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.

how to write internship cover letter

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

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how to write internship cover letter

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.

how to write internship cover letter

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.

how to write internship cover letter

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.

how to write internship cover letter

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!

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Internship Cover Letter Examples and Writing Tips

how to write internship cover letter

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

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 555-123-4567 (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 ."

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

Rachael Gilpin

Finding the right internship is one of the best ways young professionals can get a step up in their careers. Internships provide crucial real-world experience that serves as a career launching pad and a network to build upon. 

An expertly crafted internship cover letter can be your winning ticket when applying for an internship—because a cover letter is just as important as a strong resume. Cover letters provide a chance to highlight your skills, enthusiasm, and unique, desirable traits.

However, writing about oneself is challenging for the best of us.

So, we’ve collected our best cover letter tips and guidance on how to write a standout cover letter for an internship. Below you’ll learn what a cover letter is, why they’re crucial in any job search, and simple tricks to create and tailor yours in less time than you’d think. 

What is the purpose of a cover letter, and why is it important for an internship?

An internship cover letter accompanies a job application and highlights your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Think of a cover letter as your opportunity to showcase your enthusiasm and commitment to a position, allowing you to expand upon the skills that make you a strong candidate.

Additionally, because some roles receive a high number of applicants, a cover letter can serve as additional insight for hiring managers when whittling down the applicant pool for greater consideration.

How to write a cover letter for an internship

Include relevant contact information.

You want to make sure you use a professional internship cover letter format and that your contact information is near the top of your cover letter. This way, if they like you, it’s easy to find.

Depending on your preference, some people place their essential information along the top of their cover letter, similar to a header, or you can place it in the top right or left corners—there is no agreed-upon cover letter standard. 

It’s a good idea to include the hiring manager's contact information as well. Some companies get overwhelmed with emails, and when applying for an internship position on job sites, it can be difficult to tell where the cover letter will wind up. By including the hiring manager’s information, you can rest assured that your destination contact on your internship cover letter is clear.

Here you can find examples of a personalized cover letter . With Teal's Job Application Tracker , you can easily keep track of each application you submit, and you can quickly generate custom cover letters using the AI functionality within Teal's AI Resume Builder .

Address the hiring manager by name

Before you begin, it’s important to know how to address a cover letter , and you’ll want to address the hiring manager by name when you can. A name is often included in the job post; however, sometimes, the job posting merely states that “the candidate will report directly to the VP of Marketing.” With that, you can typically find a specific person through the company website, LinkedIn page, or Google search.

If the person is unfindable, you can contact the company directly through a support address to ask. Going the extra step to learn the hiring manager’s name will help demonstrate your commitment to the role.

Grab their attention and start with your “why”

Your cover letter implies an interest in the job, but hiring managers want to know why you’re interested in this specific position—and if this makes for a memorable story, all the better to grab the reader's attention. You don’t want to overload the reader with too many details, but a brief tale that illuminates how your values align with the role or brand can really help you shine—just be sure it’s relevant to the particular position.

You might also highlight a connection between a task you excel at and a key requirement for the internship position. This could be anything from your analytical abilities to your gift of gab. If the role calls for client-facing responsibilities, mention your knack for building and maintaining relationships. 

From there, use the next few paragraphs to share why you are the best fit for the role and incorporate hard data wherever possible. 

Outline relevant skills and achievements

Remember, hiring managers are looking for a qualified candidate with experience that best matches the role, so only include information that coincides with relevant duties. Even if there is something you are incredibly proud of, if it has nothing to do with the role, leave it on the cutting room floor. 

Draw attention to relevant experiences, achievements, and challenges you’ve overcome in the past. Demonstrate your suitability by mentioning workplace contributions to highlight your value to the employer and make it known you’re willing to learn to prove why you’d be an asset to the company. 

While high school and college students may have limited workplace experience, don’t be afraid to think outside the box! You likely have highlightable skills and achievements you haven't considered.

Babysitting, for example, requires a high level of trust and responsibility. Think about relevant coursework, internships , or volunteer work. Clubs and team sports help develop skills, as well as leadership positions and student body council, which all indicate strong communication skills. You may have been head of the yearbook committee or school newspaper; these require extraordinary time management skills and task delegation, which are important traits to any job.

While this all sounds easy in theory, we understand that identifying your personal strengths to highlight on a concise cover letter is hardly an easy feat. Fortunately, Teal's AI Resume Builder is loaded with helpful tools and tips to help you do this. Best of all, you don’t have to start from scratch. Teal’s Resume and Cover Letter Builder allows you to import your existing resume or LinkedIn profile, storing the information in one place to build out your exhaustive career history. 

Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases from the job description

Many employers filter out resumes and cover letters that do not match the specific skills and keywords for resume that the employer seeks. By including these in your cover letter, you help ensure that it successfully passes through the initial screening process.

Use Teal's AI Resume Builder to quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume and cover letter. Make sure to add any relevant experience to your application materials.

Matching relevant keywords helps demonstrate that you have the skills and relevant experience required for the job, increasing your chances of being selected for an interview. Failing to include relevant keywords in your application could result in it being overlooked.

A common misconception is that employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan your resume for keywords to automatically knock out candidates. While ATS is a way to electronically file applications, it’s not as advanced as you may believe. There are no “ATS bots” deciding your fate — a human will almost always be reviewing your cover letter and resume. 

While employers are using technology to file applications, you can be too. You can learn how to use ChatGPT through Teal’s guide; AI can be a great resource to help you get started.

Tips for writing an effective cover letter

Easily customize your cover letter with ai.

With every internship application, you are marketing yourself to your client, and your resume and cover letter are the marketing materials. And just like in marketing, there is strategy involved. 

When using Teal's cover letter templates, be sure you personalize your cover letter to reflect specific keywords and phrases in the job ad. Teal’s AI Resume Builder and cover letter template feature uses AI to seamlessly gather key information from your resume and any job description to quickly generate a custom cover letter for each application. 

As with any personal marketing strategy, you have to think about what you have to offer, your most impressive accomplishments related to the position, and your target audience. By tailoring your content directly around the job description, you will have a better chance of landing that internship interview. This is your time to shine, so treat your letter with care. 

Keep it focused

With all the content-creation options available, jazzing up a resume and cover letter has gotten much easier. However, adding too much flair is detrimental. Unique and elaborate graphics, colors, fonts , and formatting can distract from the most important information: your experience. 

Simple is the way to go when crafting your resume and cover letter, using only standard fonts and formatting. Stick to Times New Roman or Arial for the font and save the files in PDF or Word. Simplifying your application package will get you past ATS software and give the hiring manager’s eyes a break.

Get personal with language

Writing in a professional manner is necessary for your internship cover letters; however, adding a warm and friendly tone can build a personal connection and give your writing a boost. As young professionals are starting out, they are often cautious with language, which can come off as robotic in correspondence. 

Remember: you are a person, so incorporating some light emotional language into your cover letter helps humanize you. The individuals reading your cover letter want to know what you’re passionate about or how you triumphed over adversity and other situations that involve emotion. Don’t be afraid to dip into those feelings a little when drafting your cover letter.

Including your personal thoughts and feelings allows you to show off your personal brand a little bit — even if that means cracking a joke or two . A warm tone helps hiring managers to feel connected to you. 

Do your homework

Researching a company helps provide an understanding of a company's culture, values, and mission. Remember, job applications and interviews are a two-way street; you also want to make sure they are the right fit for you. Secondly, it allows you to better tailor your cover letter, which shows your interest and enthusiasm for the role. 

Research can greatly improve your chances of success by providing further insight into a company's background and vision, helping you interview with confidence and stand out from other applicants.

You can keep track of the research you conduct in Teal's Job Application Tracker . Tips and guidance are offered of where and how to conduct research. You can also log the research completed on any contacts you have made at the company.

Stay organized

Keep track of your search with Teal’s Job Application Tracker , where you can easily organize your applications. You can access your tracker on the website or by downloading the Teal Chrome extension . This easily lets you save jobs you’re interested in, saves cover letters previously sent, and tracks internship positions you’ve applied for through sites like LinkedIn and Indeed.

With Teal’s Job Application Tracker, you can note company contacts, save jobs, view jobs you’ve applied to, mark follow-up dates, and more. It even lets you note your excitement levels on a scale of one to five stars; this way, you don’t forget to follow up with the ones you want the most. 

Following up on your internship cover letter and job application via a personal email or message on LinkedIn could be the difference between landing your ideal role and never hearing back. An email should be sent within 24 hours of your interview thanking the person for taking the time to speak with you. 

To further demonstrate your interest, mention a few specifics from your discussion. For example, you might say that you enjoyed hearing about the company culture or were excited to hear about the dynamic responsibilities associated with the job.

Located within Teal's Job Application Tracker are templates to use as a starting point when crafting a follow up email following an interview.

Teal’s Job Application Tracker provides suggestions and guidance on what to include in a great cover letter:

  • academic achievements (GPA, awards, etc.)
  • explain your interest in the field
  • use specific examples to demonstrate your relevant skills and job experience
  • emphasize willingness to learn 
  • demonstrate enthusiasm and motivation
  • describe your goals for your internship role
  • use appropriate length (don’t include irrelevant information to make it longer)
  • keep it concise and error-free (proofread)
  • use a professional tone
  • get feedback: have a teacher, mentor, or family member review both your cover letter and resume and provide feedback 

Internship cover letter examples

High school internship cover letter.

​​Dear Hiring Manager, I am writing to express my interest in the summer internship program at [Company Name]. As a highly motivated high school student and canine shelter volunteer, I am excited to gain valuable work experience and learn from industry professionals. I am particularly drawn to [Company Name]'s commitment to innovation and community involvement. I have always been passionate about making a positive impact in my community, and I believe that your organization's values align with my desire to help others. I am confident that I can provide a meaningful contribution given my background in volunteering, and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to develop my skills and contribute to community projects through your internship opportunities. I'm experienced in computer science and have excellent customer service skills. I'm a quick learner and have demonstrated an ability to easily adapt in new environments. Through my involvement in various class projects and volunteer activities, I have developed strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. I am excited about the prospect of working with your team and contributing to the success of your organization. Thank you for taking the time to consider my candidacy in your hiring process. I look forward to the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications with you at your earliest convenience. Best regards, Angela Lansbury

Internship cover letter when switching industries

Dear Mr. Maiz, I am writing to express my interest in the woodworking internship at Cohesive Grains. As a welder looking to make a career transition into woodworking, I am eager to gain practical experience and further develop my skills in this field. My professional background is primarily in welding with a bachelor's degree in graphic design, but I am confident that my firm understanding in design and digit dexterity are transferable to woodworking. I am particularly drawn to Cohesive Grains’ upcycled vintage pieces and the impact that your organization is making in this field. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and learn from industry professionals. In my current role, I have demonstrated my ability to work under tight deadlines while maintaining a commitment to quality and artistic expression. I am a quick learner, and I am always eager to take on new challenges. I believe that my ability to create detailed welding work and my passion for woodworking make me a strong candidate for this position. I am excited about the prospect of working with your team and contributing to the success of your organization through this internship experience. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to finding a mutually convenient time to further discuss my qualifications with you. Sincerely, Jasyn Barn

Quickly create a personalized cover letter with Teal

Teal's AI Resume Builder with AI functionality can generate multiple versions of your cover letter with the click of a button. By inputting your desired job description, Teal can generate a unique and custom cover letter for each internship application you apply for, saving you time and energy.

Step 1: Sign up for Teal

Step 2: Download Teal’s Chrome extension and start bookmarking internships

Step 3: Build out an exhaustive career history (including certifications, projects, etc.)

Step 4: Attach your desired job description and use Teal’s AI Resume Builder with AI functionality to generate multiple versions of your cover letter tailored to each specific internship

Once you've landed an interview, check out our guide on common internship interview questions and example answers to help you prepare and seal that internship offer.

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Home » Internship Tips » Tips & Tricks » How to Write Cover Letter for an Internship?

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

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internships

Cover letters and resumes are the introductory documents that help an employer form their first impressions about a future employee. Thus, it is very important to draft the perfect documents to find success, especially when applying for an internship. To help you through the drafting process we are going to walk you through the process of writing a cover letter for an internship that not only grabs attention but leaves a lasting impression.

Table of Contents

How to Write Cover Letter for an Internship?

Want to write the best cover letter for an internship role? 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 the company address. The receiver can be the manager or the HR professional responsible for recruitment. 
  • Address the Recruiter: Write “Dear [name]” to address the recruiter before beginning the main content of the letter.
  • Opening Statement: Write a brief statement that appeals to the recruiter and informs them of your intent to apply for the internship position. You can add one or two of your key achievements here but do not forget to mention which position you are applying for. 
  • For example , you mention you have strong communication skills. Back the claim with a background story of how you gave a presentation on a technical topic and were able to communicate your idea easily to the audience due to your skills. 
  • Closing Paragraph: Thank the recruiter and add a call to action, like requesting them to check your resume for more details or that you are available for an interview to discuss the internship opportunity further. 
  • End With Formal Salutation: End your letter with “Warm Regards” or “Sincerely.”

Also Read: How to Write Cover Letter for a Job?

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Cover Letter Template For Internships

Let us look at this template to understand how to write a cover letter for an internship.

Also Read: Cover Letter Formats

Sample Cover Letter for Internship for Different Sectors

Here are some cover letter examples/samples for an internship based on different sectors for your better understanding:

1. Sample Cover Letter for Information Technology (IT)

This sample cover letter for internship is for the IT Sector like Web Development, Data Analyst, etc. 

2. Sample Cover Letter for Finance

This cover letter format for an internship will guide you on how to create a cover letter for a job in the financial sector.

3. Sample Cover Letter for Marketing and Advertising

This cover letter for internship in the marketing and advertising will help you showcase the skills that will enable you to contribute effectively in the corporate world, especially if you are seeking digital marketing internships .

4. Sample Cover Letter for Graphic Design

This is the best cover letter for an internship in graphic designing . It will help recruiters see your passion for design which will increase your chances of getting hired.

5. Sample Cover Letter for Human Resources (HR)

This is the best way of writing a cover letter for an internship if you are looking for work from home HR jobs or for in-office HR Jobs.

6. Sample Cover Letter for Law

This format will highlight your relevant skills and experiences and make you a strong candidate for part time jobs /internship opportunities.

Mistakes to Avoid while Drafting a Cover Letter

When writing cover letters it’s important to pay attention to minute details, here are some mistakes that you should avoid while writing your cover letter:

  • Generic Templates- Craft a unique letter for each application, tailored to the specific internship and company.
  • Ignoring Formatting- Use clear headings, bullet points, and a readable font. A well-formatted cover letter reflects your attention to detail.
  • Overwhelming Length- Keep your cover letter concise and to the point. Aim for around 250-300 words.
  • Neglecting Proofreading- Always proofread your cover letter before sending it out. Typos and grammatical errors can make a negative impression.
  • Overusing Jargon- While it’s great to demonstrate your knowledge, avoid overloading your cover letter with industry jargon or technical terms. Explain complex concepts briefly and clearly to ensure your message is easily understood.

In this blog, we’ve covered some key points for writing a cover letter for an internship. By adding your own unique touch and showing your excitement for the role, you can set yourself apart from other applicants. So, take your time while writing a cover letter, and let your strengths shine on the page.

If you thought this blog was helpful, tell us in the comments section below. Also, check out these online interview tips before going for your next job interview.

Also Read: What is Mock Interview?

Frequently Asked Questions

To write a good cover letter for an internship, include keywords from the internship description, proofread to ensure content flow, highlight extracurriculars, format well, and customize each cover letter.

To write a letter asking for an internship, research the company to tailor your response accordingly. Write a meaningful subject line, add a greeting, and express your interest in the internship and the reason along with your skills and educational qualifications. 

Here is a sample for a basic cover letter: “My name is [your name], and I am writing to express my interest in the internship role [role title] at your company [company name]. I am excited to share that I believe I have the necessary skills and knowledge that make me the best candidate for the internship role. Kindly consider my application. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Here is how you can write a cover letter for a legal internship, “Dear [recruiter’s name], As a recent law graduate, I am excited to hear about the internship role your company [name of the company] is offering. I have an additional certification course in corporate law and possess trial preparation skills. I am certain my skills and talent will be a great addition to your organization. Kindly consider my application in a positive light. I am excited to discuss this opportunity further with you. You can contact me at [email ID]. Thanks for your consideration.”

You should write a cover letter for an internship because it allows you to mention additional details you could not in the resume and provide background to some information like skills.

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Sandipta Banerjee has completed her Master's in English Literature and Language. She has been working in the field of editing and writing for the past five years. She started her writing journey at a very young age with her poems which have now evolved into a poetry blog. She was working as Editorial Head in a US-based publishing house before joining Internshala.

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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.”

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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

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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.

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

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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, 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 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” 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

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The Cut

How to Write a Cover Letter That Will Get You a Job

I ’ve read thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of cover letters in my career. If you’re thinking that sounds like really boring reading, you’re right. What I can tell you from enduring that experience is that most cover letters are terrible — and not only that, but squandered opportunities. When a cover letter is done well, it can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview, but the vast majority fail that test.

So let’s talk about how to do cover letters right.

First, understand the point of a cover letter.

The whole idea of a cover letter is that it can help the employer see you as more than just your résumé. Managers generally aren’t hiring based solely on your work history; your experience is crucial, yes, but they’re also looking for someone who will be easy to work with, shows good judgment, communicates well, possesses strong critical thinking skills and a drive to get things done, complements their current team, and all the other things you yourself probably want from your co-workers. It’s tough to learn much about those things from job history alone, and that’s where your cover letter comes in.

Because of that …

Whatever you do, don’t just summarize your résumé.

The No. 1 mistake people make with cover letters is that they simply use them to summarize their résumé. This makes no sense — hiring managers don’t need a summary of your résumé! It’s on the very next page! They’re about to see it as soon as they scroll down. And if you think about it, your entire application is only a few pages (in most cases, a one- or two-page résumé and a one-page cover letter) — why would you squander one of those pages by repeating the content of the others? And yet, probably 95 percent of the cover letters I see don’t add anything new beyond the résumé itself (and that’s a conservative estimate).

Instead, your cover letter should go beyond your work history to talk about things that make you especially well-suited for the job. For example, if you’re applying for an assistant job that requires being highly organized and you neurotically track your household finances in a detailed, color-coded spreadsheet, most hiring managers would love to know that because it says something about the kind of attention to detail you’d bring to the job. That’s not something you could put on your résumé, but it can go in your cover letter.

Or maybe your last boss told you that you were the most accurate data processor she’d ever seen, or came to rely on you as her go-to person whenever a lightning-fast rewrite was needed. Maybe your co-workers called you “the client whisperer” because of your skill in calming upset clients. Maybe you’re regularly sought out by more senior staff to help problem-solve, or you find immense satisfaction in bringing order to chaos. Those sorts of details illustrate what you bring to the job in a different way than your résumé does, and they belong in your cover letter.

If you’re still stumped, pretend you’re writing an email to a friend about why you’d be great at the job. You probably wouldn’t do that by stiffly reciting your work history, right? You’d talk about what you’re good at and how you’d approach the work. That’s what you want here.

You don’t need a creative opening line.

If you think you need to open the letter with something creative or catchy, I am here to tell you that you don’t. Just be simple and straightforward:

• “I’m writing to apply for your X position.”

• “I’d love to be considered for your X position.”

• “I’m interested in your X position because …”

• “I’m excited to apply for your X position.”

That’s it! Straightforward is fine — better, even, if the alternative is sounding like an aggressive salesperson.

Show, don’t tell.

A lot of cover letters assert that the person who wrote it would excel at the job or announce that the applicant is a skillful engineer or a great communicator or all sorts of other subjective superlatives. That’s wasted space — the hiring manager has no reason to believe it, and so many candidates claim those things about themselves that most managers ignore that sort of self-assessment entirely. So instead of simply declaring that you’re great at X (whatever X is), your letter should demonstrate that. And the way you do that is by describing accomplishments and experiences that illustrate it.

Here’s a concrete example taken from one extraordinarily effective cover-letter makeover that I saw. The candidate had originally written, “I offer exceptional attention to detail, highly developed communication skills, and a talent for managing complex projects with a demonstrated ability to prioritize and multitask.” That’s pretty boring and not especially convincing, right? (This is also exactly how most people’s cover letters read.)

In her revised version, she wrote this instead:

“In addition to being flexible and responsive, I’m also a fanatic for details — particularly when it comes to presentation. One of my recent projects involved coordinating a 200-page grant proposal: I proofed and edited the narratives provided by the division head, formatted spreadsheets, and generally made sure that every line was letter-perfect and that the entire finished product conformed to the specific guidelines of the RFP. (The result? A five-year, $1.5 million grant award.) I believe in applying this same level of attention to detail to tasks as visible as prepping the materials for a top-level meeting and as mundane as making sure the copier never runs out of paper.”

That second version is so much more compelling and interesting — and makes me believe that she really is great with details.

If there’s anything unusual or confusing about your candidacy, address it in the letter.

Your cover letter is your chance to provide context for things that otherwise might seem confusing or less than ideal to a hiring manager. For example, if you’re overqualified for the position but are excited about it anyway, or if you’re a bit underqualified but have reason to think you could excel at the job, address that up front. Or if your background is in a different field but you’re actively working to move into this one, say so, talk about why, and explain how your experience will translate. Or if you’re applying for a job across the country from where you live because you’re hoping to relocate to be closer to your family, let them know that.

If you don’t provide that kind of context, it’s too easy for a hiring manager to decide you’re the wrong fit or applying to everything you see or don’t understand the job description and put you in the “no” pile. A cover letter gives you a chance to say, “No, wait — here’s why this could be a good match.”

Keep the tone warm and conversational.

While there are some industries that prize formal-sounding cover letters — like law — in most fields, yours will stand out if it’s warm and conversational. Aim for the tone you’d use if you were writing to a co-worker whom you liked a lot but didn’t know especially well. It’s okay to show some personality or even use humor; as long as you don’t go overboard, your letter will be stronger for it.

Don’t use a form letter.

You don’t need to write every cover letter completely from scratch, but if you’re not customizing it to each job, you’re doing it wrong. Form letters tend to read like form letters, and they waste the chance to speak to the specifics of what this employer is looking for and what it will take to thrive in this particular job.

If you’re applying for a lot of similar jobs, of course you’ll end up reusing language from one letter to the next. But you shouldn’t have a single cover letter that you wrote once and then use every time you apply; whatever you send should sound like you wrote it with the nuances of this one job in mind.

A good litmus test is this: Could you imagine other applicants for this job sending in the same letter? If so, that’s a sign that you haven’t made it individualized enough to you and are probably leaning too heavily on reciting your work history.

No, you don’t need to hunt down the hiring manager’s name.

If you read much job-search advice, at some point you’ll come across the idea that you need to do Woodward and Bernstein–level research to hunt down the hiring manager’s name in order to open your letter with “Dear Matilda Jones.” You don’t need to do this; no reasonable hiring manager will care. If the name is easily available, by all means, feel free to use it, but otherwise “Dear Hiring Manager” is absolutely fine. Take the hour you just freed up and do something more enjoyable with it.

Keep it under one page.

If your cover letters are longer than a page, you’re writing too much, and you risk annoying hiring managers who are likely sifting through hundreds of applications and don’t have time to read lengthy tomes. On the other hand, if you only write one paragraph, it’s unlikely that you’re making a compelling case for yourself as a candidate — not impossible, but unlikely. For most people, something close to a page is about right.

Don’t agonize over the small details.

What matters most about your cover letter is its content. You should of course ensure that it’s well-written and thoroughly proofread, but many job seekers agonize over elements of the letter that really don’t matter. I get tons of  questions from job seekers  about whether they should attach their cover letter or put it in the body of the email (answer: No one cares, but attaching it makes it easier to share and will preserve your formatting), or what to name the file (again, no one really cares as long as it’s reasonably professional, but when people are dealing with hundreds of files named “resume,” it’s courteous to name it with your full name).

Approaching your cover letter like this can make a huge difference in your job search. It can be the thing that moves your application from the “maybe” pile (or even the “no” pile) to the “yes” pile. Of course, writing cover letters like this will take more time than sending out the same templated letter summarizing your résumé — but 10 personalized, compelling cover letters are likely to get you more  interview invitations  than 50 generic ones will.

  • ‘I Had a Great Job Interview — Why Haven’t I Heard Back?’
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by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images


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