Writing an Internship Cover Letter With Examples and Tips

This article was originally written by Genevieve Northup and was published on Indeed.

When applying for an internship, employers might request a cover letter with your resume, references and application. Whether required or not, a cover letter can help distinguish you from other candidates because of the extra details provided and the effort taken to write one. Understanding how to write an effective cover letter for an internship may help you highlight your skills and other valuable assets to a company.

In this article, we explore the steps for writing an internship cover letter with examples and a template and list a couple of ways you can send it when you’re finished.


Writing an internship cover letter

A well-written cover letter highlights relevant skills and experiences that showcase why you’re the right fit for an internship role. Here are a few steps you can follow when writing an internship cover letter:

1. State the exact role you want

Starting your cover letter with the position you’re applying for shows you thoughtfully considered what makes you the best candidate for this specific position while reminding the reader what role you’re hoping to earn. It also implies you created a cover letter for their opening instead of using a general cover letter for all applications. Additionally, if you’re writing multiple letters for different internship positions and companies, make sure you’re updating this opening statement for each application.

Related: How To Write an Internship Request in 7 Steps

2. Use the right keywords

Including relevant keywords is essential because many employers use applicant tracking software (ATS) to review several applications. Carefully review the job description and company website for ideas you may include in your letter. For example, if the job description lists time management as a desired quality, try listing relevant examples in your cover letter.

Related: Your Guide To Cover Letter Keywords

3. Include relevant coursework or projects

If you have little to no job experience, your relevant coursework, projects or significant assignments can be helpful to employers. Include your completed courses related to the job description or industry. For example, if applying for a design internship, list your design courses and any significantly related accomplishments.

Related: How To Write a College Student Cover Letter (With Template)

4. List relevant skills

The body of your cover letter is where you can highlight relevant knowledge, expertise and education that can benefit an employer. Even if you don’t have professional industry experience, you can include skills you gained in previous internship roles or jobs, volunteer positions, classes or projects you completed, or achievements in extracurricular activities.

For example, if you’re applying for a position as a reporting intern at a local publication company, you may discuss your editor role at the student paper or how your previous office receptionist job taught you the importance of time management.

Related: 10 Skills for Cover Letters

5. Explain why you’re the right fit for the role

Include one or two sentences relating your qualifications to the internship. Carefully review the posted job description to understand which skills and experiences the employer seeks from individuals. Align those with your own and decide which to prioritize in your cover letter based on the posting.

Related: How To Convince An Employer To Take a Chance on You With 13 Tips

6. Describe your internship goals

In most cases, employers built an internship program to help students and young people better understand the industry and develop skills, experiences and relationships. In addition to explaining what you can offer a company, highlight what you hope to achieve and learn through the internship. Additionally, mention what the company can gain from hiring you. You can include how you hope to help improve a company process or assist with launching a campaign. This allows the hiring manager to understand what you can do for them in return for what they can do for you.

Related: How To Set Internship Goals

7. Review your cover letter before sending

When your cover letter is complete, set aside time to review and edit it. When proofreading, check for spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. If possible, ask trusted friends or family members to review your final draft from a third-party perspective. Alternatively, use a web tool or software to review grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

Example internship cover letter

Here’s an example of an internship cover letter you can use as a reference as you’re creating your own:

Erica Garcia
615-555-0100 I EGarcia@email.com I Franklin, Tennessee

March 1, 2023
Apricot Softwares
Dear Mr. Smith,

I’m excited to submit my resume for the summer Application Design internship program at Apricot Software. Throughout my coursework and volunteer opportunities, I have developed a strong confidence in my user experience knowledge, design skills and coding abilities, so I believe I’m a worthy asset to your team.

In my three years at South Maple Leaf College, I completed beneficial coursework on cutting-edge design trends and best practices, including Principles of User Experience Design and Mobile Application Design, where I applied skills like user journey mapping, application wireframing and designing software for mobile devices and operating systems. Additionally, last semester I volunteered with a local non-profit that collects clothes and furniture to redistribute to families in need. I helped the web team update and re-launch an application that allows the community to find nearby drop-off points and schedule pickups. Due to my contributions, the donations increased by 10%.

I believe I can excel on Apricot Software’s team, bringing careful attention to detail and graphic design skills to help the company differentiate itself from its competitors. This internship can help me grow my real-world experience in the technology industry and help me further develop and refine my application design skills. I look forward to hearing from you and speaking about this role further.

Erica Garcia

Related: 7 Powerful Ways to Start a Cover Letter

Template cover letter for an internship role

Here’s a template you can use to help you prepare your document:

Download Cover Letter Template With Example

By Alice Song
Alice Song Career Advisor