Look through these sample cover letters to get an idea of what to include in your letter.  Do not copy them directly!  

The most important quality you can convey in your cover letter is enthusiasm, and this must be done in your own style.

Read our tips for writing a great cover letter.  We suggest that you write the first draft of your letter without using a sample to guide you.  Once you’ve created your first letter, those that follow will be much easier. 

Sample Cover Letters

Undergraduate Internship

Layla D’Antonio
1 Lerner Hall 114th Broadway New York, NY 10027 | lad1234@columbia.edu | (212) 555-0000

February 5, 2019

CNN International Asia Pacific
30/F Oxford House, Taikoo Place
979 King’s Road Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

Dear Ms. Chan,

I am writing to express my interest in CNN’s editorial internship as part of the Columbia Experience Overseas Hong Kong. With a keen interest in media production and journalism, I am eager to explore these fields in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. As a rising sophomore at Columbia University studying psychology with a concentration in sustainable development, I am excited to apply my cultural awareness and critical thinking skills, as well as my creativity and teamwork skills to this position.

For the past year, I have worked with the Columbia Video Network to record classes for the developing online sector of Columbia University School of Engineering. My colleagues and I produced content that students around the world can access for their online programs. Additionally, I played a vital role managing our social media presence via Facebook and Twitter, increasing the network’s online exposure by sharing photos from our production room, writing posts about advancements in technology, and sharing engineering-related content. Through this experience, I familiarized myself with media outlets and increased engagement with prospective students.

Currently, as Division I student-athlete, I continuously develop my perseverance, mental stamina and time management skills. I have learned to master the art of balancing a demanding schedule while navigating a fast-paced environment. My experience as an athlete has also helped me to become an effective leader and communicator, acting as a liaison between my teammates and coaching staff. All are skills I expect to use at CNN.

I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to one of the world’s leading news organizations while exploring my curiosity in the use of technology as a tool to transmit knowledge through visual media. I look forward to the opportunity to learn how CNN integrates these tools within the news landscape, and to grow as a journalist and creative thinker. Thank you for your consideration.


Layla D’Antonio


Creative Industry

Sara Danson
70 Morningside Drive
New York, NY 10027
+1 (202) 555-0188 • sara.danson@gmail.com

April 26, 2019

Dear Hiring Team,

Growing up with a political historian as my father, I learned a crucial lesson: to care about people, you have to care about politics. In this vein, I have long admired the Center for Democratic Progress, using your reports and articles to help define my own policy positions. As I prepare to graduate from Columbia University with a degree in American studies and creative writing in May, I want to work for an organization that lets me act on my care for people every day. With seven years of editorial experience, I think I could do great work as Democratic Progress’ Assistant Editor.

I first honed my editing skills as a journalist. Working for Elementary, I wrote and copy edited dozens of articles using AP Style – everything from long-form investigations of standardized testing to columns about Common Core. I posted and formatted articles and photos on Elementary’s WordPress site, and managed production of the magazine’s quarterly print issues. For this work, I wrote headlines, blurbs, and photo captions as needed, and used Adobe Photoshop and InDesign regularly. I have done similar work as a writer for the Daily Noise, a workshop participant at Columbia, and the sole editor of The Soul in Our Soles, a full-length book. Through these experiences, I have edited hundreds of pages, adjusted to new style guides and expectations, and learned how to give my feedback clearly and diplomatically. So, too, have I honed my attention to detail and accuracy, learned how to work independently and under time pressure, and kept track of small-moving parts across several projects at once.

In other jobs, I have channeled my political views into meaningful work. As an intern for the League Against Hate Speech and Detroit for All, a nonprofit which helps immigrants and refugees in Southeast Michigan, I worked with teams to advocate progressive policy positions by planning trips, conferences, and community-wide events. As part of this work, I communicated with a wide range of individuals – wealthy businessmen, Bhutanese refugees, and Israeli activists alike – and sharpened my written and verbal communications skills. I also gave my colleagues operational support, copying and filing papers, scheduling meetings, and inputting data into Salesforce, among other tasks. These experiences taught me when to ask for help, how to solve problems, and how to organize my work and others’ well. At the same time, I learned firsthand how satisfying it is to work hard for a cause you believe in.

Given the opportunity, I would love to do that work for Democratic Progress as your Assistant Editor. I would be able to relocate to Washington, D.C. quickly upon hiring. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.




111 Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway New York, NY 10027

March 11, 2018

Vince Winchester
Thornton Tomasetti
51 Madison Ave #19
New York, NY 10010

Dear Mr. Winchester,

I am writing to express my interest in the Energy Analyst internship at Thornton Tomasetti. After connecting with Recruitment manager Charlotte Greene at Columbia University’s Sustainability Career Fair, and learning about the company’s impact in the sustainable engineering space, I knew I needed to apply. I am a senior at Columbia majoring in Mechanical Engineering and believe that my critical thinking and interpersonal skills along with my commitment to engaging in complex engineering problems would be an asset to your team.

During my internship with ERS, I successfully employed my critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills to pinpoint cost-effective retrofit measures on a very limited budget and with little manpower. While working on heat load models, I realized that improving the insulation of a building could result in greater savings than the team’s HVAC focus. With approval from my boss, I was able to take initiative to create a new framework for implementing insulation and envelope repairs. Using this idea, the team discovered that one of the school sites could save over $30,000 a year on electricity through insulation upgrades.

Currently, I am leading a project for the Columbia Formula SAE team researching and analyzing sensors with a goal to wire a car to increase speed and validate load predictions. This project is particularly relevant to the current trends in the energy efficiency space, as sensors exist in buildings and retrofit projects need to be validated. My current coursework complements my experience in its focus on statistical programming for modeling environmental issues. For example, I am working on a project using machine learning to predict roofs in New York City that need insulation.

I am excited by the opportunity to be on a team that collaborates to help clients meet their engineering and sustainability goals, and where I can showcase my mechanical engineering skills. Thank you for considering me to join the Thornton Tomasetti team.


Devon Fisher


123 Broadway Apt. 4, New York, NY • 212-555-1212 • amyrobins@gmail.com 

August 22, 2018

Ms. Catherine Kramer
AIDG Guatemala
0-21 8a Calle “B” Zona 3
Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Dear Ms. Kramer,

I am writing to apply to your grant writer position. When I saw this posting on your website, I was immediately drawn to AIDG’s focus on business incubation and eco-friendly technologies, and believe your model offers many opportunities to create lasting improvements to infrastructures in Guatemala and Haiti. To help your company gain further funding for its mission, I offer proven writing, research, and communication skills as well as successful grant writing experience.

I was inspired to transition from magazine writing to grant writing when I started editing documents for the Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RIF), a not-for-profit agency that aids new immigrants as they adjust to life in the United States. Working with RIF’s founder to create two grant applications, I found my editorial background equipped me well for the challenges of drafting and editing proposals to secure not-for-profit funding. Both applications were successful and resulted in grants needed to support two new programs.

Additionally, as the Assistant Research Editor at Budget Travel magazine, I pinpoint the most engaging details of a subject and write stories that appeal to a targeted audience. These skills have helped me create grant applications that draw attention from an audience of grant givers and personal donors.

Finally, every day at Budget Travel, I communicate effectively across language barriers. Maintaining my record of zero printed errors, I routinely call and email small foreign businesses, from family-owned restaurants in Panama to three-room B&Bs in Italy. My French language proficiency, further refined when I studied in Senegal, will help me work closely with your staff in Haiti. Moreover, I am currently enrolled in introductory Spanish lessons and plan to continue classes in Guatemala.

I would be honored to join AIDG and help promote sustainable technologies, XelaTeco, and other business incubation plans. I look forward to discussing how I can help your organization grow and expand through fundraising. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Amy Robins