Internship Cover Letter Guide

A Guide For Writing Internship Cover Letters

Cover letters are the first step in getting a job. Especially for interns, writing a cover letter can be challenging because even if you've been an intern previously, you've still not spent a lot of time in the work world. 

There are three main components to drafting a cover letter beginning with the first paragraph, which states why you are writing, the second and third paragraphs, which state what you have to offer, and the last paragraph, which states how you will follow up.

 Let's take it step-by-step. 

First Paragraph

When sending out a cover letter it is important to let the employer know what you are applying for at the very beginning of your letter.

For Example

Please accept my application for the summer analyst position recently posted on MonsterTRAK.

Always be clear, concise, and specific in your communications. This provides the employer with the exact information they need to direct your letter to the appropriate person or department. If you have a mutual contact that referred you, you should put that into the first paragraph.

If You're Being Referred to the Company 

Ms. Mary Smith, a Brandeis alumna and Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Merrill Lynch, recommended that I mention her name when applying for the Merrill Lynch summer analyst position recently posted on MonsterTRAK. My strong academic commitment in addition to my participation in a number of co-curricular activities as well as a previous internship with Smith Barney makes me an excellent candidate for this position.

Second and Third Paragraphs

While you haven't been a member of the workforce, you have knowledge and skills acquired in your college courses, co-curricular and volunteer activities, and previous internships and jobs. You can either devote one paragraph to relevant coursework and co-curricular activities and another paragraph to relevant work and internship experiences or include both in the same paragraph.

Example of School Experience

During my first two years at Brandeis University, I excelled in all my business courses, especially finance and economics. I have enjoyed the challenges that these courses provided and found myself totally immersed in the overall management and business course culminating in a major project and presentation made to several visiting corporate executives. The project required a great deal of organizational and team work skills in order to make the presentation a success. The outcome was well received and the feedback included a plan on the part of the executives to implement several of our recommendations at the corporate level. Additionally, I served as treasurer of my sophomore class for two semesters and we orchestrated two major fundraisers for charities of our choice in only four short months.

Example of Internship Experience

My internship with Smith Barney allowed me to fully utilize my analytical skills and quantitative reasoning skills acquired at school. After six weeks, my supervisor recommended that I participate in a project involving senior analysts and assisted with the final presentation for the Board of Directors. This experience helped me learn how to think on my feet and raised my level of self-confidence.

Last Paragraph

The last paragraph is your opportunity to sum up your qualifications and how you intend to follow-up. Unless the job posting states that you do not contact the employer, this is where you explain how you will follow-up to ensure receipt of your material and request an interview. By following up, you not only ensure your documents were received; you afford the employer the opportunity to take a second look at your qualifications. It also tells the employer you are still interested in the position.

Example of a Last Paragraph

Thank you for taking the time to review my resume and cover letter. Given my extensive experience with other brokerage firms during previous summer internship programs, I feel well-suited for the Smith Barney internship position. I hope to be afforded the opportunity to intern with Smith Barney and will call soon to see if we can arrange an interview.


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