How do you write a cover letter for an internship with no experience? Most people get cover letters completely wrong. Find out why. This guide is also useful for applying to grad school, or any job beyond your internship.
You can find all the common do’s and don’ts of writing a cover letter for internships in other blog posts, so feel free to find them elsewhere. I am going to tell you about a secret that few people know about, and most people get wrong.
What Do Most People Get Wrong On A Cover Letter?
Most people think that you write the cover letter focusing on the things that you do well. They also might write down what their weaknesses are but try to disguise them as strengths. However, this is the complete opposite of what you should be doing.
What Is The Secret To Writing A Cover Letter?
You should be focusing on what the business, professor, or volunteer organization does. The key is to focus on the other person. You would not go up to somebody on the street and start telling them how amazing you are. They would think you are a complete jerk. Rather, you would ask them questions, and point out all of the amazing things that you think they do.
This requires you to do a bit of research. Just read the Professor’s work, read a couple of trade magazines about the company’s industry. Talk to a few people that might be in the industry about the company. You will be amazed about what they do right and wrong. You simply have to focus on what they do well, and what you can do to help them in the areas that they are weak.
By the way, if you wanted to watch the video of how to write a cover letter with no experience, you can check it out below:
Why Does Focusing On The Other Person Work?
It is flattering to know that someone else learnt about you. How cool would that be if someone learnt everything about what you do well? It also creates a connection with the other person that you are applying too. Human interaction is based on commonalities, and this will establish this commonality.
The key to building a good cover letter for an internship, particularly if you have no experience is to demonstrate that you are willing to learn and that you put the time to understand the other person. Very few people will do this.
But, there is a side benefit. If you do your research, and you find out that you don’t like the place, then you don’t have to apply. This will help you make an informed decision about the company before you get to far in the job pipeline.
The person on the other end does not care about you as a person. They get far too many applications to take each person seriously, and they often have to find reasons to remove your application rather than keep it. People are self-interested. They only care whether you can help them out in some sort of way. If you can suggest even mild solutions, and talk about them freely, to their problems, people will be quite impressed with you. How cool would it be if someone who knows coding made a software application just for me? I would so amazed that I would surely work very hard to bring this person on to the company.
Ok, But How To Write A Cover Letter For An Internship With No Experience?
The answer is super simple. Go, get some. Just pick up a book in that area and start reading about the company. Or, just start creating your own business entity that replicates or mimics what you want to do. It does not have to be much – it could be a part-time business that you spend 10 hours a week designing websites small businesses in that area where you want to get a job. Want to join the best consulting firm as an MBA? Just start your own, and start consulting to local businesses. You know a lot more than most people. And, the fact that you did something is way more than anyone else will do.
Here is the thing. Even if it does not work, that does not matter. What matters is that you are trying to figure out how to do the job. Guess what is also happening? You are gathering experience in the area that you want to go into. Within 1-3 months, you will have much more experience than anyone else in that area, and you will be able to carry on a intelligent conversation with recruiters. Moreover, you will start to bump into people that might want to hire you.
So, how do you get an internship with no experience? You have to be entrepreneurial, get out there, and make yourself known. Only a fraction of the people are ever willing to do this, and why not let it be you?
To write that cover letter, just simply (1) focus on the other person, and (2) go and do interesting things. You will be amazed in a few years how far this technique will get you in your career.