landing a great internship

February 4, 2009 marlafederman


Finding a great internship is often difficult. Over the years I have received countless emails notifying all of the journalism students about incredible internship opportunities all over the United States and even some that were abroad. Attached to each email was a short, but captivating description of what the internship is about and what the intern would be expected to do. The opportunities always sounded amazing! Only one problem: there were usually only one or two openings available for these internships and the emails were being sent out to hundreds of other journalism students. I was very discouraged, especially since I wasn’t even sure how to go about applying for an internship. Opportunities kept passing me by until finally toward the end of my junior year I was able to obtain a great internship with the University of Oregon Public Relations department where I monitored social media coverage on the Eugene 08 Olympic Trials. So how was I able to finally get an internship? With a great cover letter!

A well-written cover letter is key for landing any internship or job. An excellent cover letter should always be short and to the point. You need to remember that the hiring manager is probably reading a handful of cover letters each day, so you will want to write your cover letter in such a way that makes it stand out from all the others. What do you have to offer this company? Why would you be a good asset to this company?  In the first paragraph you should tell the hiring manager who you are and how you heard about the opening. In the second paragraph tell the hiring manager why you are interested in this particular job opportunity and why they should hire you- what do you have to offer this company? The last paragraph is the easiest. You will  let the person know that you will contact them in 5 or so days to ensure receipt of the materials you sent them (your resume and the cover letter) and this is where you will also include contact information. Then a sincerely and your name. Sound simple? Well actually cover letters are pretty difficult to write. They take lots of time and practice. I found this article on wikiHow about how to write an excellent cover letter and found the information very helpful. This article gives step by step instructions for composing a great cover letter, and also includes a sample cover letter and exercises to help you practice writing your cover letter.

Image from Google Images by Dreamstime


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