Letters ."

North Central College. " How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: Examples & Tips ."

University of Michigan. " Cover Letter Resources ."

Handshake. " Top 5 Tips for Writing an Internship Cover Letter ."

21 February 2024

Writing an Internship Cover Letter (with Examples)

Alt Text!

You’ve found the perfect internship and own a CV that belongs right next to the Mona Lisa. Now it’s time to get your cover letter together…but how do you go about writing one for an internship ?

Writing an internship cover letter is pretty much an essential life skill. Once you’ve written one, it’ll become second nature.

In this guide, we run you through all you need to know.

What is an internship cover letter?

How to write a cover letter for an internship, internship cover letter example, internship cover letter do’s and don’ts.

Put simply, an internship cover letter is a formal letter that outlines who you are, why you are interested in the role and why you’re a smashing candidate. 

A cover letter for an internship should urge an employer to read your CV and seriously consider your application. And, when you’re likely applying as one of many applicants, it should help you stand out.

This doesn’t mean doing anything crazy, like making all the text bold and pink. But it does mean (humbly) boasting about your attributes and skills.

Read on for the how…

Here is a step-by-step guide to putting together an internship cover letter. Think of it like an IKEA manual without confusing diagrams and Allen keys. (Unfortunately.)

Firstly, make sure to tailor your cover letter for each internship application you make.

Set up a document in business letter format. There’s a template for this in Word. But you can also find what you need on Google.

Then…begin to write.

STEP 1: The opening

The opening address in a cover letter is remarkably important. It’s like the first flight of an albatross chick.

If it takes to the wind, it’ll soar off the beach and into the sky to a life of internships and career opportunities. If it falls and lands in the ocean, it’ll get wet and almost immediately be ripped apart by tiger sharks.

If you address your cover letter to the wrong person. Or to nobody at all, tiger sharks will be the least of your problems. So try and avoid Dear Sir/Madam or To whom it may concern ​.

Dear Full Name, e.g. Dear John Smith , Dear Mr/Ms Surname, e.g. Dear Mr/Ms Smith. Always write Ms instead of Miss/Mrs. Don’t presume marital status. 

Finding the recruiter’s name is not always easy. If you’re struggling via LinkedIn, you have some other options…

  • Ring or email the company , and ask for the name of the person who is tasked with reading the cover letters for the internship you’re applying for
  • Many organisations have a ‘no name’ policy for confidentiality reasons, so if they can’t give you a name…
  • Address your cover letter to the head of the department your internship is in
  • If you cannot find the name of the person who handles recruitment, address your internship letter to someone who works in human resources (HR)
  • As a last resort, address your cover letter to someone in the team.

STEP 2: Introduction

In the introduction of a cover letter for an internship, you need to specify what internship you are applying for. 

Be specific. Here’s an example:

“I am writing regarding the vacancy for the consultancy internship with PwC.”

​It’s also a good idea to reference where you found the internship vacancy. Employers love to know what channels students use when looking for jobs. Here is an example –

“as advertised on RateMyPlacement. Please find my CV attached.”

You also might like…

  • How to Write an Internship CV
  • Common Internship Interview Questions
  • The Best Internships and Placements

STEP 3: Company research

Now it’s time to let the recruiter know why you are interested in the internship. Don’t write ‘because mother told me to’. You want to give specific reasons why the company or the content of the course have drawn you to this internship.

Do some research about the company that is organising the internship. Below is a list of areas you should focus your research on…

  • Origins of company​
  • Has the company been in the news recently?
  • Any major projects the company has been involved in?
  • Background of directors or the manager of the team you’re applying to
  • Company values/vision.

If you want to research the programme you are applying for, check for any case studies or reviews written by previous interns.

Then craft your next paragraph around the question: why do you want to do this internship?

Here is an example of how to approach this –

“I am drawn to this internship at PwC because it concentrates on sustainability and climate change consultancy. I have read about PwC’s recent project implementing new sustainability procedures in government buildings across the UK. My involvement in the ‘Clear Up Our Campus’ campaign at university makes me perfect for this internship. “

Here, you have shown why you are attracted to the course, demonstrated that you understand what the internship consists of, and even commented on a recent project. It’s a winning formula.

STEP 4: Work experience & qualifications

Now we move on to your work experience, skills and qualifications and why they make you perfect for the internship.

Ensure that you keep the content of your internship cover letter relevant to the role on offer. If you can do a passable impression of Morgan Freeman, that’s great. But it won’t improve your chances of getting an interview.

What unique skills can you bring to the company? What previous work experience has prepared you for this internship? 

If you can answer these questions, employers will be under your spell. As if you were Hermione Granger. Or Ronald Weasley.

Try something like this –

“As my CV describes, I am two years into a Sustainable Engineering degree, achieving high grades in modules focused on sustainable planning in urban environments. My studies have imparted the groundwork of knowledge and analytical skills crucial for a career in this consultancy field. I also have three years of work experience at The Bear Factory, which has imparted great collaborative skills. “

STEP 5: Outro

In this closing section, thank the recruiter for considering your application and express your interest/availability for attending an interview. 

One sentence will do it. Something like this…

“Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the programme further in an interview .”

STEP 6: Signing off

If you start your cover letter with a personal name, such as “Dear Susie,” end it with “Yours Sincerely.”

If you didn’t manage to find the recruiter’s name, use “Yours Faithfully.”

Once you’ve proofread, it’s pen down and time to find some cake. You’ve officially finished your internship cover letter, just in time to apply for that internship.

The examples from each step in this guide have been combined to form a complete example of an internship cover letter. 

This example is for a consultancy internship with PwC …

Dear John Smith,

I am writing regarding the vacancy for the consultancy internship with PwC, as advertised on RateMyPlacement. Please find my CV attached.

I am drawn to this internship at PwC because it concentrates on sustainability and climate change consultancy. I have read about PwC’s recent project implementing new sustainability procedures in government buildings across the UK. My involvement in the ‘Clear Up Our Campus’ campaign at university makes me perfect for this internship.

‘As my CV describes, I am two years into a Sustainable Engineering degree, achieving high grades in modules focused on sustainable planning in urban environments. My studies have imparted the groundwork of knowledge and analytical skills crucial for a career in this consultancy field. I also have three years of work experience at The Bear Factory, which has imparted great collaborative skills.’’

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the programme further in an interview.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Here are a few golden nuggets in the form of do’s and don’ts to help your cover letter shine.

  • Do talk about your relevant skills and work experience. Here you’ll get the chance to expand on some parts of your CV and really show off your skills. Make sure to pick the most relevant examples.
  • Do tailor your CV for each job you apply for. An employer can tell if you’re just copying and pasting cover letters and changing the employer’s name. Always make it relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Do edit and spellcheck your cover letter. Believe it or not, employers are looking at you right from the start. So, if they see a cover letter with spelling errors – it’ll straight in the bin.
  • Do research on the company. Talk about a couple of initiatives they have and link that back to your experience or your personal goals. It looks really good.
  • Don’t repeat your CV. Remember this is your chance to shine, pick some of the best examples of your experience and expand on those.
  • Don’t use too many keywords. Stuffing your cover letter with waffle will make you out to be unprofessional. Use keywords sparingly and where you need to use them.
  • Don’t focus on what the company can do for you. While it’s good to know what you want from a company, we go Dutch over here. Always explain the qualities that you have and why they will work for the company you’re applying for.
  • Don’t forget your salutations. A letter is a letter, so don’t forget to add your name and make sure you’re using the hiring manager’s name in the greeting.

Ready to apply? Why not browse through our work experience opportunities. We have loads of vacancies live right now. Click below to get started.

Share this post:

write a cover letter for an internship

Written by Conor

More posts by Conor

write a cover letter for an internship

  • Online Undergraduate Students
  • Online Graduate Students
  • Prospective Students
  • First Generation
  • International
  • Persons With Disabilities
  • Military-Connected
  • Student Parents
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Arts, Media & Communications
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Counseling & Social Work
  • Community Impact
  • Education & Training
  • Government & Public Administration
  • Health Science
  • Information Technology
  • Law & Policy
  • Operations & Logistics
  • Create a Resume / Cover Letter
  • Expand Your Network / Mentor
  • Explore Your Interests / Self Assessment
  • Negotiate an Offer
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Prepare for Graduate School
  • Search for a Job / Internship
  • Linkedin Learning
  • Labor Market Insights

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example)

  • Share This: Share How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example) on Facebook Share How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example) on LinkedIn Share How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example) on X

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example) was originally published on Forage .

student writing cover letter

Trying to figure out how to write a cover letter for an internship can feel like a paradox. How do you explain your professional experience and skills — when you’re applying for an internship so you can gain professional experience and skills? 

>>MORE: What Is an Internship (and Why Should I Do One)?

It is confusing, but luckily, you can still write a successful cover letter without professional experience. This guide will cover:

What Do Employers Look for in an Internship Cover Letter?

Internship cover letter example, how to write a cover letter for an internship with no experience, how to write a cover letter for an internship: the bottom line.

Because you’re applying for an internship, employers don’t expect you to have years of experience and well-established job skills . 

“Prior work experience is always a plus, but what also matters is anything that provides a sense of the person’s character, commitment, passions and interests, drive, ability to overcome challenges, and willingness to learn,” says J.R. Lowry, founder of PathWise.io, a career coaching company. “As an employer, you can teach skills and provide experience, but we’re looking for intern candidates who will work at it.”

Instead, they’re looking for interns with interest, passion, and soft skills .

Get the gig

Take a free Forage course and you’ll be eligible for complimentary Internship hiring alerts, application support, resume and interview tips, and more.

Interest and Passion

Employers want to know why you’re particularly interested in the specific role at the company and why it excites you.

“Focus your cover letter on who you are, why the company or what you do is meaningful to you, and what YOU can bring to the organization,” says Ayanna E. Jackson, career and leadership consultant. “That requires research. Many times interns focus on ‘I want, I want, I want,’ versus focusing on what they can give to an organization with their ambition and skill. Usually, it’s a confidence issue, but hiring managers know you don’t possess all the skills. They want to know that you want to work there and not just anywhere. Be specific. Be confident.”

Soft Skills

Wendy Reimann, owner and writer at Lighthouse Writing, a writing and editing services company, emphasizes that soft skills are essential in an internship cover letter. Companies are looking for interns who don’t just have technical skills, but also skills like communication and collaboration that will make them valuable to the team.

>>MORE: Top Communication Skills for the Workplace

“Employers are also desperate for employees who demonstrate emotional intelligence alongside standard skills in their fields so that they can positively add to the company culture ,” she says. “Currently, the biggest skills and experiences needed in most industries are the ability to effectively collaborate and communicate across diverse populations, including gender, race, culture, and socio-economic status.”

Jill Knight Boston, MA 123-456-7890 [email protected]

January 10th, 2023

Charles Callahan VP of Product Company Z Boston, MA

Dear Charles, 

I’m writing to share my interest in the UX design internship at Company Z for summer 2023. I’m a current junior studying psychology at X University, and I believe my unique perspectives on user motivation and experience with user research and graphic design make me a great fit for this role.

In my cognitive psychology course, I learned a human-oriented approach to design, specifically from learning about how humans perceive and process information. As a result, I use an empathetic approach to design that aims to make any product intuitive, clear, and simple to use. I applied this approach in my human-computer interaction course, where I completed mock user research and identified three critical areas for design improvement within the sample product. After those improvements, 93% of users reported higher satisfaction with the product.

Outside of my academic work, I’ve worked independently on graphic design projects for various organizations on campus, using Figma to draft website designs and InDesign for print work. I’ve become the go-to person for designing for theater and music organizations on campus and work collaboratively with directors to produce a design they love. This is why I’m particularly passionate about interning for Company Z — I’m excited to bring my love for designing for arts organizations to Company Z’s innovative music product. 

My coursework in psychology and passion for arts graphic design give me a human-oriented, empathetic, and creative approach to UX design. This approach is not only in-line with Company Z’s mission but would also be an asset in an internship and help the company reach young audiences in new, creative ways. Please let me know if you need anything else from me to move forward in the process. I’ve attached my resume and portfolio and look forward to hearing next steps. Thank you for your consideration.

Best, Jill Knight

Where do you start if you don’t know how to write a cover letter for an internship without experience? Jill, from our example, doesn’t have any professional work experience, but she still writes a convincing cover letter that shows off her skills and passion. So, if you’re like Jill, here’s how to write your internship cover letter.

>>MORE: Should you use ChatGPT to write your cover letter ? Learn what the chatbot gets right (and wrong).

Start With a Header and Greeting

Every cover letter starts with a similar type of header. You write your information at the top, then include the hiring manager’s or company’s information (depending on whether you know who the hiring manager is). 

You don’t need to give your full address in the cover letter; however, even if you’re applying for a remote position, you can just include your city. This will give the recruiter or hiring manager an idea of where you’re located — and help them understand your time zone, whether you’re near one of the company’s offices, or if you qualify for relocation assistance.

Make sure you’re addressing the right person at the top of the letter. This should be the hiring manager for the role. If you don’t know who the hiring manager is, you can get savvy with your search:

  • If the role was posted on LinkedIn , look for a “meet the hiring team” section underneath the job description.
  • If the job description shares who interns report to, search on LinkedIn for people with that title who work at the company.

If you still can’t find the name, that’s okay — instead, address your letter to whatever team you’re applying for. For example, Jill could have addressed her letter to the product team.

Introduce Yourself

The first paragraph of a cover letter should summarize who you are and why you’re uniquely excited to apply for the role.

If you’re a student or recent graduate, you can include your major (if you’ve declared one), class year, and university. You can also include any other key information about your work. In this example, Jill mentioned she has experience with graphic design. 

Explain Your Experience

You don’t need professional experience to write a cover letter, especially for an internship. You can include:

  • Academic experience: Courses you’ve taken that apply to the role, skills you’ve learned, and projects you’ve worked on
  • Extracurricular activities: Clubs you’re a part of (or lead!), events you’ve led, projects you’ve worked on
  • Volunteer experience: Places you’ve volunteered or community service projects you’ve done
  • Personal projects: Independent work you’ve done, even if it’s not formally published or part of a formal project. (Make sure to include an online portfolio so the team can see it!)

“Highlight any clubs, events, or activities that you’ve helped plan,” Jackson says. “Think church, community, school clubs, sororities, fraternities or volunteer experiences. What role did you play? What did you accomplish? Who did it help? How many? How much? I’ve told my interns to think about why they are interested in that particular company or function and hone in on good storytelling. The WHY behind what they want to do is sometimes more important than having direct experience in that space.”

Emphasize Your Skills

When explaining what experiences you’ve worked on, be sure to call out any relevant skills you have. You don’t need to say outright, “I have communication skills” or “I have programming skills .” Instead, infuse these skills naturally into your descriptions.

For example, Jill mentions her hard skills when she says she uses Figma and InDesign, two applications that are relevant to the internship she’s applying for. However, she also mentions a soft skill, collaboration, when describing who she’s designed for. 

Your final paragraph of the cover letter should summarize everything you’ve discussed and show why you’re right for the role. 

You don’t need to parrot back precisely what you mentioned in the first paragraph. Instead, drive home why you’re the best fit. You can include your top experience highlights and say how that aligns with the company’s mission or an initiative you’ve researched. In Jill’s letter, she references the company’s mission and adds that her work could benefit the company by helping them reach a target audience.

“Frame your desire for the role in a way that showcases you’ve done your research on the organization: know a bit about their products, services, recent mergers, or customers and tie your genuine interests to that,” Jackson says.

Ask for Next Steps

End the cover letter with gratitude and a call to action. The reader should know you appreciate their time and understand what next steps you’d like them to take. Like Jill, you can ask them to let you know what else they need from you. You could also ask them when you should expect to hear back from them or tell them you’re looking forward to the next steps.

Finally, include a professional sign-off and your full name.

>>MORE : Unsure what sign-off to use? Learn eight sign-offs to use and six to avoid with How to End an Email Professionally (With Examples) .

Writing a cover letter for an internship when you don’t have any professional experience can be daunting, but employers aren’t looking for experienced interns with advanced skills. Instead, your cover letter can discuss any academic, extracurricular, volunteer, or independent work you’ve done and highlight key hard and soft skills the employer mentions in the job description. 

“Even if you haven’t had a ‘real job’ before, you likely have some relevant experience — what you’ve studied in school, school or other groups you’re involved in, any leadership roles you’ve played in those, sports team you’ve been on, things you’re interested in outside of school that might be relevant, etc.,” Lowry says. “Focus on what’s made you good at those things and what you learned from them.”

In the midst of internship applications? Check out our other internship guides:

  • How to Find Internships That’ll Jumpstart Your Career
  • Ultimate Guide to Internship Application Deadlines and Open Dates
  • How to Apply for an Internship
  • How to Ask for an Internship (Email Examples)
  • How Long Does an Internship Last?

Image credit: Vlada Karpovich / Pexels

The post How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example) appeared first on Forage .

how-to-write-a-cover-letter-for-an-internship-with-examples

  • ACADEMIC ADVICE

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (With Examples)

  • October 14, 2022

Table of Contents

Specify the role you’re applying for, use keywords, include relevant coursework/education, include relevant skills, state why you think you’re a good candidate for the role, say what you think you could gain from it, format the cover letter properly, review, review, review.

When going through an internship’s application requirements, you might come across the need to write a cover letter. A cover letter is one of the most effective ways to show why you are the best candidate for the internship and gives you the space to expand and showcase your skills and experiences.

This article will show you how to create an internship cover letter that will make your application stand out and land you an internship. Additionally, you will get comprehensive internship cover letter examples that you may copy, edit, and customize to your needs.

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

A strong internship cover letter should help the company see that you have the skills, motivation, and drive necessary to thrive in your internship assignment. It must grab the employer’s interest and convince them to look over your resume in more detail. 

Your cover letter should include examples from your employment, school, and extracurricular activities, which should be customized for the particular internship. If you are unsure of how to write a good cover letter for an internship , here is what you need to know. 

You must specify the position you are applying for at the beginning of your cover letter. It is an excellent way to grab the recruiter’s attention. It suggests you have written a cover letter specifically for their opening rather than using a template. Additionally, it demonstrates that you have carefully considered what skills you need for this particular position.

Since recruiters have to read many job applications, they frequently search for relevant keywords in your cover letters. But how do you know which keywords to use? Look at the internship job description, read through the duties and required skills, and note any keywords you believe the recruiter might be looking for. 

If “ time management ” is included in the job description as the desired attribute, try providing concrete examples in your cover letter. However, avoid using keywords that do not pertain to you because doing so will give the impression that you are simply copying and pasting from the job description.

If you are concerned about how to write a cover letter for an internship with no experience , just remember that education is also very important and should be emphasized in the cover letter. Employers are usually interested in relevant education, even if you have little to no work experience. Include any coursework that relates to the job description to show potential employers that you are already setting the groundwork for a career in the field you want to intern in. To give particular instances of what you are capable of, highlight the accomplishments you made while enrolled in these classes.

When answering the question of how to write a cover letter for an internship job, almost immediately you should think about the skills that qualify you for the job. You can add skills you have acquired in previous jobs, volunteer roles, courses, or projects you have finished or accomplishments in extracurricular activities , even if you lack professional industry experience.

Claiming to have a particular set of skills is one thing; demonstrating them is quite another. Anyone can claim to be excellent at something, but what truly distinguishes one from another is the ability to back up their claims. For instance, in your internship cover letter, instead of simply stating that you have “excellent time-management skills,” include evidence of this from your prior experiences.

Examine the job description in detail to determine the knowledge and skills that the company is seeking. Align them with your own, and based on the job posting, choose which to emphasize in your cover letter. You should justify your qualifications for the role and draw a line between what the company hopes to gain from its interns and what you can do to offer those services.

When it comes to internships, they frequently serve the objective of assisting students and young professionals in developing skills that will be useful in their careers, building a network, and getting in-depth knowledge of the business.

So, you should not only exemplify your qualifications and how you can help the business but also how getting the job will help you. If you can demonstrate that you are self-aware about what you will gain from the internship and how it will help you advance professionally, it will undoubtedly help you make an even better impression.

There are specific formatting requirements for a cover letter for an internship position. For instance, the length of your cover letter should be four paragraphs and approximately one full page (but no more than that).

Even though it seems brief, there is still enough room for you to showcase your skills. To discover how to format your cover letter correctly, keep reading. 

Header with contact information

This section should include your full name, business contact information (email and phone), and LinkedIn profile (if you have one). The date and the receiver’s information (the recruiter’s name and title, the company/organization name, and their physical address) should be included after your contact information. 

Addressing the recruiter

It is customary to address the recruiter with “Dear Sir/Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern,” although this is not the greatest greeting and should be used only when you can not find the recruiter’s name. However, to demonstrate to the hiring manager that you did your homework, it is advised to address them directly and by name. 

Opening statement

Your opening statement should be concise, professional, and captivating all at once. You introduce yourself, mention the position you’re looking for, and perhaps cite one or more noteworthy accomplishments here.

Your cover letter’s body should be composed of two to three paragraphs that highlight your schooling, give context for your skills, and explain how you and the company would complement one another professionally.

Closing paragraph

This paragraph gives you the opportunity to include a call to action, express gratitude to the recruiters for their time, or mention anything significant you missed in your body paragraph. Finish with a passionate but respectful closing.

You don’t want to appear arrogant, but you also don’t want to appear unsure of yourself. Don’t assume; instead, show that you are willing to discuss ways that you might help the organization.

Formal salutation

Put a formal salutation at the end of your cover letter, such as “kind regards,” “sincerely,” or “best regards.”

✅ Request information on BAU's programs TODAY!

Spend some time reviewing and editing your cover letter after it is finished. Look closely for spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes when proofreading. Nothing gives the wrong impression more in a cover letter than a glaring error in grammar or formatting. These mistakes might appear minor, but they reveal a lack of attention to detail to a recruiting manager.

Try these proofreading strategies to polish your work before submitting your application:

  • Read it aloud 
  • Alter the font size
  • Use software for grammar checking
  • Have a friend review your resume
  • Use a text-to-speech program to hear your work back

Internship Cover Letter Samples

Still confused about how to write a good cover letter for an internship job? Or how to write a cover letter for an internship through email? You do not have to worry because we have you covered. Below you will find the internship cover letter samples to be sent via mail and email. 

Your name The address where you can be reached Phone number Fax number (if applicable) E-mail address

Name of the specific person Title of that person (if available) Address of the company

Dear (Hiring manager name),

I am applying for the internship role in (Position name) at your esteemed organization.

I am currently in the first year of a master’s at (University name), and I am eager to gain experience, which would hopefully help me garner a full-time position in your company.

My skills would make me an ideal fit for the role, as I’m meticulous with detail, have a positive can-do attitude, and perform well in various circumstances. I enjoy teamwork, but I am equally comfortable working independently. 

(Company name) is a company that I’m excited to work for, as you have an outstanding reputation for delivering quality customer service, proven by your awards, reviews on Glassdoor, etc. 

My long-term career goals are to work with a company that challenges and develops employees, and this internship would aid give me the knowledge and experience I need to achieve this.

I would appreciate the chance to discuss my experience in more detail and, of course, hear more about your organization.

One thing you should know when applying through email is that the subject line should never be empty. Instead, you should write your name and the position you are applying for. 

Subject: Your name – X Intern Position

E-mail address Phone number LinkedIn link (if you have one)

The main goal of a cover letter is to highlight your most important qualifications and experience. You can make your cover letter stand out from those submitted by other applicants if you take the time to polish it. If you follow our advice on how to write an internship cover letter, you’ll get the call.

Bay Atlantic University

Leave a reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

You May Also Like

  • 4 minute read

A Guide to Different Types of Higher Education Institutions in the U.S.

  • July 17, 2020
  • 30 shares 30 0 0
  • 5 minute read

What Does a Legislative Assistant Do?

  • April 27, 2022
  • 6 minute read

Externship vs. Internship: Key Differences

  • July 28, 2022
  • 3 minute read

BAU Admissions Made Easy: Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

  • March 14, 2023

What are Ambassadors?

  • March 9, 2022

Double Majoring: Is Two Always Better Than One

  • March 17, 2021
  • 7 minute read

How To Improve Communication Skills In English

  • February 16, 2024

ESL Students Challenges: Overcoming Language Obstacles

  • February 10, 2024

Technology in ESL Classrooms: A Modern Approach

  • February 9, 2024

What Is an ESL Class? Everything You Need to Know

  • February 2, 2024

Request information on BAU's programs TODAY!

How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

Background Image

After weeks of heavy job search, you’re almost there!

You’ve perfected your resume. 

You’ve short-listed the coolest jobs you want to apply for.

You’ve even had a friend train you for every single interview question out there.

But then, before you can send your application and call it a day, you remember that the job ad requires a cover letter.

Now you’re stuck wondering how to write a cover letter ...

Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. Writing a cover letter is a lot simpler than you might think. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to write a cover letter that gets you the job you deserve.

  • What’s a cover letter & why it’s important for your job search
  • How to write a convincing cover letter that gets you the job (step-by-step!)
  • How to perfect your cover letter with the Novoresume free checklist
  • What excellent cover letter examples look like

New to cover letter writing? Give our resumes 101 video a watch before diving into the article!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

What is a Cover Letter? (and Why It’s Important)

A cover letter is a one-page document that you submit as part of your job application (alongside your CV or Resume). 

Its purpose is to introduce you and briefly summarize your professional background. On average, your cover letter should be from 250 to 400 words long .

A good cover letter can spark the HR manager’s interest and get them to read your resume. 

A bad cover letter, on the other hand, might mean that your application is going directly to the paper shredder. So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s essential to know how to write a convincing cover letter.

How does a good cover letter look, you might ask. Well, here’s an example:

how to write cover letter

Keep in mind, though, that a cover letter is a supplement to your resume, not a replacement. Meaning, you don’t just repeat whatever is mentioned in your resume.

If you’re writing a cover letter for the first time, writing all this might seem pretty tough. After all, you’re probably not a professional writer.

The thing is, though, you don’t need to be creative, or even any good at writing. All you have to do is follow a tried-and-tested format:

  • Header - Input contact information
  • Greeting the hiring manager
  • Opening paragraph - Grab the reader’s attention with 2-3 of your top achievements
  • Second paragraph - Explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the job
  • Third paragraph - Explain why you’re a good match for the company
  • Formal closing

Or, here’s what this looks like in practice:

structure of a cover letter

How to Write the Perfect Cover Letter (And Get Hired!)

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, we’re going to guide you through the process of writing a cover letter step by step. 

Step #1 - Pick the Right Cover Letter Template

A good cover letter is all about leaving the right first impression.

So, what’s a better way to leave a good impression than a well-formatted, visual template?

cover letter templates

You can simply pick one of our hand-picked cover letter templates , and you’ll be all set in a jiffy!

As a bonus, our AI will even give you suggestions on how to improve your cover letter on the go.

Step #2 - Start the Cover Letter with a Header

As with a resume, it’s important to start your cover letter with a Contact Information section:

contact information on a cover letter

Here, you want to include all essential information, including:

  • Phone Number
  • Name of the hiring manager / their professional title
  • Name of the company you’re applying to

In certain cases, you might also consider adding:

  • Social Media Profiles - Any type of profile that’s relevant to your field. Social Profiles on websites like LinkedIn, GitHub (for developers), Medium (for writers), etc.
  • Personal Website - If you have a personal website that somehow adds value to your application, you can mention it. Let’s say you’re a professional writer. In that case, you’d want to link to your blog.

And here’s what you shouldn’t mention in your header:

  • Your Full Address 
  • Unprofessional Email - Make sure your email is presentable. It’s pretty hard for a hiring manager to take you seriously if your email address is “[email protected].” Whenever applying for jobs, stick to the “[first name] + [last name] @ email provider.com” format.

matching resume and cover letter

Step #3 - Greet the Hiring Manager

Once you’ve properly listed your contact information, you need to start writing the cover letter contents.

The first thing to do here is to address the cover letter to the hiring manager .

That’s right, the hiring manager! Not the overly popular “Dear Sir or Madam.” You want to show your future boss that you did your research and are really passionate about working with their team.

No one wants to hire a job seeker who just spams 20+ companies and hopes to get hired in any of them.

So, how do you find out who’s the hiring manager? There are several ways to do this. 

The simplest option is to look up the head of the relevant department on LinkedIn. Let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Communication Specialist at Novoresume. The hiring manager is probably Head of Communications or Chief Communications Office.

So, you do a quick lookup on LinkedIn:

linkedin search cco

And voila! You have your hiring manager.

Or let’s say you’re applying for the position of a server. In that case, you’d be looking for the “restaurant manager.”

If this doesn’t work, you can also check out the “Team” page on the company website; there’s a good chance you’ll at least find the right person there.

Here are several other greetings you could use:

  • Dear [Department] Hiring Manager
  • Dear Hiring Manager
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear [Department] Team

Step #4 - Write an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your job search.

Recruiters get hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of applications. Chances are, they’re not going to be reading every single cover letter end-to-end.

So, it’s essential to catch their attention from the very first paragraph .

The #1 problem we see with most cover letter opening paragraphs is that they’re usually extremely generic. Most of them look something like this..

  • Hey, my name is Jonathan and I’d like to work as a Sales Manager at XYZ Inc. I’ve worked as a sales manager at MadeUpCompany Inc. for 5+ years, so I believe that I’d be a good fit for the position.

See the issue here? This opening paragraph doesn’t say pretty much anything except the fact that you’ve worked the job before.

Do you know who else has similar work experience? All the other applicants you’re competing with.

Instead, you want to start off with 2-3 of your top achievements to really grab the reader’s attention. Preferably, the achievements should be as relevant as possible to the position.

So now, let’s make our previous example shine:

My name’s Michael and I’d like to help XYZ Inc. hit and exceed their sales goals as a Sales Manager. I’ve worked with Company X, a fin-tech company, for 3+ years. As a Sales Representative, I generated an average of $30,000+ in sales per month (beating the KPIs by around 40%). I believe that my previous industry experience, as well as excellence in sales, makes me the right candidate for the job.

See the difference between the two examples? If you were the hiring manager, which sales manager would you hire, Jonathan or Michael?

Now that we’ve covered the introduction, let’s talk about the body of your cover letter. This part is split into two paragraphs: the first is for explaining why you’re the perfect person for the job, and the latter is for proving that you’re a good fit for the company.

So, let’s get started...

Step #5 - Explain why you’re the perfect person for the job

This is where you show off your professional skills and convince the HR manager that you’re a better fit for the job than all the other applicants.

But first things first - before you even write anything, you need to learn what the most important requirements for the role are. So, open up the job ad and identify which of the responsibilities are the most critical.

For the sake of the example, let’s say you’re applying for the position of a Facebook Advertiser. You scan the job ad and see that the top requirements are:

  • Experience managing a Facebook ad budget of $10,000+ / month
  • Some skills in advertising on other platforms (Google Search + Twitter)
  • Excellent copywriting skills

Now, in this section, you need to discuss how you fulfill these requirements. So, here’s how that would look for our example:

In my previous role as a Facebook Marketing Expert at XYZ Inc. I handled customer acquisition through ads, managing a monthly Facebook ad budget of $20,000+ . As the sole digital marketer at the company, I managed the ad creation & management process end-to-end. Meaning, I created the ad copy , images, picked the targeting, ran optimization trials, and so on.

Other than Facebook advertising, I’ve also delved into other online PPC channels, including:

  • Google Search

Are you a student applying for your first internship? You probably don’t have a lot of work experience to show off in this section. Learn how to write an internship cover letter here.

Step #6 - Explain why you’re a good fit for the company

Once you’ve written the last paragraph, you might be thinking - I’m a shoo-in for the job! What else do I need to write? I’ll just wrap up the cover letter and hit that sweet SEND button.

Well, no. You’re not quite there yet.

The HR manager doesn’t only look at whether you’ll be good at the job or not. They’re looking for someone that’s also a good fit for the company culture.

After all, employees that don’t fit in are bound to quit, sooner or later. This ends up costing the company a ton of money, up to 50% of the employee’s annual salary . 

Meaning, you also need to convince the HR manager that you’re really passionate about working with them.

How do you do this? Well, as a start, you want to do some research about the company. You want to know things like:

  • What’s the company’s business model?
  • What’s the company product or service? Have you used it?
  • What’s the culture like? Will someone micro-manage your work, or will you have autonomy on how you get things done?

So, get to Googling. Chances are, you’ll find all the information you need either on the company website or somewhere around the web.

Then, you need to figure out what you like about the company and turn that into text.

Let’s say, for example, you’re passionate about their product and you like the culture of innovation / independent work in the organization.

You’d write something like:

I’ve personally used the XYZ Smartphone, and I believe that it’s the most innovative tech I’ve used in years. The features such as Made-Up-Feature #1 and Made-Up-Feature #2 were real game changers for the device. 

I really admire how Company XYZ thrives for excellence for all its product lines, creating market-leading tech. As someone that thrives in a self-driven environment, I truly believe that I and Company XYZ will be a great match.

What you don’t want to do here is be super generic for the sake of having something to write. Most job seekers tend to mess this one up. Let’s take a look at a very common example we tend to see (way too often):

I’d love to work for Company XYZ because of its culture of innovation. I believe that since I’m super creative, I’d be a good fit for the company. The company values of integrity and transparency really vibe with me.

See what’s wrong here? The example doesn’t really say anything about the company. “Culture of Innovation” is something most companies claim to have. 

The same goes for “values of integrity and transparency” - the writer just googled what the values for the organization are, and said that they like them.

Any hiring manager that reads this will see through the fluff.

So, make sure to do a lot of research and come up with good reasons why you're applying.

Step #7 - Wrap up with a call to action

Finally, it’s time to finish up your cover letter and write the conclusion.

In the final paragraph, you want to:

  • Wrap up any points you couldn't in the previous paragraphs. Do you have anything left to say? Any other information that could help the hiring manager make their decision? Mention it here.
  • Thank the hiring manager for their time. It never hurts to be courteous, as long as you don’t come off as too needy.
  • Finish the cover letter with a call to action. The very last sentence in your cover letter should be a call to action. You should ask the hiring manager to take some sort of action.

And now, let’s turn this into a practical example:

So to wrap it all up, thanks for looking into my application. I hope I can help Company X make the most out of their Facebook marketing initiatives. I'd love to further discuss how my previous success at XYZ Inc. can help you achieve your facebook marketing goals.

Step #8 - Use the right formal closing

Once you’re done with the final paragraph, all you have to do is write down a formal “goodbye” and you’re good to go.

Feel free to use one of the most popular conclusions to a cover letter:

  • Best Regards,
  • Kind Regards,

And we’re finally done! Before sending off the cover letter, make sure to proofread it with software like Grammarly, or maybe even get a friend to review it for you.

Does your cover letter heading include all essential information?

  • Professional email
  • Relevant Social Media Profiles

Do you address the right person? I.e. hiring manager in the company / your future direct supervisor

Does your introductory paragraph grab the reader's attention?

  • Did you mention 2-3 of your top achievements?
  • Did you use numbers and facts to back up your experience?

Do you successfully convey that you’re the right pro for the job?

  • Did you identify the core requirements?
  • Did you successfully convey how your experiences help you fit the requirements perfectly?

Do you convince the hiring manager that you’re passionate about the company you’re applying to?

  • Did you identify the top 3 things that you like about the company?
  • Did you avoid generic reasons for explaining your interest in the company?

Did you finalize the conclusion with a call to action?

Did you use the right formal closure for the cover letter?

5+ Cover Letter Examples

Need some inspiration? Read on to learn about some of the best cover letter examples we’ve seen (for different fields).

College Student Cover Letter Example

college or student cover letter example

Middle Management Cover Letter Example

Middle Management Cover Letter

Career Change Cover Letter Example

Career Change Cover Letter

Management Cover Letter Example

Management Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Senior Executive Cover Letter Example

Want to discover more examples AND learn what makes them stand out? Check out our guide to cover letter examples .

Next Steps in Your Job Search - Creating a Killer Resume

Your cover letter is only as good as your resume. If either one is weak, your entire application is for naught. 

After all, a cover letter is just an introduction. Imagine going through all this effort to leave an amazing first impression, but flopping at the end because of a mediocre resume.

...But don’t you worry, we’ve got you covered on that end, too.

If you want to learn more about Resumes & CVs, we have a dedicated FREE guide for that. Check out our complete guide on how to make a resume , as well as how to write a CV - our experts will teach you everything you need to know in order to land your dream job.

Or, if you’re already an expert, just pick one of our resume templates and get started.

resume examples for cover letter

Key Takeaways

Now that we’ve walked you through all the steps of writing a cover letter, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:

  • A cover letter is a 250 - 400 word document that convinces the hiring manager of your competence
  • A cover letter goes in your job application alongside your resume
  • Your introduction to the cover letter should grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep it all the way until the conclusion
  • There are 2 main topics you need to include in your cover letter: why you’re the perfect candidate for the job & why you’re passionate about working in the company you’re applying to
  • Most of the content of your cover letter should be factual , without any fluff or generalizations

At Novorésumé, we’re committed to helping you get the job you deserve, every step of the way! Follow our blog to stay up to date with the industry-leading advice. Or, check out some of our top guides…

  • How to Write a Motivational Letter
  • How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
  • Most Common Interview Questions and Answers

cookies image

To provide a safer experience, the best content and great communication, we use cookies. Learn how we use them for non-authenticated users.

  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Non-Degree Students
  • Transfer Students
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Parents & Families
  • Prospective Students & Guests
  • Asian, Pacific Islanders, & Native American
  • Black/African American
  • First Generation
  • International Students
  • Students With Disabilities
  • Undocumented Students
  • Accounting, Finance, Marketing, & General Business
  • Arts, Dance, Music, & Theater
  • Communications, Entertainment, & Media
  • Education & Education Administration
  • Government, Criminal Justice, & Law
  • International Affairs & Global Careers
  • Life Sciences, Biotechnology, & Pharma
  • Nonprofit, Psychology, & Helping Professions
  • Science, Math, Engineering, & Research
  • Technology, Cybersecurity, & Software
  • Undecided/Exploring Career Options
  • Create a Resume / Cover Letter
  • Design Your Careers
  • Expand Your Network
  • Explore Your Interests / Self Assessment
  • Find an Internship
  • Internship Funding Opportunities
  • Make the Most of a Career Fair
  • Negotiate an Offer
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Prepare for Graduate School
  • Professional Development Programs
  • Search for a Job
  • Signature Internship Programs
  • Employer Services
  • Job Postings/Handshake
  • Career Fairs & Events
  • Branding Opportunities
  • Internship Information for Employers
  • Internship FAQ’s
  • Recruiting Policies
  • Mission & Memberships
  • Location, Parking and Social Media
  • Schedule Appointments

Cover Letter

Cover Letter Writing Guide

  • Share This: Share Cover Letter Writing Guide on Facebook Share Cover Letter Writing Guide on LinkedIn Share Cover Letter Writing Guide on X

LOGO

Your favourite senior outside college

Home » Job Tips » Resume Writing Tips » Cover Letters for Legal Interns

Cover Letters for Legal Interns: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you are a law student aspiring for the position of a legal intern, it is important to craft an effective cover letter. A cover letter allows you to highlight your professionalism, skills, and genuine interest in the legal field. This is why your cover letter should accurately showcase your qualifications, academic achievements, and relevant experiences that align with the internship requirements. To help you draft the perfect cover letter for a legal intern position we have developed this detailed guide.

Table of Contents

Essential Sections to Include in a Cover Letter for Law Internship

A cover letter for a law internship is essential to introduce yourself as a candidate to a law firm or legal department and express your interest in the internship position. It highlights your relevant skills, experiences, and academic achievements to show the recruiters that you are a good fit for the role. Overall it serves as a personalized introduction, demonstrating your enthusiasm and qualifications for the internship opportunity.

You must include relevant sections in the cover letter for a law firm internship.

1. A Letter Header

It is important to start with a professional letterhead to create a cover letter for a legal intern position. This should include your full name, phone number, and email address. Besides these basic contact details, include the name of your city and the postcode of the state you reside in.

Find and Apply Banner

2. Salutation

The salutation section of your cover letter for a law internship should maintain a professional tone and not be too informal. To maintain a professional tone, it is advisable, to begin with a greeting and follow it with the recruiter’s name, for instance, “ Dear Arjun”. However, if you can’t find the name of the recruiter, it is okay to address the recruiter as “Dear Hiring Manager”.

3. Introductory Paragraph

When writing your introductory paragraph, it is important to include personal details about yourself to give the reader a clear understanding of who you are. Begin by introducing yourself with your name and stating which position you are applying for. 

It is also beneficial to mention if you are currently enrolled in law school or have recently graduated from one. Additionally, use this opportunity to showcase any notable accomplishments or experience that demonstrate why you would be an excellent fit for the role at hand. It is crucial to tailor your cover letter for a law firm internship to make a genuine connection with the hiring manager and demonstrate your enthusiasm for their organization.

4. Body Paragraphs

When writing the body for the cover letter, focus on showcasing your achievements and abilities while also connecting them to the goals of the organization you are applying to. 

If you have limited experience in law, it may be helpful to mention relevant coursework, volunteer work, or skills that can transfer over from other jobs. For instance, if you are seeking an internship at a public defender’s office, highlighting your top score in criminal law class could be beneficial.

5. Closing Paragraph

The closing paragraph of your cover letter is a chance to make a lasting impression. It is crucial to show appreciation for the recipient’s time and consideration. Furthermore, include your contact information, such as a telephone number or email address for further discussion.

6. Conclusion and Signature

It is important to maintain a professional tone when concluding your cover letter. It is also important to avoid sounding overly familiar. Ending phrases such as “Sincerely,” “Kind regards,” or “Yours truly” are all appropriate ways to sign off on a cover letter for a law firm internship.

Also Read:   How to Write Cover Letter for Internship

Legal Intern Cover Letter Template

Take a look at this template for a cover letter for legal interns to get an idea of what your cover letter should look like.

Explore our comprehensive guide on  cover letter formats  and craft a winning application today!”

Sample Cover Letter for Law Firm Internship

Here is a professional cover letter sample for a legal internship to help you create your personalized letter. Make sure to follow the tone and style of writing mentioned here:

Explore our collection of  cover letter examples  and elevate your job application today!

Tips For Crafting a Compelling Cover Letter for Law Internship

Here are some practical tips to help you create a professional cover letter for a law firm internship.

1. Be Concise

It is essential to only include relevant and well-written details. A lengthy and unfocused application letter for a law internship will not be engaging or effective, so it is best to keep the content concise yet informative.

2. Use Professional Tone

Maintaining a professional tone throughout your legal internship cover letter is paramount. The legal field demands a high level of professionalism, and your cover letter should reflect your ability to communicate in a formal, polished manner. Avoid casual language, slang, or overly colloquial phrasing that could detract from the seriousness of your application.

3. Customize Cover Letter

Avoid using the same cover letter for every legal internship you apply to. Personalize your cover letter by including relevant information about the specific role or company. A generic cover letter shows little enthusiasm for the position at hand.

4. Use Proper Formatting

Cover letters are typically limited to one page, so it is important to express yourself succinctly. Make sure your margins are set at a minimum of a three-quarters inch on the left, right, and topsides, and half an inch on the bottom. Choose a clear and easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Helvetica that matches the font used in your resume.

5. Review and Proofread

Ensure your legal intern cover letter is error-free and well-written. Proofreading is essential before submission. Additionally, it’s recommended to seek feedback from others on your cover letter for a legal internship as they may catch mistakes or offer valuable insights that you might have overlooked.

Crafting an effective cover letter for a legal intern requires careful consideration and attention to detail. It is important to showcase your relevant skills and experience while also conveying your enthusiasm and passion for the field of law. By tailoring your cover letter utilizing proper formatting, and evaluating and reading your cover letter, you can increase your chances of standing out from other applicants and securing a valuable internship opportunity in the legal industry.

If this has been helpful to you, let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below. Also, check out our blog on the top 10 highest-paying law jobs in India .

Answer: You can compose a cover letter for a legal internship using the following format, “Dear [hiring manager’s name], Based on my [relevant education and experience], I believe that I possess the qualities necessary to excel in the role of an intern at [company name]. My proficiency in [two, or three skills] makes me well-suited for this opportunity.”

Answer: Typically, a cover letter for a legal internship should range from half a page to one full page. Ideally, it should contain 250-400 words and consist of three to six paragraphs.

Answer: Avoid starting the cover letter with, “My name is (),” phrase as the recipient already knows your name and it may make you appear inexperienced.

Answer: Begin by stating your purpose for writing and specify the job or field you are seeking employment in. Also, mention where you learned about this opportunity.

Answer: A cover letter is typically one page and submitted with your job application, along with your CV or resume. Its main function is to introduce yourself and provide a brief overview of your work experience.

  • ← Previous
  • Next →

write a cover letter for an internship

Harshita is an English Literature graduate from the University of Delhi with 3 years of experience in Content Writing and Editing. Dedicated to her craft, she loves creating magic with words. She is a big fan of hoarding cute planners and journals and can be seen watching FRIENDS (almost EVERYTIME) in her spare time. Her meticulous attention to detail makes her stand out from the crowd. A typo epidemic is her worst nightmare!

Related Post

write a cover letter for an internship

Cover Letter For Finance Interns [with Template & Samples]

Securing a finance internship can be a crucial step in launching a successful career in the financial industry. However, getting hired for these positions can be tough, but having an

write a cover letter for an internship

Cover Letter for a Teacher Position-  A Complete Guide

Are you ready to take the first step towards landing your dream teaching job? Crafting a standout cover letter is your key to making a positive and lasting impression on

write a cover letter for an internship

Cover Letter for an Administrative Assistant: Key Elements, Sample, & More

Are you looking for a job as an administrative assistant? If so, you’re in the right place! An administrative assistant acts as the backbone of an organization by streamlining and

write a cover letter for an internship

Assistant Professor Cover Letter: Template, Example, & Tips

When crafting an application for assistant professor jobs, the cover letters should showcase what makes you the ideal fit for the university and department. A well-written cover letter should adequately

write a cover letter for an internship

write a cover letter for an internship

Are Cover Letters Necessary?

Do cover letters matter these days? It depends on who you ask.

Some recruiters love learning more about each job applicant, while others find the practice antiquated. So should you write one if it might not even be read at all?

Keep reading for advice from career coaching experts, plus:

  • When you should (and shouldn't) write a cover letter
  • What to do when a cover letter is "optional"
  • Tips for writing an effective cover letter
  • What an effective cover letter template looks like

Do I Need a Cover Letter ?

In most cases, yes—you should submit a cover letter with your resume.

While the cover letter has increasingly become a divisive topic among recruiters and job seekers , it's still often listed as a requirement on job applications .

But regardless, many recruiters still think cover letters are important.

According to a 2023 study by recruitment website Zippia , more than a fourth (26 percent) of recruiters "always read cover letters " and think they're an important component of the hiring decision. And almost half (45 percent) said that not including a cover letter could get your application rejected.

So in most cases, it's best to be cautious and include one.

In short, including a cover letter will almost never hurt your job search —but it can help.

Here's how:

  • It can help you stand out from the crowd . Recruiters read through countless resumes for just one role. If you have similar qualifications as other candidates, a cover letter allows you to showcase your personality and unique skills.
  • It shows you're willing to go the extra mile . Searching for a new job is already a lot of effort, so it may be difficult to rationalize writing a customized cover letter for each role. But the Zippia study found that 61 percent of hiring managers consider a customized resume (with a cover letter, portfolio link, etc.) the "number one tactic for applicants to boost their chances of getting a job."
  • You can address potential biases . In a perfect world, recruiters wouldn't count you out based on things like employment gaps or " job hopping ." Career coach Marlo Lyons recommends using your cover letter to "fill in any gaps" and provide context about these types of situations so recruiters don't get the wrong impression.

When You Should Include a Cover Letter

It's ultimately up to you whether you include a cover letter.

Octavia Goredema, career coach and author of Prep, Push, Pivot , says that the decision to submit a cover letter hinges on "where you are in your career journey and your personal career goals."

In addition to when it's a required part of the job posting, here are scenarios where it's in your best interest to submit one:

  • If someone referred you to the job : According to Goredema, "If you were referred to an opportunity by someone at the company or have a personal history that correlates with the role, a cover letter enables you to share that."
  • If you want to add additional information : Say the job you're applying to requires candidates to live on a specific coast. If you don't currently live in the area but are willing to relocate, mention that in your cover letter so you aren't automatically rejected based on your current location.
  • If you're changing careers : Goredema recommends writing one "if you're in the early stages of your career or making a professional pivot. A cover letter provides the opportunity to add additional context to the information included in your resume."
  • If you don't have any previous work experience : If you're new to the workforce, you may not have any applicable previous positions to include on your resume. Use your cover letter to highlight transferrable skills and explain why you think you'd still be a good fit.

Lastly, Goredema suggests that "if this is your dream job, a cover letter provides the space for you to explain with impact and highlight what you do best."

Debra Boggs, founder and CEO of D&S Executive Career Management, adds: "As long as a cover letter is well-written and error-free, it will never hurt your chances of winning an interview."

So the more important the role is to you, the more effort you should put in.

When You Shouldn't Include a Cover Letter

There are certainly times when you should send a cover letter with your resume—but are there times when you shouldn't send one in? Here are a few instances:

  • If the application platform doesn't have a space to upload one : If there isn't a space for you to attach your cover letter or other supporting documents, don't sweat it. This means that other applicants won't be able to send one either.
  • If the job posting doesn't require one : If the post specifically states that you shouldn't include a cover letter, it's not a trick. The recruiter likely doesn't plan to read it, so it's best to reserve your time for other job search activities .
  • If you aren't a strong writer : Lyons recommends forgoing a cover letter if you aren't a good writer and don't have anyone to help you. "The cover letter could be your first impression, and a badly written one—especially with grammatical errors—could make recruiters not want to screen you for the job."
  • If you don't have time : Strapped for time? Goredema suggests "[focusing] on your resume and the application requirements versus haphazardly throwing together a few sentences just to meet an application deadline."

What To Do When a Cover Letter is 'Optional'

"Optional" cover letters can feel like a trick. You want to show the recruiter you're interested in the role, but you don't want to waste your time if it isn't necessary.

Lyons recommends skipping the optional cover letter "if your resume and LinkedIn profile are complete and no further explanation is needed."

However, it can be helpful to write one if "your resume doesn't tell the whole story about you." (Think resume gaps or career changes.)

Goredema believes it can be helpful to include a cover letter, regardless of whether it's a requirement. "Why not take the opportunity? It may help you to stand out. Going the extra mile by sending a well-written, personalized cover letter can only work to your advantage versus working against you."

So it can be helpful to put in extra effort if you have more to add to your application. But you shouldn't include a subpar cover letter just for the sake of it.

7 Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Regardless of your feelings toward the now-controversial cover letter, you'll likely find yourself writing one for at least some of the jobs you apply to.

Here's how to draft one that actually grabs a recruiter's attention:

1. Keep Things Short

Lyons suggests writing "three to four paragraphs at most, with two to three sentences in each paragraph."

Goredema adds: "Avoid long rambling sentences and keep your letter concise to make it easy to read."

Even if a particular recruiter loves cover letters, they might sift through hundreds of applications to find the right candidates. So it's best to be brief.

2. Follow the Rules

Some recruiters will ask you to include a portfolio link, send the cover letter via email, ask you to answer specific questions, etc. Be sure to fully read the job post's requirements—you don't want to be counted out for failing to follow directions.

3. Don't Repeat Your Resume

Lyons cautions repeating information the recruiter already has access to. Instead, "Tell the story of you—something important that you did not cover on your resume and how that story connects to the current position."

Think of it as connecting the dots between your experience, skills and capabilities. Explain why you'd be a good fit for the role rather than repeating the skills section of your resume .

4. Use Active Voice and Action Verbs

With active voice, the subject of a sentence performs the action. Passive voice puts more emphasis on the object of the sentence.

Using active voice is more direct and straightforward. Plus, it helps keep things brief.

Aim to use active voice throughout your resume and cover letter. This will help you sound clear and confident.

Here's an example of passive voice, plus how to fix it to use active voice:

  • Passive voice : The treats were eaten by the dogs.
  • Active voice : The dogs ate the treats.

If you struggle with writing in active voice consistently, think about the action verbs you'd use to describe your skills and experiences.

For example, instead of "I was tasked with x," you could say, "I managed x."

5. Be Specific

Include specific examples (i.e., instead of "I'm a team player," allude to a situation where you were a team player). If you've ever taken a writing course, you've probably heard the advice "show don't tell." The same advice applies to your resume and cover letter.

You could say "I have marketing experience," but what does that communicate to the reader? Not much.

Be specific about your experience and accomplishments. Instead, say "I led a marketing campaign that increased quarterly newsletter sign-ups by 40%."

6. Proofread

Check your cover letter for grammar and spelling mistakes before submitting it to avoid a professional faux pas.

Use spellcheck or an external app like Grammarly, which is also compatible with web browsers.

7. Customize It

At best, a generic cover letter is boring or a little awkward. At worst, it can be unprofessional if what you wrote about has nothing to do with the job you're applying for.

Think about it this way: your cover letter might be the deciding factor between you and another candidate with the same skills and experience. So you want to grab the recruiter's attention.

You don't need to spend tons of time rewriting your cover letter for every job application, though. Here are a few things you can do to stand out:

  • Address the hiring manager or recruiter by name (you can sometimes find this information on the LinkedIn job post)
  • Include the company name and job title
  • Mention what you like about the specific company and its culture
  • Detail skills and experience specifically mentioned on the job post

Boggs advises to "create a template that you can easily customize to include the relevant skills and experience for each job and employer."

Read on for inspiration for your own template.

Cover Letter Template

It can be time-consuming to write a new cover letter for every job application. Here's a template you can customize for different positions:

Dear [name of recruiter, "hiring manager"] , I saw the job posting for [exact title of role] and am excited about the opportunity. [1-2 sentences detailing why you're interested in the role/company.] In my previous role, [brief description of your accomplishments beyond what your resume states.] I also have [1-2 sentences detailing relevant experience, including specific skills and level of proficiency.] [If applicable: include a short paragraph with a link to your portfolio or any other relevant links.] Thank you for your time—if you'd like to schedule an interview, please feel free to contact me [brief description of the best time and method for contact.] Sincerely, [Your Name] [Phone Number] [Email]

Cover Letter FAQs

Still wondering if you need a cover letter for your specific situation? Or if recruiters actually read every cover letter? Read on for answers.

Do I Need a Cover Letter for a Part-Time Job?

The same advice applies to part-time jobs—cover letters aren't always necessary, but they can help you stand out. If you're especially interested in a part-time role, it's a good idea to submit a cover letter.

Do I Need a Cover Letter for an Internship?

Many people who apply for internships don't have significant prior work experience, so a cover letter is especially helpful here.

Instead of previous jobs, you can talk about:

  • Your education
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Transferrable skills
  • Volunteer experience

You can include similar points if you're looking for an entry-level job and don't have prior work experience.

Can I Use AI To Write a Cover Letter?

Proceed with caution when using ChatGPT or a similar tool to write content for you. Employers may be using AI content detectors to identify which candidates used a shortcut.

AI programs like ChatGPT create content based on their existing libraries, so content is never really "new." Meaning it's impossible to tell if you're accidentally plagiarizing someone unless you heavily edit the chatbot's answers.

Goredema points out a potential pitfall in relying too heavily on AI: "If your goal is to get an interview, you don't want there to be a huge gap between how you communicate on paper versus how you communicate in person ."

Here are a few ways you can use AI to add to the writing process :

  • Checking for active voice
  • Adding action verbs
  • Creating a rough draft
  • Checking your writing tone

Do Recruiters Actually Read Your Cover Letter?

The big question—is the effort behind your cover letter worth it? Again, there's no perfect answer.

The most important thing is to ensure hiring managers have all the information they need to fairly consider you for a position.

Boggs cautions: "Remember, not all recruiters and hiring managers read cover letters, so

make sure to include all your relevant qualifications and accomplishments

in your resume as well, so these details don't get missed."

But there are other creative ways to stand out apart from a cover letter.

According to Goredema, "The general feedback I hear from the recruiters I work with is that a resume accompanied by their LinkedIn profile supersedes a cover letter because they will tell a recruiter at first glance what they need to know about a candidate."

So, are cover letters really necessary these days?

Lyons says that recruiters primarily care about two things:

  • "Does an applicant have the skills and capabilities to do the job?"
  • "Will the applicant fit the culture of the team and the company?"

Cover letters can help you stand out among a sea of applicants or explain difficult job situations—so in most cases, it's helpful to include one with your resume.

But whether you decide to send a cover letter with your resume or not, be sure the recruiter has all the information they need to be confident about you and your experience.

Related Articles

  • 6 Tips for Crafting an Executive-level Resume
  • Seven Red Flags To Look Out for on a Job Ad, According to Business Experts
  • How to Ask for a Raise in 7 Steps

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

Photo-illustration of hand writing cover letter.

Our lobby is open 9:00-5:00. We also offer virtual appointments.

  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Recent Graduates & Alumni
  • Staff & Faculty
  • Managers of On-Campus Student Employees
  • Career Fairs
  • Online Resume Review
  • Drop In Coaching
  • Career Coaching Appointments
  • Workshops and Events
  • Career Courses
  • Connect with Employers
  • Connect with Alumni & Mentors
  • Free Subscriptions for Huskies
  • Private Space for Virtual Interviews
  • Husky Career Closet
  • Professional Headshots
  • Find Purpose
  • Build Skills
  • Get Experience (internships)
  • Build Relationships (networking)
  • Tell Your Story (profiles, resumes, cover letters, interviews)
  • Find Success (jobs, service programs, grad school)
  • Arts / Media / Marketing
  • Consulting / Business
  • Non-profit / Social Justice / Education
  • Law / Government / Policy
  • Physical & Life Sciences
  • Sustainability / Conservation / Energy
  • Tech / Data / Gaming
  • First Generation Students
  • International Students
  • LGBTQ+ Students
  • Students of Color
  • Transfer Students
  • Undocumented/DACA Students
  • Student Veterans
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Featured Jobs & Internships
  • Handshake Access Details
  • Internship Advice
  • On-Campus Employment
  • Job Search Tips
  • For Employers
  • Peace Corps
  • Diplomat in Residence
  • Baldasty Internship Project
  • Get Involved

How to Write a Cover Letter

  • Share This: Share How to Write a Cover Letter on Facebook Share How to Write a Cover Letter on LinkedIn Share How to Write a Cover Letter on X

Are you wondering how to write an engaging cover letter? You’ll learn how to weave together your strengths with specific examples to write targeted cover letters that emphasize your fit for the job!

One more step:

Spread the word by sharing this event with your social networks, save it to your calendar, add to calendar, connect with us:.

Contact us: 9a-5p, M-F | 134 Mary Gates Hall | Seattle, WA 98195 | (206) 543-0535 tel | [email protected]

The Division of Student Life acknowledges the Coast Salish people of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot Nations. Student Life is committed to developing and maintaining an inclusive climate that honors the diverse array of students, faculty, and staff. We strive to provide pathways for success and to purposefully confront and dismantle existing physical, social, and psychological barriers for minoritized students and communities. We engage in this work while learning and demonstrating cultural humility.

IMAGES

  1. Internship Cover Letter

    write a cover letter for an internship

  2. 16 Best Cover Letter Samples for Internship

    write a cover letter for an internship

  3. Internship Cover Letter Examples

    write a cover letter for an internship

  4. Hr Internship Cover Letter

    write a cover letter for an internship

  5. Sample Cover Letter For Internship

    write a cover letter for an internship

  6. Cover Letter for an Internship: Example & Writing Guide

    write a cover letter for an internship

VIDEO

  1. How To Write A Disruptive Cover Letter 🤔😀👍💪😘

  2. Cover letter for job application

  3. How to Write a Cover Letter

  4. Crafting your Internship Cover Letters

  5. How to write a cover letter : Sinhala

  6. how to write cover letter for job application

COMMENTS

  1. Writing an Internship Cover Letter With Examples and Tips

    A well-written cover letter highlights relevant skills and experiences that showcase why you're the right fit for an internship role. Here are a few steps you can follow when writing an internship cover letter: 1. State the exact role you want. Starting your cover letter with the position you're applying for shows you thoughtfully considered ...

  2. How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: 9 Tips (+ Examples)

    To identify how you and the internship are a good match for one another, do the following: 1. Read through the job description and identify the skills and experience you possess. 2. Identify what experience, skills, or understanding you will gain by doing the internship. 3. Include these points in your cover letter.

  3. Cover Letter for an Internship: Writing Tips & Examples

    A cover letter for an internship, also called a letter of introduction, an application letter, or a personal statement, expresses how your skills and experiences make you the best candidate for the position. It should showcase your personal style while expanding upon and complementing your résumé. Always include a cover letter when it is requested to solidify your chance of becoming a ...

  4. How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship [Examples & Template]

    Business professionals use this template style to apply for full-time roles, so your cover letter will stand out above the rest. Remember to proofread, use formal terms such as "Dear" and "Sincerely," and lean towards a professional tone in your body copy. 1. Include your name, date, location, and contact information.

  5. Examples and Guide for an Internship Cover Letter

    Keep your internship cover letter concise by adding bullet points. 2. Showcase your ambition. Not all interns make coffee and organize filing cabinets. Many companies give promising interns real projects that affect the company's bottom line and then offer the best interns jobs once their internship has finished.

  6. How to Write a Cover Letter for Internship (Examples & Template)

    Respect the Format #2. State the Position You're Applying For in the Opening #3. Mention the Right Keywords #4. Highlight Your Education #5. Provide Background For Your Skills #6. Explain Why You're a Good Fit For The Position #7. Describe What You Would Gain Professionally #8. Proofread Your Cover Letter #9.

  7. How to Write an Internship Cover Letter: 9 Tips (+ Examples)

    2. Use a professional email address. The header of your cover letter is where you include your contact information, full name, phone number, and email address. While it may seem insignificant, one of the most important things you can do in your header is to include a professional-sounding email address.

  8. How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Plus…

    1. Make It All About the Company. Step one is to introduce yourself and why you're interested in this particular internship. As a student, you'll probably instinctively want to write about all the things you're excited to learn on the job.

  9. Examples for Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship

    Here's how to write a cover letter for an internship: Grab the hiring manager's attention from the very first sentence. Show off your relevant skills and add info on coursework. Let the recruiter see you're cut out for the role. Explain why you believe the company's values are in line with yours.

  10. How to write an internship cover letter: 7 tips & an example

    Instead, open your cover letter by sharing why you're excited about this particular internship and employer and why you're a good fit. Include information about the company and the role you're applying for (pro tip: Use language from the application!). 2. Structure the cover letter's flow effectively.

  11. Internship Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

    Tips for Writing an Internship Cover Letter. Use Business Letter Format. Use proper business letter format when sending a cover letter by mail. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the contact information for the employer. Be sure to provide a proper salutation, and sign your name at the bottom.

  12. Internship Cover Letter Guide + Expert Tips & Examples

    STEP 2 . Choose an internship cover letter template. A cover letter template can help ensure that you have all the necessary information included in your internship cover letter and that it is formatted properly. It can also save time when writing a cover letter for an internship, allowing you to focus on customizing it to the job you want.

  13. Top Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for Internships

    Examples of an internship cover letter The following examples can help you see what an internship cover letter should look like: Sample 1 Max Brown 845 Baker Street Brooklyn, NY 00954 (654) 391-0622 [email protected] November 1, 2019 Blake Garcia Director, Human Resources DC Offices 423 Hallwell Rd. Heatherton, CA 54321 Dear Mr. Garcia, I am writing to apply for the biology research summer ...

  14. Internship Cover Letter Examples & Expert Tips · Resume.io

    Use this Internship cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast - no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Internship positions in 2024. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes. 4.9.

  15. How To Write an Internship Cover Letter (With Examples)

    Here are some steps you can use to write an effective internship cover letter: 1. Convey your interest in the specific internship. You should always start your cover letters by stating which internship (or role) you wish to apply for. This will show that you haven't simply sent out the same cover letter for multiple internships.

  16. Writing an Internship Cover Letter (With Examples)

    Use the right keywords. Include your relevant coursework. Call out relevant skills. Explain why you are a good fit for the internship. Describe what you feel you would gain from the internship. Review your cover letter before sending. Let us take a closer look at each step to follow when writing a cover letter for an internship.

  17. Writing an Internship Cover Letter (with Examples)

    How to write a cover letter for an internship. Here is a step-by-step guide to putting together an internship cover letter. Think of it like an IKEA manual without confusing diagrams and Allen keys. (Unfortunately.) Firstly, make sure to tailor your cover letter for each internship application you make. Set up a document in business letter format.

  18. How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (Example)

    Writing a cover letter for an internship when you don't have any professional experience can be daunting, but employers aren't looking for experienced interns with advanced skills. Instead, your cover letter can discuss any academic, extracurricular, volunteer, or independent work you've done and highlight key hard and soft skills the ...

  19. How to Write Cover Letter for an Internship (with Examples)

    Follow the steps below and learn how to write a cover letter for an internship. Mention Your Details: At the top left corner of the internship cover letter, write your full name, address, email ID, and phone number. Add Date: Next, add the date you are writing the letter. Mention Receiver's Details: Mention the receiver's name followed by ...

  20. Cover Letter for Internship

    A properly formatted cover letter for an internship includes the following: Your contact details: At the top of your cover letter, include your name, address, phone number, and email address. Or, if you're writing an email cover letter, put this information in your email signature. The date: Put the date you send your application a line below ...

  21. How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

    You can write a short message in the email body and then attach your cover letter at the end. Make sure your cover letter is in PDF format and named appropriately. For example, KateWalsh_CoverLetter.doc helps the employer if they have to search for it later. Copy and paste your cover letter into the email body.

  22. How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship (With Examples)

    When going through an internship's application requirements, you might come across the need to write a cover letter. A cover letter is one of the most effective ways to show why you are the best candidate for the internship and gives you the space to expand and showcase your skills and experiences.. This article will show you how to create an internship cover letter that will make your ...

  23. How to Write a Cover Letter in 2024 + Examples

    Header - Input contact information. Greeting the hiring manager. Opening paragraph - Grab the reader's attention with 2-3 of your top achievements. Second paragraph - Explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job. Third paragraph - Explain why you're a good match for the company.

  24. Internship Resume Tips, Examples & Templates

    Learn how to write a resume for an internship with our comprehensive guide, professionally crafted examples & tips from Certified Resume Writers. ... Include a cover letter with your internship resume. A strong cover letter allows you to express why you're interested in the internship and what makes you a strong candidate. It also lets you ...

  25. Cover Letter Writing Guide

    Find an Internship; Internship Funding Opportunities; Negotiate an Offer; Prepare for an Interview; Prepare for Graduate School; Professional Development Programs ... Share Cover Letter Writing Guide on Facebook Share Cover Letter Writing Guide on LinkedIn Share Cover Letter Writing Guide on X; Copy Link; CoverLetterGuide-1 Download. Contact ...

  26. Genuinely how do I write a cover letter as a freshman for internship

    For internships / entry level, the cover letter SHOULD arguably be the most important part of the application. Without experience and such to differentiate candidates, someone's ability to write a page to elaborate on why they want the position and will be a good fit may be the ONLY way to stand out.

  27. Cover Letters for Legal Interns: Template, Example and Tips

    Q1.How can I effectively compose a cover letter for a legal internship? Answer: You can compose a cover letter for a legal internship using the following format, "Dear [hiring manager's name], Based on my [relevant education and experience], I believe that I possess the qualities necessary to excel in the role of an intern at [company name]. My proficiency in [two, or three skills] makes ...

  28. Are Cover Letters Necessary?

    7 Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter. Regardless of your feelings toward the now-controversial cover letter, you'll likely find yourself writing one for at least some of the jobs you apply to.

  29. How to Write a Cover Letter

    Contact us: 9a-5p, M-F | 134 Mary Gates Hall | Seattle, WA 98195 | (206) 543-0535 tel | [email protected] The Division of Student Life acknowledges the Coast Salish people of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot Nations.