How To
12 min read

The Best Way to Write an Internship Cover Letter

Reem Abouemera

October 11, 2022

Whether you’re a college student looking for on-the-job experience or a working professional planning a career change, internships can be a great way to kickstart a successful future in any field. 

However, like any job opportunity, you’ll need to follow a few standard steps to land the position. Writing an impressive cover letter is one of the most crucial. 

Not sure where to start? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! 

In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about how to write internship cover letters so you can land your dream internship. 

What is an internship cover letter? 

Internship cover letters introduce who you are as a candidate to potential employers. 

They are written like formal business letters and should discuss your:

  • Relevant experience in the field
  • Educational background
  • Career plans 

From outlining your skills to discussing your previous job experience, cover letters can enhance your application and even represent some of your personality. 

Though writing a great resume is just as important, cover letters allow you to mention additional details and explain why your background makes you a worthwhile candidate. 

Cover letters aren’t the place to get lazy with your job application, even if it’s only for an internship.  Since over half of recruiters prefer applications that include a cover letter, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try to make yours shine. 

 

Tips for writing a good cover letter for an internship 

Now, let’s review some proven strategies you can use to transform a mediocre cover letter into one that makes a lasting impact. 

  1. Use business letter format 

Since cover letters are like any other professional document, you need to format yours like a standard business letter. 

In the same order, place the following information at the top left of your letter.  

  • Personal contact information: Include your first and last name, address, phone number, and email. 

  • Date: Place the date as month, date, and year (for example: July 3, 2021).

  • Employer’s contact information: Next, you’ll include the name, title, company name, address, phone number, and email of your potential employer.

  • Professional salutation: Include a proper greeting right above the first line of text in your letter. Ideally, you’ll address the letter to the person who manages job applications for the position (for example: Dear Mr./Mrs.). However, if you aren’t sure what their name is or if they’re the proper person to address, it’s acceptable to simply greet the team you are writing to (for example: Dear Marketing Team). You can then follow this with the body of your cover letter. 

Once your letter has been drafted, you can wrap up with a brief farewell message and a personal signature at the bottom.

Business letter format example 

Gregory Johnson 

730 Documentation Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

July 3, 2021 

Mary Nielsen  

471 Recipient Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

Dear Ms. Nielsen, 

[Body] 

Regards, 

Gregory Johnson 

[Personal signature]

Don’t forget to try out Copy.ai’s Cover Letter generator tool if you want to kickstart your writing process with a premade outline.  

  1. State the exact role you’re applying for 

With proper formatting out of the way, we can finally focus on what will make your cover letter stand out from the rest: the body

Though you’re probably dying to dive into your past experience in the field or talk about your educational background, there’s still one more formality to get out of the way. 

It’s always a good idea to state the exact role you’re applying for in the first line of your letter due to a few reasons. 

It shows preparation 

By starting your cover letter with the mention of your desired position, you’re proving you aren’t copying-and-pasting the same document for a hundred other job openings. 

It shows you’ve carefully considered this specific position and thought about what makes you the best candidate in the pool. 

It provides context 

Recruiters rarely spend a day focusing on just one job opening. 

By reminding the reader about the position you’re applying for, you’ll grant them renewed context that ensures they understand why your information is relevant. 

It enhances trust 

A future employer shouldn’t feel as if your cover letter was hastily made. 

As small as it might seem, including this short line represents your effort to tailor your application to the specific position.

Example of stating the exact role

Dear Mrs. Evans, 

I am thrilled to apply for the Software Engineering Intern position at [company name]. 

  1. Focus on your motivation and passion 

It’s time to get into some of the personal reasons you’ve decided to apply for the job position. 

Since this is for an internship, you have a bit of room to discuss your motivations and passion for the opportunity, as most hiring managers won’t expect you to have extensive working experience. You’ll need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and willingness to learn! 

Since communicating your deep-rooted passion for your field through a resume can be difficult, the cover letter is your chance to bring that fire to the surface. 

Here are a few strategies that’ll help you make your mark. 

Talk about your relevant interests 

Just because you don’t have long-term job experience doesn’t mean you don’t have long-term passion for the field. You likely already have countless interests related to the position which you can use to your advantage. 

For instance, you might love coding as a hobby. This is certainly worth mentioning for a tech-related internship. 

Give specific examples

Even if it didn’t occur in a professional environment, it’s worth mentioning examples of when you showed initiative. 

You might have volunteered for an organization and led a major project, or maybe you climbed your way up to the presidential role in a school club. 

Whatever your experience and interests, recruiters want to know that you’re prepared to face and overcome challenges in the role! 

Express interest in the company

As we mentioned earlier, recruiters want to know that you aren’t copying and pasting the same cover letter from another application. 

A great way to make yours stand out is by briefly discussing your interest in the organization. 

For instance, you can:

  • Talk about how much you love one of the company’s latest products
  • Mention the influence it has over your career goals
  • Discuss why you think it’s a leader in the industry  

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself

Cover letters aren’t simply a blank slate to boast about your achievements, but they are one of the best places to sell yourself without leaning too hard into “bragging” territory. 

Even if you don’t have any previous work experience, you should still talk about your other accomplishments, such as:

  • College coursework
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer work

Example of showing passion and motivation 

Dear Mrs. Evans, 

I am thrilled to apply for the Software Engineering Intern position at [company name]. I am confident my educational background and extracurricular experience aligns perfectly with the position. 

For the past two years, I have acted as President at my University’s Coding Club, where I have had the opportunity to expand my coding skills and leadership abilities. Furthermore, I led a team of 6 members for a coding project that produced an improved mobile application for my University’s wellness center. 

I would love the opportunity to join the team at [company name], as I am consistently impressed by the company’s ability to innovate. Particularly, [specific example] has played a fundamental role in expanding my passion for the industry. 

  1. Showcase your ambition 

The previous points will help prove your relevancy for the position, but it’s worth reiterating the importance of showcasing your ambition. 

Your cover letter should show that you’re interested in doing more than just helping full-time employees complete random tasks. Rather, it should represent your willingness to go above and beyond, no matter how small the role.

Communicating your willingness to handle the job’s responsibilities and excel at them is all about showcasing your drive. For instance, you can add hard numbers to your specific achievements to provide more context and show recruiters you’re capable of earning results. 

Example of showcasing ambition 

I have maintained a 4.0 GPA at my University over the past three years while serving as Editor in Chief at [school newspaper name]. To date, the outreach strategy I created has resulted in a readership increase of 30 percent. 

  1. Focus on your education 

Again, recruiters often don’t expect internship applicants to have extensive job experience in the field. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should simply cut your cover letter short and leave this section blank. Instead, you can replace it with additional information regarding your educational background. 

This will show employers that you’re passionate about the field and prepared to kickstart a career. 

Here are some specific points to consider including. 

  • Relevant coursework: Mention specific classes you’ve taken that align with the position. 

  • Projects and achievements: While it might not have happened in a professional setting, classes often allow students to test their skills through assignments and projects, many of which are portfolio-worthy. For instance, a film student can discuss any production-related projects they worked on when applying to a media internship, as well as achievements that resulted from them.  

Example of focusing on education 

As a Business major, I have enrolled in various courses relevant to the field, including Business Statistics and Operations Management. I also won the title of Best Business Idea in my Creativity and Innovation course, which is described in detail in my portfolio. 

  1. Use the right keywords 

In the age of digital resumes and cover letters, most employers now use software to scan application documents for keywords related to the role. As such, you’ll need to incorporate these keywords throughout your cover letter to ensure it isn’t mistakenly sent to the “Spam” folder. 

Carefully review the job description and company website for clues on which phrases and keywords you should use. 

For instance, if a job description lists “time management” as a desired quality, try including relevant examples in your cover letter. 

Example of using keywords 

My time management skills are proven by my ability to enroll in 15 units per semester while involved in three University clubs.  

  1. Describe what you feel you can gain from the internship 

Though internship cover letters primarily focus on your previous experience and how it makes you relevant for the role, it also grants space for you to discuss the future. 

In most cases, employers have created internship programs to help students and young professionals better understand the industry and develop career-building skills, experiences, and relationships. 

So, in addition to what you’ll bring to the table, briefly mention why you want the internship. This shows recruiters you’re eager to work and learn, rather than simply add another bullet point to your resume. 

Example of describing what you can gain

Being a Marketing Intern at [company name] would be an invaluable opportunity, as it would allow me to expand my industry-specific skills and understand what occurs behind the scenes at a leading marketing agency. 

  1. Proofread your cover letter before submission 

Congratulations! You’ve followed our tips and outlined a cover letter guaranteed to get your application noticed. 

Still, we’re not quite done yet. 

Once you’ve finished writing your cover letter, step away for a few hours (or even a day or two) to refresh your eyes. When you return, prepare to put on your editing hat and review the document. 

First, look for sections that appear too long or irrelevant, and trim them down for brevity. Try using our free sentence rewriting tool for help reworking these sections. 

Then, with major changes out of the way, you can dive into smaller edits by carefully checking for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. 

Once it’s as clean as you can make it, pass your cover letter along to colleagues, family, friends, classmates, and others for an outside perspective. Use this feedback to complete a final round of fixes before submitting your application. 

Internship cover letter example 

Gregory Johnson 

730 Documentation Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

July 3, 2021 

Mary Nielsen  

471 Recipient Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

Dear Ms. Nielsen, 

I am submitting my application for consideration for the Art Intern position at [company name]. I am confident my educational background and industry-relevant skills will make me a powerful addition to the team. 

As a third-year Graphic Design student at [University name], I have expanded my expertise by enrolling in a number of design-related courses, including Advanced Design Studio and Interactive Media Production.  

Additionally, I spent this summer volunteering at a local Design Bootcamp, where I trained 24 middle school students how to use PhotoShop, InDesign, and other design software.  

Becoming an Art Intern at your company is an opportunity I have dreamed about, as I am always delightfully surprised by your team’s ability to think outside of the box and deliver industry-leading results. I know the position would advance my artistic capabilities and design skills regarding real-world applications. 

I look forward to your response! 

Regards, 

Gregory Johnson 

[Personal signature]

Final thoughts 

Writing a cover letter for an internship might seem like a daunting task, but it all boils down to these standard steps you can follow time and time again. 

So, next time you’re applying for a dream internship, be sure to follow this guide.

Finally, remember to take advantage of Copy.ai’s free AI writing tools to craft the perfect cover letter! 

How to write a cover letter for an internship is part of an ongoing series on how to write just about anything. It includes, but is not limited to articles such as how to write a business case, how to write an artist statement, and how to write an executive summary.

How To
12 min read

The Best Way to Write an Internship Cover Letter

Reem Abouemera
October 11, 2022

Whether you’re a college student looking for on-the-job experience or a working professional planning a career change, internships can be a great way to kickstart a successful future in any field. 

However, like any job opportunity, you’ll need to follow a few standard steps to land the position. Writing an impressive cover letter is one of the most crucial. 

Not sure where to start? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! 

In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about how to write internship cover letters so you can land your dream internship. 

What is an internship cover letter? 

Internship cover letters introduce who you are as a candidate to potential employers. 

They are written like formal business letters and should discuss your:

  • Relevant experience in the field
  • Educational background
  • Career plans 

From outlining your skills to discussing your previous job experience, cover letters can enhance your application and even represent some of your personality. 

Though writing a great resume is just as important, cover letters allow you to mention additional details and explain why your background makes you a worthwhile candidate. 

Cover letters aren’t the place to get lazy with your job application, even if it’s only for an internship.  Since over half of recruiters prefer applications that include a cover letter, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try to make yours shine. 

 

Tips for writing a good cover letter for an internship 

Now, let’s review some proven strategies you can use to transform a mediocre cover letter into one that makes a lasting impact. 

  1. Use business letter format 

Since cover letters are like any other professional document, you need to format yours like a standard business letter. 

In the same order, place the following information at the top left of your letter.  

  • Personal contact information: Include your first and last name, address, phone number, and email. 

  • Date: Place the date as month, date, and year (for example: July 3, 2021).

  • Employer’s contact information: Next, you’ll include the name, title, company name, address, phone number, and email of your potential employer.

  • Professional salutation: Include a proper greeting right above the first line of text in your letter. Ideally, you’ll address the letter to the person who manages job applications for the position (for example: Dear Mr./Mrs.). However, if you aren’t sure what their name is or if they’re the proper person to address, it’s acceptable to simply greet the team you are writing to (for example: Dear Marketing Team). You can then follow this with the body of your cover letter. 

Once your letter has been drafted, you can wrap up with a brief farewell message and a personal signature at the bottom.

Business letter format example 

Gregory Johnson 

730 Documentation Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

July 3, 2021 

Mary Nielsen  

471 Recipient Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

Dear Ms. Nielsen, 

[Body] 

Regards, 

Gregory Johnson 

[Personal signature]

Don’t forget to try out Copy.ai’s Cover Letter generator tool if you want to kickstart your writing process with a premade outline.  

  1. State the exact role you’re applying for 

With proper formatting out of the way, we can finally focus on what will make your cover letter stand out from the rest: the body

Though you’re probably dying to dive into your past experience in the field or talk about your educational background, there’s still one more formality to get out of the way. 

It’s always a good idea to state the exact role you’re applying for in the first line of your letter due to a few reasons. 

It shows preparation 

By starting your cover letter with the mention of your desired position, you’re proving you aren’t copying-and-pasting the same document for a hundred other job openings. 

It shows you’ve carefully considered this specific position and thought about what makes you the best candidate in the pool. 

It provides context 

Recruiters rarely spend a day focusing on just one job opening. 

By reminding the reader about the position you’re applying for, you’ll grant them renewed context that ensures they understand why your information is relevant. 

It enhances trust 

A future employer shouldn’t feel as if your cover letter was hastily made. 

As small as it might seem, including this short line represents your effort to tailor your application to the specific position.

Example of stating the exact role

Dear Mrs. Evans, 

I am thrilled to apply for the Software Engineering Intern position at [company name]. 

  1. Focus on your motivation and passion 

It’s time to get into some of the personal reasons you’ve decided to apply for the job position. 

Since this is for an internship, you have a bit of room to discuss your motivations and passion for the opportunity, as most hiring managers won’t expect you to have extensive working experience. You’ll need to demonstrate your enthusiasm and willingness to learn! 

Since communicating your deep-rooted passion for your field through a resume can be difficult, the cover letter is your chance to bring that fire to the surface. 

Here are a few strategies that’ll help you make your mark. 

Talk about your relevant interests 

Just because you don’t have long-term job experience doesn’t mean you don’t have long-term passion for the field. You likely already have countless interests related to the position which you can use to your advantage. 

For instance, you might love coding as a hobby. This is certainly worth mentioning for a tech-related internship. 

Give specific examples

Even if it didn’t occur in a professional environment, it’s worth mentioning examples of when you showed initiative. 

You might have volunteered for an organization and led a major project, or maybe you climbed your way up to the presidential role in a school club. 

Whatever your experience and interests, recruiters want to know that you’re prepared to face and overcome challenges in the role! 

Express interest in the company

As we mentioned earlier, recruiters want to know that you aren’t copying and pasting the same cover letter from another application. 

A great way to make yours stand out is by briefly discussing your interest in the organization. 

For instance, you can:

  • Talk about how much you love one of the company’s latest products
  • Mention the influence it has over your career goals
  • Discuss why you think it’s a leader in the industry  

Don’t be afraid to sell yourself

Cover letters aren’t simply a blank slate to boast about your achievements, but they are one of the best places to sell yourself without leaning too hard into “bragging” territory. 

Even if you don’t have any previous work experience, you should still talk about your other accomplishments, such as:

  • College coursework
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Volunteer work

Example of showing passion and motivation 

Dear Mrs. Evans, 

I am thrilled to apply for the Software Engineering Intern position at [company name]. I am confident my educational background and extracurricular experience aligns perfectly with the position. 

For the past two years, I have acted as President at my University’s Coding Club, where I have had the opportunity to expand my coding skills and leadership abilities. Furthermore, I led a team of 6 members for a coding project that produced an improved mobile application for my University’s wellness center. 

I would love the opportunity to join the team at [company name], as I am consistently impressed by the company’s ability to innovate. Particularly, [specific example] has played a fundamental role in expanding my passion for the industry. 

  1. Showcase your ambition 

The previous points will help prove your relevancy for the position, but it’s worth reiterating the importance of showcasing your ambition. 

Your cover letter should show that you’re interested in doing more than just helping full-time employees complete random tasks. Rather, it should represent your willingness to go above and beyond, no matter how small the role.

Communicating your willingness to handle the job’s responsibilities and excel at them is all about showcasing your drive. For instance, you can add hard numbers to your specific achievements to provide more context and show recruiters you’re capable of earning results. 

Example of showcasing ambition 

I have maintained a 4.0 GPA at my University over the past three years while serving as Editor in Chief at [school newspaper name]. To date, the outreach strategy I created has resulted in a readership increase of 30 percent. 

  1. Focus on your education 

Again, recruiters often don’t expect internship applicants to have extensive job experience in the field. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should simply cut your cover letter short and leave this section blank. Instead, you can replace it with additional information regarding your educational background. 

This will show employers that you’re passionate about the field and prepared to kickstart a career. 

Here are some specific points to consider including. 

  • Relevant coursework: Mention specific classes you’ve taken that align with the position. 

  • Projects and achievements: While it might not have happened in a professional setting, classes often allow students to test their skills through assignments and projects, many of which are portfolio-worthy. For instance, a film student can discuss any production-related projects they worked on when applying to a media internship, as well as achievements that resulted from them.  

Example of focusing on education 

As a Business major, I have enrolled in various courses relevant to the field, including Business Statistics and Operations Management. I also won the title of Best Business Idea in my Creativity and Innovation course, which is described in detail in my portfolio. 

  1. Use the right keywords 

In the age of digital resumes and cover letters, most employers now use software to scan application documents for keywords related to the role. As such, you’ll need to incorporate these keywords throughout your cover letter to ensure it isn’t mistakenly sent to the “Spam” folder. 

Carefully review the job description and company website for clues on which phrases and keywords you should use. 

For instance, if a job description lists “time management” as a desired quality, try including relevant examples in your cover letter. 

Example of using keywords 

My time management skills are proven by my ability to enroll in 15 units per semester while involved in three University clubs.  

  1. Describe what you feel you can gain from the internship 

Though internship cover letters primarily focus on your previous experience and how it makes you relevant for the role, it also grants space for you to discuss the future. 

In most cases, employers have created internship programs to help students and young professionals better understand the industry and develop career-building skills, experiences, and relationships. 

So, in addition to what you’ll bring to the table, briefly mention why you want the internship. This shows recruiters you’re eager to work and learn, rather than simply add another bullet point to your resume. 

Example of describing what you can gain

Being a Marketing Intern at [company name] would be an invaluable opportunity, as it would allow me to expand my industry-specific skills and understand what occurs behind the scenes at a leading marketing agency. 

  1. Proofread your cover letter before submission 

Congratulations! You’ve followed our tips and outlined a cover letter guaranteed to get your application noticed. 

Still, we’re not quite done yet. 

Once you’ve finished writing your cover letter, step away for a few hours (or even a day or two) to refresh your eyes. When you return, prepare to put on your editing hat and review the document. 

First, look for sections that appear too long or irrelevant, and trim them down for brevity. Try using our free sentence rewriting tool for help reworking these sections. 

Then, with major changes out of the way, you can dive into smaller edits by carefully checking for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. 

Once it’s as clean as you can make it, pass your cover letter along to colleagues, family, friends, classmates, and others for an outside perspective. Use this feedback to complete a final round of fixes before submitting your application. 

Internship cover letter example 

Gregory Johnson 

730 Documentation Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

July 3, 2021 

Mary Nielsen  

471 Recipient Street 

Dallas, Texas 75001

Dear Ms. Nielsen, 

I am submitting my application for consideration for the Art Intern position at [company name]. I am confident my educational background and industry-relevant skills will make me a powerful addition to the team. 

As a third-year Graphic Design student at [University name], I have expanded my expertise by enrolling in a number of design-related courses, including Advanced Design Studio and Interactive Media Production.  

Additionally, I spent this summer volunteering at a local Design Bootcamp, where I trained 24 middle school students how to use PhotoShop, InDesign, and other design software.  

Becoming an Art Intern at your company is an opportunity I have dreamed about, as I am always delightfully surprised by your team’s ability to think outside of the box and deliver industry-leading results. I know the position would advance my artistic capabilities and design skills regarding real-world applications. 

I look forward to your response! 

Regards, 

Gregory Johnson 

[Personal signature]

Final thoughts 

Writing a cover letter for an internship might seem like a daunting task, but it all boils down to these standard steps you can follow time and time again. 

So, next time you’re applying for a dream internship, be sure to follow this guide.

Finally, remember to take advantage of Copy.ai’s free AI writing tools to craft the perfect cover letter! 

How to write a cover letter for an internship is part of an ongoing series on how to write just about anything. It includes, but is not limited to articles such as how to write a business case, how to write an artist statement, and how to write an executive summary.

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