Each summer, students are facing one important decision: to work or not to work. This question largely comes up when you’re nearer to your graduation. If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably decided that you’re going to apply for an internship this summer.
Yet, you might be facing a struggle: you’re not sure how to approach it. Let me assure you that the most efficient way of capturing a company’s attention is to write an amazing cover letter.
Cover letters are different because not all of them have the same objective.
As you’re applying for an internship and not for a full-time position, the specifics that you need to include in your cover letter will vary.
Don’t stress, though, as today you’re going to learn how exactly how to craft a winning letter for any type of summer internship job. Pay close attention and don’t forget to apply everything that you learn.
Ingredients of a great cover letter
1. Understand The Role of Your Cover Letter
Your resume cannot highlight everything that’s worth highlighting about yourself. Why? You’re probably a student that doesn’t have much to show on paper. Well, throughout your cover letter you can emphasise everything that you want. Your skills, your personality, your mindset, and your biggest talents.
In order to come up with an awesome cover letter for an internship position, you need to do your research first. Read a lot of examples, find the best references, and then begin working on your own.
However, keep in mind that you should never copy someone else’s letter. The main purpose of your cover letter is to emphasise your uniqueness as a person.
2. Emphasise Your Unique Value Proposition
As the last idea suggests, your cover letter is the most effective when it incorporates your unique value proposition. If you don’t know the term, here’s a short explanation:
A unique value proposition is your way of saying that you’re different. Not just different, but also a better option than your competition. By stating where you stand in front of your competition, you’re showing signs of strong emotional intelligence aptitudes. Self-awareness is one of those aptitudes, and the more you show it, the better chances you’ll get to land that internship job.
Of course, you should address your unique value proposition indirectly. A story, a happening, or a situation that you have solved in the past are some good ways of displaying your unique value proposition.
3. Use the Proper Format and Structure
Most of the hiring managers nowadays are expecting their prospects to apply using the proper structure of a cover letter. Instead of filling the space with a block of text that’s hardly readable, you should follow this structure instead:
A. The Header –
This is the first element that should be included. The header should contain your name, contact information, the company’s e-mail address, and the date in which you’re applying. Oh, and don’t forget to add your phone and your e-mail address.
B. The Greeting –
Start by addressing the interviewer by their name. “Dear Mr. John” is a good example. In case you don’t know their name, use something like “Dear Interviewer” or “Dear Hiring Manager”.
C. The Introduction –
This is your chance to make the first good impression. Throughout the introduction, introduce yourself and include the reasons that made you apply for that particular internship. Also, make sure that you’re very specific with everything you say.
D. The Body –
You could split the body of your application into several paragraphs just so you make it easy for the hiring manager to skip through your application. Yes. That’s what most of them do, so a messy cover letter could hurt your chances of landing that job.
E. The Conclusion –
Throughout the conclusion, mention your resume again. If you were requested to “bring” samples, make sure that you don’t forget to add them. Ultimately, request for an interview in the most confident way. End the letter with a greeting such as “Thank you in advance. Best regards,”.
And you’re done.
4. Take Advantage of the Proper Tools
In order to boost your chances of landing a really nice internship for the summer, you’d better take advantage of some really nice tools. Indeed, there are some useful digital apps and digital services that can and will make your cover letter better in case you decide to use them.
HemingwayApp – You cover letter text should flow easily. It must be “readable” and easily digestible. HemingwayApp is exactly what you need. It looks through your text and it highlights the sentences that are “hard to read” and “very hard to read.”
ResumesPlanet – Here’s a service that could make your life easier than ever. With this service, you can find professional resume writers which are specifically trained to deal with complementary needs such as cover letters. Check out the samples at their websites for some inspiration too!
Action Words – If you want to make a better impression, you need to use some “action words” that inspire confidence, motivation, and professionalism. This resource provides these words.
Crafting a powerful letter for your future internship job should not be painful. After all, you’re offering your time in exchange for a few bucks. Sometimes you won’t even get paid, but that’s okay. Internships are all about acquiring knowledge and expertise.
If the pay is not good or non-existent, focus on the other benefits such as the experience you gain, the relationships you make, and a solid proof for your involvement which will sit in your resume forever.
About the author: Micheal Gilmore is an entrepreneur and blogger from Dallas, TX. He loves writing about career opportunities, productivity and personal growth. Micheal is also a passionate career advisor and facilitator. Follow him on Twitter.