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Internship Cover Letter – What Are They?
Internship cover letters are just as important as resumes, if not more. They help the hiring manager learn in more detail about your skills and experience. They are typically sent along with resumes and offer detailed information on why you are qualified for an internship program. Effective cover letters explain why you are interested in the specific organization and offer an opportunity to the employer to determine whether your skills and experience are a good fit to the job position.
The purpose of sending a resume is to convey your accomplishments, education, skills and experience. The purpose of an internship cover letter is to explain to the employer how your accomplishments, education, skills and experience will add value to the organization.
Internship Cover Letters Typically Answer the Following Questions:
- Why you are a good choice for the organization?
- How your qualifications fit with the internship offered by the organization
- Why you are applying for the internship?
- What is the next step in pursuing an interview for the internship?
An internship cover letter helps the hiring managers understand whether your resume suits the specific requirements of the internship program. It offers an opportunity to the company to understand how your education, skills and knowledge can benefit the organization. It gives a clear idea of your strengths and how they can be incorporated into the organization and internship.
How to Write an Internship Cover Letter?
An internship cover letter is the first document that introduces your resume. A compelling cover letter can make the difference between obtaining an internship and getting rejected. Hence, it is important to put forth effort to write a compelling internship cover letter.
The cover letter should complement your resume. Remember it should not be a duplicate of your resume. It is often viewed first by the hiring manager, so it is important to create a good first impression. An effective cover letter tells the hiring manager your interest and knowledge about the job position.
Personalizing your cover letter with a greeting will help give it a professional look. Addressing the letter to a specific person in the organization will show that you put forth some effort to research the organization and the hiring manager.
Split the cover letter into 3 or 4 paragraphs. This helps increase its readability.
- In the first paragraph, mention the internship program for which you are applying. Also include details like how you learned about the program and specify special things that interest you about the company. If someone referred you, include those details in the first paragraph itself.
- In the second paragraph, emphasize some of your qualifications that are more relevant to the specific position. Also give brief examples to demonstrate your skills.
- In the last paragraphs, reiterate your interest in the internship program and highlight some of the qualities that make you suitable for the position. Also specify when and how you will approach them for follow up.
There are some important things to be considered while drafting a cover letter for internships. Ensure that it is free from grammar and spelling errors. Tailor the letter to the company and position. This can help you show that you are really interested in their company. You can also briefly explain what you would like to take away from the internship. You should be clear and concise in your communications. Always provide the hiring manager with the accurate information.
What Do You Include in an Internship Cover Letter?
An internship cover letter consist of many parts.
- Contact Information – The first section of the cover letter should include your contact information, such as your name, your address, city name, contact number and email address. Then list the contact information of the employer. If you do not have the contact information of the employer, leave this section blank. If you send the cover letter via email, include your contact information in your signature.
- Salutation – Appropriate salutation is crucial for any formal letter, including the cover letter. If you have the contact person for the cover letter, ensure that you include their name.
- Body of the Letter – The body of the internship cover letter should include details like the position for which you are applying for, why the hiring manager should choose you for a personal interview and how you will follow up. Please refer back to the section above.
- Closure - It is crucial to close the cover letter in a professional manner. For instance, you can use words like sincerely, respectfully, regards, best regards or thank you. The closure should be followed by a comma, a space and your name. Also include your contact information after the name, if you are sending an email cover letter.
Typical Structure of an Internship Cover Letter
Your Phone Number
Your Email ID
Name of the Contact Person
Name of the Company
Address of the Company
Re: Name of the Job Position for which internship Program is offered
Dear Ms. Violet (Avoid Sir or Madam)
I would like to apply for the internship program advertised in—— on ———-. Write why you want to get selected for the internship program. Highlight how you will meet the company’s needs.
Second and Third Paragraph
Outline your educational qualification, skills and achievements that are relevant to the internship.
Specify why you are the best suitable candidate for the internship program and how your skills will help meet their needs. Outline a few things about you that make you the most qualified person for the internship.
Thank them for reading your internship cover letter and their consideration of you for the position. Specify that you have attached a copy of your resume. Also tell when you will be available for a face-to-face interview. Give your contact details.
Internship Cover Letter Sample
Below is an example of an internship cover letter:
Why Internship Cover Letters are Important?
There are numerous benefits in writing a cover letter. The competition is fierce in the job market, so it is important to market yourself effectively. Creating a thoughtful cover letter can help create a lasting, positive impression in the mind of the employer. Also, many internship applications do not require cover letters, so by providing one, you stand out from the crowd.
Reasons Why Internship Cover Letters are Important:
- Internship cover letter provides you with another opportunity to explain your qualifications: The job market is very competitive today. Completing an internship program enhances your opportunity to get a good job. However, getting selected for an internship program requires you to use every possible tool to look worthy in the eyes of the employer. Cover letter gives you another chance to win an interview.
- Internship cover letter offers a clear picture of your career goal: If you do not send a cover letter, the hiring manager needs to spend his/her precious time in figuring out what position you are applying for and why you are eligible for the position. Cover letter helps him/her to learn all of these details before ever speaking to you.
Cover letter offers you an opportunity to express your qualifications. You should prepare the resume on the basis of facts and it is somewhat formal. However, a cover letter can be used to build rapport. You can include some personal notes about your interests that may help the employer or the hiring manager in deciding whether you will fit the job description.
The best cover letter is one that is infused with personality, energy and details about the skills and accomplishments of the applicant. If you are successful in drafting a good cover letter, you will be able to establish rapport with the employers and show them that you understand their mission well.
- Employers respond faster if you show interest in them: Internship cover letter helps you stress that you really want to work for a particular company. It shows that you have done research about the company and have the desire to work for them. This can be very attractive for the employers. Their chance of responding to you is more.
- Internship cover letter helps set you apart from the crowd: Most of the companies get hundreds of resumes and applicants. The hiring managers spend a few seconds on every application. Cover letter helps you connect with the hiring manager and tell him/her about your strengths and how you will help the company meet its needs.
- Internship cover letter introduces yourself to the company you are applying for: Introducing yourself in a professional manner can help increase your chances of success. If you send a compelling cover letter, your resume will surely get the attention. Cover letter offers you a platform to describe why you need to be hired for the internship.
If you skip the cover letter, you will miss a chance to sell yourself. A cover letter helps you build your brand professionally. A well defined brand will surely win interviews and increases your chance of getting higher paying internships.
Some Useful Tips to Write a Compelling Internship Cover Letter
Understand the common cover letter mistakes: The first thing most of the hiring manager or employer notices while evaluating an internship applicant is his/her resume and cover letter. If the cover letter is drafted well, you will easily be able to overcome the first hurdle and get screened in for a face-to-face interview. Avoiding common mistakes can help you create a professional looking cover letter.
- Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes: Spelling and grammar mistakes can make your cover letter look unprofessional. Use spelling and grammar checking tools available online or get your friends or family to review your cover letter before sending it to the employer.
- Avoid sending a generic letter: The most common mistake in cover letter is to use a generic approach and send the same letter to every company. Tailoring a cover letter specific to the job position can help you make a positive impression in the mind of the hiring manager.
- Avoid using out-of-date greetings: Many people use conventional terms like Dear sir or Madam. If you know the name of the contact person, you can write like Dear Jones. If you do not know the name of the contact person, write like Dear HR Manager.
- Avoid including too much information: Internship cover letters should contain some important information, such as your skills, education and experience. However, there is some information that you should not include in a cover letter. For instance, specifying your salary requirement in the cover letter should be avoided.
- Make sure the tone of the internship cover letter is positive: The tone of your cover letter should be positive and professional. You need to demonstrate that you have interest in the role and have a positive attitude towards the company. Selling yourself in a positive way can help you get better results.
- Ensure the cover letter is well structured: Internship cover letters should have short and crisp sentences. Make sure that you use simple language. It should have 3 to 4 paragraphs and should not be more than one page. Don’t forget to include the date and contact details. Though these are simple details, their absence can make you look unprofessional.
- Give attention to details: The quality of your cover letter should indicate that you have given attention to details and you have the ability to communicate in a professional manner.
Other Helpful Tips for Writing an Internship Cover Letter
- Use plain white photocopier paper to print internship cover letters on. You can even print the letter on more expensive paper. However, the content and layout are the most important things. Remember to use the same color paper for your resume. Don’t use paper with punched holes or lined paper.
- If you send the resume and cover letter via email, place the cover letter in the body of the email.
- Keep the cover letter brief and to the point. Don’t make the hiring managers spend more time than necessary.
- Use your own words to craft the cover letter in a natural manner instead of using formal clichés.
- Be sure to answer the question: “Why should I select you for this internship”?
- Specify when you are available to start work.
A cover letter for internships is not simply an addition to the resume. They are vital tools that help increase your chance of getting attention and being selected for the interview.
To get tips on writing an effective resume, please check out: Internship Resume Samples and Tips.
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By Diane Barlow