A statement of purpose for an internship is a letter of intent that outlines why an internship applicant believes he’s the right candidate for the role and what he hopes to accomplish professionally and personally through the position. When crafting the letter, begin with a short introductory paragraph explaining to the recipient - whether it be a business owner, internship director or coordinator, or other decision-maker - why it is you’re writing. The introduction also offers a transition into the body of the letter and attempts to convince the reader that the rest of the letter is worth reading.
Start with Date and Address
Start your letter as you would any professional business letter with the full date aligned to the left margin followed two lines down by the recipient’s contact information: full name, company name, department name and mailing address.
March 4, 2018
Marketing Department, Hernandez & Jones, Inc.
549 Monaco Street
Denver, Colorado 80238
Add a Greeting
Greet the recipient with a formal salutation such as “Dear” followed by the appropriate honorific, such as “Mr.," “Ms.,” “Professor," or “Dr.," and the person’s last name.
Dear Dr. Smith:
Do not use “To Whom It May Concern.” If you cannot obtain the name of the person who is hiring, use that person’s title.
Dear Internship Coordinator:
Attn: Internship Director
State Reason for Writing
Advise the recipient of the letter’s purpose in the introduction. Indicate the position you are seeking, the department name, if applicable, and time frame of appointment.
I am writing to apply for the internship position in the zoology lab this summer.
I am writing to you about the research assistant position available in the biology department for the upcoming semester.
While visiting your website, I learned of the marketing internship with your company with a proposed start date of September 1st.
Provide basic background details about yourself as they relate to the internship, such as your current or desired career field, academic studies, institution of study, or current employer or industry.
I am currently a senior honor student at Colorado State studying Zoology. I recently received an award for my research on changes in songbird migration patterns, which would be an asset for the intern position at the Atwood Ornithology Center this summer.
If someone referred you to the internship, include that person's name and the reason they referred you after the sentence in which you describe the internship that interests you.
Dr. Dowd in the biology department at Texas A & M recommended this internship to me. She stated your open position would be an ideal fit for me because of my interest and experience in coastal fisheries.
Ask the person who referred you to the program to provide you with a letter of reference or contact information so that the letter recipient can confirm your claim.
After the introduction, use the second paragraph to support your claims with specific details about the skills, goals and experience you mentioned. Outline why you think you’re right for the internship.
This marketing internship is ideal for the career path I have chosen. I believe that my skills in data analysis, communication and social networking will make this position a mutually beneficial experience.
This internship offers educational opportunities and hands-on experience directly in line with my long-term career goals of being a marketing consultant.
I believe that my educational, personal and professional experiences to date, such as writing feature articles for my college newspaper for three years, make me a good match for this journalism internship and will ultimately benefit your publication.
Conclude and Sign
Wrap up the letter by restating your interest in the internship. Include your contact information and a signature.
Interning for your department would be an incredible opportunity, and I believe I have much to offer as a research assistant. To arrange an interview, please call me at (311) 553-9835 or email me at email@example.com.
- Always try to get the name of the decision-maker for the internship. If you can’t retrieve a name, use the person’s title. For example, begin the letter with “Dear Internship Coordinator” or “Attn: Internship Director.” Do not use “To Whom It May Concern.”
- If someone referred you to the internship, include that person's name and the reason they referred you after the sentence in which you describe the internship you're interested in. For example, write: "Dr. Smith in the Criminal Science department at (university's name) recommended this program to me. He stated this role would be a good match for me because (state reason)..."
- Ask the person who referred you to the program to provide you with a letter of reference or contact information so that the letter recipient can confirm your claim.
- After you complete the introduction, use the second paragraph to support your claims with specific details about the skills, goals and experience you mentioned.
About the Author
Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.
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