Applying for a scholarship? Check out our scholarship essays database>
Sample cover letter for Internship position at poos
Rather than being hastily written notes to accompany your application form or CV, covering letters are valuable professional documents that can be a significant determinant of success. Employers may well read your covering letter before the enclosed CV or form and for that reason you need to take the letter writing process seriously and tailor each letter to each position and recruiter, just as you would with your CV.
Generally speaking, you should always include a covering letter with each application form or CV sent, especially when making speculative applications. Clearly, if you're specifically asked not to include a covering letter (some online applications, for example) then don't, but otherwise don't miss this excellent opportunity to further illustrate your skills and motivation and effectively 'flesh out' your CV.
That said, the best covering letters are no longer than one side of A4 and strike an appropriately enthusiastic but professional tone; remember this is a business document that demonstrates to an employer that you can be taken seriously.
Aims of a Covering Letter
Remember your key aims of a covering letter:
- Express clearly and succinctly who you are, what job you are applying for, why you're suitable for that job and why you want to work for them
- Highlight your specific strengths, motivations and reasons for applying
- Convey a confident, competent, enthusiastic and professional attitude
- Avoid any spelling, grammatical or typing errors. Ask a friend to check your letter before you post it off.
- Covering letters are also a suitable opportunity to positively explain any gaps or apparent weaknesses in your CV, such as poor Exam results due to illness, for example
Structure and Content
There is no 'magic formula' for covering letters, especially since they need to be adapted depending on the application and organisation. The following outline should give you a useful structure to start with. Try to think of sections rather than paragraphs per se, since some aspects may require two paragraphs; overall though, the letter must not be any longer than a side of A4.
Always try to find a name, rather than a job title, as it demonstrates to the employer that you have done your homework and have researched the organisation; Dear Ms Smith is much better than Dear Sir/Madam.
This first paragraph needs to be very clear: include who you are (recently graduated with a 2:1 in geography from University College Cork), why you are writing (to apply for X position; looking for work experience) and where you saw the position advertised or, if it's a speculative application, where you heard about the organisation.
Use this section to tell the employer why you want this particular job with their particular organisation; this is your chance to impress them with your commitment and enthusiasm. Demonstrate that you understand what the job involves and that you have actually researched their company. Avoid vague statements and blatant flattery; be specific and illustrate your opinions with some original points; (I'm attracted to working for you because..., I am drawn to X plc because..., I'm especially interested in X plc's...)
Now it is your chance to really impress upon the employer why you are just right for this job, in terms of skills, experience and personal attributes. Illustrate your unique selling points with three or four excellent examples, rather than try to cover everything. Use the organisation's recruitment information to guide you towards the particular skills and competencies that they want and highlight your evidence of them; (As you can see from my CV I have..., I have frequently worked..., I have gained experience of..., as demonstrated by X, my main skills are...)
This is also the chance to deal directly and positively within any gaps or apparent weaknesses in your CV (You will notice from my CV that it took me 5 years to complete my BSc, this is due to X; I feel this demonstrates my resilience and commitment, especially when faced with challenging situations.)
Don't rush your closing paragraph, as it is an important opportunity to both restate your interest and summarise your suitability for the post. It is also a good place to state your availability for interview and to end on an optimistic and polite note. Furthermore, you can demonstrate your keenness by informing the organisation that you will follow up your letter/CV with a phone call; make sure you then actually do this though!
See our template for making your own punchy cover letter