Internships are a 'foot in the door'

The art of the internship cover letter

If you’re a graduate or graduand, now is the time to look for an internship. They are not as daunting as you might think but they need research and sometimes a little help from a professional writer. Internships are a foot in the door of the job market.

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.

Use Business Letter Format

Use a business 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 at the bottom. If you are sending a cover letter by email you do not have to include the contact information at the top.

Individualise Your Cover Letter

Make sure to write a unique cover letter for each internship you apply for. Highlight skills and abilities 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.

Use Keywords

One way to individualise 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.

Emphasise 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 skills.

Put your best foot forward

Malcolm builds expert resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, which unleash an unbeatable business case to promote you as a 'must have' asset to an employer.