If you’re in search of a great internship, your resume should be just one of your priorities. After all, it’s not as if you have tons of education and experience. If you did, you wouldn’t be on the lookout for an opportunity to work for the low wages of an intern, or in some cases for free.
By all means, create a great resume for an internship, but don’t forget to dwell on your cover letter too! This is where you can dig a bit deeper. You can use your cover letter to express your passion for your field, your excitement about working for the company to which you are applying, and make the case that you are a great fit for this opportunity.
Do Interns Need a Cover Letter?
A dozen times yes! Internships are highly competitive and most people will be applying with similar, entry-level resumes similar to yours. A cover letter provides you with an opportunity to share your unique personality — something that doesn’t come off that easily via a resume. Effectively, this is your best bet to show why a company should pick you over a bunch of other equally eager interns.
Internship Cover Letter Examples
Internships come in different “flavors” — for college credit, at commercial organizations, non-profits, online, and on-location (in-person).
While we cannot possibly give you an internship cover letter example for each and every type of these, we’d made several universal internship cover letter examples that can be easily adapted to the opportunity at hand.
General Cover Letter Sample For Internship (Word version)
Computer Science Cover Letter Internship (text version)
Dear Ms. Janis Merill,
I am submitting my resume and this letter to express my interest in the internship opportunity you have available in your Information Security department. I learned of this internship from Joe Meyer, who is my advisor at State University, and who recently retired as head of IS from your organization. I am grateful that he told me about this opening, and am very excited about pursuing this opportunity. I believe I would be challenged in this role, but also able to make a contribution.
I am currently a senior at State University majoring in Computer Science with an emphasis in Security. I previously graduated from Community College with an Associate’s degree in Information Technology where my area of concentration was Cybersecurity. Currently, I am on the Dean’s list, act as treasurer of the Cybersecurity club, and am an active member of the Forensics team.
I am passionate about computer security. I have intentionally chosen courses that have allowed me to develop and apply my skills in this area. These include:
- Network Security
- Network Firewalls
- Computer Forensics
- Penetration Testing
- Ethical Hacking
- Risk Assessment And Documentation
I am currently working on a research project with Joe Meyer where we are exploring the adaptations that will need to be made in the Information Security Field as technologies such as IoT, VR, and wearables continue to emerge.
In addition to my academic work, I have a year of experience working as a help desk technician at Major Big Box Electronics Store. I was recently promoted to a position that allows me to help individuals and small business owners whose computer systems have been hacked or exposed to malware.
I would love the opportunity to meet with you to discuss this internship opportunity. I think I would be a perfect fit, and will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Thank you again for your consideration.
Sample Cover Letter for Architecture Internship
Dear Amy Rutherford,
My name is Matthew Fisher, and I am a student at the University of South Carolina School of Architecture And Civil Engineering. I will be graduating in June 2022 with a BS in Architecture and a minor in Urban Planning. I’m writing this letter to express my interest in interning with your firm, Rutherford Associates this spring.
If I am given the opportunity to work as an intern on your team, I hope to gain real-world experience in the areas of urban architecture, design of multi-family housing, and environmentally friendly building practices. Recently, I attended a tour of your firm’s newest structure, The Davis Building, and was truly impressed by your team’s ability to design an office building that used space-age materials while maintaining a look that blends so well with the historical district.
Of course, I also believe that I can be a valuable contributor to your team as well. I have worked as an architect’s assistant and draftsperson for a residential construction company for the past two years. There, my duties have included 3-D modeling, CAD, construction site inspections, and filing paperwork with local authorities.
I have arranged my spring semester schedule to ensure that I will be available to work on location during the day Monday through Friday. It is my hope that this availability will better ensure that I will be able to work with your team as needed. I’m very excited about this internship opportunity and thank you for your consideration.
Engineering Internship Cover Letter Example
Dear Ian Wilson,
My name is Lee-Ann Peterson and I am a senior at the University of Clarksville pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. I am writing this letter to express my interest in joining your for-credit fall internship program that begins in September of 2022. I have been accepted into my school’s graduate program, and strongly believe that working with your company will give me valuable insights into circuit design and facilitate my research in creating more energy-efficient battery storage.
As an engineering student, I have a highly hands-on attitude. In fact, in my spare time, I also design toy electric racing cars and have tested several of your battery products in my MVPs. Unsurprisingly, your battery life is much higher compared to Lithiums X batteries and I believe this is due to your innovative research into LiPo battery technology.
On a more formal note, in the past four years, I have participated in multiple research projects, earned membership into the society of honors engineering students, and won the best in the show at the annual Sustainability In Engineering expo with a team. You can view a video of our home solar panel presentation here. Even though I pursued a lot of research and hobby projects, I have also consistently maintained a spot on the dean’s list and will graduate with an honors designation.
In fact, it’s my interest in sustainability that led me to learn about your company, Clarksville Wind and Solar, in the first place. I was a part of a team of students that were allowed to tour your facility earlier this year. I was inspired by your ability to implement sustainable solutions where other companies seem to be focused on the theoretical.
I have attached my resume, transcripts, and a letter of recommendation from my department head for your review. If there is anything else I can provide, please let me know. Thank you for considering my application, and I hope to meet with your selection committee in the near future.
How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship: Step-by-Step
Writing a cover letter for an internship may feel overwhelming at first, especially if you are “pitching” to a company you’ve been long admiring. But don’t let the jitters overtake you. Even though an internship cover letter should provide a glimpse into your personality, it should still look professional and sound polished.
Here are step-by-step instructions for writing a compelling cover letter for an internship:
- Create your list of core skills and accomplishments.
- Review the internship posting.
- Pick all the overlapping skills and incorporate them into your cover letter.
- Next, research the company further and try to understand its core values.
- Explain how the work the company does resonates with you on a personal level.
- Then talk about the ways you’d like to contribute and the expertise you seek to obtain.
- Close with the formalities and mention if you have any references available, plus detail your schedule.
How Do I Write a Cover Letter for an Internship With No Experience?
No one expects interns to have a substantial backload of professional work experience. So don’t fret over this fact. Instead, get your mental cogs rolling towards determining what educational and personal skills could make you look more “valuable” to the potential employer. It could be literary anything — from your long-lasting passion for a cause the company explores to deep familiarity with the brand’s products or the relevant coursework you took in college. Focus on communicating your “why” for applying, then detail how you could be of help.
How Do you List Internship Experience in a Cover Letter?
Technically, you don’t have to list your past internship experiences in a cover letter. That’s what your resume is for. But if you’d like to share some tidbits, talk about any positive reviews or references the past organization gave you, a particular project you’ve contributed to, skills you’ve developed, or duties you’ve performed.
You’ll probably notice that our example internship cover letters include several keywords. Many of them are in the bulleted list. This is a good thing to do to showcase that you’ve read the requirements and fit the baseline qualifications.
There are some other important details as well. For example, we address the recipient as Mr. or Ms., removing Mrs. as it’s largely considered to be passé.
The cover letter examples emphasize academic coursework, work experience, relevant extracurriculars, and research projects. The letters also reference the person who provided the student with information about the opportunity. If applicable, this could be replaced with a job board, student advisor, or website.
Finally, if you want to make a lasting impression, consider “packaging” your cover letter in the same style as your resume. By submitting a matchy-matchy resume and cover letter, you increase your chances of being noticed in the pile of other submissions. Take a look at our well-designed and affordable bundles here.
FAQs about Internships
Below are some commonly asked questions about internship cover letters and interning in general!
How long should a cover letter be for an internship?
A solid cover letter for an internship should be under 400 words, which is roughly one page in a word processing document. If you are submitting an email cover letter, it’s okay to go even shorter. After all, most companies receive a ton of applications. Erring on the side of brevity increases the chances of your cover letter actually being read, rather than skimmed through.
What should you not do during an internship?
Most companies are not legally required to take on interns. But most do so to contribute to the development of new workforce-ready candidates. Thus, most expect interns to be eager to learn, motivated, and respectful. If you want to appear as such a person, don’t ever do the following things during your internship:
- Show up late or miss the day without providing any reason
- Discard the workplace rules or regulations
- Argue with your superiors or undermine their authority
- Sabotage the performance of other interns
- Pester just about anyone to show your “motivation”
- Do not deliver on the tasks entrusted to you
- Expect any person at the office to be readily available to you
Is it OK to make mistakes as an intern?
Yes, absolutely. An internship is first and foremost a learning opportunity. And you cannot learn without making a mistake or two. The key, however, is not being afraid of acknowledging your blunders and taking full responsibility for them. If you feel that you are getting sidetracked, bring up the issue to your supervisor and ask for their help with making corrections.
How hard is it to get an internship?
Depends on the company really. If you want to land a high-profile internship with some sort of an industry leader (think Google or Goldman Sachs), you’d be against dozens of others highly qualified and motivated interns. But you do not necessarily need to go after the top 1% of internships. Start at a lower level and approach local businesses, entrepreneurs, small-to-mid-market companies — these places often don’t have enough “helping hands” and would be eager to take on an intern even if they don’t have a formal program in place.
Updated on September 2021.