How to write a convincing cover letter.

Next – if your application is incomplete or incorrect, your portfolio will immediately go into the "no" pile. That’s why it’s all the more important that you align content and layout when applying for your internship. We’ll tell you how to craft a compelling cover letter for your internship and secure an interview invitation. With free cover letter templates!


The setup.

There is no prescribed, rigid order for the sequence in the application cover letter. However, as a rough guideline:

  • Date
  • Senders (personal data, email address, phone number, etc.) have a need for control.)
  • Subject (state the exact name of the internship position here)
  • Address
  • Get started
  • Current situation
  • Your own qualifications/skills/strengths (one paragraph)
  • Motivation/goals for the job (one paragraph)
  • Interest in the company

Tips for the job search

With a good cover letter, the doors to a variety of interesting industries are open to you.

Where do you want to work?

The introduction

Especially the introductory words in a cover letter are difficult. You are sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper and don’t know how to get started. But actually the introduction begins much earlier, with the salutation. Here are our tips.


Short and to the point: Always write the exact contact person and never "Dear Sir or Madam". This way, the personnel managers* will immediately recognize that you have written a mass application and that you basically don’t care which company you end up with. If you can’t find a contact person, call the company. How to show true commitment.

The 1. Sentence

"I hereby apply for the internship you have advertised" . In numerous sample cover letters and templates you can still find this insanely unoriginal and also superfluous first sentence. Finally, the job you are applying for should already be mentioned in the subject above the salutation and thus does not need to be mentioned again in the first sentence. In addition, personnel officers have already read this entry umpteen times and you will not stand out from the crowd.

But what does the perfect first sentence look like? In many explanations of how to start your internship cover letter appropriately, phrases like: Creative, exciting and original it must be. But what does that mean in concrete terms?

In the first sentence it is important to arouse the interest of the potential company and to get to the point, i.e. your professional qualifications. Your most important qualities that match the advertised position should be mentioned right at the beginning, even if they are listed again in detail in the tabular resume.

Example: 1. Sentence in cover letter for marketing internship position

"Dear Sir/Madam . , I see my professional future in marketing because I want to inspire people – I have already been able to use this passion in marketing competitions at university and thus gain my first practical experience. In order to turn my passion into a profession, an internship in your marketing department is the next logical step."

This introduction immediately conveys your motivation to the reader, shows passion, but also signals determination. This will arouse curiosity in the first sentence and convince you in the following sentences. Especially in the typical and very popular subjects for internships this is a good start.

Here are the most popular fields of study for interns:

VWL To the internships Do a career check
BUSINESS STUDIES To the internships Career check
Event Management To the internships Do a career check
Marketing To the internships Do a career check
Politics To the internships Do a career check
Social work To the internships Do career check
Pedagogy To the internships Do a career check
Law To the internships Do career check
Physics To the internships Do career check
Math To the internships Do a career check
Food technology To the internships Do a career check
Chemistry To the internships Do a career check
Biology To the internships Do career check
Agricultural Sciences To the internships Do a career check
Logistics To the internships Do a career check
Supply Chain Management To the internships Do a career check
Transportation To the internships Do a career check
Media science To the internships Do career check
Graphic Design To the internship Doing a career check
Media Design To the internships Do a career check
Fashion To the internships Do a career check
Journalism To the internships Do a career check
Communication science To the internship places Do a career check
Medicine About the internships Do career check
Nursing To the internships Do a career check
Pharmacy To the internships Do career check
Psychology To the internships Do a career check
Computer science To the internships Do a career check
Business Informatics To the internships Career Check
Architecture To the internships Do a career check
Civil engineer To the internships Do career check
Electrical Engineering Go to the internships Do a career check
Mechanical Engineering To the internships Do a career check
Industrial engineering About the internship Do a career check
Engineering To the internships Do a career check

Example: 1. Sentence in cover letter for pre-kindergarten internship

"Dear Ms/Mr . , After graduating from high school I would like to start an apprenticeship as an educator. A student internship in your kindergarten would be a great opportunity to flesh out my ideas about what I want to do in child development."

Here you can clearly show your reasons for the internship and possibly get the opportunity to complete your training there afterwards.

Afterwards, you can emphasize why exactly this company is so interesting for you as a potential intern. Mention a project that excited you, or the great career website that piqued your curiosity. Or choose a more unconventional reason. Your future employer will thank you for showing enthusiasm.

The main part of the cover letter for the internship.

In every application for an internship, you should describe your current situation right at the beginning, if you have not already included this information in the introduction:

"In June 2017, I successfully completed my high school diploma at high school X." or "Currently I am in the 4. Semester of my studies in business administration. I specialize in the field of marketing."

Especially since the introduction of the minimum wage, this is very important information for the recruiter, as a distinction must be made between mandatory and voluntary internships.

Afterwards you should emphasize your expertise and, if available, mention first practical experiences.

This information belongs in the main part
Previous (foreign) internships/practical semesters Whether it was a voluntary or a compulsory internship, you have the work experience for sure. So explain exactly what knowledge you have gained and what activities you have performed. Even if the internships were not in the same field, explain why you are now moving into a different field. The more transparent and clear you are, the more convincing you will be to the recruiter. You have been abroad? Mention this, too, as it suggests that you are independent and organized.
Relevant work experience You apply in a PR agency and have already gained experience in an editorial office? Great, make sure you mention that, because that way they can assume that writing a press release is a piece of cake for you. You would like to do an internship as an educator and, for example, you coach a children’s soccer team or have been babysitting for years? Great, then dealing with the kids will be easy for you.
Language skills Whether basic knowledge of French thanks to school or second mother tongue – foreign language skills are always welcome. English is mandatory in most companies, but if you have other skills that are relevant to the internship or are part of your story, be sure to mention them in your letter of application for the internship.
Driver’s license or computer skills If these are expected for the internship, you can also mention them in the cover letter. Otherwise, the appropriate place for such information is rather the resume.

An important tip for this: Do not list everything you have ever done, but only what is also related to the job. You also have the opportunity here to explain any gaps in your resume – because be sure: employers will notice them.

Soft skills in the cover letter.

Soft skills are qualities such as

  • Ability to work in a team
  • Communication skills
  • a structured way of working
  • Critical thinking skills.

They are important in almost every job, especially when you work in a team. Other skills that are in demand are creativity, flexibility and resilience. Social skills are only listed in the letter of motivation for the internship, not in the CV.

In general: Be sure to mention your strengths in your cover letter . On the one hand, you can compensate for the lack of practical experience, and on the other hand, the personnel managers get a comprehensive impression of you beyond your technical know-how.

If, for example, your hobbies match the internship or require the ability to work in a team, it makes sense to mention them in your application, for example in your resume.

With the general qualifications it is not sufficient in the application letter internship, however, to enumerate these only without comments. It is much better to underline your professional experience and strengths with concrete examples from your professional career. A tip: sometimes special qualifications or previous experience can be the basis for negotiating a better salary .


"My previous internship at the Sonneburg kindergarten confirmed that I enjoy working as part of a team."*

"In my spare time, I run my own photo blog. I have acquired programming skills and experience with content management systems."*

"I was able to prove my ability to work in a team as the captain of my soccer team for many years. I have learned to keep a cool head even in heated situations."*

The closing formula.

You’ve made a smart start, described your professional and nonprofessional qualifications including motivation, and now you want to get to the end of your application. Be clear in your wording and avoid the subjunctive ("I would be happy if"). Write instead "I will be happy to be invited for a personal interview."

At the end, a formal "Sincerely yours" without comma and your signature. Also make sure to include attachments such as a resume, references, etc. go to. For an online application: Simply scan or photograph and insert as an image. The signature is not a must in the digital application, but it gives it a personal touch.

If the content fits, it is important to check the formalities in the cover letter of your application.

Formal criteria for your cover letter internship.

Of course, a perfect application can look very different from one industry to the next. If you are applying in the IT sector, for example, you may have to write less flowery than in the media industry and can well do without a cover sheet. Especially in the case of a speculative application, however, there are no limits to your imagination. Nevertheless, in any good cover letter for internship application, it is important to consider some formal rules and the basic structure. This way, you as an applicant can directly show that you work accurately and reliably.

More tips – these formalities should be observed in any successful application:

  • If possible, use only one to one and a half A4 pages
  • place your own contact information in the upper left corner
  • arrange the company’s contact information on the left side of the page
  • Place the location and date on the right side below the company’s contact information
  • Mark the subject (job title or speculative application) in bold and place it flush left below the date
  • a salutation beginning with "Dear Sir/Madam". ", preferably with the name of the contact person
  • pay attention to line spacing so that the cover letter does not look squat – but there is no rigid rule
  • divide the cover letter for the internship into several paragraphs. This makes it clearer, more visually appealing and easy to read
  • avoid old-fashioned fonts like Times New Roman
  • end with a greeting and the name, preferably with a signature (also digital, in that case just scan it)
  • When writing a cover letter for an internship, the formalities are the duty and the content is the freestyle
  • For email applications: Don’t send application documents as Word files, always send them in PDF format – that looks much more serious

HR people don’t just look at what the cover letter says. The cover letter of the application also shows the candidate’s verbal skills, how confident he or she is in spelling, grammar and punctuation, and how well he or she can use a word processing program. Therefore, always have someone else look over your cover letter to make sure everything is tiptop.

Where do you want to work?

Free application samples to download.

Are you applying for the long-established traditional company, the pioneering technology group or the hip startup?? Here you can find samples for every industry and every type – whether you are a business graduate, a humanities graduate or an engineer.

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