The Good Intern
New Year, New Goals
The First Day
Posted by Michelle Pence - - 27 comments

One of the first steps in applying for an internship is composing a captivating cover letter to send to the company that will make the reader stand up from their seat and declare that they simply MUST have you as an intern. 

No pressure, right?

While the scenario above has a pretty optimistic reaction, the point is that your cover letter will be one of the first things potential employers see that tells them why they should even consider you for an internship.

Here are some tips for writing a top-notch cover letter.

"To whom it may concern" is not a person

Avoid sending a letter to "Whom it may concern" at all costs.  Your goal is to find out who the right person is to send your cover letter to and their correct mailing information.  If the company's website does not list a specific contact, search the web first and if you can't find anything that way, give the company a call and simply ask for more details.  To avoid any simple but deadly mistakes, make sure to jot down the spelling of the person's name correctly, as well as the mailing address.  

Put in the work and you shall be rewarded

It is absolutely crucial to write a different cover letter for every internship you apply for. No if's, and's, or but's about it. It is glaringly obvious when cover letters are written for a generic purpose, as opposed to when they are tailored to fit the specific company. The letters you write can follow the same basic structure, but the content needs to be unique for each.

Be clear and upfront

You don't want to leave any doubt in the recipient's mind why you're writing the company a letter... for all they know you're trying to sell them something, which is definitely NOT what you want them to think. One of your very first lines should consist of explaining what position you are asking the company to consider you for and for what time period, along with a brief introduction of yourself (name, year in school, etc.).  One of the biggest mistakes you can make here is not being specific enough.  If you have a particular department or position in mind, make sure your letter says it loud and clear.

Show what you know

Through your cover letter you want to convey the idea that you are very familiar with the company, which you should be if you're applying for an internship with them.  You can usually get all of the information that you need from browsing the company's website.  Towards the beginning of the letter you want to take time to explain why you're applying for an internship at this particular company.  Did you randomly pick them out of the phone book?  Are they the best in their field?  In this section of your letter, you can mention recent awards the company has won, their outstanding reputation, etc.

What skills do you bring to the table?

Your cover letter should effectively spell out why the company should hire you as an intern. Although your enclosed resume will contain specific details on your experience, your cover letter lets you spin that information the way you want in order to paint a picture of someone that will make a great intern and be a really good fit for the company.  If you have past experience, talk about what skills or accomplishments you have that makes you qualified for the position. If the internship will be your first professional experience, talk about what you've learned in school or any extracurricular involvement you have that makes you qualified.  If the company puts out  information on the internship such as an overview or description of duties, make sure you incorporate how you will excel at those responsibilities.

Make it physical

To me, nothing says "professional" like a well-crafted packet of information on yourself sent to a company, but it all depends on the situation.  The look of a cover letter and resume printed on high-quality paper, enclosed with a writing sample and letters of recommendations, put together neatly and sent in the mail shows that you went above and beyond simply attaching a Word document to an email.  

Many companies will explicitly state how they want to receive your materials, while others will be more vague.  Always follow the directions that are given to you, however if you have a choice, take the route that shows the most effort.  I like to do a combination of hard copy and digital.  In the past, I have sent a mini cover letter through email, indicating that I had sent additional material in the mail.

Although your cover letter is definitely an important part of applying for an internship, don't let the pressure get to you.  The letter itself should only be a few paragraphs long at best, and you're writing about yourself.  No one knows you better than you do, so just write what you truly think.

Here are some great resources for cover letter writing:

27 Responses so far.

  1. I recently came across this article and have been reading along. This is a greate site and contains fantastic contents. Your site contains a lot of valuable information as well.

  2. Hello Michelle,
    Thanks for the beautiful post. You explain cover letter tips and trick in a simple way.... that everybody can understand the basic idea about the cover letter.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow, most of this stuff is cliche and out-dated.

  4. Jenny says:

    It's really common now that cover letter is an essential aspect with resume. Sometime plenty of options really make us confused to choose the best and it goes with cover letter too. I would love to say following the cover letter etiquette would be the best way to get best cover letter which can get noticed from whom it may concern. There are many tips as shown above and that's the matter to choose.

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  6. Anonymous says:


    Tks very much for post:

    I like it and hope that you continue posting.

    Let me show other source that may be good for community.

    Source: tips for writing a good cover letter

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  7. Here are four things which I will add in my Cover Letter:
    1. My cover letter shows all the necessary information plus experience.
    2. I will add proper eye catching words which do not show double meanings.
    3. I will write it in a specific manner.
    4. I will make it professional, detailed and focused cover letter.

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  9. Well, I would say that this blog is really so good and really have vauable and informative post about resumes and cover letter and anyone looking for some sample or cover letter examples or a resume must go through this blog and it will sure help in this regards.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. I've read your post.It is informative.You explain motivation letter tips and trick in the simple way that everybody can understand the essential idea about the motivation letter for internship.

  12. I'm a student and I'm thinking on internship abroad. I am sure it'll help me to practice my professional skills as well as language skills. I am going to use the help of Professional Essay Writing in order to have a good motivation letter and to be chosen by the committee for internship.

  13. This is such a blog full of informative info about best cover letter. It's really a pleasure to me to have the blog.Many important info were collected from here.Thanks.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.
  15. Anonymous says:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  16. Anonymous says:

    I think that internship abroad is a good way to develop your soft and hard skills; moreover, it adds some valuable experience to your CV. If you have decided to go abroad for internship and need a personal statement in order to apply, use the help of this essay writing service: Essayservice.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.
  18. Cover letter is a serious task. Partially you will be assessed by this small piece of text. So it's extremely important to treat it seriously. Feeling lack of confidence? It's better to try this help When I wrote cover letter last time, I also used help of this company.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.
  20. Martin says:

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  21. An internship is a temporary position with an emphasis on on-the-job training rather than merely employment, and it can be paid or unpaid. If you want to go into publishing, you might have to take an internship before you are qualified for an actual job. I have done my summer internship reports with the help of to this site Internship Project Reports, which has more than a thousands of topics.

  22. you describe everything understandable and useful! has a list of mistakes of covering letter that you should avoid!

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