Applying for an internship with little to no experience is a daunting task. But don’t be discouraged, you will actually have a chance by writing a stunning cover letter along with your CV. In this article we will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of internship cover letters, and how to expand your skills and give you some examples of different internship cover letters.
Cover letter 101
In earlier articles, we discussed the basics of cover letters. Please make sure to check out “The best 10 tips to write the perfect cover letter” and “30+ concrete ideas and tips for an English cover letter”, as there will be a ton of helpful advice and guidance on cover letters with little experience. Here is a summary of the key take-aways with a focus on internship cover letters:
Cover letter Do’s
- Before you start typing, take a moment and think about the open position and why you would be a great fit.
- This is your chance to present yourself. Choose your words well. Sometimes less is more.
- Keep it short, authentic and interesting.
- If you are lacking experience for the role, be truthful. There is no point in pretending to be someone else and there is definitely no shame in being an entry-level applicant.
- Point out how your (even if only few) existing skills and studies are going to be a contribution to the company.
- Be an expert on what the company stands for, their mission & values.
- Dare to send a stunning cover letter off, instead of doubting that you are not good enough.
Cover letter Don’ts
- There is a difference between confidence and pretence. Be aware of this fine line, when writing your internship cover letter with no experience.
- Only point out relevant prior work experience. Avoid talking about the one time at the age of 15 when you had a summer job in a café, if you are trying to get an entry-level tech role in an elaborate company.
- Avoid spelling and grammar errors.
- If applying to startups, you will have more room to write a less conventional cover letter. Nonetheless, bear in mind that an internship cover letter should also include a few essentials such as personal details (name, address, phone number), hiring manager’s name (if available), source of vacancy, suitability for the position, your “value add” to the company and a closing statement. Check out this article to find guidance on “How to nail your cover letter to join a startup company”.
A chance to shine
The basics of cover letters have been pointed out. Having only a little or even no previous work experience when applying for an internship is not necessarily a deal-breaker as the main aim of an internship is to gather experience, support full-time employees and simply dive into the company’s culture. Writing an impressive internship cover letter is the first hurdle to impress HR.
So take the chance to present yourself. You will have many more opportunities to prove yourself once you get the job. If you lack years of work experience, an important take-away for this kind of entry-level position is that you can convey your passion for the field and role, as well as focus on your studies and your goals. Furthermore, a well-written cover letter can cover up for your (maybe semi-convincing) resume.
How to obtain more skills
If you are at a point in your life, where every job opening seems out of reach due to a lack of experience and missing skill set, we recommend stepping back and thinking about how you could change this fact. In this day and age, the possibility for growth and additional training are endless. Consider online-learning programs, in-person training, finding a mentor, exploring online forums and attending meet-ups to exchange skills. If you start looking for these opportunities, they will be there. Check out the next paragraph to find out which industries are wanted in 2022.
10 Top Employee Skills in 2022
According to edyoucated.org tech-centred industries will still be high in demand in 2022. Please consider them as examples that are especially popular in the startup sector. Inform yourself, get to know them, maybe these industries are actually more interesting to you than you would have thought.
- Data Science
- Artificial Intelligence
- UX Design
- Web Development
- Cloud Computing
- Blockchain Computing
- Remote Communication & Collaboration
- Data and IT Security
- Stress Managment
- Innovation Management
Examples for industry specific cover letters
Do you want to become the leader of tomorrow but you are lacking work experience? No worries! Let’s start at the very beginning. Everyone has to start at some point. We want you to get a better feel for a well-written cover letter sample for internships with no experience. That is why we prepared two industry-specific cover letters for internships for you. The following industries are in high demand for startups. Here is a reminder of the most basic formatting rules for an internship cover letter:
- Contact info in the header
- Company contact info in the header
- Address the hiring person (if possible)
- In the first to third paragraph, you have the chance to explain why you are great fit (including all the points we mentioned above)
- Formal closing paragraph
An example for Data Analyst is shown below or download it here for free.
Example template for UX/UI designer is shown below or download it here for free.
Bear in mind, the company is not looking for a top performer, it is trying to fill the position with someone who is eager to learn and handles basic tasks well. So, do not worry if you do not have prior professional experience. Be sure to write an internship cover letter that is specific and intentional. Keep in mind that you have to convince the company in a few paragraphs why you are interested in their business, this specific role and the particular tasks. Companies take interns on not only to support existing employees but also to train these young professionals into capable, efficient future full-time employees.