A recommendation letter for an internship is a letter written by a qualified person such as a teacher or former employer to highlight a student’s strong capabilities and qualities in support of their application for an internship program. The letter should outline important details that an organization can use to assess if the student is suitable for the internship position they are applying for.
An internship is a fundamental part of a student’s academic journey. As a mentor, teacher, or employer, it would be a noble deed to help a student for gaining the experience that comes from an internship. A well-written internship letter is one way to show your support and intervene on behalf of the student. It helps the student to stand out from the multiple applicants applying for the same internship programs.
The letter of recommendation at its core is a third-party assessment of a student’s suitability for an internship opportunity. Recruiters will therefore base their selection on the letter among other application documents. As a result, you should be objective in your recommendation as much as you want your student to get the opportunity. In light of this, you should only write this letter for all those students you can vouch for to avoid writing inadequate or shallow recommendations.
In order to learn more about how to craft a recommendation letter for an internship, consider reading this article all the way through.
How to Write
This recommendation letter should be tailored to align with the specific internship opportunity for which it is being written. Therefore, it is advisable to request the student to provide you with the information they want to input in the letter, such as the job description, and provide you with a summary of their resume as a source for information. In this way, you can write a solid letter to support the applicant.
Below is a comprehensive guide on how to prepare a recommendation letter:
You should begin the letter of recommendation with a strong introduction. The introduction should be brief and direct as it is only meant to prepare the recipient of what to expect in the other sections of the letter.
A good introduction will discuss the following:
Briefly introduce yourself and your qualifications
You should start the letter by introducing yourself, which includes details like your name and job title. This way, the recipient knows who is recommending the applicant. Indicating your job title can boost your credibility as a recommender.
Briefly state how you know the applicant
In this section, you have to write about how you know the applicant and explain why you want to recommend the candidate with the reference of your relationship. For example, if you are a teacher, highlight personality traits, academic achievements and the skills of the student relevant to the position that makes it the most suitable candidate for the organization. You can also mention how long you’ve known the person being recommended and then provide a statement of recommendation.
The next section of a recommendation letter for an internship is the body. In this section, you should get into details about the applicant’s qualifications and experience that make them suitable for the internship.
Below is an outline of what information to include in the body of your letter:
Provide examples of work-related accomplishments
In this section, you should give context as to how the applicant is qualified for the internship. This involves giving specific examples of work-related experience that has contributed to the applicant’s ability to perform tasks in the workplace. You can relate this experience to the specific internship opening and the organization. Also, the recommendation letter for an internship can mention the student’s participation and accomplishments in different departments in your organization if you’re a former employer. The primary objective of this section should be to illustrate the contributions the student can bring to the organization.
State applicant’s academic achievements and awards
The next part should discuss the applicant’s academic qualifications. Academic qualifications can be illustrated by citing the student’s performance in class, clubs, sports, individual and group projects, volunteer programs, leadership roles, and participation in competitions. Most organizations will prefer applicants who are actively involved in their respective fields. The letter can also mention any competitions the student has participated in and any achievements and awards they have received.
Include relevant anecdotes
A recommendation letter can also mention any stories that highlight the student’s personal and professional qualities. This section gives the letter a more informative and amusing look. You can write an event where the person you are recommending did a noteworthy action that impressed you.
Lastly, you can conclude the letter with a definite conclusion in one or two sentences. A solid conclusion will outline the following:
Restate your recommendation
Restate that you strongly endorse the named applicant for the internship opening. A strong and confident recommendation statement goes a long way in convincing the recruiter that you are certain of the information you provided in the letter.
Request a follow-up
Next, you should supply a follow-up statement that urges the recipient to reach out if they want to discuss the recommendation further or have questions for you.
Give your contact details
You can then provide your contact details for follow-up. You can include a phone number and an email address.
To finalize the letter, you can sign off by including a complimentary close, followed by your name, designation, and organization.
Templates & Sample
Given below are the templates and sample that you can use for guidance:
My name is [your name], a [job title] and I’m delighted to be recommending [student/applicant’s name] for the [position] internship at [company name]. I’ve been a [job title] for five years at [your company name].
[Applicant’s name] has been a proactive student in all my classes. I taught him/her [units/topics], and I was impressed by his/her knowledge [relevant field]. He/she is a good time manager and always finishes his/her assignments on time. His/her passion in [field] is a huge motivator in carrying out his/her responsibilities to the best of his/her ability, and I believe he/she will be able to reflect the same in his/her work at [company name] if granted the internship.
In his/her second year, she was the most improved student with a GPA of [number] from [number]. His/her favorite subjects are [list two or three topics] hence her interest to work in your organization which is at the forefront of the same fields.
In his/her acceptance speech for the Most Improved award, he/she impressed faculty with his/her oratory skills and ability to connect with colleagues. His/her ovation after the speech clearly indicated his/her interaction with multiple students from different departments. Since then, he/she has been a representative of our department – a role she had filled extraordinarily and surpassed expectations.
I’m confident [applicant’s name] will be a valuable addition to your organization if given the opportunity. Please get in touch with me through [phone number and/or email address] if you wish to discuss this matter further.
Dear [insert name here],
I’m happy to inform you that I highly recommend [insert student’s name here] for your open internship position. I have been very fortunate to instruct [student] in my [subject] classes at [insert school name here], and they have always excelled in their academic work. I am very familiar with their skills and ability level and am very confident they would do a standout job as an intern with your company.
In my experience with [student] in my classes, they have always been a diligent learner. Their grades have been some of the best in the field, and they have always actively participated in class discussions and activities as well. They show great enthusiasm for learning that I believe would result in a strong work ethic in your internship. They’ve also been very responsible about coming to me for help when they are struggling with an assignment or concept. They’ve really set an example for other students in the class and show great leadership potential.
I truly believe [student] would benefit immensely from participating in your internship. They are very interested in a career in [insert field here], and the chance to work with a professional company such as yours would be invaluable. I implore you to seriously consider [student] for your internship position. Please contact me if you have any questions or need more general information. I can be reached at [insert contact info here].
[insert name here]
Dear [insert name here],
I’m writing to recommend [insert student’s name here] for your internship position. I was fortunate to be able to supervise [student] last summer as they worked for our company, and I can attest that they were a standout employee. They are a very diligent worker and quick learner, which helped them to excel in their position with us and really helped them stand out from our other interns.
[Student] is also studying at [insert school name here], where they are [insert grade level here]. They have excelled in their schoolwork, receiving strong grades and participating actively in many extracurricular programs in their major. Although [student] had not worked in our field prior to joining our internship program last summer, they learned very quickly and were a very helpful employee. They are a fast learner and I am confident they would go very far working for you.
As you consider candidates for your internship, I encourage you to look at [student] and strongly consider them for the position. I think they would be a perfect fit and would add a lot to your company. If you have any questions for me, you can contact me at [insert contact info here].
[insert name here]
Dear Mrs. Carrie Mathers,
My name is Prof. John Doe; I’m a professor and head of the Procurement Department at Winston College, Fl. Kindly accept this letter as my recommendation for Olivier Mint for the procurement internship at Garrison Manufacturers. Olivier was a student of mine for the Macro Economics and Micro Economics classes. Therefore, I’ve had the privilege of interacting with him in his first year and third year on campus and witnessing his growth as a procurement officer.
Olivier is a highly motivated student who shows up on time. He is well-organized and is able to complete key administrative functions such as data entry, filing, and reporting. He was always actively involved in class with a natural interest in learning. His strong leadership skills and confidence can be seen in how well he makes his arguments and presentations in front of a class of more than a hundred students. He can articulate his opinions well, a social skill that has made him interact well with colleagues and faculty, and I believe it will be the same at your organization.
As an economics student, he is very talented with numbers and managed to excellently well in all my classes with a 92% and 94% score in Macro and Microeconomics, respectively. Olivier is also an active participant in track sports, more so 400 m races. He has represented the school on multiple occasions, winning gold twice in the inter-school competitions.
He has been a champion for active community service in our school. A movement that led to the establishment of the WinstonForFlorida Campaign in 2020, which aimed to take an active role in helping the less fortunate in our community, especially during the COVID crisis. His voice demonstrated his concern for humanity, and his brevity to stand up for what he believes in was nothing short of exceptional.
My personal and professional stance is that Olivier will be a valuable addition to Garrison Manufacturers. I’m available to answer any questions you may have. Kindly contact me at 555 5037 0602 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor, Head of Procurement
A recommendation letter can be the point at which the recruiter tilts their preference to your candidate. Therefore, you should be aiming to give a strong recommendation or none at all.
Below are some writing tips you can use to improve the quality of your letter:
Stay on topic
Objectivity is vital when recommending a student, you should focus on the applicant’s qualities that are relevant to the internship. Any other qualities such as physique or humor should not be included, regardless of whether they are positive qualities.
Write a positive recommendation letter
A letter of recommendation for an internship should maintain a positive tone throughout. This is why it is important to write recommendations for students you are familiar with and have positive things to say about them. If you don’t, it is best to decline the request to recommend them politely. Writing a positive recommendation makes sure the recruiter’s first impression of the student is positive as well. Note that the letter will have a higher value than the student’s cover letter, hence the need to ensure the recruiter describes the best version of the applicant.
Get submission details
Always verify the submission details. You can ask the student to write them down on paper. Most recommendation letters will be addressed to the hiring manager, admissions counselor, department head, or program director. You should confirm the exact recipient, their name, job title, and other submission details like formatting.
Note that recommendations can be addressed generally if the student is applying for an internship at multiple organizations or does not have a specific organization they want to apply to. In this case, use a generic salutation like “The Human Resources Department” or the college’s admission office. Generic recommendations should highlight the student’s strongest qualities without specifically aligning them to a position or organization.
Ask the student for academic information
To ensure you get the information in the letter correctly, always ask the student to present you with a list of their academic details. This includes academic performance reports, GPA, achievements, and extracurricular activities they are involved in.
A recommendation letter for an internship is a third-party assessment of an applicant’s suitability for an internship position. Recruiters use it to screen applicants, and therefore, if a student selects you to recommend them, you should ensure that the letter is factual and correct.
This is because the organization offering the internship relies on you to give insight on how the applicant will be suitable for the position and the organization. In addition, the letter should show what sets the student you are recommending apart from other applicants. To ensure you craft an effective recommendation letter, you can use templates and review sample letters for guidance.