How to Write a Cover Letter for an Internship

intern cover letter

On average, about 42 percent of graduating seniors walk away with having completed at least one internship, according to a survey from U.S. News.

Considering there are millions of students who receive their bachelor’s degree every year in the United States, there are tons of those who are out looking for internships!

Of course, everyone tracks down internships a little differently. However, from wooing recruiters at career fairs to finding opportunities online, most internships will require some sort of application. And how do you stand out against all the other intern applicants?

Write a killer cover letter!

Knowing exactly how to write a cover letter for an internship is a critical factor to land the position aside from the interview. In addition, it’s a great springboard to learn about how to tackle cover letters later on in your career.

Do You Even Need a Cover Letter to Apply to an Internship?

Oftentimes when applying, you may notice that an intern cover letter is listed as optional. Sometimes, there may not be a way to submit one at all.

So, should you bother submitting one if it’s not required?

Well, think of a cover letter as a chance to introduce yourself and tell a story that your resume can’t. If one isn’t required, go the extra mile and write one anyway. If there’s no place to submit a PDF online, email one to the recruiter. In other words, there’s no harm in showing you care and are serious about the position.

How to write a cover letter for an intern

What to Include in an Internship Cover Letter

How to write a cover letter for an internship starts with understanding how to write a cover letter for any position. What sets an intern application apart is that your work experience and motivations will differ from that of a seasoned professional.

Here are a few tips on what you should include:

1. New information not on your resume. If a hiring manager takes the time to read your cover letter, then they’re most certainly reading your resume. A cover letter is a chance to go between the lines and give yourself a voice. For example, it can explain any potential disconnects between your job experience and the position in question. A cover letter can also go over your motivations, background, and story that led you to apply.

2. Natural-sounding language. Please put away your “Dear Sir and/or Madams” and avoid other eyebrow-raising language. Formalities are important, but so is not sounding like a machine. In cases where you don’t know the recruiter’s name, a simple “Dear Hiring Manager” will do for the greeting. Remember to let your own personality shine through while still being professional.

3. Specific details about the position and company. Probably the most common advice out there, modifying every cover letter for the position is a given. Get detailed about how you found the internship, who you’ve talked to about it, and how it ties into your career plans.

Get Ready for Your Next Internship

Top employers around Arizona are always on the hunt for some aspiring, fresh talent. Companies like Charles Schwab, USAA, and GoDaddy have great internship programs in tech, business, communications, and more.

Read about a real intern’s experience at the Charles Schwab Intern Academy here!

Be sure to visit BestCompaniesAZ’s blog for more job hunting tips to prepare!

Share this article
Award-Winning Companies

Click on a program below to meet Arizona’s most diverse, veteran-focused, award-winning companies.

Best Employers

The pay is good, the perks are awesome, but it’s more than that. Respect, opportunity, balance, fun, and pride – you don’t want to settle for less. Why should you? Your dream job is looking for you.

Get updates

Join our network for updates on events, career openings, best practices, and more!

Let us elevate your employer brand

Want to build your employer brand in Arizona? Need help applying for a company award? Looking to fill your talent pipeline?

We can help! We’ve been doing this for 20 years.

Best Careers Blog

Considering a Career Change? Read This Guide

Embarking on a career change is a significant decision that many professionals contemplate at various stages of their professional journey. Whether driven by a desire

Best Career Advice

Best Companies for New Graduates

With graduation season right around the corner, nationally recognized, award-winning Arizona-based companies are preparing to hire 2024 graduates and offer more jobs. New  grads are

Mental Health
Diversity

Best Companies for Mental Health

Mental health has become an increasingly important topic in the workplace, and for a good reason. According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety

Learn more about Arizona's best companies!

Get our e-news specifically for employers and job seekers – it includes the latest career opportunities, recruiting and networking events and job search tips. Stay ahead of the game on workplace awards, recruiting events and employer branding best practices.