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Internship Cover Letter Example

Use this Internship cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Internship positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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Internship Cover Letter Example
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The cover letter — also known as the application letter — is the perfect “covincer” for getting an internship position. In some instances, it's more powerful than a graduate’s temporarily thin resume. Whether you’re fresh out of college, just finished high school or simply moving from one professional field to another  - internships are a great way to get your foot in the door. They lead to mentorships, dream jobs, awesome projects, stable salaries and incredible growth opportunities.

Internships are typically associated with relate to desirable employers, exclusive fields or difficult-to-learn professions. The competition can be high, but that should not stop you, with a whole arsenal of tools and knowledge from Resume.io to back you up. 

You might have already perfected your resume. If not - make sure to check out our profession-specific cover letter examples, cover letter templates and general resume writing guide. Now you’re looking for the final touch to seal the d

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In this guide, along with the corresponding internship cover letter example, we’ll go through the following topics to help you write the best cover letter possible:

  • Outline the goal and competitive advantage of your cover letter
  • Explain the cover letter structure and provide free examples and templates to check out
  • How to maximize the effect of each cover letter paragraph: header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion
  • Insights into the psychology of cover letter writing, from the hiring manager’s perspective
  • Common mistakes to avoid when writing your internship cover letter.

However, let’s rewind for a moment. Ask yourself: why do I even need a cover letter? If the application process explicitly requires you to submit one, the answer’s easy. But it's crucial to understand why a cover letter is a useful tool for ANY type of career opportunity.

What is an internship cover letter? 

Primary purpose

A cover letter is a relatively free-form document, roughly 300 to 400 words and limited to one page, submitted along with your resume. The goal is to introduce yourself to the company and hiring manager by briefly outlining your achievements, character, skills and personal qualities. In addition, the cover letter establishes a direct and immediate personal connection, explaining why you’re a great pick for the position. Of course, it’s easier to understand these ideas based on real cover letter samples and templates, which you can analyze below.

Expert tip

What if the internship job application doesn't require a cover letter? Unless you are specifically directed not to submit a cover letter, then send one anyway! It will increase the likelihood of a personal connection with the employer/hiring manager.

The "percentage approach" to getting a great internship position is explained below. With just a half-hour invested with resume.io’s expert tools, you can up the chances of reaching your professional goal. Creating just one short document is a small price to pay for the opportunity of an awesome career in the future!

In our resume writing guide , as well as our occupation-specific guides, we note that the resume is a highly structured document. The only part where you get to “sound like" yourself is in the resume summary (profile). Those three to five short sentences don't allow much room to convince the hiring manager you are diligent, creative and a delight to work with — someone worthy of a chance.

Ultimately, you want to stand out from the crowd of generic pitches that flood companies every day. An effective internship cover letter can help you achieve that human connection and emotional resonance. 

Secondary purpose

As we noted already, internships are a highly competitive avenue to your future career goals. What we want to do is to maximize your chances. A key realization in the hunt for a great internship is that you’re playing a game of percentages. In a vast pool of candidates, each one has access to a number of tools and tactics that add up to a percentage chance of success: 30%, 60%, 90% or some other likelihood. 

Your goal isn't to find some trick to hack the system. Your goal is to maximize the number of tools that influence that golden outcome. Sounds like a bit of work, right? But it also sends an extremely hopeful message: everybody has a chance!

Statistical insight

Based on a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), of the graduating seniors who received at least one job offer, 57.5% previously had an internship position. 

What does this mean? First, the drive towards intern positions is high. You need to stand out and increase your chances. Second, while correlation doesn't equal causation, the signs of internships leading to careers are still quite strong.

Let’s take Imaginary Candidate A, who has a prestigious degree or certification. Let’s be very generous and say that this advantage provides a +50% chance of getting to the interview. But if Imaginary Candidate A has been resting on their laurels, the competitive advantage ends at that 50%. With a bland resume, without a cover letter, without employer research, the percentages of success stop adding up.

Now let’s consider Imaginary Candidate B. This applicant has an awesome resume, perfectly tailored to the employer — let’s assume an arbitrary +30% — and it is optimized for the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), so that adds another +15%. Candidate B also did research on the employer and position, earning another +15%, and has a passionate, professionally convincing cover letter, also worth +15%. So the chances of success for Candidate B sits at 75%. Out of the two candidates, who do you think is going to get that interview? The numbers, of course are semi-arbitrary, but the point stands.

Best format for an internship cover letter 

The cover letter structure for any intern position will usually be the same or similar, regardless of profession or position. Cover letters should include these key components:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting
  • The introduction
  • The cover letter body
  • The conclusion
  • The signature.
Internship - Best format cover l
Internship - Best format cover letter

For an in-depth look at writing each of these sections, as well as free example sentences  - make sure to check out our overall guide to cover letters.

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Mr. Vince,

I am applying for the internship role in Business Administration at your esteemed organisation.

I am currently in year 2 of a Masters in Business Administration and I'm eager to gain experience, which hopefully would help me to garner a full time position in your company in the future.

The skills I possess would make me an ideal fit for the role, as I'm meticulous with detail, have a can-do positive attitude, and fit in well in different environments.

I enjoy working as part of a team, but I am equally comfortable working on my own initiative.

London Bridge Support Services is a company that I'm excited at the prospect of working for, as you have an outstanding reputation for delivering a quality service to customers. This is shown by the awards you have claimed over the years and your reviews on Glassdoor etc.

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

It would welcome the opportunity to discuss my experience in more detail and, of course, hear more about your organisation.

Regards

Felicity Kendwell

Copied!

The cover letter header

The header of an internship cover letter performs two functions. The primary one is to provide all the necessary contact/personal information that the employer requires. If you’re submitting your cover letter through an online application system, keep the header brief; don’t bloat the document. 

However, the cover letter is likely to circulate within the company, so it’s useful to have some of your info up there, to avoid becoming “nameless." 

The secondary function of the header is to visually grab the reader's attention, as most people’s eyes move from top left to bottom right on any page. 

The goal of the cover letter header: supply the necessary contacts, identify the document as belonging to yourself and to grab visual attention.

Expert tip

Align document styles!

It’s always a good idea to align the writing style and formatting of your resume and cover letter, including in the header. First, it shows you’re organized and consistent. Secondly, this will allow hiring managers to associate the documents with you personally and recognize them easily. This is called emotional and visual coding. People will remember two documents that looked and “sounded” similar. Most importantly, they’ll remember you!

If you’d like your cover letter and for your resume to work as a powerful duo - check out our guide and ready-to-edit example for an internship resume . Aligning the styles, thoughts and formatting of the resume and cover letter is a  tried and true tactic that has been shown to yield great results for many professionals!

The cover letter greeting

Your internship cover letter greeting should be respectful and open-minded. Keep in mind that internships are a junior position. The degree of formality will be defined by the character of the organization to which you’re applying. 

The goal of the cover letter greeting: address the recipient, establish a connection in the right tone. If you have the recipient's name - use it. All human beings perk up when reading their own name.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Mr. Vince,

Copied!
Expert tip

The importance of names and addressed greetings.

You might not always have the name of the person you’re addressing. Sometimes, even sleuthing for it may cross privacy lines.  If the organization to which you’re applying took pains to hide the identity of hiring decision-makers, uncovering the name of the manager through stalker-like research might raise red flags.

However, if the information about who’s going to read your cover letter lies on the surface, do NOT underestimate the power of addressing people by name. Address them in a group if you have to. Name several people (“Dear Mr. Jones and Mrs. Smith”) or address one and include a respectful mention of a group (“Greetings, Ms. Lee and the ABC Company team,”).

It has been proven on a scientific level, that hearing your own name elicits a neuro-chemical reaction in the brain. People respond to a personal approach. This is even more resonant in our age of cold digital communication that only imitates real socialization.

In the absence of a name, try to use warmer or less "faceless" words. Try “team,” or if the company has a warm, sociable image,  sometimes “family” is good (“Greetings, Resume.io team!” or “Greetings to the Hallmark company family”).

The cover letter introduction

This is one of the most crucial parts of the cover letter, as it contains your opening sentence — your best foot forward. Avoid being bland at all costs, but don’t go too far with eccentricity. As an intern, you want to open by projecting: respectfulness, energy and work discipline/ethic.

The goal of the cover letter introduction: grab emotional attention, don’t ramble, introduce yourself in one powerful, friendly but professional sentence. 

A good tactic is to drop in one or two of your most impressive and relevant achievements / factual results/ qualities/ skills you have.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

I am applying for the internship role in Business Administration at your esteemed organisation.

Copied!

The cover letter body

This is the main text-heavy section of your internship cover letter. Use it to strengthen and expand the opening theme of your introduction. Explain WHY you’re a good fit for the internship role, and what qualities and achievements prove that. 

The STAR method is a great way to describe your achievements in terms of Situation, Task, Action and positive Result. Strong action verbs help you convey a sense of accomplishment and energy. Describing hard and soft skills shows concrete tools you have as an intern (think: time management, software knowledge, emotional intellect, engineering skills).

These are all the bread and butter of resume writing. Learn more about them in our general resume writing guide and our guide for an Internship resume.

The goal of the cover letter body section: provide the best examples of your productivity, strengthen your case for being hired on the basis of abilities and skills. Expand on the bold introductory statement by showing evidence (even in the form of personal qualities, if you lack experience).

Adaptable cover letter body example

I am currently in year 2 of a Masters in Business Administration and I'm eager to gain experience, which hopefully would help me to garner a full time position in your company in the future.

The skills I possess would make me an ideal fit for the role, as I'm meticulous with detail, have a can-do positive attitude, and fit in well in different environments.

I enjoy working as part of a team, but I am equally comfortable working on my own initiative.

London Bridge Support Services is a company that I'm excited at the prospect of working for, as you have an outstanding reputation for delivering a quality service to customers. This is shown by the awards you have claimed over the years and your reviews on Glassdoor etc.

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

Copied!

The conclusion and signature

The conclusion might be tricky part for some people, even if you aced the cover letter introduction and body sections. The key is to land on “determined” but not “too arrogant/forceful”.  

You don’t want to come off as entitled, but you don’t want to look indecisive either. Show that you are eager to talk about ways of contributing to the company, but don’t presume.

The goal of this section: create an effective call to action by conveying that you’re enthusiastic about the interview and contributing to the company. Finish on a passionate but respectful note. Avoid presumptuous demands!

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and signature example

It would welcome the opportunity to discuss my experience in more detail and, of course, hear more about your organisation.

Regards

Felicity Kendwell

Copied!

Writing psychology: cover letter tools and strategies

As a future intern, there are a few ideas/emotions you want to convey:

  • Eagerness and ability to learn: briefly described how you acquired new skills and/or thrived in new environments.
  • Knowing what you want (focus and determination): describe specific productive goals not vague platitudes.
  • Passion and sincerity: show that you care about your work and have lots of professional energy.
  • Professional focus: make your statements specific to your professional field if you can, demonstrate you have at least a basic understanding of the industry.
Internship - Writing psychology
Internship - Writing psychology

Rational versus emotional (fast versus slow)

Anything meant for people to read — emails, cover letters and even articles —  rely on understanding psychology. One of the basic principles used in behavioral economics is the division between fast (intuitive/emotional) and slow (deliberate/rational) thinking, as outlined by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman

Fast thinking governs most of our day-to-day decisions. Slow thinking “turns on” as a response to our active analysis, or as a response to emotional thinking. This is why it’s so important to inject at least some passion, emotion and energy into professional writing. This is also why it’s vital to use people’s names, and why it’s critical to grab the reader's attention.

Use tools like emotional language (sparsely sprinkled in like stardust in key places), direct personal addresses and unique, sincere thoughts to trigger emotional responses. You will make the recruiters stop and rationally consider you through slow thinking.

Expert tip

How to be heard and understood

A great way to make sure a certain point, idea, achievement or personal quality is taken to heart by the hiring manager (or anyone generally) is to open a sentence or paragraph with an emotional trigger as described above. Then move on to the factual data. You can even bookend factual proof with strong emotional points.

Check out and analyze this example:

“As a truly passionate person, I fall in love with my projects and put my heart and soul into ensuring they succeed (emotional). This is why my debate team in college reached the national semi-finals under my leadership and why in my last job as a coffee shop manager I came up with a system of shifts that increased profits AND the level of worker happiness by reducing stress (factual).

I thrive on satisfaction from a job well done, love contributing to the well-being of others and I know I will bring the same hard work and passion to this internship position if given the opportunity.” (closing on a strong emotional message, with a touch of humility to counterbalance the confidence).

Tone of voice and accuracy

Tone of voice is key for an internship cover letter to hit home. Now, you may not be into marketing and brands, but it pays to research how the company “talks” to its employees and the general public. Look at the organization's website, social media page and even the management's blogs/pages. Determine how formal, friendly or humorous the style of speech is speech, what are the corporate values and what personality types (for example, organized or creative) influence the company. Tailor the tone of your letter accordingly.

Accuracy lies with two important factors:

  • Adhering to the internship job listing and application requirements. This is your holy writ when it comes to a cover letter. Analyze the requirements, the general idea, the needs of the company. Look at your cover letter and listing side by side and make sure they correspond textually and in spirit.
  • Staying concise. A busy person, like a hiring manager, will become  overwhelmed if you are too vague or try to describe your life story. What you want is to provide enough sparse emotional triggers and interesting facts so they want to find out more.

Internship cover letter format and common mistakes

Let’s take a look at some of the hidden cover letter pitfalls that beginners often encounter:

  1. Typos and overly complex grammar. Proofread. Spell-check. Get a friend/relative to review your text. Don’t be ashamed or afraid of “peer review”. Fortune favors the brave and feedback is the key to success.
  2. Formatting errors and fonts. Common text editors are the bane of many beginners. They’re messy, prone to buggy formatting and headers. This is especially dangerous in cover letters, where you often need to place text at the top.  Choosing a font can be  headache, but is critically important for readability. Tools like resume.io solve these issues for you.
  3. Visual style. It’s a blank page with a few paragraphs. Simple, right? No, hardly ever. The balance of sentences and white space is key. If you’re a designer, you can handle this yourself. If not, it's best to use professional tools.
  4. Generic “copypasta” and word bloat. Understand this: nobody is expecting an intern’s cover letter to resemble a scientific treatise or a CEO’s letter to shareholders. Avoid long formulaic sentences like “In pursuance of the opportunity for internship, I’m writing to respond to the listing from the ABC Company…”. You’re a relatable person, so keep it short, straightforward and energetic.
Statistical insight

Paid or unpaid?

Surveys from NACE show that paid internships correlate more favorably with receiving job offers: 66.4% of graduates who were in a paid internship position were offered a job. Conversely, only 43.7% of unpaid interns received a job offer. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but a good stat to keep in mind.

Key takeaways for an internship cover letter

  1. The cover letter is the final “convincer” that lets you influence hiring decision-makers. It’s vitally important and extremely useful EVEN if the internship doesn’t require one.
  2. Adhere to the cover letter structure and remember the goals of each section.
  3. Use emotion and psychology to drive home factual points for your internship.
  4. Convey the right tone of voice and remember what employers are looking for in an intern.
  5. Avoid generic text and formatting traps from text editors. Use an appealing visual style (including design elements) to grab attention.

With resume.io, you can create a perfect cover letter in just a few minutes. There's no uncertainty, no hassle. Go out there and win!

Internship - Key takeways cover letter
Internship - Key takeways cover letter

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