How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship + Best Examples

Highlight your enthusiasm. Write about your skills, achievements, and interests in the context of the company culture to show you’re a good fit for the role.
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Astley Cervania
Updated
May 16, 2021

You hear the news. One of your classmates or peers was offered an internship at a competitive company. 

That’s awesome to hear. But now you’re probably wondering how they did it. 

Well chances are, they had a well-written cover letter to complement their internship resume

In this guide, you’ll learn how to write a cover letter for an internship. We’ve also included examples and cover letter templates that you can use for free, including a hack to create a tailored application in less than 60 seconds.

Here's a quick rundown of the steps on how to write a cover letter for an internship:

  1. Complete header section
  2. Greet the hiring manager
  3. State the opportunity you're interested in and why
  4. Start with work experience
  5. Highlight job-related skills
  6. Summarize why you'd be a valuable intern

Internship Cover Letter Sample

Marketing Internship cover letter

Are Cover Letters Necessary for Landing an Internship?

There are times when you can skip a cover letter because they’re not always necessary. But for internships, they’re extremely important. They can improve your chances of getting an interview by sharing your backstory to emphasize a real interest. A resume alone can’t do this as effectively as a cover letter. 

What to Know Before Writing an Internship Cover Letter

2 things to note: 

  • The company culture
  • The type of opportunity you’re applying for

The Company Culture

Know the core values of the company to understand how to align yourself with the company’s expectations of the ideal intern. Refer to the job description as well as the company’s website and social media pages. 

As you’re going through the steps discussed, link your points back to the company culture to tailor your cover letter. 

The Other Types of Letters 

Aside from the cover letter, there are 2 other formats to consider. 

  • Letter of interest: this highlights your interest in the company rather than the job. It’s also known as a letter of intent, which can be used to inquire about internships at certain companies even when they’re not being advertised. 
  • Motivation letter: this emphasizes your personality, goals, and ambitions. In contrast, cover letters emphasize relevant skills and experience.

How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship

Although internships are great opportunities, companies want to know how they’d benefit by hiring you. It won’t work if it’s a one-way street relationship where one gives to the other without getting anything in return. 

Here are key factors that a good internship cover letter includes:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Career goals
  • Personal attributes 
  • Relevant experience
  • Soft skills


1. Complete the Header Section 

The first part of a cover letter is the header section. This includes your contact details such as: 

  • Full name
  • Location
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Date
  • Company name

Here’s an example below.

Cover letter header section

2. Greet the Hiring Manager 

In other words, a salutation. This is where you address the person you’re writing to by using their last name like this:  

• Dear Mr. Jacquet
• Dear Ms. Jacquet

You're usually writing to the hiring manager. But if you can’t find their name, greet them by their job title or honorific such as: 

• Dear Hiring Manager
• Dear Sir/Madam

Never greet the reader by saying “To Whom It May Concern”. It lacks personalization and suggests a lack of effort to do research. 

To find the hiring manager’s name, ask a recruiter or someone who would know, e.g. a company representative. Or check the job description as well as the company’s website and LinkedIn page. 

3. State the Opportunity You’re Interested In and Why

The first paragraph is about letting the reader know the opportunity you’re applying for and why you’d like to be selected as an intern. Next, add another sentence or two to describe how the internship position aligns with your career goals, including what you could bring to the table. 

This is a concise summary that expresses your interest and why you should be hired. Get straight to the point and keep it skimmable. Make it clear to recruiters from the get-go what you’re after, how you can make a positive impact, as well as how you’ll learn and grow with the company. 

Here’s an example paragraph below. 

I’m writing to you regarding the marketing role that opened up recently. I came across the job description on [Website Name] and was delighted to find that my academic accomplishments meet all of the necessary requirements. I am seeking a challenging but rewarding internship, which is why I was drawn to this exciting opportunity.

4. Start With Work Experience 

Having any sort of work experience helps separate you from other candidates. But if you’re writing a cover letter with no experience, skip this step. 

Anyhow, discuss how your experience developed your skills and passion for the industry. Share details about how you used what you knew to complete your tasks as well as the impact of your own efforts. Use keywords to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the role. 

Then, link it back to how it prepared you as a professional and how it would make you a good fit for the internship. 

Here’s an example paragraph below.

My interest in Mechanical Engineering developed during an internship at Company A when my duties required me to learn and apply proper analysis and accounting procedures in order to organize and grow the company’s complex business pipeline. During this time, I designed a custom accounting system that efficiently and accurately recorded the coming year’s fiscal activity. This provided me with a strong understanding of practical accounting theory and applied internal control. Over the course of the position, I interacted regularly with our clients and worked as part of a team in the club’s executive board, forecasting cash flows and preparing quarterly budgets and reconciliations. My accounting and time management skills will be instrumental to my success at Company Z.

5. Highlight Job-Related Skills Through Qualifications

Mention your top skills including what you do best and the type of tasks you excel in. Whatever these may be, double down on how you developed those abilities. And ideally, it’s all relevant to the job responsibilities. 

Going to university and having a bachelor’s degree not only indicates you’re knowledgeable on a certain subject. But it can also give insight into your character by showcasing how you grew as a person over the years.

Instead of just focusing on what you studied, highlight the backstory of your academic achievements, why you made the choices you made, and the qualities you’ve developed.

Here’s an example paragraph below. 

As a junior marketing student at the University of Georgia, I have acquired skills in advertising, PR, product development, and market research. Currently, I hold a 3.8 GPA and have been on the Dean’s List every semester. While in the College of Business, I have strategically focused my coursework in the following areas:
• Marketing Analytics
• Marketing Management
• Survey Research
• Strategic Internet Marketing
• Integrated Marketing Communications

6. Consider Extracurricular Activities

In the same way you highlighted job-related skills through qualifications, do the same thing but through extracurricular activities. 

So, consider relevant coursework as well as the following:

  • Online courses
  • Clubs and societies 
  • Training
  • Side projects

Share examples of how you took initiative or surpassed the minimum requirements. These moments are impressive because it means you’ve taken the extra step, which demonstrates enthusiasm and a genuine interest in the industry. 

Having a history of exceeding expectations is a green flag overall.

7. Summarize How You’d Be a Valuable Intern

Write a sentence that summarizes the message of your cover letter and why you’re committed to working for the company. Describe how the opportunity aligns with your interests without repeating yourself. However, this must be linked to the company’s needs. 

Although cover letters expand on your background, everything written should be relevant to how the company would benefit from hiring you. 

Here’s a few example sentences to summarize your application:

• I am excited to apply my knowledge of the field of Web Design at Company X. I am eager to explore new ways for users to interact with devices and each other, especially considering how difficult it can be to find the most effective way to communicate. 
• I am confident that my knowledge and skills will prove valuable to Company Z. 

8. Imply the Next Steps 

End your cover letter by thanking the reader for their time, implying the next steps, and then signing off. 

The purpose of implying the next steps is to show enthusiasm. These calls to action could be one of the following:

  • Setting up an interview
  • Following up with the recruiter via email
  • Anticipating an email response

Here’s some example sentences implying the next steps:

• I look forward to the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how I could contribute to Company X.
• I look forward to discussing my application further and hope to meet you in person soon.
• I hope to discuss my eligibility for the role further with you in the near future.

9. Check If You’re Radiating Enthusiasm 

Ultimately, hiring managers want candidates who can help the company reach their goals. 

Read through your cover letter again to ensure you’re communicating how you’d be a positive addition to the team. Showcase the skills and attitude that they’d want to have onboard. Give signs that you’re an enthusiastic candidate looking to grow alongside the company. 

Ways to ensure you’re radiating enthusiasm are by:

  • Using keywords in the context of your achievements
  • Including non-generic action verbs 
  • Sharing hobbies and interests related to the job responsibilities

10. Check Spelling and Grammar

Edit and proofread your cover letter. A single spelling or grammar mistake costs you a potential interview. 

Trim your application as much as you can so that it’s concise and gets straight to the point. Anywhere more than 350 words, then it’s too long. The recruiter might not even read through it because their time to review applications is limited. 

Moreover, rephrase any passive voice sentences into the active voice to emphasize your impact. 

11. Submit Your Cover Letter 

Follow the steps in the job description or ask your recruiter for clarification on how to submit your cover letter. This is important because sending it wrong could lead to your cover letter being ignored. 

Usually though, here’s how they’re sent: 

  • Email it to your employer as a PDF attachment 
  • Upload it as a PDF into the provided box for online applications

PDFs are a good format because they're the most versatile. The formatting stays the same and isn’t changed in transition. 

Formatting a Cover Letter for an Internship

Here’s how internship cover letters are formatted:

  • Header section
  • Opening paragraph
  • Main body
  • Closing paragraph

Now, let’s go through what each aspect focuses on as well as how to structure your cover letter so that it flows well. 

How to Structure an Internship Cover Letter 

There are 4 parts that each focus on different aspects. Having this outlined on your cover letter based on your strengths and background helps guide your writing.

1. The Opening Paragraph

Introduce yourself by stating the position you’re applying to and why. 

Be transparent about how you’re a good fit for the role. Either share highlights of your professional background or refer to something specific about the company to show that you’ve done your research. 

2. The Main Body

This is made up of 1-3 paragraphs after the opening. Each paragraph zooms in on your career and educational background, starting with the most important details first. The purpose is to highlight the attributes and qualities you have that make you the right person to work with. 

3. Closing Paragraph

You have the chance to make a final statement summarizing how you’re an ideal candidate for the internship. Most importantly, this is where you thank the reader for their time and consideration before signing off. 

4. Sign off

The final step is to sign off on your cover letter. Here are two ways how:

1. Yours sincerely,
First and last name
2. Sincerely,
First and last name

6 Tips on Writing a Cover Letters for an Internship

Although it’s the same as applying for a normal internship, here’s a few more tips to help you secure the opportunity: 

  • Network and build relationships with professionals in the industry
  • Create and optimize your LinkedIn profile
  • Build your portfolio
  • Use action verbs that aren’t generic
  • Try volunteering
  • Mention industry trends

Internship Cover Letter Examples

Or get more inspiration from some of our best cover letter examples which helped our users get interviews at top companies like Apple, HubSpot, and Tesla.

Mechanical Engineer Intern Cover Letter

Network Engineering Intern Cover Letter

Network Engineering Intern Cover Letter

Use Rezi’s AI Writer to Create a Cover Letter for an Internship in 60 Seconds or Less

So far, we’ve shown you 12 steps to write a cover letter for an internship. But all of these steps can be skipped by using Rezi’s AI cover letter writer. 

Here’s how it works: 

  1. Enter the company name.
  2. Write the job position/title you’re applying for. 
  3. Select a previous job position/title to highlight. 
  4. Press “AI Writer Ready”.

If you’re not satisfied with the outcome, generate another cover letter or use what’s written as a starting point. Either way, this method saves you hours of your time. Use our AI cover letter writer to send more tailored applications with less effort. 

The only thing you need to get access to all of our AI tools is a Rezi account. 

Sign up here for free to get started. 

Or click the video below to see Rezi AI in action. 

 

Start Your Career on the Right Foot

Use this guide to help kickstart your career by securing a role at the ideal company of your choosing. 

It’s all good if your mind keeps going blank because you’re unsure of where to start. Even professionals at the manager and senior level struggle with knowing what to say and how to say it. But that’s what our cover letter templates and AI writer are for 🙂

Good luck! 

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