Cover Letter for Internship - Writing Guide, Examples, Free Template 
The perfect cover letter contains insights and work accomplishments relevant to the job you’re applying for. But when writing a cover letter for an internship, you might not have relevant experience to share since you may still be receiving your bachelor’s level education. Grabbing the employer’s attention in your writing takes a more creative and unique approach.
An effective cover letter contains insights into a job applicant's professional experience and work or career accomplishments. The letter is tailored to the job description and the hiring manager hiring for the internship position. These accomplishments signify the skills (like communication skills, interpersonal skills, and other transferable skills) required to inform the prospective employer that the applicant has the requirements and qualifications to succeed in the role.
Speaking to these accomplishments is what turns a generic cover letter into a tailored one. And informs the recruiter or your potential employer to continue reading your resume.
Ways to Position Your Experience as an Intern
When you don’t have the work experience or job history to write work accomplishments into your cover letter, here are some ways to position yourself as a unique college student that should be hired for the intern position:
- Use significant personal projects. Did you accomplish something significant on your own that can speak to the specific position you’re applying for? For example, having a blog while applying for a marketing position.
- Extracurriculars. Showing your interest beyond simply attending classes can be significant. For example, when applying for an engineering internship, mentioning the engineering clubs you’re part of or the time you spend at local labs.
- Extracurricular activities. Sometimes referring to the things you do outside of school can allude to a specific skill you carry or relevant skills you have been exposed to. For example, being in row or crew shows teamwork, ability to take direction, take initiative, compete, and have leadership qualities.
- Relevant coursework. It can be helpful to pick coursework that matches what your employer is looking for. Don’t focus as much on your educational background as you do relevant projects. For example, growing an Instagram account (or any other social media presence) as a school experiment while attending college for Marketing & Communications.
These are methods you can use to think back about what you might want to bring up in your internship cover letter. Whether it’s a summer internship program or an externship opportunity, you want to tell your employer why you’re uniquely suited for the program in both your job application assets like your resume and your internship cover letter.
Tip: Try to find the name of the hiring manager who is hiring for the internship program. That way you can address them by name in your cover letter versus saying “Dear Hiring Manager” at the beginning of your letter.
Cover Letter Format
As a job seeker, here are your basic guidelines for your cover letter format:
- Use standard business letter format.
- 1.5” line spacing at the most.
- Use double spaces between sections like your contact information and current date.
- Use default margins.
- Use 9pt to 10pt font size at the most, with professional typefaces like Garamond, Times New Roman, or Helvetica.
- Keep your cover letter one page. Don’t target a specific word count.
Cover Letter Sections
Here are the basic guidelines for each paragraph of your cover letter that turns a basic cover letter into a great cover letter for your employer.
First paragraph: Grab your employer’s attention by alluding to what you feel the job requires and how you fit in with the company culture. Do this by researching the company on LinkedIn, their company website, and more.
Second paragraph: Speak to your accomplishments and let that allude to your qualifications for the role. List each specific example as either bullet points or through short storytelling.
Third paragraph: Have a call to action and tell your future employer that you’d like to interview for the position or give them more information to read about through your professional website or previous personal projects.
Cover Letter Sample
Below is a cover letter example for those packaging up an internship application.
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