Hacks For Students

Internship Cover Letter Example (Template Included!)

By: Emily Totura
May 21, 2021 • 6 min read

Internship Cover Letter Example

Are you ready to start your applications for internships? Well, along with preparing for your interview and making sure your resume is up-to-date, you should also be ready to submit a cover letter. While resumes are a great way to highlight your skills, education, and experiences, cover letters are the first thing that a hiring manager will see when they look at your application. Your cover letter will give recruiters a more detailed version of your accomplishments and skills. Not all organizations will require you to submit a cover letter, but you should still consider writing one as serves as a great way to tell the employer why you’d be the perfect fit for the role. In this blog, we will explore internship cover letter examples that will help you land your dream role.

three people sitting in front of table laughing together

Use Business Format

What’s the business format? Business letters, like cover letters, are typically shared between different companies to their clients, employees, and stakeholders. While today a lot of business is conducted through email, printed-out business letters are still used for important correspondences. When you begin writing your cover letter, make sure you include your contact information at the top. Next, include the date and contact information of the employer. Don’t forget to include a proper salutation and to sign your name at the bottom. Note, if you are sending your cover letter through email, you don’t need to include the contact information at the top. Instead, include it with your email signature at the end.

You should also use a standard font style, like Arial or Times New Roman, and size 11 or 12 font, as your letter should only ¾ of a page. You can format the address into a special cover letter header using different font or color, but be careful as it still needs to be neat and professional. Everything else should be typed in black ink.

Make Your Cover Letter Unique

One of the main purposes of a cover letter is to help your application stand out! In a pile of hundreds of resumes and cover letters, how can you make yourself stand out? To individualize yours, emphasize your skills and abilities that directly relate to the internship requirements. You might have a lot of skills and experiences. However, cover letters are meant to be concise and straight to the point. Remember, they’ll see your qualifications on your resume, and you’ll have more opportunities to highlights these in the interview. Market yourself in your cover letter as an asset that will bring value to the organization.

woman reading book

Use Keywords

One of the best ways to individualize your cover letter is by using keywords (also known as buzzwords) from the internship listing. Because cover letters are short, each word and sentence you use counts. There are three general categories of keywords: skill words, results-oriented words, and words that recognize your accomplishments. Keywords are used in several ways. First, the keywords that you use in your resume and cover letter are compared to the skills necessary for the internship. This process is done by a computer, usually through an automated applicant tracking system (ATS). These programs find specific words, and then it will rank all of the resumes based on this.

Why is this important? If you don’t have enough keywords, your resume and cover letter might not even make it to a real human to read. This might seem overwhelming, but it isn’t as difficult as it seems! Take the time to carefully read the internship posting, then brainstorm which skills and experiences prove that you are qualified. For example, if the listing says that they want their intern to be proficient in Microsoft Excel, you can mention experiences in school or at past jobs where you used Excel and other similar programs.

Tip: The job listing only highlights the most important skills that are necessary for the internship, so look beyond the listing. In looking at their company website and social media profiles, you can gain an even better sense of what soft skills they are looking for in their employees and potential interns.

Give Specific Examples

If there is a certain skill that you want to make known in your cover letter, you need to back it up with experience. This can come from past jobs, academics, or extracurriculars. Let’s say the listing states that the company wants an intern who is a leader. Maybe you were a club president, ran a focus group for a project, or maybe you were in charge of training new employees at a previous job. If you get stuck and aren’t confident in your example, pick something else. Think about your experiences and what skills you developed. After that, look at the listing and see if there is a requirement that correlates.

woman in white long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on brown wooden pathway

Highlight Your Academics

As a college student, you probably don’t have that much work experience. This is more than okay! Employers know you’ve been dedicated to school the past several years. So, if you get stuck trying to find examples from your part-time summer job, focus on experiences in school where you demonstrated the said skill.

Don’t Forget About Your Extracurriculars

Not only should you mention your academics and past work experience, but if you were involved in any clubs, sports, or volunteer work, you should add it to your cover letter—if it’s relevant. If you held a position in a club, this would show strong leadership and organizational skills. If you participated in a college newspaper, this could demonstrate that you have adequate interviewing or writing skills.

Follow Up

At the end of your cover letter, you should mention how you plan to follow up with the organization. For example, you might say that you’re going to call their office up in a week or so (tip: don’t do it any sooner). Keep in mind, if the listing says not to contact the office, then leave this part out.

man wearing headphones while sitting on chair in front of MacBook

Always Proofread

Getting an internship is highly competitive. Proofreading is a simple way to make sure that your application doesn’t get thrown away! You should also avoid being too wordy. Keep each of your points on target.

How to Write A Cover Letter Step by Step

1. Date and Contact Information

With any formal letter, it should begin with your name, contact information, and date. This includes your full name, mailing address, phone number, and email. This is important for the employer as this is how they will communicate with you about the next steps. It will be written at the top of the page as a header or aligned to the left side of the page if you are following a traditional formal letter format.

2. Employer Contact Information

This is similar to the first section, but this part includes the contact information of the employer. Start with the formal name of the person listed as the point of contact for the internship. Don’t forget to include their title if they have one. After, list the name of the organization and its mailing address. You don’t need to include their email or phone number like you did for yourself.

woman covering her face with white book

3. Salutation

While it may seem like a minor part of writing a cover letter, using a proper salutation is the first step to making a good first impression. You’ll need to include a formal greeting that addresses the person appropriately. This part might take some research by looking at the website or calling the office to make sure that you are contacting the right person and addressing them correctly. This is especially important if you are unsure based on their first name or doctoral status.

4. Body of The Cover Letter

Think of the first paragraph as your hook as you want to catch the employer’s attention. Most employers want you to mention the specific internship that you’re applying for. So, refer to the exact role and use similar words that you saw in the internship listing—just don’t copy it word-for-word. After, state your interest in the position and the fact that you believe you are the most qualified candidate for the internship based on your education, experiences, and skills. This paragraph should be short and general, but it should still be unique to your qualifications.

For the second paragraph, get more specific about these experiences. Emphasize your most important accomplishments that are relevant to the internship. If you are trying to get across that you’re a good writer, don’t just say that you’re a good writer. Instead, mention how you’re a writing tutor or an editor for your college’s newspaper. If you can add numbers, this is even better. Employers want to see proof of what you’ve accomplished. Keep in mind, whoever is reading your cover letter will also have your resume, so you don’t need to dissect all of your skills and experiences in this paragraph. Employers want to see that you are passionate, work hard, and have the best qualifications for the internship.

Second Half of Your Letter

Once you’ve expressed your interest in the internship and gave insight into your abilities, the third paragraph is your opportunity to show your understanding of the specific department and organization as a whole. This means that you should know their values, goals, and missions. Mention what your passions, goals, and interests are that correlate directly to the company’s accomplishments and mission statement. This is important because the employer wants to make sure that you will fit seamlessly into their company. If you can connect these dots for them, there’s a greater chance that you’ll be called in for the first round of interviews.

Adding the fourth paragraph is up to you. If you choose to include this, make sure to have a brief summary of two main points: your qualifications and interest in the internship. Once again, restate the position and show that you’re excited and eager for this opportunity. As with many internships, this is a chance for you to learn and use what you learned in class in a work setting, so emphasize your excitement to learn, to perform the job, and to be part of the company in general. You can also refer to your resume and any additional documents, like any recommendation letters. Don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to read your cover letter and for considering you for the role. This paragraph can often be redundant, so use your judgment before doing so. You can simply add 2-3 sentences thanking them for their consideration.

black smartphone near person

5. Closing

To finish your letter, choose a sign-off that is professional like “sincerely” or “best regards.” Then type your full name a dew spaces below so that you have room to include a handwritten signature in between. It’s best to use blue or black ink for your signature.

How should you send your cover letter?

You’ll most likely be sending your resume and cover letter electronically, and sometimes employers will have you attach your cover letter with the application itself. In some cases, they will ask you to email it to them. If you are submitting the file with your application or emailing it, make sure that your document is a PDF. Even if you know the company uses Microsoft, Word, documents can still get messed up, so a PDF is the safest way to send your cover letter.

Make sure that your file includes your name. So, instead of naming it “finalcoverletter3”, make sure it looks like “Sally-Smith-Cover-Letter.” Note that some companies will tell you how they prefer you to name your files. If you are sending your email directly in an email, paste your cover letter in the body of the email. However, when you have the option, it’s best to send a PDF attachment.

man holding glass door

Internship Cover Letter Example

Sally A. Jones

123 Main Street · Boston, MA 12345 · sallyjones@email.com · 000-000-0000

May 1, 2021

Joe Smith

Director, XYZ

Company Name

123 Street Name Rd.

Business City, NY 12345

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to be considered for the Payroll/HR Company Junior Executive Internship as advertised on your website. Currently, I am in the process of completing my Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from XYZ company. I believe that my experience in sales management makes me an ideal candidate for this internship.

Through my studies in classes such as Consumer Behavior and Selling Concepts and Strategies, I am knowledgeable in sales techniques and research strategies. As my enclosed resume indicates, I have experience in training employees, purchasing inventory, managing invoices, and creating sales and promotions demonstrated in my previous employment at XYZ company.

My interest in applying to the Payroll/HR Company Junior Executive Internship, aside from your strong reputation in the industry, is also because of the value that is placed on working collaboratively with other employees, such as the sales manager, intern program manager, and team of sales representatives. I am excited that this opportunity involves interacting with key professionals while working on professional developments and sales training.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration of my application. Please let me know if you need further information to support my application. I look forward to hearing from you.


[Insert signature here]

Sally A. Jones

We hope this internship cover letter example guide helps you navigate the application process! We wish you all the best in your journey.

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