If you are applying for an internship, you will likely have to submit a cover letter as part of your application. Your cover letter should be tailored to the specific internship and should include examples from your work, academic, and extracurricular experiences.
Read below for tips on writing an internship cover letter, and review a sample cover letter for an internship.
Tips for Writing an Internship Cover Letter
Use Business Letter Format
Use proper business letter format when sending a cover letter by mail. Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the contact information for the employer. Be sure to provide a proper salutation, and sign your name at the bottom. If you are sending the cover letter via email, you do not have to include the contact information at the top. Instead, place this as part of your email signature at the end of your letter.
Individualize Your Cover Letter
Make sure to write a unique cover letter for each internship for which you apply. Highlight skills and abilities you have that relate to the specific internship listing. The main emphasis of your cover letter should be convincing the reader that you will be an asset as an intern.
One way to individualize your letter is to use keywords from the internship listing. For example, if the listing says the intern needs to have excellent “time management skills,” include an example of how you have demonstrated time management skills in the past.
Provide Specific Examples
If you say that you have a particular skill or ability in your cover letter, be sure to prove this with a specific example from your past work, academic, or extracurricular experience.
Emphasize Your Academic Experience
In the letter, you can mention academic experience, if applicable. Especially if you have limited work experience, you might use examples from school to demonstrate that you have particular skills. For example, if the internship requires you to work as part of a team, provide an example of a successful team project you worked on during one of your college courses.
Include Extracurricular Experiences
You can also include details about your relevant experience from extracurricular activities or volunteer work. For example, a reporter for a college newspaper can point to interviewing and writing skills; a history of volunteering at a shelter can provide an example of strong interpersonal and organizational skills.
Towards the end of your letter, say how you will follow up with the employer. You might say that you will call the office to follow up in about a week (don't follow up any sooner). However, do not include this if the internship listing specifically says not to contact the office.
Proofread and Edit
Be sure to thoroughly proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors. Many internships are very competitive, and any error can hurt your chances of getting an interview. Also, avoid using too many words to convey your information and intent. Keep your points brief and targeted.
Internship Cover Letter Samples
Review sample hard copy and printed cover letters for internship positions.
Internship Cover Letter Template
Download the cover letter template (compatible with Google Docs or Word Online) or read the example below.
Internship Cover Letter Sample (Text version)
Joseph Q. Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
October 26, 2020
Director, Human Resources
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Ms. Smith,
I am writing to apply for the scientific research summer internship position that was listed in the Anytown University Career Services Office. I believe my research and conservation experience make me an ideal candidate.
I have had a great deal of research experience in chemistry, biology, and geology, both in the lab and in the field. Most of my experience is in environmental field studies. I am currently conducting research in our school's outdoor laboratory to assess the water quality of a nearby pond. I know water quality assessment is a component of this internship, and I know my previous experience makes me a prime candidate for this.
Last summer, I worked as a conservation assistant at the National Trust's Clumber Park. Along with trail maintenance and building, I also served as a research assistant for the research organization at the park. I conducted an analysis of soil samples, and input data from various research projects. I received a special commendation from the director of the research organization for my attention to detail and dedication to research.
I believe that I would be an asset to your program. This internship would provide me with the ideal opportunity to assist your organization and to expand my research skills.
I will call next week to see if you agree that my qualifications seem to be a match for the position. If so, I hope to schedule an interview at a mutually convenient time. I look forward to speaking with you.
Thank you for your consideration,
Joseph Q. Applicant (signature hard copy letter)
Joseph Q. Applicant
Sending an Email Cover Letter
Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information (also don’t list your contact information at the top of the message). Start your email message with the salutation.
Email Cover Letter Example
Subject: Liz Lerner – Marketing Intern Position
Dear Mr. Peters,
It is was with much interest that I read your posting on the ABC College job board inviting applications for a marketing internship at Brand Solutions Inc.
As an honors student in marketing, I have successfully completed upper-division coursework in marketing management, print and online advertising, social media management, and data analysis that has provided me with a firm understanding of rising market strategies and technologies.
This coursework included on-site practicums with Boyd Brothers LLC and Boulevard Bistro, where I helped the owners of these businesses establish their first-ever social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. This involved setting up their accounts, creating photo and video content, writing posts, launching digital ad campaigns, and tracking user engagement via Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics. I am also well-versed in the use of Adobe Creative Cloud for graphic design and Microsoft Office Suite.
Impressed by the press that Brand Solutions Inc. has received in Market Branding Today and on Forbes Online, I am eager for the challenges and opportunities I would experience as your next marketing intern. My resume is attached; may we please schedule a personal interview to discuss my qualifications for this role in greater detail? Thank you for your time, consideration, and forthcoming response.