Internship Cover Letter Example
Written by Sarah Edwards, Author • Last updated on July 5, 2024

Internship Cover Letter Example

Internships are special (generally unpaid) employment arrangements in which companies give students or young professionals the opportunity to gain experience in their field of interest. Responsibilities often vary by industry and company but are designed to prepare interns for the rigors of real employment. Learn how to create an effective cover letter to help you land one of these coveted roles.

Why a profession-specific cover letter matters

Tailoring your cover letter for internships is key to landing the one you want. Internships are highly competitive, and employers want to work with interns who have a true passion for the industry. A profession-specific cover letter helps you convey that all-important sense of enthusiasm.

Additionally, a profession-specific resume and cover letter allow you to highlight skills and experience that are uniquely relevant to the internship role you’re applying for. 

Instead of limiting yourself to referencing generic skills like “communication” or “teamwork,” you can mention past roles and technical abilities that make you the best fit for the role and a potential asset to the organization.

Key components of a profession-specific cover letter

Customizing your cover letter for the specific internship is a must. That said, you must ensure that the letter follows a proven format that includes all the elements hiring managers have come to expect.

Begin your cover letter by telling the hiring manager about your current role or activities. Being involved in a job or extracurricular activities that are relevant to your chosen field demonstrates a genuine passion for the industry you want to move into.

If you’re a student, you’ll also want to include a paragraph that highlights your relevant coursework. This communicates to the hiring manager how your degree program is preparing you for the field and shows them that you can reflect on your learning experiences.

Every cover letter for internship opportunities should discuss both your technical and “soft” skills. The company you’re targeting will want to know what core competencies you bring to the table and get an understanding of how well you communicate and work with others.

Don’t hesitate to ask for an interview at the end of your cover letter. Not only does this show that you’re keen on the position, but it also displays a sense of go-get-it-ness that shows you’re not afraid to put yourself out there.

Cover letter format

Consider starting with this general format and customizing your cover letter for the internship role you want:

  • Header: Include your personal details and the company’s address
  • Opening Paragraph: Explain how you found the opportunity and express excitement about being considered
  • First Body Paragraph: Talk about your current role
  • Second Body Paragraph: Explain how your past experience or coursework can benefit the employer
  • Conclusion: Express gratitude for the hiring manager’s time and ask for an interview
  • Attachments: List any other documents you’ve included, such as your resume

If you plan to use any cover letter templates like this one, make sure you adjust them for the internship opportunities you’re applying for.

Sample cover letter for internship

James Harley
(757) 812-1988
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Case Samuels
Integral Data Technologies
1422 Commonwealth Avenue
Fairfax, Virginia 22034

4 December 2023

Dear Mr. Samuels,

I am writing to express my interest in the programming internship that recently opened up at Integral Data Technologies. I learned about the opportunity through the Office of Career Advisement here at the University of Virginia, where I am a Computer and Information Sciences major. I have had a passion for technology all my life, and I could not be more thrilled about this opportunity.

In my current role as an assistant in UVA’s IT department, I have the unique opportunity to serve other students on campus by meeting their IT needs. I have held this role for the last four semesters. In that period, I have been able to assist over 1,500 students by making hardware repairs, troubleshooting application issues, and helping them connect to the student network. I love that I am able to help other students learn without interruption.

As a Computer and Information Sciences Major, I have been able to take my IT training a step further into the world of computer programming. I have had foundational coursework in data structures and algorithms, computer systems and organization, and advanced software development techniques. I completed my capstone technical report on UVA’s implementation of its school-wide intranet and am in the midst of designing a major research project on improving the lives of everyday people through advanced cybersecurity application programming techniques. 

My favorite aspect of technology and programming is that it has the potential to drastically improve the lives of people all around the world. I hope to spend the rest of my life using the knowledge and skills I have gained toward that end, and I would appreciate the opportunity to help your company do the same. 

I have spent the last several years learning Spanish and French in an effort to assist UVA students from abroad in getting the technical help they need. I will bring the same passion and dedication to helping people as an intern at Integral Data Technologies.

I would love to have the opportunity to meet with you for an interview or to discuss how my skills and interests can serve the needs of your company and customers. Please feel free to reach out to me via email at your convenience. I appreciate you taking the time to consider me for this internship, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

James Harley

Attachments: Resume and references enclosed.

Dos and don’ts

In your quest to create the perfect cover letter for internships, there are a few practices you’ll want to implement and others you’ll want to steer clear of. For example:

  • Do clearly convey your passion for the target company and industry
  • Don’t highlight your lack of experience, as the hiring manager knows internship candidates are applying so they can gain some
  • Do include only relevant details about your experience, coursework, skills, and extracurricular activities
  • Don’t focus only on what the internship can do for you, as you need to highlight what you bring to the table
  • Do ensure that you write each of your cover letters specifically for and about the internship you’re applying for
  • Don’t get too casual with your language or approach, as hiring managers still expect students to use a professional tone

When you follow the right cover letter and resume examples, you can give yourself the best chance of standing out from the crowd.

Additional tips

Try to find out who will be doing the hiring for internship opportunities at the company and address the cover letter to that person. Making this additional effort to customize any cover letter examples you use will show that you’re willing to go the extra mile to land the role.

One way to make your cover letter for internships stand out is to quantify your achievements in past roles or coursework. This could be anything from how many research studies you’ve helped design to the percentage by which a company’s sales increased when you came onto the team.

You can also set yourself apart by including information about any relevant interests that make you a solid fit for the role. For example, if the company has a lot of customers who speak a certain language in which you happen to be fluent, mentioning that in your cover letter may get your application moved to the top of the pile.

Make your internship cover letter shine

The best internship cover letters are those that are tailored to the specific opportunity you’re applying for. When writing a role-specific cover letter, you can make sure yours stands out by highlighting relevant experience and coursework, avoiding drawing attention to your lack of experience, quantifying your achievements, and maintaining a professional tone.

If you’re preparing to apply for an internship role in the near future, let a Jobseeker cover letter example or resume template be your guide. With our easy-to-use resources, you can get started creating your high-performing role-specific cover letter today and finally land the internship of your dreams.

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Sarah Edwards
Sarah Edwards
A seasoned HR writer with more than a decade of experience, Sarah crafts insightful guides and timely articles that help people grow their skills.

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