"There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking." -Brian Tracy
Describing all of your motivation, experience, and qualifications in one single letter is no easy task. However, as is customary when applying for jobs and internships, a CV and a cover letter allow recruiters to get an idea of a trainee's or future employee's personality. Therefore, writing a cover letter must be done with the seriousness and meticulous attention to detail.
According to a recent survey conducted by OpinionWay, over 52% of recruiters reject a cover letter that contains spelling mistakes.
Consequently, to stand out and rise above the competition, the cover letter of a potential intern must include vital information such as professional experience, reasons for application, and unique skills.
Nevertheless, how does one make an exemplary cover letter when applying for an internship? How should it complement the CV? Superprof has the goal of answering the previously posed questions in today's article along with providing tips about layout, suggested language, and structure; the perfect cover letter is awaiting!
Information an Internship Cover Letter Should Include
Whether for a first job or an internship, the cover letter used to apply for a professional position should include several paragraphs that each possess their function.
The start of your cover letter must grab the attention of the reader and demands to be read; a flashy introduction along with a formal statement of job request should be well thought out and should not be rushed
Therefore, the first couple of words and sentences must make clear the fact that you are searching for an internship for a specific length of time, with or without compensation, and with an internship agreement or not; the reader needs to know what you want from the beginning.
Remember to write the exact dates of the internship to not waste the precious time of the recruiter.
However, it is important to note that some trainees are willing to be flexible about their internship dates, and this provides the employer with additional options; something they hugely welcome!
The goal of a cover letter is to be as specific as possible so that they are no fundamental questions asked that might prevent you from being hired.
The first small paragraph, or introduction, can be used to clarify your current curriculum, your specific field of study, and the name of your further education centre. The last bit of information is significant since many recruiters place importance on the academic institution attended by the trainee; the first paragraph should be no longer than three to four concise sentences.
Avoid excessive details; only include the memorable ones.
In the second part or body paragraphs, the trainee must clearly explain the reasons for requesting an internship within the specific company in question. The reasons can be various such as the company's size, its social outreach programmes, its influence on the world stage, or its reputation for professionalism.
This specific section allows the company to verify that you did not copy and paste the same information for all the cover letters you sent out to recruiters; you took the time to investigate the company and this shows dedication among other outstanding qualities.
Another body paragraph in the second part should include information about the types of daily tasks and missions you wish to complete within the organisation. For example, what skills do you desire to acquire or develop, what projects would you like to complete, and what important information you would like to learn that pertains to your field of study? By asking these questions, a clear understanding is developed, and a short paragraph is crafted.
In another small paragraph, you should take the opportunity to list your strengths and why you would be the best intern for the job. It is at this moment that you want to sell yourself; however, be careful of taking this too far and coming across as pompous. Don't hesitate to mention your love of teamwork, your autonomy, and above all, your dedication to any task.
Finally, your conclusion paragraph should finish with greetings and a statement explaining that you are available for an interview or providing additional information.
If you feel insecure about the format of your cover letter, it is essential to state that there are various templates, examples, and tips available online from reputable sources that could be of great assistance.
Remember that creating an internship cover letter is quite similar to that of applying for a job; however, the main difference is that you are a student not yet possessing a degree in your field of study. Before concluding this section, it noteworthy to state that creating a cover letter is a smooth process that should not be ignored since it will set you up for future success!
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Finding Information About the Internship Company
Before the writing of the perfect cover commences, it is vital to research the company you are interested in to find helpful information and ensure that it will benefit your professional development in your chosen field of study.
Therefore, it is impossible to write a cover letter without knowing who you are addressing it to. Even though it is tempting to write a single cover letter and send it out to as many businesses as possible without modification, you will hurt your chances of being considered for the internship since the recruiter will immediately sense your impersonal nature.
Recruiters read hundreds of cover letters per week and can sniff insincerity and laziness from miles away!
With that being said, it is indispensable to visit the company's website to find vital information about the company's goals, outreach, and possible tasks that you may be responsible for once hired for the internship. Also, data such as the name of the CEO, the company's headquarters, and the basic history of the business should be acquired and remembered to impress recruiters in the chance of an interview.
Concluding this section, it is essential to remember that educating yourself about specific businesses before writing your cover letter shows the company in question that you made an earnest effort.
Write Clear and Concise Sentences
If there is a straightforward rule to follow, it would be to not exceed a page of writing for your cover letter. Recruiters are immediately turned off by a multiple page cover letter.
This can sometimes be frustrating to students who want to sell themselves and include as much relevant information as possible. However, this rule requires all to choose their words and amount of sentences carefully.
Since competition is fierce in the UK and other parts of Europe, recruiters do not have time to read extra long cover letters that are full of spelling mistakes. Short and sweet cover letters may enable you to pass the first stage and secure an interview.
To avoid endless rejection, frustration, and even tears, it is of the utmost importance to avoid multipage cover letters.
Getting right to the point is essential when writing a cover letter; however, we are not saying that a 4-5 sentence letter of introduction is the best way to go. Balance is crucial, and applicants need to find the middle ground: clearly explaining your expectations motivation without going into too many details.
It can't be too short but it also can't be too long; you understand right?
The main reason students babble on while writing cover letters is that they are unprepared, do not know what to include, and have not received helpful tips from the experts at Superprof!
Sentences should be well-organised and concise, providing the recruiter with at least one piece of valuable information.
If after proofreading and thorough editing, you realise that several sentences are weighing your cover letter down, feel free to remove them; less is more in this situation.
Regularly Check Your Grammar, Spelling, and Syntax
The proofreading stage is as important as the writing stage since it is a crucial moment to verify any grammar or spelling mistakes that may have been made.
It is essential to state that spelling mistakes are one of the primary reasons for internship rejection. If you are too nervous to reread it, ask a friend to help you with proofreading.
Even if you have reread the text over 100 times, mistakes may slip by without noticing.
Therefore, since the internship cover letter is highly essential, call a friend, ask your parent, or seek the proofreading expertise of one of your university professors.
Also, pay constant attention to grammar and syntax. The word connections, verb tenses, sentence structure; everything must be perfect for getting the internship of your dreams!
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Follow the Format and Layout Rules
Being a gifted writer is not everything when writing a cover letter; you must be aware of how to structure a cover letter and present it successfully. To effectively accomplish this, specific layout rules must be followed by all.
Firstly, the space at the top left corner must be reserved to present your first name, surname, address, telephone number, email address etc.; this is the place to include necessary information about yourself.
Secondly, as is the case with any letter, it is necessary to include the recipient's information in the top right of the page; the name of the recruiter, the address of their place of employment, the address of the company you are applying at, the company's telephone number, and their email address.
Thirdly, a few lines down after including your information and the company's, you must consist of the place where you wrote the cover letter and the date it was completed.
Lastly, still at the beginning of the page before the body paragraphs, it is advisable to include the purpose of your letter. It may be something like:
"Application for internship at (the company's name)..."
After the introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs have been perfected, it is essential to include a courtesy phrase and your signature.
The following are some polite phrases that may be included in a cover letter:
- Dear Sir or Madam, please accept my best regards,
- Please accept, dear Sir, the expression of my best feelings,
- Please accept dear Sir or Madam, the appearance of my highest consideration,
- In anticipation of your reply, please accept, dear Sir or Madam, my sincere greetings.
For more information about this section, Ratemyplacement has included a fantastic template of an internship cover letter.
Nevertheless, even with the information provided, some well-to-do students may ask, should the cover letter be handwritten or typed?
If no information has been provided, it is up to the trainee. However, be careful that the handwriting is clear and legible, so if you don't have the best penmanship, it would probably be better to type the cover letter! Another con of handwriting is that if you have made a mistake, you will have to start all over again.
Therefore, we highly recommended typing out the cover letter; we are living in the age of technology, after all!
Before typing your cover letter, it is crucial to use serious fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman to show your seriousness and professionalism. Also, even if your letter is typed, be sure to do your signature by hand.
In conclusion, we are confident that our future trainees have all the information to write a cover letter successfully!
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