Cover Letter for an Internship: Example & Writing Guide

Cover Letter for an Internship: Example & Writing Guide

Getting an internship is tough. Don’t just send a CV, learn how to write a compelling cover letter for an internship to beat the competition.

When it comes to getting the best graduate jobs you can’t just rest on your laurels and rely on your degree anymore. You need to prove you’ve got practical experience to match and the best way to get it is with an internship.

 

Most major companies use internships to recruit for full-time roles. They aren’t just something to keep you busy for the summer, they’re the key to your future career success. It’s incredibly competitive, and to land the best offers you need a cracking cover letter for an internship to help get your foot in the door.

 

This guide will show you:

  • Internship cover letter examples better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • Cover letter examples for an internship that let you best show off your strengths and abilities.
  • An easy step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter for an internship.
  • Why a carefully targeted and researched cover letter is key to success.

 

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 cv and cover letter set

Sample Cover Letter for a CV—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

Need to write a cover letter for a different role or need more general advice? See our guides:

 

This internship cover letter template will help you launch a stellar career trajectory.

 

Marketing Internship Cover Letter Example

 

Jane Newman

101 New Cross Road

London

NW10 5NJ

0777 777 7777

jnewman_zety@gmail.com

 

6th May 2020

 

Christine Kane

Marketing Manager

The Useful Agency

9 Millers Lane

London

SW1 1AG

 

Dear Ms. Kane,

 

I am writing regarding the summer marketing internship with The Useful Agency. I am particularly interested in this internship due to your dedication to cutting-edge multi-channel marketing approaches. The Useful Agency is the leader in the field of bespoke campaigns for small to medium-sized tech startups and its role in assisting the growth of the ‘unicorn’ fintech firm Bazillion is legendary. My personal interest and academic focus on effective marketing for startups makes me the ideal candidate for this internship.

 

Your job advert says you’re looking for an ambitious final-year marketing student with a solid knowledge of the marketing challenges facing tech startups. Here’s why I will be the perfect fit for this internship.

  • Experience. Hands-on experience of the sector, having undertaken three work experience placements with London-based tech startups.
  • Knowledge. Set to graduate with first-class honours and have undertaken modules in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Digital Marketing. Currently working on a dissertation on the needs of digital businesses.

 

The reason I’m so excited about this internship is the opportunity to see how you create unique approaches for each client. The consistently exceptional testimonials you get from your clients is proof of your mastery of this approach and I would love the opportunity to learn from you.

 

Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this role and please contact me at your convenience, so we can discuss this opportunity further. I’d love to show you how my eagerness to build on my existing knowledge and experience would make a valuable contribution to your team.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Jane Newman

 

Nice. It’s safe to say Jane’s name is already shortlisted.

 

Send your internship cover letter with an equally impressive CV. Read more: Internship CV Example & Guide

 

Now here’s how you can write a cover letter for an internship that’s just as good.

 

1. Use the Best Internship Cover Letter Template

 

Let’s break down your internship cover letter using this template. It’s a simple guide to the structure you should follow. 

 

Sample Cover Letter for an Internship—Checklist

 

  • Your contact info and the date
  • The company’s contact info
  • Salutation—Dear (hiring manager name)
  • First paragraph––a well-researched and targeted introduction 
  • Second paragraph—your key skills and why you fit the internship
  • Third paragraph—show your passion and why you want to intern at this company
  • Fourth paragraph—your call to action (CTA)
  • Sign-off–Yours Sincerely/Faithfully plus your full name and signature.

Pro Tip: Addressing the hiring manager by name is a smart move. When they see their own name it instantly activates their brain, helping your cover letter get their full attention. Find the hiring manager’s name by checking the company website, researching LinkedIn or even calling the receptionist and asking. If all else fails go for Dear Hiring Manager, it’s a thousand times better than a stale and impersonal To Whom It May Concern.

Internship Cover Letter Format

 

75% of managers want employees with good written communication skills. And you can instantly nail that requirement with a professional cover letter layout. Here’s how to do it.

  • Get your cover letter address right. Your contact details and the date need to be right- aligned and make sure the date is formatted correctly e.g. 5th May 2020.
  • Then left-align the rest of your letter, but don’t justify, it’s against standard business letter style.
  • Set your margins to one inch on each side of the page and space between paragraphs. This creates plenty of white space, to frame your content and make it easier to read.
  • Choose a professional font set at 11–12pt in size. Good CV fonts are perfect for cover letters too.

Read more: How to Format a Cover Letter: Examples and Step-by-Step Guide

2. Start Your cover letter for an internship Right

 

Here’s the thing with internships. The best companies are flooded with candidates and recruiters haven’t got the time for sub-standard applications. They’ll spend less than 30 seconds on each and if you don’t grab their attention instantly it’s the ‘no pile’ for you.

 

But if you start off strong and grab their attention you’re in with a chance. So how do you do it? 

 

With ruthlessly researched facts.

 

These cover letter examples for an internship will show you how.

 

Cover Letter Examples for Internship—First Paragraph

 

The first of these internship cover letter examples will get you work experience at the company of your dreams.

 

Right Example

Jane Newman

101 New Cross Road

London

NW10 5NJ

0777 777 7777

jnewman_zety@gmail.com

 

6th May 2020

 

Christine Kane

Marketing Manager

The Useful Agency

9 Miller’s Lane

London

SW1 1AG

 

Dear Ms. Kane,

 

I am writing regarding the summer marketing internship with The Useful Agency. I am particularly interested in this internship due to your dedication to cutting-edge multi-channel marketing approaches. The Useful Agency is the leader in the field of bespoke campaigns for small to medium-sized tech startups and its role in assisting the growth of the ‘unicorn’ fintech firm Bazillion is legendary. My personal interest and academic focus on effective marketing for startups makes me the ideal candidate for this internship.

 

Now that’s going to give the hiring manager pause for thought.

 

What makes it impressive? Meticulous research. As you progress in your career your cover letter should start off with eye-catching professional accomplishments. But as you don’t have any professional experience yet, you need to give your reasons why you want this internship with this company.

 

That’s where your research skills come in. Look at their corporate website, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Search for current news using Google’s news aggregator and look for insights from previous employees and interns on forums like Quora and Reddit. And here’s what to find out.

  • The history of the company.
  • News and current events the company is involved in.
  • Major projects the company is undertaking.
  • Company vision and corporate values.
  • Background info on the manager you’ll be working under.

 

As you can see, that example is meticulously researched and laser focused. Compare it to this one.

 

Wrong Example

Dear Ms. Kane, 

 

I am writing regarding the summer marketing internship with The Useful Agency. As a final year marketing student I am looking to gain practical experience to put the knowledge I have gained from my studies into practice. I am due to graduate with first-class honours and believe I have the skills and determination to succeed in this internship role.

 

It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. The problem is that it comes across as an obvious copy-paste job that the candidate uses for everything. There’s no targeting the company and no research. Don’t be lazy and generic. Make every application targeted and unique.

Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter

3. Write a Compelling Internship Cover Letter Middle

 

So you’ve just written a perfect cover letter opening. The hiring manager is well and truly hooked. But unless you keep up the pace it’s still a one-way ticket to rejection. Stay in the race by including more proof of your passion and skills.

 

To do that, show:

 

  1. Your understanding of the internship duties
  2. How you can excel at those duties
  3. Why you want this internship and not just any internship

 

Look at these internship cover letter examples:

 

Cover Letter Examples for Internship—First Paragraph

 

The first of these internship cover letter examples pushes all the right buttons. It has understanding, proof and passion.

 

Right Example

Your job advert says you’re looking for an ambitious final year marketing student with a solid knowledge of the marketing challenges facing tech startups. Here’s why I will be the perfect fit for this internship.

  • Experience. Hands-on experience of the sector, having undertaken three work experience placements with London-based tech startups.
  • Knowledge. Set to graduate with first-class honours and have undertaken modules in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Digital Marketing. Currently, working on a dissertation on the needs of digital businesses.

 

The reason I’m so excited about this internship is the opportunity to see how you create unique approaches for each client. The consistently exceptional testimonials you get from your clients is proof of your mastery of this approach and I would love the opportunity to learn from the best.

 

That’s going to keep the recruiter fully engaged.

 

Do it like that internship cover letter example and you’ll get your career started in style.

 

But the next of our internship cover letter examples will get you nowhere fast.

 

Wrong Example

I’m fascinated by marketing because I love the process of promoting innovative new products and services, particularly the market research aspect of the business. I’d love to be able to gain professional experience at a firm that specialises in working with tech startups as it is a sector I am particularly interested in.

 

It’s ok. But it’s not going to get you an interview. Sure it’s got passion, but the first half of it sounds like it was taken from a textbook definition of marketing and the rest of it feels far too general.

 

There’s no understanding of the needs of the company and no proof of the claims being made. It just won’t cut it.

 

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

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

How long should a cover letter for an internship be? Read more: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? Ideal Cover Letter Length

4. End Your Internship Cover Letter With a CTA

 

Why is it that you can apply for job after job and never get an interview?

 

Maybe you just didn’t ask for one.

 

But you can’t just say ‘I want an interview’. You need to go about it the right way. It’s known as a call to action or CTA.

 

Here’s how to do it.

 

Cover Letter Examples for an Internship [Ending]

 

Right Example

Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this role and please contact me at your convenience, so we can discuss this opportunity further. I’d love to show you how my eagerness to build on my existing knowledge and experience would make a valuable contribution to your team.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Jane Newman

 

That’s a strong finish.

 

It thanks the reader, which isn’t just good manners, it motivates a positive response, too. Then it makes it clear you want to proceed to the next stage of recruitment and cements your passion and commitment to making a contribution to the employer.

 

Compare it to this.

 

Wrong Example

Thank you for your time. Please find attached my CV. Once again, I’d love the opportunity to work with you and as you can see I’m perfectly qualified for this position.


Not so good. It even uses the dreaded please find attached my CV. Don’t start with a bang and end with a whimper by using that sort of ending.

 

And remember, it’s Yours Sincerely if you address your cover letter to a named person and Yours Faithfully if it’s addressed anonymously, as in Dear Hiring Manager. Don’t use anything else, cover letters need to retain a certain level of formality.

 

End your cover letter in style and make a great last impression. Read more: How to End A Cover Letter

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of cv and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

 

Let’s sum up how to write an internship cover letter:

  • Follow a good format for your cover letter for an internship. It’s instant proof of your professionalism.
  • Start with a well-researched intro. An internship cover letter has to be passionate and focused to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Prove yourself. Reiterate what the internship requires. Then show how your education, skills and experience make you the perfect candidate.
  • End with a CTA. A cover letter for an internship should make your intentions known. Don’t just wait for an interview, ask for one. 

 

Thanks for reading. What else would you like to know about writing a cover letter for an internship? Do you want to discuss something more specific like a cover letter for a law internship or a cover letter for a fashion internship? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be happy to help.

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Jacques Buffett
Jacques is a career expert committed to delivering top-notch job hunting advice. His guides will empower you to craft winning resumes and cover letters.

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