Student internship guides

Cover Letter Examples and Guides

Brown arrow 21 Written by Nathan Parcells on May 11, 2010

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Before writing a cover letter, its important to understand how it can help or hurt you.

In the internship application process a cover letter is your first impression. It's an opportunity to tell a perspective employer why you’re the perfect fit for their internship and their office and just as importantly, a cover letter is an opportunity to tell an employer you don't care about their position, by writing a sloppy or template cover letter. Some valuable cover letter topics include, explaining why a position interests you, what you bring to the table, how you would be a great fit, or something unique about you that makes you different from the hundreds of other candidates. The ultimate goal of your cover letter is to get the reader excited to meet you for an interview to learn more.

To summarize the points above, ingredients needed to make a successful cover letter are:

Header with contact information: Including a header with your contact information on the cover letter makes you look professional and ensures your information will be easy to find. You should also consider including this header on all documents you’re submitting when applying, it demonstrates your professionalism and acts as an opportunity to brand yourself to the perspective employer.

Who is your audience? Try to find the person who is in charge of intern hiring and address your cover letter and resume to them. Statistics show you have a better chance of being hired if you know who’s doing the hiring and if you recognize them, so take some time to research who will be reviewing your submitted materials and write to them specifically.

The hook: The person reviewing applicant cover letters and resumes will most likely be going through more than you can imagine, so it’s extremely important to hook ‘em with the first line of your cover letter. Start your cover letter with a statement that will catch the reader’s eye, you can try an interesting or entertaining fact that relates you to the company. Always try your hardest to avoid the typical salutations used in writing, because chances are, your reader has already come across many and is sick of seeing them.

What I do and what I can do for you: Employers want to know what you can bring to the table, so why beat around the bush, give them what they want! It’s rare for a hiring manager to read an entire cover letter from start to finish, so try using bullet points and bolded text to help identify the important information they’ll be searching for.

Finish strong, let your confidence shine: Let the company know why you want to work for them and that you really believe you would be a good fit with their team, their company culture, and company community. Also, adding a signature will personalize your cover letter and help you stand out with a sense of professionalism.

Emailing your cover letter:When emailing or uploading your cover letter, you should use either a Microsoft Word version 2003-2007, or PDF file, as not all organizations can open DOCX files and rarely will an organization ask you to resend it.

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