Need to write a cover letter for an internship? As with a student job or a first job, a cover letter is a prerequisite for an internship. Attached to your resume, a cover letter will let recruiters know if your profile, skills and personality match their internship offer. "All that?" You may say! Yes, a good, well-written letter can indeed transcribe all this information. In this article, we give you some tips on how to write a personalized cover letter for an internship. What elements should be included in your letter? How can you stand out? We'll guide you !
Before writing your internship cover letter
1# Gather information about the organization
You want to apply for an internship in a company or via a spontaneous application? The first thing to do before you start writing your letter is to find out about the organization. Who is the founder? What is the mission? What are the values? What are the organization's issues? What are its current events? By gathering this information, you will be able to build the first bridges between yourself and the organization.
2# What is the internship offer for you?
Ensuite, demande-toi si ton profil est cohérent avec les compétences et les missions de l’offre de stage. Pourquoi penses-tu être la bonne personne pour y répondre ? Quelles sont tes compétences acquises pouvant répondre aux missions de l’offre ? D’où vient ta motivation pour occuper ce poste en stage ? Qu’est ce qui peut faire la différence entre toi et un.e autre candidat.e ?
Writing a cover letter for an internship
3# The body of the letter
To begin with, you can specify the purpose of your internship application at the beginning of your cover letter.
For example: "Application for the internship of assistant biodiversity project manager.
Or for a spontaneous application: "Application for a 6-month internship in marine biodiversity."
Next, a cover letter, regardless of the contract, can be structured in 3 paragraphs:
About the organization
You can start by quickly explaining your background in this section, but keep in mind that the challenge is to show why the organization interests you. You can use a specific element related to its values, its mission, its news, to create a relevant hook. What did you like about them? What resonates with you, your experience?
This is your time! Here you can talk about your skills, developing 2 or 3 experiences, related to the organization's mission. To complete this section, ask yourself: how does talking about this experience relate to a skill required for the internship ?
About you & the organization
This last paragraph is there to convince the recruiters of the interest of a collaboration, both for them and for you. For example, you can talk about what you would like and could bring to the company or about the interest of doing this internship, in relation to your future professional project.
4# 1 experience = 1 example
Concrete, more concrete, always concrete! In order for recruiters to know if you are the right future intern for them, you have to give them something to understand. To do this, illustrate each experience with examples.
For example, if the key skills of the internship are autonomy and being a force of proposal, you can say: "Feeling comfortable leading training workshops, I asked to lead some in complete autonomy after 2 months of internship, which I was able to do and enjoyed."
5# Copy and paste is to be avoided !
Take inspiration from internship cover letter templates, yes. Copy and paste sentences, no. Writing the same letter for all your applications is also a no-no. First of all, if you don't put your heart into your work, it will show when you read it! Writing sentences that come from you will allow the recruiter to better understand your personality! To personalize your letter, you can, for example, express your feelings about the company's mission or commitment.
Here is an example of a personalized cover letter: "Your offer for an internship in purchasing/logistics of organic baskets has greatly aroused my interest, as I have been interested in permaculture for the past two years and would like to work in a field that values this method of production."
And finally, to adapt your communication to that of the organization, you can include keywords present on their website and in the job offer, in your cover letter.
6# Tools to build your internship letter
Although you can write a handwritten letter, you can also use word processing tools such as Word or Open Office to write a cover letter. With these tools, you can choose your font, create a page layout and correct your mistakes via an option that underlines them in red, just like in school! Not bad, right?
7# Small details matter !
Alineas, commas, spaces between each line (1.15 or 1.5) and between paragraphs, a well readable font, are all details that will make reading easier for the recipient.
8# A greeting
If there is one thing that never goes out of fashion when addressing a cover letter, it is the polite wording at the end of your letter. Here are 3 examples of greetings that you can use as inspiration:
“Please accept, Madam, Sir, my best regards."
"I look forward to hearing from you."
"Hoping that my application will be of interest to you, please accept, Madam, Sir, my best regards."
Sending your internship cover letter
9# Proofreading for mistakes !
Watch out for spelling mistakes! Proofread your application carefully or have it proofread by someone close to you, as spelling mistakes can be prohibitive for some recruiters.
10# Sending your cover letter
To send your letter, use the pdf format! Once finalized, if your cover letter is in word format or in another format, you can download it in pdf format to send it.
Here is a sample internship cover letter
In this example of a cover letter, the student is in the 1st year of a BTS in restaurant management and is looking for a 2-month internship from July to August.
Last Name First Name
Last name First name or company name of recipient
Done at..., on...
Subject: application for the internship: "Assistant to the cook in a third place".
As a student in the first year of a BTS in restaurant management, your internship offer has aroused my interest. I would like to learn how your restaurant works, as I would like to move towards organic and zero waste cuisine after my BTS.
My first year of training in BTS allowed me to develop techniques in culinary restoration and to master the reception and the service of the customers. I was also able to do a two-week internship with an organic farmer, which gave me the desire to work with this type of product.
As I do not yet have any extensive experience in the kitchen outside of the BTS and my home-made creations, I would like to apply my initial knowledge of the trade in a restaurant like yours. I am motivated to learn and follow the advice of a professional like you.
I am at your disposal for any further information. Please accept, Mr. (Name of the restaurant owner), my best regards.