Looking for an internship is a hectic process because of the steps involved which includes crafting an appealing CV and a cover letter, looking for jobs online and through all the careers newsletters you have signed up for on fresher’s day and not to mention, attending gruelling interviews. Crafting an effective cover letter is the most important part to begin with. Writing a compelling cover letter makes you stand out from the crowd and adds value to your resume.
The main reason for writing a cover letter is to explain in detail to the company how your experiences, education, accomplishments, and skills will be beneficial to them and assist them in the particular needs of the business or organisation. In short a cover letter explains in details why they should hire you as an intern in their organisation.
In order for your cover letter to be compelling enough to be invited for an interview it should answer the following questions;
- Why am I better choice for your company?
- How are my qualifications best suited for a position as an intern in your organisation?
- Why have I decide to apply for the internship now?
By answering the above questions the hiring manager understands how your particular set of skills and experience will fit the particular requirements for the position as an intern in the organisation. A cover letter’s main purpose is to show how your acquired skills, education and abilities can be beneficial to the organisation. A cover letter outlines how your strengths can benefit the company.
Top tip: Most experts believe that job seekers who do not send out their cover letters are lazy. This is especially the case when you are sending a speculative application. Thus crafting out a compelling cover letter will demonstrate to your prospective employer that you are hard working and genuinely interested in that position. Writing an excellent cover letter is an opportunity to distinguish yourself and gives the company an opportunity to respond to you.
Research about the organisation
Before you start to write your cover letter, find out more about the organisation and the particular position you’re applying for. The best places to start researching the company include; Executives twitter feeds, the company website, Facebook and the profiles of employees in LinkedIn.
Most experts advise that if you are looking for an internship at an organisation you should go above and beyond the job description by looking at other pertinent issues such as the challenges the organisation is facing and how the role you are applying to will help you address those questions.
You should strive to know more about the organisation culture by talking to employees of the organisation in order to know which tone and style you will use to craft your cover letter. LinkedIn give you the perfect opportunity to do this, have a look at our previous blog about LinkedIn for more information. If it’s a conservative organisation like an insurance firm you may want to use a professional tone and not take any risks, but if it’s a creative agency like a marketing agency you can use a more enthusiastic approach.
Top Tip: Search the company on Google and click on the “news” button, this will give you all the latest news about the firm. Linking things you gained from your research into your cover letter will show the hiring manager that you have clearly done the research and that your decision to work at the firm is an informed one.
Have a strong opening
Most people applying for an internship position don’t usually understand that a cover letter should be written with a focus upon your strengths and interests. You should start your letter with a punch line that should express your excitement about the position and why you believe you are well-matched for the internship position at the organisation.
Avoid funny sentiments because they may come across as unprofessional, rather say something dynamic and direct. You should always address you letter directly to someone. In cases in which you don’t know their name, instead of using Dear sir/ madam you should call the firm and ask whom you should address it to, you will get brownie points for the effort.
If you have any personal ties with the organisation or someone who is an employee there you should mention it in the first paragraph, if it’s a small/ medium size firm.
Emphasize your personal value
Most organisations are usually looking for interns that can help them solve problems. You should draw on examples of the research that you have done about the company. It shows that you know the company and the challenges that it faces. You don’t need to specify, but you might mention a new trend affecting the industry.
For example, you can say, “a lot of media companies are grappling with how the change from analogue to digital will affect their profit margins. Explain to them how you can help them solve the new challenges. You could also detail out how you solved similar challenges in the past or any other similar accomplishment relevant to the problem.
Keep it short and Convey enthusiasm
Top tip: You should try as much as possible to keep your cover letter to a page. However making it more succinct is even better, you should attempt to cover a lot of important aspects but you should make it brief. A short cover letter is ideal because somebody can read it at a glance. You should make it clear that you want and are really excited about being an intern at that organisation. Once you are done, read over the cover letter and ensure you have answered the three questions.
Also, Please, please, please don’t send a generic or copied cover letter. There is nothing worse than a generic cover letter where the name of the firm is not even mentioned.