Internship Cover Letter

Leave a Comment


In a hurry? Jump straight to our jobs page!


internship cover letter

How to write an internship cover letter

Writing an internship cover letter is like peeling one of those big oranges. It’s tricky, and you can lose hope along the way, but it is necessary if you want to get to the fruit.

Read on for a step-by-step guide to writing a cover letter for an internship.


Try an online CV builder

Save time writing your CV and use an online builder such as myPerfectCV


Before we begin...

Before we dive in, it might be a good idea to identify what an internship cover letter actually is. Otherwise, this could all get very confusing. A cover letter is a formal letter that is sent to an employer with a CV. Your cover letter should outline who you are, why you are interested in the internship, and why you are sending the employer your CV.

The primary aim of a cover letter is to introduce yourself to an employer, and silently urge them to read your CV. A cover letter should be short, and to the point. You do not need describe every single one of your talents.

The content of your cover letter should tease what is to come in your CV. To tantalise the employer, so that they are certain to read all of your CV, and invite you for an interview.


If you are applying for an internship, check out our blog Internship CV: Your Guide & Template. It has an absolutely cracking CV template, and seven foolproof steps to writing a CV that employers will want to take home and frame.


Step 1: To whom it may concern,

The opening address in a cover letter is remarkably important. It’s like the first flight of an albatross chick. If it takes to the wind, it will soar off the beach and into the sky, to a life of internships and career opportunities. If it falls and lands in the ocean, its feather will get wet, and it will almost immediately be ripped apart by tiger sharks.

If you address your cover letter to the wrong person, or to nobody all, tiger sharks will be the least of your problems. Recruiters and employers are woefully unimpressed by cover letters that are addressed to –

Dear Sir/Madam, and they go absolutely bananas if an internship cover letter begins with –

To whom it may concern,

How do you avoid their wrath? Find the name of the person who will be reading your cover letter. Start your internship cover letter like this:

Dear Full Name,             e.g. Dear John Smith,

Dear Mr Surname,          e.g. Dear Mr Smith,

Dear Ms Surname,         e.g. Dear Ms. Smith

(always write Ms instead of Miss/Mrs, don’t presume marital status)

Finding the recruiter’s name is not always easy. Sometimes, it can be like trying to find Where’s Wally in a book that is smaller than the ankle socks on a particularly small beetle. If you are struggling, you have a number of options…

  1.     1. Ring the company, and ask for the name of the person who is tasked with reading the cover letters for the internship you are applying for. (You could do this by email too).

Many organisations have a ‘no name’ policy for confidentiality reasons, so if they can’t give you a name…

  1.     2. Address your cover letter to the head of the department your internship is in.
  2.     3. If you cannot find the name of person that handles recruitment, address your internship letter to someone that works in human resources (HR).
  3.     4. As a last resort, address your cover letter to someone in the team you are applying to join.


If you address your cover letter any of these people, they will forward it to the relevant person. Your efforts will be recognised. There will be much cheering and clapping of hands.

Address your cover letter for an internship with Dear Sir/Madam or To whom it may concern… and your application will be treated like a turkey at Christmas – and not in a good way.

If you’re interested in finding out more about internships, visit our Internship Zone.


Step 2: Intro

Now that we have the first three words of your internship cover letter sorted, you can relax. For about three seconds. It’s time to tackle the body of your internship cover letter.

You need to specify what internship you are applying for. Write something along the lines of…

I am writing in regards of the vacancy for the consultancy internship with PwC,

Employers might be hiring interns for a number of different programmes; you need to ensure that you are being considered for the correct role.

It’s also a good idea to reference where you found the internship vacancy. Employers love to know what channels students use when looking for jobs. Here is an example –

as advertised on RateMyPlacement. Please find my CV attached.


internship cover letter

Step 3: Company research

Now it’s time to let the recruiter know why you are interested in the internship. Don’t write ‘because mother told me to’. You want to give specific reasons why the company, or the content of the course have drawn you to this internship.

Do some research about the company that is organising the internship. Below is a list of areas that you should focus your research on…

  • Origins of company
  • Has the company been in the news recently
  • Any major projects the company have been involved in
  • Background of directors or the manager of the team you're applying to
  • Company values/vision

If you want to do some research on the programme you are applying for, check for any case studies or reviews written by previous interns.

RateMyPlacement has nearly 20,000 reviews of internships with some of the UK’s top employers. Each review is written by an intern, to offer honest advice and insight into their work experience. You can find our internship reviews here…

Now that you’ve done your research, you can return to your cover letter. Craft this paragraph around the question: why do you want to do this internship? Here is an example of how to approach this –

I am particularly drawn to this internship at PwC because of its concentration on sustainability and climate change consultancy. PwC is the market-leader in this field, and I am fascinated by the strategies PwC puts in place to help an organisation meet its social and environmental goals. I have been reading about PwC’s recent project, involving the implementation of new sustainability procedures in government buildings across the UK. My involvement in the ‘Clear Up Our Campus’ campaign at university was similar, and makes me a perfect candidate for this internship.

Here, you have shown you have specified why you are attracted to the course; you have demonstrated that you understand what the internship consists of; you have even commented on a recent project.

You have killed three ostrich-sized birds with one stone. Fantastic.


30 shares

Step 4: Work experience & qualifications

Now we move onto your work experience, skills and qualifications, and why they make you perfect for the internship.

Ensure that you continue to keep the content of your internship cover letter relevant to the role on offer. If you can do a passable impression of Morgan Freeman, that’s great, but it won’t improve your chances of getting an interview.

What unique skills can you bring to the company? What previous work experience has prepared you for this internship? If you can answer these questions, employers will be under your spell. As if you were Hermione Granger. Or Ronald Weasley.

Try something like this –

As my CV describes, I am two years into a Sustainable Engineering degree, achieving high grades in modules that focussed on sustainable planning in urban environments. My studies have imparted a groundwork of knowledge, and analytical skills that are crucial for a career in this field of consultancy. I also have three years of work experience at The Bear Factory, which has imparted great collaborative skills.


Step 5: Outro

In this closing section, thank the recruiter for considering your application, and express your interest/availability for attending an interview. One sentence would do it.

It may seem strange, thanking a recruiter for considering your application. It’s very polite. Very wholesome. Something Tom Hanks would do. It is a great way of finishing your cover letter for an internship. Write –

Thank you for considering my application, I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the programme further in an interview.


Step 6: Ta-ra

If you started your covering letter with a personal name, such as ‘Dear Susie,’ end it with Yours SincerelyIf you didn’t manage to find the recruiter’s name, put Yours Faithfully.

Pen down and go find some cake. You’ve just finished your cover letter.


Internship cover letter example

The examples from each step in this guide have been put together to form a full example of an internship cover letter. This example is for a consultancy internship with PwC.

Dear John Smith,

I am writing in regards of the vacancy for the consultancy internship with PwC, as advertised on RateMyPlacement. Please find my CV attached.

I am particularly drawn to this internship at PwC because of its concentration on sustainability and climate change consultancy. PwC is the market-leader in this field, and I am fascinated by the strategies PwC puts in place to help an organisation meet its social and environmental goals. I have been reading about PwC’s recent project, involving the implementation of new sustainability procedures in government buildings across the UK. My involvement in the ‘Clear Up Our Campus’ campaign at university was similar, and makes me a perfect candidate for this internship.

As my CV describes, I am two years into a Sustainable Engineering degree, achieving high grades in modules that focussed on sustainable planning in urban environment. My studies have imparted a groundwork of knowledge, and analytical skills that are crucial for a career in this field of consultancy. I also have three years of work experience at The Bear Factory, which has imparted great collaborative skills.

Thank you for considering my application, I look forward to the opportunity to discuss the programme further in an interview.

Yours Sincerely,

Your Name.


Before you leave!

Before you return to watching The Crystal Maze, here are some top tips for you to remember when writing your cover letter.

  • - DON’T lie about work experience/qualifications. Recruiters are like Jessica Fletcher (from Murder, She Wrote) when discovering the truth.
  • - DON’T overshare. A cover letter (and CV) shouldn’t include personal information.
  • - TAILOR your cover letter to the internship you are applying for.
  • - DON’T undersell yourself. Remember Enrique Iglesias’ Hero. Your cover letter shouldn’t be a list of things you don’t have.
  • - DON’T forget to proof-read, and check for spelling and grammar.
  • - DON’T use clichés, or describe yourself using application buzzwords, such as ‘conscientious’ + ‘dynamic’. A panda can be conscientious and dynamic.

Register for Job Alerts & Careers Advice. It's FREE!

Get Free Job Alerts!

Subscribe for free today to receive personalised job opportunities sent straight to your inbox.

Share this article