How to write a cover letter when applying for an internship
- 4th July 2018
- Posted by: Internship in Brighton
- Category: Internship Tips
The cover letter is often the first contact you have with a prospective employer. A neat, concise, well-written letter can entice the employer to read your resume with greater interest and will improve your chances of getting an interview.
Keep in mind that the purpose of the cover letter is to introduce yourself to an organization. You should try your best to show your interest in a company and explain how you would be the perfect candidate for the job. Make sure you draw attention to the most relevant parts of your CV (which, of course, comes after it), illustrating with facts and more information that will make the reader want to interview you.
Cover letters usually follow a basic structure with three parts: Introduction, main focus point and ending.
- If you know (or can find out) who will be reading your letter, address them by name. It goes a long way in showing your interest and the fact that you are not forwarding a previously written letter.
- Make sure you state the position you wish to apply for in the first paragraph.
- Try to answer the question: why should they be interested in you?
Main Focus point:
- Show you have some knowledge about the company. Talk about a project they are involved in that you like, or a prize they have recently won, or something about the company culture that attracted you to it. You might want to read through the company website to get some ideas.
- Quickly praise the company’s latest achievements (if they are known). This shows that you are very interested in the company and keep up with your field.
- Write about your strengths and how they can be useful in the job. Try and use some of the words from the job advert. Also, try to make sure you are adding information that does not fit a resumé. Do not just re-write the same content in a different format.
- You can add some significant academic results or hobbies that relate to the job as well.
- Re-state how well you would fit the job description.
- List your contact information.
- And end the cover letter with ‘Yours Faithfully’ or ‘Yours Sincerely’ then your name.
You need to make sure that each cover letter is personalised for each internship/job application. You will hurt your chances with a generic or copied-and-pasted letter. You should try to show your capabilities the best way you can in each role you apply for.
Lastly, make an effort to keep your language as professional as possible. Don’t over-use the word ‘I’, and try to keep most of the letter in third person. However, you can keep all your previous cover letters on file, so you can refer back to them when writing the new one. It will help you remember important information, and also come up with your own basic structure.
Good luck with your internship applications!