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A cover letter for an internship?

Cover letter for an internship 

There is no need to explain the role played by internships in the career trajectory of a fresher. Internships kickstart the career of all freshers. There will be high competition for any great internships. This requires all efforts on the side of a candidate to set their resume apart from all other competing candidates. Having a powerful cover letter along with your resume and application is a great way to do it. A good cover letter grabs the attention of your potential employer and increases the chance of your success. The highly rewarding nature of a good cover letter is that the extra effort you take to explain your skills and education through a cover letter will increase the probability of you getting through the internship.

In conclusion, a good cover letter sends out a message to the employer that you are the best candidate fit for the internship opportunity. Hence, you must understand all aspects to prepare a good cover letter and implement the same value apply for an internship as a fresher. In this article, we will look into all dimensions of preparing a perfect cover letter. Aimed at increasing your success rate of getting into the internship, relevant samples are included here.

Background research before drafting your cover letter

At all stages of the preparation of your cover letter, you must express your interest in the company you are applying for. This interest can be exhibited only through proper background research about the scope and goals of the company. This is the same for the case of an internship application to an NGO. Understanding the roles through which you may be involved in the organization is also crucial. Here is a possible list of things that is to be researched before you prepare a cover letter for your internship application.

❖ The general background of the company has to be researched. This includes the recent history and the long evolutionary history of the organization. You must have a grip on the values that the organization endorses, the short-term and long-term aims of the company, and the grand vision that it holds.

❖ One area for good potential research is regarding any noteworthy projects that the organization has recently been involved in or completed.

❖ It is always a better idea to focus on any of the awards that the company has won recently or any accomplishments of a similar nature.

❖ It is crucial that you know if the organization has appeared in the news recently for any of its activities. Needless to say, it has to be positive or good news.

❖ Last but not least, it will be highly rewarding if you know the background of high-level leaders of the company to which you are applying for an internship.

Components of a cover letter for an internship

Understanding the components of a cover letter is the first active step you have to take in crafting a perfect cover letter. In this section, the main components of a cover letter are listed and briefly explained.

1. Specify the person whom you are addressing the cover letter

2. State the specific role for which you are applying.

3. Give importance to the possible value addition that will happen to the organization through your internship.

4. Give ample space to highlight the relevant training and skills you have.

5. Implement the use of precise and writer keywords throughout

6. List out the major education and course work-related details.

7. Do not stretch the cover letter beyond 3 to 5 paragraphs or 400 words. This is a thumb rule.

8. Customised cover letters are important. Sending out a generalist cover letter will not bring high rewards.

9. Add a perfect conclusion to your cover letter.

Template of a cover letter for an internship

In this section, a brief outline of a perfect tablet for an internship cover letter is discussed.

1. Header

This is the beginning of a cover letter. A header of a cover letter is inclusive of the following details. It includes your full name and immediate contact information. You must mention the date of application and the companies contact details in the header.

2. Date

The date is explicitly mentioned at the top of the cover letter and is an essential component.

3. Company address

A candidate may think of this as an unnecessary component but mentioning the company address on top of the cover letter is part of professional etiquette.

4. Greeting

This is one section of the cover letter where you cannot afford to make mistakes. You have to choose the salutation wisely and ensure that the name and the designation of the person you are addressing are perfectly correct. Alongside, you need to ensure that you do not misspell or choose the wrong salutation.

5. Introduction

The introduction section has to be the most engaging paragraph of your cover letter. This is because the hiring managers may go through a few hundred cover letters daily. The introduction may help you set yourself apart from other candidates with similar educational qualifications and thereby increasing your chances of being successful. It is not wrong to see the introduction section as a summary of what you are going to discuss in the body of the cover letter.

6. Body

This is the main content of the cover letter and has to be very specific. The specificity has to be regarding your educational qualification and other certifications relevant to the internship you have applied for. It can be of a few paragraphs, but it is advised that you keep this section as short as possible.

7. Conclusion

The concluding section leaves a long-lasting impression of your cover letter. In the section, it is advised that you stress why you are a perfect fit for the vacancy offered, along with your gratitude for the time dedicated to reading your cover letter.

Formatting your internship cover letter

Formatting of your internship cover letter determines the aesthetics of it and how pleasing it will be for the reader. A few general tips go along with a professional writing etiquette that has to be applied in your cover letter. The term role while formatting a cover letter is to stick to the basics.

➢ Regarding the length of your cover letter, it is acknowledged that a cover letter that fits on one page with single-spaced formatting is appreciated the most. That means the ideal length of an internship cover letter has to be somewhere between 200 to 400 words.

➢ Regarding the margins of your cover letter, it is necessary that the margin size has to be consistent on all sides of the cover letter. It is always better to choose the standard one-inch margin, which is by default available in writing tools.

➢ Regarding the font that is to be applied, it is advised that the selection criteria has to be based on readability. It is always safe to go with a font that is very common and easily readable.

➢ Regarding the font size of your cover letter, the rule of thumb is to use a font size between 10 to 12 points. You have to strike a balance between two things. On the one hand, it has to be big enough to be read properly and small enough to create the ambiance of professional writing.

➢ Regarding the colors to be applied in the cover letter, the safe and suggested color for a font is black. Unless and until you apply for a creative industry, you should resist splashing unnecessary colors.

➢ Regarding the alignment to be implemented, you must use left alignment for each paragraph and strike the right balance of text and white space.

Opening, middle, and closing paragraphs of your internship cover letter

In this section of the article, we go in-depth analyzing the opening, middle, and closing paragraphs of your internship cover letter to ensure that you produce the best one for your application.

1. Opening or introductory paragraph

A strong opening paragraph followed by an impactful greeting is essential for a good cover letter. It is always appreciated that you use “Dear” for salutation. Few other elements are to be given ample importance while preparing the introductory paragraph. A few of those are listed below. You may incorporate some of these to make your introductory paragraph more powerful.

● It is highly rewarding if you explicitly mention your enthusiasm for the organization you are applying to. It is crucial to set your cover letter apart from other candidates, and to incorporate any of the vision of the company will help. You can connect this with your motivation after doing proper research.

● You may use your passion and new perspectives to cover for your lack of experience if you are a fresh graduate. The best strategy to exhibit your passion is to explicitly mention the value addition you may bring to the company through your internship.

● If you can successfully pull off a story that connects all the above-mentioned elements, it will be highly rewarding. You can stress any of the achievements during college and implement quantitative data to grab the attention of the hiring manager.

● If you have connected with this organization in any capacity in the recent past, it will be a great idea to mention it upfront and seek the initial advantage.

2. The main body or the middle paragraphs

● The main body of your cover letter is the core which determines the future of your application. Invariably, you must focus on the relevant skills which will give an advantage to you over other candidates. By focusing on the skills and education, you can successfully leave your lack of work experience to the sidelines.

● It will be a great idea if you can mention a variety of experiences tied together. The experiences can be drawn from your previous volunteering activities or group activities, or even project work during your college days.

● You may also mention professional and practical soft skills, including your multitasking abilities and team leadership. Few essential soft skills include your time management capabilities and professional communication capabilities.

● You must give some space for the details of your coursework if you are a fresh graduate. Especially if it is relevant to the field of application, this will help you to place yourself on a high pedestal as compared to other candidates.

3. The closing or concluding paragraph

● The closing or concluding paragraph will leave a long-lasting impression of your cover letter with the hiring managers.

● It is very crucial that you explicitly connect your qualification with the requirements posted by the company. This is one way to make things easier for the hiring managers. This will also allow you to argue on the value addition that you may potentially bring to the organization.

● Your confidence has to be reflected in the cover letter. You have to give enough reasons why you believe that you are a perfect fit for the internship.

● The cover letter can be concluded with the common close statement along with your full name. You can either go with the generic clause statement or a personal one.

Essential things to keep in mind while you draft one  

❖    Do not express your apologies.

There is no need for you to express your apologies for the lack of experience you have. This will give the impression that you are adopting a negative approach in your cover letter. Additionally, this is an unprofessional way of expressing the point. You must give adequate importance to your subject knowledge and education to deviate from the hiring manager from the point that you do not have enough experience. It is completely upon you to select which area you have to focus on. It is always wise to highlight your core areas rather than explain your weaknesses unnecessarily.

❖    Explain your expectations from the internship opportunity

It is almost certain that a candidate will mention the value-added to the organization through the internship. It is quite common that the personal and professional experience you seek from the internship does not get mentioned in the cover letter. If you can explain all things you hope to gain and learn through the internship activity, it will be marked as a positive. This is one way to express your curiosity and enthusiasm to eagerly learn from the organization.

❖    Flex your ambition 

It is not a good idea to underestimate the roles and responsibilities you might get through the internship. It may not always be a clerical job as you expect. To grab those promising opportunities, you must flex your ambition in the cover letter itself. This will send the hiring manager that you are looking for something great and are confident with your capabilities. Your expression of a driven personality and self-motivated professionalism will help you move ahead in your career quickly.

Common mistakes to avoid while drafting your cover letter 

There are a few common mistakes that most of the candidates commit while drafting the cover letter for an internship. It is listed below to ensure that you do not commit the same.

➔    Never underestimate the importance of proofreading.

Having grammatical mistakes in your cover letter is the last thing you want as a candidate. You have to implement multiple proofreading sessions with the help of your friends or colleagues to avoid any spelling mistakes and silly mistakes. Applications for internships enter into a highly competitive environment where you cannot afford any small mistakes that negatively affect your chances of being selected.

➔    Professional writing should not be compromised.

There needs to be a balance struck between being professional and formal. It is not a good idea to include multiple jargons and the language, which sounds very demanding. The best possible way is to use a natural style of writing, taking into consideration all professional etiquettes. 

Do not commit the mistake of stitching the cover letter too much and making it go beyond one side of an A4 paper. Do not rush in writing, and it is always advised to give a few hours’ breaks while editing the cover letter.

➔    Never lie

It is quite natural that you may be tempted to write some credentials which may not be true. You may have to increase your chances by stretching your achievements and lying about your skills. This is not a wise way to approach your cover letter. There are chances that the hiring managers will find out about this sooner or later. Apart from the inevitable embarrassment that comes along, you may be barred from attempting further, and it affects your reputation big time.

➔    Your efforts matter

Your custom must prepare your cover letter depending on the organization. You cannot afford to be lazy by copy-pasting the content of your previous cover letters. It is very easy for hiring managers to identify a generic application amongst custom-made applications. This may result in an outright rejection of your cover letter and application.

How to send your cover letter?

Sending out your cover letter to the concerned organization is one of the last steps in preparing the cover letter. There are many ways in which you can do the same depending on the circumstances and the compelling situation.

1.   If you have applied to the organization through an online application, you may have a dedicated space to submit the cover letter. In this situation, things are fairly easy for you.

2.   If you are applying to the organization through your email, you may attach the prepared cover letter to your email. If the prospective employer or the hiring manager demands a cover letter from you, this is the most professional way to deal with the situation. The primary thing that is to be cross-checked multiple times is the filename you are using. Always ensure that the file name of your attached cover letter is professional and holds clarity. In any situation, the file name of the cover letter should not be confusing or too generic.

3.   If the hiring managers of the organization haven’t demanded a cover letter specifically from you, you can apply the cover letter as the body of your email. This is an effective strategy to grab the attention of the prospective employer and increase your chances. The most important thing that is to be ensured is the salutation you use.

Samples  

Sample 1:

{insert your name here}

{insert your address}

{insert your contact details} 

{date of application}

{insert the recruiter’s name here}

{insert the recruiter’s designation}

{name of the company}

Dear (insert full name of the recruiter here),

I am writing to submit my resume for consideration regarding the research internship opportunities advertised at (insert college name here). I believe my coursework and field experience equips me to be a perfect fit for you. 

I have completed advanced qualitative and quantitative research methodologies with adequate field experience. Most of my field experience revolved around the notion of sustainability studies and environmental conservation. I am currently pursuing my master’s dissertation in a field closely related to the internship opportunity or providing. I am sure that this will help me to perform better at your organization.

I have previously completed Indian ships in the field of sustainability studies itself. I have been working as a teaching and research assistant for my professor at college. This has helped me to polish my professional and interpersonal communication skills. 

I firmly believe that I will be a valuable addition to your new project. I am eagerly waiting to learn and unlearn through the wonderful responsibilities that await me in the research internship program. 

I submit my convenience for any further communications related to the same. I hope to schedule communication for the steps in the selection process as and when you wish to. I look forward to collaborating with you.

Thanks and regards,

{insert your name here}

Sample 2:

{insert your name here}

{insert your address}

{insert your contact details} 

{date of application}

{insert the recruiter’s name here}

{insert the recruiter’s designation}

{name of the company}

Dear (insert full name of the recruiter here),

It was a great privilege that I could come across your advertisement at my college notice board inviting applications for a summer internship program in the field of accounting.

I have completed my post-graduation in commerce with distinction. It was my pleasure to devote time to completing software courses along with my coursework in college. This has enabled me to adjust myself to the dynamic domain of accounting, and I am sure that I can contribute to your organization passionately.

I have enthusiastically worked as an office bearer to my department societies at college, equipping me to inculcate the professional skills of teamwork and leadership. I am confident that my interpersonal communication skills and writing abilities make me a perfect fit for the internship program you offer.  

I am eagerly waiting to learn the real-life experience and practical problem solving related to accounting through the responsibilities you may provide me during this internship program. I have attached my resume along and am ready to schedule for a selection process according to your convenience if my qualifications seem fit. 

Sincerely

{insert your name here}

Key takeaways 

★ All your efforts have to be in the direction of seeking the attention of the hiring manager. If you fail to differentiate your cover letter from others, you haven’t succeeded in crafting a well-thought-out cover letter.

★ Do not forget to flex or educational qualification and the relevant skills which increase your chances of being selected.

★ Explicitly express your familiarity with the vision and mission of the organization and connect it with your perspectives.

★ Always leave room for a continued conversation. For example, explicitly express your convenience for a call or a meeting if necessary.

★ Always ensure that there are any contradicting points in your cover letter and resume.

★ There is no substitute for dedicated research of the organization where you are applying for the internship. Going in similar lines, a custom-prepared cover letter with specific points is necessary.

★ It would be great if you can provide specific examples and illustrations to substantiate your experience and expertise.

★ Professionally consolidate all points keeping the cover letter super brief and highly impactful.

★ Proofread multiple times until you’re confident enough. Silly mistakes can let you down if not taken care of.

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