This Cover Letter Will Land You That Internship
Cover letters are just as important as a resume when applying for internships. A cover letter is an extension of your resume that goes more in-depth about your skills. However, just like a resume, there is a certain formula you must follow when writing and formatting a cover letter.
What is a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is an extension of your resume. It allows you to dive deeper and explain your experience and skills in your own words. It should be sweet and to the point, no longer than one page.
It should consist of three to four paragraphs: introduction, explanation, and closing. Keep in mind that the hiring manager is looking at hundreds of resumes and cover letters and you need yours to stick out.
That is where formatting and content come in.
The format of your cover letter should match the format of your resume. It should be the same font and the same header. Your name should be the same on each; if you include your middle name or initial, then it should appear on both documents. Your contact information should also be the same.
When writing a cover letter, you must have your contact information somewhere at the top, whether it is formatted in the header or right aligned at the beginning of your cover letter. You also need to add the contact information of whom you are sending the letter to.
This information should always be left aligned and right before you start your letter.
If your cover letter looks incorrectly formatted, the hiring manager may toss it aside without even looking at your name, which is why it is so important to make it look clean and easy to read.
The greeting line in your cover letter is an important detail. In order to be seriously considered for an internship, your greeting should be directed towards someone. Most of the time you are able to find the name of the hiring manager. If it is not mentioned in the job posting, copy part of the description and Google it to see if it shows up anywhere else on the web. You can always search LinkedIn as well.
If you cannot find a name to put, use their title or position in the company. This would include, “Hiring Manager” or “Human Resources.”
Never put “To whom it may concern.” It looks lazy and unprofessional. It says a lot to the employer if you are able to research the job posting and find the name of the person reviewing applicants.
Your introduction should do two things: inform the reader of where you go to school and how you learned about the internship. This should be one or two sentences long.
“I am a junior in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University studying English. I am writing to inquire about the Editorial Internship at Penguin Random House posted on Bookjobs.com.”
Your body paragraph is where you will go more in depth about your skills and experiences. This is your chance to highlight something on your resume that needs more explanation or directly relates to the internship you are applying for.
Using keywords such as utilized, programmed, generated, awarded, chosen, wrote, analyzed, implemented, and created will grab the reader’s attention. These words show leadership and that you take action.
Try to only stick to one or two topics in this paragraph. This is not an opportunity for you to explain everything on your resume. Keep in mind that your cover letter is your chance to explain one of your greatest accomplishments or an experience that relates to the internship position.
Call to Action
The last and final paragraph of the cover letter should be about two or three sentences in length. Make sure to thank the reader for taking the time to read through your cover letter and for considering you for the internship position. You can also ask for a personal interview in this paragraph; don’t be afraid to sound confident. Also, make sure to add your phone number and email address in this paragraph as well.
“Please consider my request for a personal interview to further discuss my qualifications. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Always end the letter with “Sincerely,” leaving a space for your signature, and then your full name printed. It is not required but may help show that you go the extra mile if you print out the cover letter, sign it, and then email or submit it.
Follow All Instructions
An internship may require you to add something else to your cover letter. If you are applying to a publishing company, they may ask for the last three books you have read. Make sure to read the instructions very carefully and follow them.
Ask for a Second Set of Eyes
It’s always a good idea to have someone else read over your cover letter before sending it in. It can be easy to miss your own mistakes, especially after reading through it a few times. Remember, your cover letter represents your writing and communication skills, not just your experiences.
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