Sample Internship Cover Letter
Internship cover letters are an important part of your application. Unlike the resume format, you can be more articulate and express your interest directly. Cover letters are the most flexible part of your approach to the employer.
Internship Cover Letter Issues
One advantage of internship cover letters is that you can express your interest in the position effectively. That's important, because to be competitive your application must stand out. These are the three main areas of emphasis:
- Strong motivation: This is absolutely essential. Employers need to see commitment to the position. This is usually expressed as a career based reason for wanting the position. Internships are jobs, as well as training and experience opportunities. Paid internships in particular require clear indicators of motivation.
- High Work Values and Essential Skills: The internship cover letter can be used as a performance indicator for your strongest skills. A measurable level of performance spells out your abilities, and gives quantifiable information.
- Academic Achievements and Accomplishments: Another measure of comparison, employers often use certifications and other graded skills to determine the best applicants.
The logic of screening applicants works on clearly defined values. Some employers use computer screening of keywords and checklists for manual evaluation. Your internship cover letter has to survive this screening process to ensure success.
Drafting an Internship Cover Letter
You've got one page to work with to show your skills and abilities. It's best to draft your letter as a list of each of the three main areas of emphasis. This allows you to visualize the content of your internship cover letter and see any errors or omissions. Drafting needs to be done systematically. The pre-draft is really a simple listing process:
- Draft a motivational statement, explaining why you want the internship. This statement is a useful check on your content quality, and allows you to deal with this important point in isolation.
- Copy the essential requirements. Make a list matching your skills against each essential skill.
- List your relevant academic achievements. You can simply list degrees, awards, certifications and other internships, etc.
There are a few key components to a cover letter that should not be overlooked:
- Introduction paragraph with header and references.
- Motivational paragraph
- Essential skills paragraph
- Academic achievements paragraph
- Closing paragraph
Dear Sir or Madam:
I wish to apply for the position of Graphic Arts Intern (your ref: GA1/abcd) advertised on your web site. I'm currently entering my final year of media studies and I'm strongly motivated to apply by the content and depth of this position's advanced work. I have experience in all the essential areas of the position including:
I have received the following recent awards:
- Winner, ABCD Inc College Arts Challenge
- Winner, Logo design competition XYZ Inc
I believe I can contribute effectively to this internship position. Thank you for your consideration.