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What to Include in an Internship Cover Letter

written by: nataliajones•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 9/2/2010

Internship cover letters are the gateway to scarce job openings that can offer university students or recent graduates some much needed experience. These positions are always in high demand so it goes without saying that the entire application process should be approached with zeal.

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    Internship cover letters are an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to an unknown human resource manager and convince him that you FreeDigitalImages, future, by grauer razvan ionet are the perfect candidate for the position. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, and you have only to think about the gargantuan task facing the average human resource department when it is called upon to presort a list of suitable candidates for an internship. But the task is even more daunting when the internship is extremely popular and competitive.

    Internship cover letters have a tendency to become mundane documents because the information that is generally included is more or less standard. However, giving in to the temptation to create a cover letter that reads like it was copied directly from an internet sample is definitely not the way to go.

    The challenge of writing a cover letter that can grab a reader's attention and land your resume in the short list of applicants scheduled for interviews is no small feat. It requires the right ingredients to make it happen. These include:

    • A short but effective introduction to who you are.

    • A summary of your scholastic achievements.

    • Mention of why you are interested in taking up the internship.

    • An explanation of why you would be an asset to the company.

    • A snapshot of your future goals.

    In addition to the aspects mentioned above it can also be helpful to take the time to tailor your cover letter to the industry or even the company to which you are addressing your letter. To do this you need to do a bit of research and then find a way to slip some information into the natural flow of your letter. If the company has recently celebrated a success or launched a new venture, you may be able to mention your impression of this event in a way that shows that you are not simply an academic mind, but you are also in tune with what is happening in the real world. This kind of detail can certainly give you an edge over other applicants who might focus too heavily on what comes more naturally, such as mention of courses taken or projects undertaken.

    It's important to explain why this particular internship is of interest to you. This cannot be highlighted enough because it is a stellar opportunity to set yourself apart from the pack. It pays to really think about your reason for reaching for a spot on the internship list so you can offer the human resource committee something that is more interesting than a textbook description of how attractive the program is to applicants and how much you would appreciate being chosen.

    A thorough and creative internship cover letter can catapult your name onto the short list while a mundane and lackluster letter can ensure your resume is confined to the bottom of the pile, never to be viewed again.

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