Cover Letter for Internship - Writing Guide, Examples, Free Template [2020]

internship cover letter

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:

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 Document Format

As a job seeker, here are your basic guidelines for your cover letter format:

Cover Letter Format

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.

Dear Mr. Johnson —

Your recent software release that allows for better communication between devices is something that stood out to me. When I began looking more into your company culture, I noticed that you are always seeking to simplify complex challenges. And this is an environment I feel I strongly need to be around.

Since I’m looking to be part of the summer internship program for the marketing department. I felt it’s relevant to share with you my experience at school developing Instagram accounts for coursework. We used virality and neuroscience background to grow 10 Instagram accounts to over 100k followers in 90 days.

Please view my projects at @nueronetwork to see them in full detail. And please read my resume to find out more relevant work about me that might show you what I can bring to the internship program.

I’m available to speak by phone or in person at your convenience.

Thank you so much,
Eric Anderson
free cover letter template

Free Cover Letter Template

Download this cover letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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