We have written a lot of content on how to write an application letter for job search. However, we thought that “how to write an application letter for an internship” may prove invaluable to tertiary students who constitute a good percentage of our blog readership.
An application letter for an internship is not the same as your regular application letter for employment. Chances are that if you’re applying for an internship you have no real work experience, which is the reason why you’re applying anyway whereas, a full-time employment letter normally stresses on your specific experiences and qualifications, and how they tie into the job requirements.
The perfect application letter for internship should therefore, focus on the following key points:
- Your education
- Your passion
- What you intend to do, rather than what you have done.
- Internship Letter Format
Some companies have requirements for applying for internships which they specify on their website. Others have forms you fill out and submit online. In these instances, there may not be the need to write out an application letter as the forms are an adequate requirement.
However, where no such requirements exist and you’re just sending a speculative internship application or to a generic email address, you must get the letter format right in order to catch the employer’s attention.
- Your physical address, email address and phone number at the top of the page on the right. (These days employers are recruiting digitally so it is advicesable you state just your email adress, telephone number and the date of application.)
- The name of the business and the contact person’s full name on the left.
- Specify in the subject of the email, which position you’re applying for.
- An address to the reader directly (e.g; “Dear Mr. Eshun” – try to avoid using “To whom it may concern” if you can). Where you do not know the addressee, use “Dear Hiring Manager”.
- Briefly introduce yourself and specify where you heard about the internship.
- Give background information about your program of study.
- Showcase the skills and qualities that make you a good intern for the job.
- End by thanking the hiring manager for their time. Specify a contact number which you csan be reached you at their earliest convenience.
- Remember to sign before your name.
Other Attributes Count
Since you do not have any formal work experience, you can highlight the following to show you will fit in and not waste anybody’s time:
General skills that help you work in a team and as part of an organisation.
- Personal attributes that will help you learn to work in a professional work environment
- Volunteer experience or school club leadership positions that highlight your strengths
- Athletic or sports experience (if relevant)
- Any hobbies or interests that are relevant to the job or demonstrate your professional experience.
- Any relevant project or research work you’ve done in the course of your studies.
No Experience, No Problem!
When writing an application letter for an internship, be absolutely honest about the fact that you do not have any real world experience. Yet, if you do have practical experience in an area of interest you’re applying for, be sure to highlight it.
For example, if you previously worked as a storekeeper in your Uncle’s minimart, you could include it as relevant experience when applying to intern for an administrative or similar position. If you conducted your undergraduate research in an area the organisation primarily operates, or deeply cares about, that could be a double bang for you.
Highlight your willingness to learn on the job. If you are applying through a specific person you want to work under, demonstrate your desire for mentorship under the person’s professional guidance.
Demonstrate Your Interest in the Company
Research about the company, especially the department you want to intern with. Make reference to specific projects or development within the company that you will be interested in working on. You can even cite a reference within the company, with their permission.
Show how you developed an interest in the company. By demonstrating significant knowledge about the company and its activities by referring to specific projects, press releases or historical information, you show the hiring manager that you have a genuine interest in the company, and this is a big plus that will work in your favour.
Keep the following points in mind when writing your application:
- What can I offer the company?
- What are they looking for in an intern and how do I match that profile?
- Why do I want to work for this company?
Include your CV, no matter how scanty in experience it may look. The key thing to highlight in your CV specific leadership positions held, previous internship, awards received, voluntary work carried out, relevant courses currently studying. You may want to look at how to write a CV on this blog.
Sample Internship Application Letter
Below is a sample internship letter you could use as guidance.
2nd May 2022
The Human Resource Manager
North Dzorwulu, Accra
Dear Mr. Appiah,
Application for A Three Months Internship Placement
I am writing to you to enquire about a possible internship in your organisation.
My name is Amah Yeboah Kuma and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Ghana. I am currently in my fourth year, pursuing Sociology Major, and Psychology minor.
I read about your new project on youth empowerment in the three Northern Regions on your company blog, due to commence in May this year, which coincides with our long vacation. I am extremely interested in being part of this project. I am currently writing my undergraduate thesis on Designing Effective Social Interventions to combat poverty in the Brong Ahafo Region. In the last academic year, I was part of a team of volunteers in my District Assembly distributing sewing machines to young girls as part of a larger youth empowerment program.
I am therefore writing to you to express my interest in being part of this project. Not only will I be able to learn and apply the theoretical skills I have learnt in the past four years, but this project will also give me the opportunity to impact the lives of young people, a desire that burns in my heart.
Please find attached my CV and academic credentials for further review.
I look forward to intern at VOC International.