Internship Cover Letter & Writing Guide

An internship cover letter lets you elaborate on your skills and qualifications and convince a recruiter you're the best candidate for the position.
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Internship

Internships serve as a great opportunity to gain the necessary working experience and land the first job. But how are you supposed to convince a recruiter that you’re a perfect candidate for a position, given that you have no professional experience? The answer is simple—an internship cover letter.

This one-page document can be more convincing compared to a beginner’s resume. Here, you’ll introduce yourself to a recruiter, elaborate on what makes you a good fit, and explain what contribution you’ll make to the company.

Since writing a cover letter can be dreadful, even more so when you’re inexperienced and don’t have many achievements to include, we’ll teach you how to master an internship cover letter with no experience. Keep reading!

Key Takeaways

  • An internship cover letter provides you with a great opportunity to persuade a hiring manager that you’re the best fit for the position.

  • This cover letter should be 250–400 words long, feature the business letter layout, a professional font, 1.15 line spacing, and no graphic design elements.

  • A strong cover letter consists of a header with contact details, a greeting, an introduction, a summary of qualifications, reasons for applying, and a sign-off with a call to action.

Choosing the Right Format for an Internship Cover Letter

resume format

Formatting your cover letter properly will let hiring professionals find all the information about you they need—your skills, qualifications, strengths, etc.—effortlessly. 

The primary purpose of an internship cover letter for both students and graduates is to tell a story about your ambitions and career goals, coupled with an internship resume.  

Your cover letter should be intelligible, easy to read, and professional-looking. To achieve that, you should:

Cover Letter Format Guidelines

  • Go for a business letter format

  • Write everything you want in 250–400 words

  • Set margins at 1–1.5 inches on each side

  • Choose a professional-looking font (Times New Roman, Calibri, Cambria, Arial, etc.)

  • Set the font size at 10.5–12 points

  • Set the line spacing at 1.15

Don’t experiment with various patterns and colors. Though they look appealing, these design elements may make reading difficult, particularly when printed in black and white. 

Internship Cover Letter Overview

how long a cover letter should be

To help you craft a splendid internship cover letter for an entry-level position or your first job, we’ll show you what elements the best internship cover letter should include.

#1. Heading

A header is the first section of a cover letter that serves as a formal introduction to a hiring professional. It includes:

Mandatory Cover Letter Heading Information

  • Your name and professional title

  • Phone number and email

  • Location

  • Date of the application for the internship

  • Hiring professional’s full name and title

  • Hiring professional’s location

Here’s an example of a cover letter heading:

Cover Letter Heading Example

Laura Marcus

Architect

3071 Norma Lane

Shreveport, LA

laura.marcus@gmail.com

318-773-7998

Shreveport, December 12, 2023

Robert Levinson

Hiring Manager

Powerhouse Designs

4969 Tecumseh Road

Shreveport, LA

Double-check all the details and make sure that there are no typos. You don’t want to leave a bad impression on a hiring manager by misspelling their name, nor do you want your contact information to differ from that included in your resume.

#2. Greeting

You may have heard that, to keep your cover letter professional and formal, you should greet a hiring professional with Dear Sir or Madam. While you should indeed remain professional, this greeting is not the right choice. It is obsolete, generic, and may indicate that you’re too lazy.

Since a cover letter should be personalized, you need a more approachable greeting that includes the hiring manager’s name. Try to find it in the job posting or by researching the company personnel on its official website. 

Good alternatives to the outdated ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ are:

Cover Letter Greeting Examples

  • Dear Robert,

  • Dear Mr. Levinson,

  • Dear Hiring Manager,

#3. Introduction

The opening paragraph of your cover letter gives you a chance to grab a recruiter’s attention right off the bat. Here, you should introduce yourself by highlighting your most recent achievements, key skills, and qualifications that are relevant to the position.

This is what an introductory paragraph should look like:

Cover Letter Introduction Example

I am writing to express my strong interest in the position of Architectural Intern at Powerhouse Designs. As a recent graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Louisiana Tech School of Design, I am eager to apply my skills and passion for design in a professional setting.

#4. Qualifications & Experiences

The following two or three paragraphs are the most important in your cover letter. Here, you should mention the key qualifications and skills you’ve acquired. If you’ve participated in any projects where you applied skills relevant to the internship, do not hesitate to include them, too.

You should also mention your knowledge of software, platforms, social media, or any other tools that you’d be using in the internship position. Here’s how to go with this section:​​

Cover Letter Skills & Qualitifications Section Example

During my academic journey, I acquired a comprehensive understanding of architectural principles, design techniques, and project management. I completed projects that demonstrated my ability to turn conceptual ideas into detailed plans, focusing on functionality, sustainability, and aesthetic appeal. 

I am proficient in industry-standard software, including AutoCAD, Revit, and Adobe Creative Suite, which I have showcased in various projects. One noteworthy example is a collaborative studio project where I used advanced Revit features to streamline the design process. The final result was a reduction in overall project timelines by 15%.

#5. Reasons for Applying

In this section, you should explain why you’re interested in the internship position. Focus on your opportunity to learn and acquire new skills, your career goals, and how the position can contribute to your career growth.

Here’s how to phrase this section:

Cover Letter Reasons for Applying Section Example

What excites me most about the internship opportunity at Powerhouse Designs is the chance to contribute to innovative projects and collaborate with a talented team of professionals. Your company’s commitment to sustainable design principles and green initiatives particularly resonates with my career goals. Additionally, I am impressed by your recent work on green buildings, and I am eager to bring my fresh perspective and creativity in order to contribute to the success of your company.

#6. Call to Action

Use this section to inform a hiring manager that you’re ready to move on to the next stage of the hiring process. Mention politely that you’re available for an interview, and respectfully encourage them to schedule it. 

Don’t skip this section; not adding a call to action may be a hint to a recruiter that you’re not willing to take the initiative, which may automatically flag you as a bad candidate.

Check out how to implement a subtle yet effective call to action in your internship cover letter:

Cover Letter CTA Example

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of an interview at any time convenient to you to further discuss how my skills and background align with the needs of Powerhouse Designs.

#7. Conclusion & Sign-Off

If you’re used to closing your emails with ‘Yours truly,’ don’t do so with your cover letter. Just like the ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ greeting, these expressions are overly formal and distant.

The following phrases are much better alternatives to your internship cover letter closing:

Cover Letter Closing Alternatives

  • Yours sincerely

  • Yours faithfully

  • Best regards,

  • Kind regards,

  • Warm regards, 

  • With best regards, 

  • Respectfully,

  • Thanks in advance,

  • With gratitude,

Add your full name below the sign-off. You may even sign your cover letter if you’re sending it via mail; otherwise, typing your name will be enough.

Here’s an example of the closing section:

Cover Letter Conclusion & Sign-Off Example

Best regards,

Laura Marcus

Internship Cover Letter Example

Check out an example of a well-formatted internship cover letter to get an insight into what it should look like:

Internship Cover Letter Example

Top 6 Strategies for Writing an Internship Cover Letter

To make cover letter writing less distressing, we present you with six strategies for nailing your internship application: 

Intership Cover Letter Tips

  1. Mention the right keywords. Upon receiving your letter, a hiring professional will scan it for the position-specific keywords to make sure you’re qualified for the internship. To find out what phrases to include, re-read the job posting and identify the most important keywords.   

  2. Customize your cover letter. One of the biggest cover letter mistakes to make is sending a one-size-fits-all or AI-generated document. Hiring professionals are not great fans of such letters and will discard them immediately. Instead, customize your cover letter by adding some information about the company.

  3. Highlight your education and extracurriculars. Since you don’t have much working experience, your education and extracurricular activities are an ace up your sleeve. Underscore all the courses you have attended and completed that are relevant to the internship you’re applying for.

  4. Explain why you’re a good fit. Adding your skills and competencies to your internship cover letter is not always sufficient; you also need to persuade a hiring manager why you’re the right candidate for the internship. Research what the company is looking for in interns and elaborate on what you can do to meet its needs.

  5. Describe what you will gain. Besides elaborating on how you can contribute to the company’s growth, state how you can benefit from it and grow professionally. Such self-awareness will help you leave an even greater impression on a hiring professional.

  6. Proofread your cover letter. Never submit a cover letter without proofreading it for spelling or grammatical errors. Typos will show a recruiter that you don’t pay great attention to details.

Final Thoughts 

A high-quality cover letter is a gateway to your internship; it is a splendid supplement to your resume, as it lets you explain what makes you the best candidate for the role. Plus, it perfectly makes up for the lack of professional experience by enabling you to focus on your skills and qualifications. 

While crafting an internship cover letter for your first job may seem terrifying, there is no need to dread it. With the right tips, tricks, and strategies we’ve provided, you’re going to make a perfect one!

Sheila Kravitz
Sheila Kravitz
Content Writer & Head Editor
By day, Sheila Kravitz writes stellar content and works as a head editor. At night, she spends her time winning at trivia nights or playing Dungeons & Dragons with her friends. Whether she’s writing or editing, she gives her maximum effort and ensures no error gets past her watchful eyes. When she’s doing none of the above, Sheila likes to spend time with her cats and her partner, endlessly watching crime documentaries on Netflix.

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