How To Write an Engineering Internship Cover Letter in 6 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Providing an effective cover letter with your application materials can help you be more noticeable to recruiters and hiring managers. Consider what skills to highlight to provide context about why you are the best fit for the engineering internship. Understanding what to include in your cover letter can also help you create one that shows your interest in the position. In this article, we discuss the purpose of a cover letter, how to write an engineering internship cover letter, what skills to include for the internship, and provide an example of one to help when writing yours.

Related: 12 Tips For Crafting a Great Cover Letter

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a document that highlights your skills and shows your interest in an organization and position. While your resume shows your relevant work experience and education, a cover letter expands on those bullet-pointed skills and experiences. This letter is also an opportunity to show your personality and why you think you're a good fit for the position and what value you can bring to the company's workforce. You want to use this letter to convince the potential employer to review your resume and get an interview. It gives the company a better idea of your accomplishments and your background.

Related: How To Write an Engineering Cover Letter (With Example)

What is an engineering internship?

An engineering internship assists overall project development under the supervision of a lead engineer. Engineering interns' responsibilities shift depending on the industry, but they typically include compiling reports, analyzing budget goals and estimating project costs, corresponding with clients about important updates, and giving improvement recommendations. They also possess strong attention to detail, critical thinking, and project management skills. Effective communication and strong logical thinking are also important when working with adjustments and deadlines.

Engineering internships are popular within the chemical, aeronautics, computer science, civil, industrial, and biomedical industries. Engineering interns may receive payment or stipends for the time they work with the company. Companies are also more likely to hire an engineer who's served an internship. It allows you to build hard and soft skills and network building. Consider starting an internship as soon as you've adjusted to your educational workload.

Related: A Guide To Writing a Cover Letter for an Internship

How to write an engineering internship cover letter

A cover letter is one of the first documents the hiring manager or recruiter sees when they review applicants, and it's your chance to make yourself more noticeable. Here are steps to follow to write an effective engineering internship cover letter:

1. Introduce yourself

Introduce yourself with a personal greeting. Write an interesting first paragraph that shows you understand the position and why you're the best fit. Highlight why you're a suitable candidate by showcasing recent related achievements. Use numbers whenever you can to give them qualitative evidence of your accomplishments. Show that you're interested in a long-term career with the company.

2. List your skills

The skills you put in your cover letter differ from the skills you put in your resume. While your resume lists a broad summary of your qualifications, your cover letter typically showcases notable skills and highlights relevant experiences or qualitative evidence of your achievements. This is also an opportunity to focus on soft skills, which are equally important for a qualified candidate. Having basic soft skills like networking and conflict resolution are also great to have and also try providing real-world examples of times you've shown these skills.

For example, you may mention a time you built a mock motor for a car that you could simulate on your computer to show how it works. This can also include information one of your references can verify. Use your cover letter to highlight any of the abilities that give you a unique advantage and would serve the company well. Types of skills you can include in cover letters are:

  • Work and research experiences

  • Personal connections, both to you as an intern and your personal interest in their company

  • Relevant experience within the industry you're applying to

  • Extracurricular activities that further exemplify your qualifications

  • Applicable academic experience

  • Community involvement and volunteer work

3. Highlight educational achievements

Focus on your academic achievements and your volunteer work. Think about projects you've completed with other students or previous internships you've had. Creating a section with educational achievements can show your ability to work through tasks. You can also use this section to discuss awards from school or other internships that highlight your successes.

4. Format it appropriately

Formatting a cover letter properly shows your attention to detail and spotlights your professionalism. It's important to review the job posting thoroughly to know who you're writing the letter to and have a detailed understanding of what they need from this position. They may also have some extra formatting steps beyond these general guidelines.

Typically, you may use a one-inch margin and single-line spacing to format your letter. Choose an easily readable font such as Calibri, Tahoma, or Times New Roman, and type the letter in 12-point font size. Align all of your text to the left, and double space between paragraphs to improve readability. You can also include your name and contact information along with professional social media platforms, if relevant. Also, try to keep your letter to one page and between three and four paragraphs to create a concise document.

5. Include a closing line with contact info

Close with a short and concise summary of your qualifications and thank them for their time. Include information about how to contact you and which position you're seeking. Also, include a call-to-action, offering times when you're available to meet and the best means of reaching you via either phone or by email.

6. Review your cover letter and submit

Proofreading your cover letter before you send it is a necessary part of the application process. Correcting spelling mistakes or common grammar errors can make your letter look professional. Researching the company and the position can also help you address the letter to the specific person mentioned in the listing. If the job listing doesn't include direct contact, you can address the letter to a hiring manager or human resources director.

Before submitting your cover letter, review and compare it to your resume to ensure you've highlighted your skills and qualifications. Your cover letter is a way to expand upon the skills listed on your resume and a space to show your uniqueness and personality. If the employer requests specific documents such as writing samples or proof of identity, double-check that you've included them. Once you've reviewed your cover letter for errors, submit it to the recruiter or hiring manager.

Related: How To Write a Student Cover Letter (With Examples and Tips)

Sample engineering internship cover letter

Creating an effective cover letter that highlights your skills and qualifications can help you be more noticeable to hiring managers or recruiters. Here's an example cover letter you can use to help you write your own:

Dear Madeline Johnson,

I am writing to apply for the Summer 2022 chemical engineering internship. I am a junior in College of Engineering at University College. My major is chemical engineering with a minor in computer science. I understand that the internship includes work using computational methods to explore surface electrocatalysis within your company. I hope to continue building my career with a focus on electrocatalysis and how it relates to solid-electrode liquid electrolyte interfaces.

Last fall, I interned with a national laboratory that specialized in nanotechnology. There, I spearheaded an investigation of the effects of iridium oxide surfaces through theory and modelling. This required an understanding of plane-wave density theory and how it relates to molecular structures. I conducted extensive literature research on the theory and used the computers at the facilities to model several experiments.

In these models, I computed equilibrium lattice constants and k-point convergences and surface energies. This helped analyze the accuracy of my model and helped us understand the electrocatalytic properties on surfaces. With this experience, I learned the significance of computational modelling and how I can use it to gain insight into experimental phenomena. I think this method of exploration can help your organization conduct experiments at low costs, and I feel I will offer substantial knowledge and expertise.

I am interested in this internship because, with my chemical engineering background and experience with computational modelling, I know I can contribute to the efforts of your organization. I am interested in how we can model various biochemical processes, and I think I can bring the passion and motivation your company needs to achieve these goals. I look forward to speaking with you about this opportunity further. You can reach me at (505) 606-7070 or at dean.s.richardson@universitycollege.email. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best,

Dean Richardson

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