How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

October 11, 2022

Last Updated on October 11, 2022


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Writing a cover letter is an art in itself, while writing a cover letter for an internship is a crucial success factor and requires an immense concentration of intellectual and spiritual efforts. Here, we will discuss the main aspects of writing a successful cover letter when applying for an internship.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a work practice for students and those seeking to obtain practical experience within their areas of knowledge and expertise. An internship can be organized in companies, firms, organizations, and businesses. Usually, those institutions open internship possibilities in cooperation with educational institutions to allow students to obtain hands-on experience within their study programs. Students benefit from internships in the way that the latter gives them the necessary practical experience and exposure to their future work environments. They get new perspectives and make useful business connections.

At the same time, institutions are also interested in involving students in their operations – internships are a convenient way of testing and attracting new talents. In addition, as a common rule, internships are not paid – students work for free and companies are essentially not losing money. It’s a win-win situation: students are obtaining the much-needed practical experience, while companies are screening and attracting prospective employees for free.

The Essential To-Dos Before Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship 

When you are only planning to apply to an internship and to start writing a cover letter, consider the following to-do list:

  • Carefully consider your internship options. Selecting an appropriate institution from a broad list at random is not enough. Learn as much as you can about each institution and find the one, which matches your interests and needs the most.
  • Learn everything about the place you are applying to. The next thing you want to do is to study your choice as much as possible. Check what their institution does, their partners and clients, organizational units and departments, corporate values, and philosophy. These things help tremendously when writing a good cover letter.
  • Plan Your Writing Carefully. Estimate the time you will need to write a good cover letter and set interim deadlines. These deadlines will allow you to complete your work earlier and refine the available drafts. It is also useful to split the writing into separate parts – introduction, main cover letter part, and conclusion. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship

Step 1. Articulate your purpose. The most essential part of any cover letter is a clear purpose. In this sense, it is similar to a thesis statement in a conventional essay. Write clearly and persuasively why you are interested in applying to your particular internship vacancy. The following check-list of questions was designed to help you in this process:

  • What is your end goal? 
  • What do you want to achieve by working in this institution?
  • What specific skills and knowledge do you want to obtain?
  • How obtained skills and knowledge will help you in pursuing your academic goals?
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Step 2. Tell how you can help. Describe in detail how exactly you can contribute to the organization and people of your internship institution. What is it that you will bring to them, and what exactly their gains will be? Think about what kind of knowledge and skills you will share with them and if you are planning to work for this institution in the future.

Step 3. Describe your competencies and skills. Being motivated and interested is not enough. You need to meticulously list all your previous achievements, awards, and talents in general. Approach this cover letter part similarly to how you would approach the same part in a resume or CV. Make a spaced bullet-point list with all your achievements.

Step 4. Tell about your future plans. Having a clear image of your future desired goals and state is very important. This will send a clear signal to the institution of your internship that you have a strategy and a vision of the future. Communicate how exactly you will use the acquired knowledge and skills in your future studies and work.  

Step 5. Give your contact information. It is a matter of good tone to provide your contact information at the end of your cover letter. However, not only a good tone but also a necessity. You need to make it easy for your readers to connect with you straight away, even if you have already provided all the contact details in your CV or other supporting documents. This will allow your readers to ask you questions or invite you for an interview.     

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