5 Tips For Writing A Canadian Internship Cover Letter
Internships, internships, internships. If anybody has noticed, that’s been a recurring theme for our articles lately – and for a good reason too! With the International Experience Canada (IEC) releasing a majority of their International Co-op Visas at this point (check out our IEC 2016 Masterlist here), we thought that it would be important to help lay down the foundation for landing an awesome Internship in Canada!
Whether you’ve opted to look for a position yourself or have decided to go with one of our Student Internship or Hospitality Internship programs to help you secure your Internship in Canada, knowing the basics of Canadian cover letter writing can help you land that Internship in Canada so much faster. The more ready your Canadian internship cover letter and resume are to send out to potential employers the closer you are to landing your placement. Keep on reading to find out how to impress from the beginning – by writing a solid cover letter!
Some Important Notes On Formatting:
The way your Canadian internship cover letter is formatted is just as important as the actual content that you end up writing for it. We’re assuming that you’ve written cover letters in the past before for other jobs that you’ve held in your home country and the standards here aren’t too different. As a general rule, try to keep it to at least 12pt font for easy reading, 1 or 1.5 line spacing, and try to use simple but modern looking fonts such as Cambria, Calibri, or even Garamond. For a list of good fonts to use on resumes and cover letters, you can refer to this article right here.
Also, don’t forget to include the letterhead used on your Canadian internship resume (you can check out our 7 tips for writing a Canadian internship resume here if you need resume help) and to stick to a standard letter writing format. Try to keep it to 1 page. This is because hiring managers will NOT read beyond that. And finally, for the signature, you can either print it out, sign it, and then scan it back to your computer. Alternatively, you can take a picture of your signature and upload and paste it onto your letter, which is the faster and easier method. For those that need more detailed instructions on how to do so, you can refer to this how-to article right here.
Tip #1 – Know The Company & Position
Before you start any writing, get to know the company that you are interested in applying for. Do your research on both the company and the specific position as well. The basics would be to read over the company website, specifically the “About” page if you can find one. Take special note of the company’s history (if listed), mission, and mandate. You’ll be able to incorporate that into your Canadian internship cover letter later on and show the hiring manager that you actually took time to learn about the company. Know the position that you’re applying for as well, so that you can make sure to match your experiences to the specific Canadian internship requirements listed by that company.
Tip #2 – No Sir or Madams, Please
Before you write the actual content of your Canadian internship cover letter, you’re going to have to address it to someone. It used to be acceptable to address the letter as “Dear Sir or Madam”, however, it’s quite old fashioned and less commonly seen today. Another common (but bad!) option is to address it “To whom it may concern”. This one is even worse, in our opinion, and should never be used on cover letters. Do you know whom you’re writing to? If you do, make sure to address it to him/her using the correct salutation of either Ms. or Mr. followed by their last name. But what if you don’t? In that case your safest option would be to simply write “Dear Hiring Manager”.
Tip #3 – Emphasize What YOU Can Do For Them
First, it’s important to write a good hook so that your reader will get through your entire Canadian internship cover letter, instead of moving onto the next one after reading the first one or two sentences of yours. You can very briefly explain how you got into the industry, what caught your interest in pursuing a career in a particular field, or (if you’re applying to more creative fields such as marketing or graphic design), you could start your Canadian internship cover letter off in a more informal way.
Once you’ve gotten their attention, then get to the point, and make sure you explain what YOU can bring to the company, as opposed to explaining what you want out of the internship. The cover letter’s main purpose is to highlight what the company can get if they choose to hire you, so be sure to write the reminder of your letter with that mindset.
Tip #4 – Match The Job Description
An important objective of the body text is to convince the person reading your Canadian internship cover letter that you are a good match with the job description of the internship in Canada that you’re applying to.
At this point you can also mention what you’ve learned about the company and why you would be a good fit for both the position AND the current team/corporate culture. While it’s not required to try to explain how you match ALL the points in a job listing, it’s a good idea to try to cover the ones you think are the most important. Usually the first couple points listed in a job description are the most important. Categorize similar skills or experiences into the same paragraph. If you don’t have what is listed, it’s acceptable to mention similar experience or transferable skills that you’ve gained through volunteer work or even your education.
Good examples of cover letters include:
Tip #5 – End On A Strong Note
Summarize the main points in your Canadian internship cover letter, emphasize how excited you are to be considered for this position, and then make sure to thank them for their time. An example of a good close off would be something along the lines of:
“In conclusion, my 2+ years of experience as a retail sales associate and my love for technology and apps make me an excellent fit for the position of a Marketing Intern at Global Apps Inc. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to an interview opportunity.”
Are you ready to start applying for YOUR next internship in Canada? If so, make sure to sign up with us on our website by filling out a free application form! We’ll review your application, and if you qualify, one of our Placement Coordinators will be in contact with you shortly to discuss what you’re looking for in an internship in Canada and start to plan your Canadian work experience with you!
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