Starting an internship is easy if you prepare well. Many people falter on the preparation stage and rely mostly on their interview to land an internship. But when the preparation work is low, the number of calls you receive for an interview reduces and this means that you may not have the power of choice when it comes to picking which organization you would like to intern with.
Prep work for internships may require you to research your area of work, the positions you can apply for and the best organizations for your internship. A second step into getting the right internship is the preparation of your resume and cover letter. We have 7 tips for you to prepare your cover letter for better success.
Customization Shows Thoughtfulness
Many of us want the best job, but few of us want to put an effort into the preliminary works involved in getting that job. It is possible that you may have picked up a cover letter template online and edited it with your name and details before sending it to 10 organizations. You may feel that your work is done, but for the person on the other end who would go through your resume, it would be the usual copy-pasted text commonly seen on most cover letters that they may have read that day.
A refreshingly unique cover letter which is customized for a particular job opening in the company will help you get your prospective employer’s attention. Read the job description carefully before writing your cover letter. The first line of your cover letter should make the reader feel that the cover letter was drafted specifically for that particular job post.
Example: “I am glad to learn that ABC company has recently opened a branch in ABC area where you are looking for interns for ABC position”.
Call for Attention with Keywords
The job description usually includes a few keywords that your employers would like to spot in your cover letter. If they are looking for someone with a specific set of skills, then make sure that you pick the words used by the employer and add them to your cover letter.
Look for power words used on the job description which describe the kind of intern that the company is looking for. Understand the context and use those words in your cover letter to leave a stronger impact.
Employers often catch these keywords and are more likely to go through the rest of your cover letter and resume.
Give them a Glimpse of Your Personality
Take the responsibility of writing your cover letter yourself. Don’t let someone else do your job because your cover letter should be able to give employers a glimpse of your personality. Your writing will play an important role in helping them understand how clearly you can explain yourself, your communication skills and how professional you are.
While it is just a preliminary analysis, this can make or break the opportunity for you to get the internship.
Don’t overdo your cover letter by adding very heavy words which make it difficult to comprehend. Keep it professional but don’t lose the personal touch on your letter by making it unduly formal. It must sound like you.
Add Relevant Coursework
As an intern, you may not have a lot of work experience to boast of. It is possible that this may be your first internship. This is why adding relevant coursework can help your cause. If your current course is related to the job that you are applying for, then make sure that you mention this in your cover letter and include your appreciation if you are given the opportunity to further your learning through this work experience. It will help your employer understand how much the internship matters for you.
Brevity is the Soul of Wit
Long cover letters take up too much time and eventually lose the reader’s attention. This is why keeping your cover letter short and to the point is very necessary. Do not include things that your employer will already learn through your resume. Instead, focus on capturing your reader’s attention by directly talking about the job that you are applying for, your previous experience or course work to support your application, and what you can do for the organization.
The employer doesn’t just want to know about you through the cover letter. Companies are more interested in learning about how your skillset or your education can make a difference in the organization. If you are able to explain this through your cover letter, then employers are more likely to consider you for the internship.
Keep Your Reader Focused
If you feel that you need to include details about every single time you volunteered for local non-profits and that your employer would be interested in knowing stories about the prizes you won at local talent competitions, then you will lose their interest halfway through the cover letter.
Make sure that the focus of the cover letter always remains the job description that you are applying for. From your use of keywords to your explanation of why they should hire you, keep it crisp and make sure that your reader is always focused.
Make it Error-Free
You may have entered wrong spellings, or there may be grammatical mistakes in your cover letter when you draft it for the first time. This is why it is important to read and re-read your cover letter in order to check for mistakes and typos that should be corrected before you email it to the employer. Errors on your cover letter show a lack of professionalism and can deter the employer from considering you for the job.
If you have been sending lots of emails to prospective employers and are yet to receive a response, then it may be time for you to check your cover letter and make some changes to it. These 7 tips will help you write down a cover letter that is customized to make an impact and to ensure that the employer goes through your cover letter without losing interest.