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Cover Letter for an Internship Example & Guide [20+ Tips]

Cover Letter for an Internship Example & Guide [20+ Tips]

Internships matter as companies want to employ those who already have work experience. Find one with a great cover letter for an internship. Here’s how.

Maciej Duszyński, CPRW
Maciej Duszyński, CPRW
Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Career Expert

Cut to the chase—

 

A good internship cover letter must convince the employer you’ve got the skills, willingness, and determination to succeed in your internship role. All the more so as companies tend to offer jobs to those who gained internship experience with them. To impress the employer, your cover letter for an internship must do the following:

 

How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

 

  1. Point out the particular position you’re applying for.
  2. Include the right keywords.
  3. List your relevant education and coursework.
  4. Add relevant skills and abilities.
  5. Describe why you’re the perfect match for the internship role.
  6. Explain what the company will gain by hiring you.
  7. Proofread your cover letter.

 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to write a cover letter for internship positions that will get you more interviews than any cover letter you’ve written in the past. Plus, you’ll get to see two full-length internship cover letter examples you can copy, tweak, and adjust to your needs.

 

Let's start with the cover letter samples for an internship, and then we'll show you how to make yours just as amazing.

 

The first sample internship cover letter is aimed at a position with a corporate financial institution—notice how the formal tone of this cover letter reflects a more “traditional” company culture.

 

Sample Cover Letter for an Internship—Financial Institution 

 

Peter Thurlow

4938 Spruce Drive

Los Angeles, CA, 90045

555-321-123-45

p.thurlow@email.com

 

10 October, 2019

 

James Watkins

Head of Human Resources

TD Finance

551 Massachusetts Avenue

Los Angeles, CA, 90024

444-345-543-12

james.watkins@tdfinance.com

 

Dear Mr. Watkins,

 

I was truly elated when my student project on cash flow improvement won the first prize in a local business club contest. Two months after that, my solution was implemented at a construction company where it cut change orders processing time by 20%.

 

I must admit it was no random win, though. I always had a strong desire to pursue a career as a leader in the finance function. As I believe the only way of reaching this goal is through adopting a results-oriented attitude reflected in initiative and accountability, I used my time at university to develop these. I also gained hands-on quantitative, analytical, and problem-solving skills by completing such courses as:

  • Statistical Inference in Management 
  • Analytical Methods for Business
  • Business Communication

 

I would love to demonstrate to you that my GPA of 3.98 doesn’t just show my commitment to learning but also reflects my inherent passion for finances and propensity to grow among like-minded people.

 

When Professor James Henry told me about an internship opportunity with TD Finance, I knew this was an unmissable occasion for further growth, surrounded by outstanding financial professionals.

 

Could we schedule an appointment next week to discuss how I could contribute to the Finance Leadership Development Program and help your company find optimal solutions to its current business needs?

 

Best regards,

 

Peter Thurlow

 

The second cover letter example you’ll see comes from a candidate applying for a more creative, tech-y internship. That’s why it’s written in a more casual, relaxed way.

 

Cover Letter Sample for an Internship—Software Engineering

 

Jennifer Kovacs

2448 Frederick Street

Sacramento, CA, 94567

555-456-654-98

jkovacs@email.com

 

10 November, 2019

 

Matthew Petersen

Senior Product Manager

Apple

One Infinite Loop

Cupertino, CA 95014

555-321-123-56

m.petersen@appl.com

 

Dear Matthew,

 

I was thrilled to see my iOS app for task management getting rave reviews from App Store users and commendations from more experienced developers on GitHub.

 

But this is only one out of three apps that I am working on after my classes at CalTech, from which I am about to graduate with a BA in Computer Science. Truth be told, I am quite positive that the other apps will also be well-received since—inspired by Apple engineers—I design them with one person in mind. The person who will use it.

 

This is why apart from completing a study program in algorithms and complexity, I took additional courses in UI/UX and graphic design as well as consumer psychology.

 

When Doctor Sarah Warren suggested I applied for the internship, she was spot on. I believe that Apple’s unique approach to building intuitive and simple software while respecting the customer’s needs creates the environment I would love to grow in and contribute to.

 

Can we schedule a call this week to discuss my ideas on how I can contribute to the projects I would be working on with some of the best software engineers on the planet?

 

Best regards,

 

Jennifer Kovacs

 

PS—I would love to show you how my A/B testing initiatives helped me optimize the navigation panel.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

internship resume and cover letter set

Internship Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

Send your cover letter for internship positions along with an internship resume that proves you’re the #1 pick. See our guide: How to Write an Internship Resume for College Students

 

Now, let's dissect the examples and see how to write a cover letter for an internship like that:

 

1

Use the Best Internship Cover Letter Template

 

Just like a well-written thesis, your internship cover letter must contain several recognizable sections that make it easy to read and comprehend.

 

The checklist below will help you see to it that you’ve included everything that’s necessary:

 

Cover Letter Template for an Internship—Checklist

 

  • Your Contact Details
  • Company Contact Information
  • Dear + [Hiring Manager’s Name]
  • Paragraph #1: Introduction with an achievement to hook the reader
  • Paragraph #2: Relevant skills/coursework + why you fit perfectly
  • Paragraph #3: Your passion + why the company appeals to you
  • Paragraph #4: Call to action
  • Salutation [e.g. Best regards + your name]
  • Postscript (optional)—One more achievement of yours

 

Of course, nothing is set in stone and you’re free to modify the structure and rearrange the sections of your internship cover letter. However, we recommend that your document includes all the information listed above.

Pro Tip: Take a good look at the internship offer before you sit down to typing anything up. See if the company is looking for specific skills, coursework, experience, or characteristics. Double-check formal requirements. Note everything down and include all the key information.

If you don’t know how to format your cover letter for an internship right, our cover letter builder will do it for you. Alternatively, you can check out our guide on Cover Letter Format

 

2

Start Your Internship Cover Letter Right

 

The very first sentence of your cover letter for an internship should make a lasting impression on the hiring manager.

 

If it doesn’t, they’ll move on to the next candidate—

 

Maybe they have something more interesting to say. 

 

To prevent this from happening, you need to roll out the big guns right away.

 

The good example below is Apple-worthy. And I don’t mean the fruit. 

 

Internship Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]

 

RIGHT EXAMPLE

Dear [Hiring Manager Name],

 

I was thrilled to see my iOS app for task management getting rave reviews from App Store users and commendations from more experienced developers on GitHub.

 

But this is only one out of three apps that I am working on after my classes at CalTech, from which I am about to graduate with a BA in Computer Science. Truth be told, I am quite positive that the other apps will also be well-received since—inspired by Apple engineers—I design them with one person in mind. The person who will use it.

 

So—

 

What is it exactly that makes this internship cover letter introduction stand out?

 

The first sentence is the earthquake—it tells the recruiter what the candidate’s biggest achievement is. The section that follows is supposed to reinforce and sustain the wow effect by:

  • Adding more relevant achievements.
  • Introducing the candidate through her actions.
  • Showing she’s a match by specifying her field of study.
  • Explaining how she’s aligned with the company’s own values.

 

In short, it’s a killer internship cover letter opening. In contrast to the one below: 

 

wrong example

I would love to get this internship. If you hire me, I'll work extremely hard and bring all my considerable passion to bear as your dedicated employee. I've completed rigorous coursework at CalTech and I’m about to earn my BA in Computer Science. In addition...

 

Yeah, right. Next.

 

But—

 

What's wrong with internship cover letters like that?

 

Well, nothing. Provided it's the only one the manager reads and their expectations as to the candidates are rather low.

 

Why?

 

Everybody applying for this internship will promise to work hard. Everybody is about to earn a degree. Everybody completed coursework.

 

If companies were looking for just anybody, no one would even bother posting any job ad in the first place. They’d just offer the internship to a random passer-by.

 

Plus, the 2019 NACE Job Outlook survey shows that for prospective employers it’s the internship with their organization that’s the most important hiring factor. So open your cover letter like you’re applying for your future job!

Pro Tip: In this day and age it’s likely you’ll be typing up an email cover letter for an internship. If that’s the case you can skip the street address and start off with the greeting. Just remember to put your phone number (and email address if you like) under your name at the bottom of the message.

Don’t have a great idea for starting your internship cover letter? This guide will help you out: How to Start a Cover Letter

 

3

Write a Rockstar Internship Cover Letter Middle Sections

 

Here’s the deal—

 

Your internship cover letter needs to show you’re cut out for the role.

 

Why?

 

Internships are addressed to a specific set of candidates. The ones who fit the specified criteria will be considered—the others will be ignored. All the more so as the number of applicants pursuing summer jobs is soaring, especially with financial institutions.

 

The second paragraph of your cover letter for an internship is the right place to show you have it all.

 

Look at the example below:

 

Internship Cover Letter Examples [Middle Paragraphs] 

 

RIGHT EXAMPLE

I must admit it was no random win, though. I always had a strong desire to pursue a career as a leader in the finance function. As I believe the only way of reaching this goal is through adopting a results-oriented attitude reflected in initiative and accountability, I used my time at university to develop these. I also gained hands-on quantitative, analytical, and problem-solving skills by completing such courses as:

  • Statistical Inference in Management 
  • Analytical Methods for Business
  • Business Communication

 

I would love to demonstrate to you that my GPA of 3.98 doesn’t just show my commitment to learning but also reflects my inherent passion for finances and propensity to grow among like-minded people.

 

Why is it so effective?

 

It’s tailored to a specific internship opening. The employer is looking for candidates willing to take on leadership positions, displaying a results-oriented attitude, with good analytical and problem-solving skills. In addition, one of the requirements for this internship role is a GPA of 3.5 or higher.And this is exactly what the middle section of the cover letter highlights. Plus, it contains the right keywords.

 

Now take a look at the example below. It’s cute but completely misses the point and doesn’t address the employer’s specific requirements for the position.

 

WRONG EXAMPLE

I was always interested in finances and that’s why I decided to pursue a degree in this field of study. Now I would love to prove myself in some real-life situations to see how all my knowledge can be applied to solving business problems. I am also a great team player and a creative thinker.

 

I would be delighted to have an opportunity to learn and develop at your company.

 

Remember—

 

Relevance is key to landing the internship role. If you know who the employer seeks, show them you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for.

Pro Tip: If you have no internship offer to fall back on, one way of addressing the employer’s specific needs is by arranging an informational interview with the company’s current or former employees.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

Not sure about the best length for your cover letter? Our guide has all the answers: How Long a Cover Letter Should Be

 

4

End Your Cover Letter for an Internship With a CTA

 

Your cover letter for an internship doesn't only have to introduce you to the recruiter.

 

It should also help you land you the interview.

 

So—

 

Don't forget to ask.

 

There's nothing wrong about asking… if you know how to do it in a professional way.

 

Call me at your earliest convenience won't work.

 

Here's what you can do instead:

 

Cover Letter for Internship Examples [Ending] 

 

RIGHT EXAMPLE

When Professor James Henry told me about an internship opportunity with TD Finance Inc., I knew this was an unmissable occasion for further growth, surrounded by outstanding financial professionals.

 

Could we schedule an appointment next week to discuss how I could contribute to the Finance Leadership Development Program and help your company find optimal solutions to its current finance business needs?

 

Best regards,

 

[Your Name]

 

Why does this ending rock?

 

First off, it mentions the name of the person that referred you. This simple addition will help you establish rapport with the reader. How so? By including the name of someone the recruiter knows, you're no longer just a name on a sheet of paper. You’re a real person with a mutual friend.

 

The last paragraph of your internship cover letter is also the right place for a call to action. To add a sense of urgency, suggest a particular time to meet—this week, for example.

 

And remember:

 

When you're asking for something, make sure you show that you have something to give back.

 

Now—

 

Have a look at what your ending should not look like:

 

WRONG EXAMPLE

Thank you for your time and I would love the chance to talk more with you.

 

Honestly, I don’t even think with an ending like this you have to actually thank anybody for their time. They’ll never give it to you in the first place.

 

After all, a generic internship cover letter will cause a generic reaction (read: rejection).

 

Internship opportunities are for those who can shake the hiring manager from their stupor.

Pro Tip: Adding the postscript at the very end of your internship cover letter will additionally draw the reader’s attention. However, it’s an optional section so use it only when you really have an ace up your sleeve.

Can’t come up with an ending worthy of the recruiter’s attention? Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to sign off in an unforgettable manner in our guide on How to End a Cover Letter

 

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s how to write a cover letter for an internship:

  • Grab the hiring manager’s attention from the very first sentence.
  • Show off your relevant skills and add info on coursework.
  • Let the recruiter see you’re cut out for the role.
  • Explain why you believe the company’s values are in line with yours.
  • Include a call to action, i.e. ask the hiring manager for a call or meeting.
  • See to it that both your cover letter and resume are relevant and targeted.

 

This is it! That’s how you write a great cover letter for an internship. If you have any other questions or would like to share your advice, give us a shout out in the comments below. We’re always happy to hear from you.

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Maciej Duszyński, CPRW
Maciej Duszyński, CPRW
Maciej is a career expert with a solid background in the education management industry. He is a certified professional resume writer (CPRW). Maciej worked with people at all stages of their career paths: from interns to directors to C-suite members, he now helps you find your dream job.

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