The personalized cover letter that you include with your resume will serve as your first impression to the internship you’re applying to. While your resume does a great job of listing your achievements, education, and experience, it doesn’t include the emotion and unique story your cover letter can have! Think of it as a supplement to your resume; it doesn’t reiterate what’s already there. It highlights and celebrates you, and how you can bring those amazing skills to your future employer.

Format

Format is crucial when writing a strong internship cover letter. It should be in business letter format, which means:

  1. All text is left justified
  2. The top should include your name, phone number, and email
  3. The date of application
  4. The information for the job you’re applying to
  5. Every paragraph should be separated by one line
  6. Your closing and signature should be separated by four lines

Your intro format should look like:

Jane Joyce

(xxx) xxx-xxx

jjoyce@example.com

March 15, 2019

Social Work Intern

Internship ID: 1234567

Web Devo, Inc

You’ll score bonus points if you can find the hiring manager and address the letter to their attention at the company. If you can find the hiring manager, use this format:

Ashley Simmons

Lead Social Worker

SW, Inc.

123 company address

City, State 33133

Greeting

Keep it simple. Dear Ashley, will work just fine. If the hiring manager has a doctorate (PhD or equivalent) address them respectively (i.e., Dear Dr. Simmons,). If you don’t have a name, Dear Hiring Manager, usually works well enough.

The hook

Your cover letter needs a strong opening paragraph to grab your reader’s attention. We find that writing a short, relevant story or experience works well. An example hook for this position might read as such:

As an ongoing volunteer and advocate for my school’s social work club, I have dedicated most of my academic life to supporting those who are most vulnerable. Recent developments in our club have created ties with local shelters, providing us with the wonderful experience of helping the homeless find refuge. It’s no coincidence that I happened to come across your internship — (make sure to include the internship title) — considering your company engages with and stands for the very people I’m most passionate about helping.

The skills

This portion should include your skills and experiences as they relate to the internship description. Make sure to also include the right keywords from the description. If it states that you should be proficient in certain software, make sure to include your experience with it, whether it’s on the job or from a course.

A combined four years of social work volunteering and coursework comes with a slew of valuable experiences I wouldn’t find anywhere else. Being a committed member of the community has granted me:

  • Opportunities to engage in clerical social work practices, tracking clients using SWTrack
  • Knowledge of best practice theories and clinical treatment modalities including CBT and TCP
  • The opportunity to educate hundreds of impoverished individuals on different topics, including disability applications and rehabilitation

The fit

This section should resonate with the company’s needs in an intern while still echoing your drive and aspirations. Research the company well before writing this portion. Consider the following approach:

SW, Inc.’s mission to not only house but educate the homeless resonates with my mission to help every individual reintegrate. Your company’s educational approach to social work fosters the environment I look for in growing as a professional in the field.

The call to action

No internship cover letter is complete without a request to the reader. Always remember to ask for a follow-up. Make sure to keep a clean transition from one paragraph to the next.

Providing that extra help and guidance is what I know to be the best method to beating chronic homelessness. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss how we can work together to meet this mutual goal.

The closer

Showing gratitude is a safe, effective way to closing your cover letter. Thank the reader for their efforts. Close it as politely as you would any initial conversation.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,

Jane Joyce

See below for the full cover letter example you can use when starting your own from scratch.

Jane Joyce

(xxx) xxx-xxx

jjoyce@example.com

March 15, 2019

Ashley Simmons

Lead Social Worker

SW, Inc.

123 company address

Devo, FL 33133

Dear Ashley Simmons,

As an ongoing volunteer and advocate for my school’s social work club, I have dedicated most of my academic life to supporting those who are most vulnerable. Recent developments in our club have created ties with local shelters, providing us with the wonderful experience of helping the homeless find refuge. It’s no coincidence that I happened to come across your internship — (make sure to include the internship title) — considering your company engages with and stands for the very people I’m most passionate about helping.

A combined four years of social work volunteering and coursework comes a slew of valuable experiences I wouldn’t find anywhere else. Being a committed member of the community has granted me:

  • Opportunities to engage in clerical social work practices, tracking clients using SWTrack
  • Knowledge of best practice theories and clinical treatment modalities including CBT and TCP
  • The opportunity to educate hundreds of impoverished individuals on different topics, including disability applications and rehabilitation

SW, Inc.’s mission to not only house but educate the homeless resonates with my mission to help every individual reintegrate. Your company’s educational approach to social work fosters the environment I look for in growing as a professional in the field.

Providing that extra help and guidance is what I know to be the best method to beating chronic homelessness. I would love to schedule a call to discuss how we can together to meet this mutual goal.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,

Jane Joyce