Cover Letter Tips
From www.thebalance.com and edited by RWC
The cover letter tells the employer what you want and how to interpret your resume. (RWC)
Use business letter format. Use proper business letter format when sending a cover letter by mail.
Include your contact information at the top, the date, and the contact information for the employer. Be sure to provide a proper salutation, and sign your name at the bottom. If you are sending the ia email, you do not have to include the contact information at the top, or the handwritten signature at the bottom. (Though I have a scan of my signature, which can be a nice touch. RWC)
Individualize your cover letter. Make sure to write a unique cover letter for each internship you apply for. Highlight skills and abilities you have that relate to the specific internship listing. The main emphasis of your cover letter should be convincing the reader that you will be an asset as an intern.
Use keywords. One way to individualize your letter is to use keywords from the internship listing. For example, if the listing says the intern needs to have excellent “time management skills,” include an example of how you have demonstrated time management skills in the past.
Provide specific examples. If you say that you have a particular skill or ability in your cover letter, be sure to prove this with a specific example from your past work, academic, or extracurricular experience.
Emphasize your academic experience. In the letter, you can mention academic experience, if applicable.
Especially if you have limited work experience, you might use examples for school to demonstrate that you have particular skills. For example, if the internship requires you to work as part of a team, provide an example of a successful team project you worked on.
Include extracurricular experiences. You can also include details about your relevant experience from extracurricular activities or volunteer work. For example, a reporter for a college newspaper can point to interviewing and writing skills; a history of volunteering at a shelter can provide an example of strong interpersonal and organizational skills. (These help tell the employer who you are as a person. RWC)
Follow up. Towards the end of your letter, say how you will follow up with the employer. You might say that you will call the office to follow up in about a week (don't follow up any sooner). However, do not include this if the internship listing specifically says not to contact the office.
Edit, edit, edit. Be sure to thoroughly proofread your cover letter for spelling and grammar errors. Many internships are very competitive, and any error can hurt your chances of getting an interview. (Have two other people read it to get "new eyes" on the writing. RWC)