Resumes and cover letters, The internship series

Top 5 Tips for Writing an Internship Cover Letter

Learn how to create a cover letter that helps your internship application stand out.

Before you start writing your cover letter, read the internship posting carefully. Pay attention to the intern’s primary responsibilities, as well as the desired skills and experience for candidates. Keep the posting handy so you can refer back to it while you write.

Learn the sections of a cover letter and download our free template

Customize each letter

One of the most important cover letter tips: do not use the same generic letter for all of your applications. Employers will be able to tell you didn’t take time to create a unique letter for them. Instead, open your cover letter by sharing why you’re excited about this internship and employer, and why you’re a good fit.

Include keywords and supporting details

It is common for employers to scan resumes and cover letters for keywords related to the internship. Be sure to incorporate any skills or experience that you have that are listed in the description.

And while your resume lists your technical skills and experience, cover letters are where you can talk about desirable soft skills like communication and project management. If you’re mentioning soft skills, provide support. For example, if you want to highlight your leadership skills, you can detail a time when you led a group project or served as a student group officer.

Highlight coursework and extracurriculars

Don’t worry if you don’t have much work experience. Describe relevant coursework and major projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

You can also add your involvement with student groups or volunteer opportunities that you’ve taken. These combined experiences show your initiative and help you stand out as a candidate.

Share what you’d like to accomplish

Cover letters aren’t just for telling employers why they should hire you. They’re also an opportunity to share what you believe you’ll get from the internship experience. Whether it’s gaining a new skill or learning more about an industry, share it and why it’s important to you.

Proofread and ask for feedback

Once your cover letter is ready, carefully read through it and check for spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Have a friend or family member review it as well and give their feedback.

Don’t forget to contact your school’s career center and schedule an appointment to go over your cover letter, resume, and other application questions you may have.

Get started on your internship cover letter by downloading our free template.