When applying for internships abroad it’s a common requirement that applicants send not only their CV, but also a cover letter. For recruiters, receiving a cover letter provides more insight into the character of the applicants and, for over-subscribed positions, can provide a valuable way to choose between candidates.
When assessing overseas candidates, foreign grading systems often complicate measuring candidates; sometimes, a cover letter is the way recruiters assess the value of a potential candidate.
For these reasons, applicants should take seriously the task of writing their cover letters; between candidates that are closely tied in their experience and academic achievements, a cover letter might be the thing that clinches you for a position. Strong cover letters will open up new opportunities for you. Let’s find out how to write the perfect cover letter for internships abroad.
The Right Opening
The way in which you open your cover letter is surprisingly important. Addressing your reader for the first time, this is your chance to make a first - and lasting - impression. Recruiters may be reading hundreds of cover letters for popular positions, so you need to stand out for the right reasons.
Avoid generic openings such as 'To whom it may concern'. If someone is going to the trouble of reading your cover letter, they ought to be addressed by name. This information is usually available online, but an email to the organization you’re applying with can help you identify the recipient of your cover letter. If in doubt, find the head of the department to which you’re applying; this is who you need to impress.
The Right Content
Cover letters provide an opportunity for applicants to express themselves in their own words, but there are a number of key points all cover letters should take in. “Cover letters should introduce you to the recipient, and maintain a personal and sincere style throughout", says Delores Fowler, a career expert at Coursework Writing Service and Write My Paper. “It’s important that recruiters feel a sense of your personality shining through, after all if they were after a list of your achievements, a CV would suffice.”
Structuring your cover letter in the appropriate way helps recruiters follow it as they rarely have time to give an in-depth reading to every letter. A cover letter should follow the following general structure:
- The address (Dear Mr/Ms…)
- A personal introduction
- A discussion of your experience
- What has motivated you to pursue the role in question
- What makes you stand out as a candidate
By following a predictable structure, you can ensure that the key elements of your cover letter stand out at a glance.
Articulate Your Experience
Cover letters for internships abroad should be especially detailed in a qualitative account of your relevant experience. Often, a list of grades and achievements on a CV won’t translate easily across borders, so recruiters will look to your cover letter to assess you as a candidate.
Don’t rely on your grades to tell the whole story; build a narrative about who you are and what you’ve achieved. This will help you stand out to recruiters in an international language of success.
Know Your Stuff
“To demonstrate your value as a candidate it’s important to have done some research about the company in question as well as the specifics of the internship you’re applying for,” says Karla Austin, a writer at Assignment Help and OXEssays. “Candidates showing real hunger to be involved in the business will jump to the top of the list.”
When discussing what has motivated you to apply, you can demonstrate that your values align with the fundamental vision of the organization you're applying to. This is also an opportunity to articulate your familiarity with any current projects they’re working on.
When you're competing for an internship abroad you’re up against an international pool. When local grades and experience on your CV might make you feel like the perfect candidate, there’s no guarantee recruiters will have the relevant understanding of what you’ve achieved. Your cover letter is a chance to stand out from the crowd, telling recruiters why they should hire you in your own words. It’s a huge opportunity - don’t waste it.