A cover letter is an introduction and often the first piece of information about your personal details and career path, that you share with the potential employer. The objective of a cover letter is to convince the employer that you are a good fit for the job and you know how to make a positive contribution to the hiring organisation. A well carved and articulated cover letter will give a boost to your application for an internship.
Since interns are usually undergraduates or students, they are not expected to possess several years of work experience. In this scenario, one needs to focus on achievements in academia, extracurricular activities, volunteer and other work experience in addition to relevant soft and transferable skills, while writing an effective cover letter or resume. It is important to customise your cover letter for each internship role you are applying for.
Below are some tips to write an effective Cover Letter for an Internship position:
- An internship cover letter must contain academic details and achievements in extracurricular activities, besides volunteer and other work experience. Do not copy paste information from your resume, and also ensure that you do not repetitively use “I” in your statements to steer clear from making it self-centred, instead focus on what you can offer to the organisation.
- Include keywords from the internship listing to draw attention to your relevant skillset and experience. Give examples from your work, academic and extracurricular experience to validate your statements. For instance- If the internship role requires teamwork or organisation skills, give examples of how you have demonstrated specific skills by working in a team with other students/ volunteers to organise an exhibition etc. or any other projects that set you apart from other applicants.
- Use a professional or business letter format.
○ Include your name, email address and contact number on the top of the cover letter, followed by full name of the hiring manager, name and address of the company, contact number and email id of the contact person.
○ Add a reference line to your referring to the position you are applying for. Address the contact person by title (Mr./Ms.) and last name instead of their first name. Avoid using “to whom it may concern”.
○ Introduce yourself briefly in the opening statement and then highlight your achievements and unique skills that make your profile relevant for the internship role you are seeking. In the closing paragraph, thank the reader for their time and request for scheduling a call/ meeting for further discussion, to express your interest and take things forward.
- Proofread your cover letter quite a few times to avoid any spelling and grammar mistakes because errors can significantly reduce your chances of getting an interview. Keep it short and concise, no longer than one page, and use a clear and professional font.
Sample Cover Letter
Hiring Manager’s Full name
With a flair for mathematics and accounting besides attention to detail, organisation and analytical skills, I feel confident to efficiently maintain the record and filing system; prepare reports and analyse data while ensuring accuracy. As an Intern, my interpersonal skills coupled with strong communication in both English and Cantonese will help me provide administrative support to other employees at ABC international (HK) Ltd. In addition, I am proficient in Microsoft Office and familiar with accounting software systems.
Having been a high performer academically as well as in extracurricular activities throughout my school and university years, I have learnt to be self-disciplined and my education has equipped me with in-depth understanding of finance and accounting fundamentals. A copy of my resume is attached for your perusal.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to scheduling a meeting with you at a convenient time for further discussion.
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