Cover Letter for an Art Internship
Breaking into the art industry can be difficult, but a good cover letter can help you land a coveted internship in the field. Art internships tend to be especially competitive, so mastering the cover letter is just as important as mastering your resume or portfolio. It can help you stand out from the competition and establish you as a serious professional. With these tips and sample cover letter, wow your potential employer.
Make Your Cover Letter Specific
Take the time to tailor your cover letter to meet a specific job description rather than using one template for every application. While specificity takes longer, you're more likely to impress hiring managers with a customized version. It shows you have a strong attention to detail and work ethic.
Be sure to include highlights of your skills and experience. For instance, if you are proficient with graphic design software, that's important to include. If you have any pieces published, such as a photo you took, that's a terrific achievement and definitely one to include in your cover letter.
Above all, you want to show the employer what you would bring to the role as an intern. Showcase your skills, passion, and dedication to the field to give yourself the best chance to win an internship.
Sample Art Internship Cover Letter
Samantha R. Gray
54 East Connecticut Avenue
Ocean City, NJ, 08226
(Home) (302) 333-5555
(Cell) (313) 444-6666
March 10, 20XX
Ms. Cindy Smith
Director of Arts Education
Children’s Museum of the Arts
2002 Lafayette Street
New York, NY, 20202
Dear Ms. Smith:
It is with great interest and enthusiasm that I am applying for the arts education internship advertised in Sunday’s New York Times. This position is exactly what I am looking for and an ideal opportunity for me to use my knowledge, educational background, and experience.
My arts education at Pratt Institute has helped me develop a firm foundation in the arts. The courses I have completed at Pratt, along with my study abroad curriculum in Paris, have prepared me well for a position in arts education. I have always had a passion for the arts, but my undergraduate education has taken my interest to a whole new level. I not only enjoy creating art but am even more enthusiastic when I have the opportunity to teach what I have learned.
For the past two summers, I have worked directly with children at CityArts and the Guggenheim. These experiences were amazing, as my responsibilities included directing major projects planned for the annual summer programming for local children interested in the arts. I was given a concept at the beginning of each summer, and I had complete control of how the projects were to be completed. The children were the creative force and often were the inspiration for the artwork ultimately presented to the public.
I am very excited about the summer opportunity with the Children’s Museum of the Arts since I know that I can definitely make a positive contribution while doing what I love, teaching art to children. I will contact you in one week to discuss my candidacy and see if you have any questions about my education or experience.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Samantha R. Gray
By CRAIG KUNCE
Your cover letter is one of the most important pieces of your job application packet. Be sure to inject some of your sparkling personality into the conversation. Your cover letter is an introduction to yourself. It has to make a solid first impression.
You may not have needed a cover letter before. Going forward you'll need one. A cover letter will help you appear professional and help you land an interview. I believe that a cover letter is a necessity for all serious job applicants.
I always like reading applicants' cover letters. It allows me to begin to get to know them and get to know what type of person, and employee, they may turn out to be. A cover letter is an important piece of the hiring process. Take it seriously.
Cover letter tips & guidelines
One page and done
I've seen many different types of cover letters. Some are long, some are short, and some are medium length. I prefer the medium length cover letters. I like the letters that take up about three-quarters of a single page. They tend to be succinct enough to make me want to read it, and long enough to introduce me to each person applying and allow me to get to know a little about them and their personality.
Email and phone is fine
Security and privacy are on everyone's minds these days. It's okay to leave your address off your cover letter and resume. A phone number and email is perfectly fine. No modern company is going to snail-mail you a letter asking for an interview.
Address your letter to a real person
Don't use the old, "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam" or "Ladies and Gentlemen." Use the name in the job posting. If there isn't one, pick up the phone and call the company and ask the receptionist who you should address the letter to. A little resourcefulness will go a long way. Be sure to get their name and position.
Now, if the posting doesn't list a person's name or a company, I would suggest using the most common title for a person who usually manages the department you want to work in. For graphic designers, I'd address it to Art Director. For a sales person, I'd use Sales Manager. You get the picture.
Lastly, call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to receive a cover letter addressed like this, "Dear Mr. Kunce,". I like the personal touch of "Dear" and I like the respectful touch of "Mr." I usually don't use a person's first name until I've met them face-to-face or over the phone.
Inject some of your personality into the letter
Have you ever been told to just be yourself? Well, for most of us, that is the last thing we should do. In trying to teach this concept to my children, I tell them that they have two kinds of a Dad. At-home-Dad, who can be funny, quirky, or loud. Then there's at-work-Dad, who has to be professional, level-headed, and a collaborative, team-player. So my point here is that whoever you are at home, make sure that your at-work personality shows up in your cover letter. There is nothing wrong with a little snappy, clever humor, or a passionate statement about your chosen career field. Just make sure it sounds professional and not over-done. How do you know the difference? Have someone else read it who will give you an honest opinion.
Try to expand on your resume
You can never say everything you want to in a one-page resume. So the cover letter is a perfect place to elaborate and inject some personality. Tell them what you're doing right now—a job, college, just graduating? Highlight your experience and try to be specific. If your field has specific skills it's know for, list them and tell how you use them. Tell them what you can do. Tell them what you've done. Tell them you're skilled and technologically savvy. Tell them you're up-to-date and social media savvy. You might have to make a list for some skills. That's okay, just don't over do it.
Show some enthusiasm!
Whenever I interview a candidate I want to see that they are excited with the possibility of landing the job they applied for. I don't want to see them doing cartwheels, or dancing for joy, but I do expect some level of enthusiasm to resonate through to me during their presentation and our conversations. Without this, I am really turned off. How am I expected to get excited about hiring you if you aren't excited about getting this job? Smile, vary the level of your voice, use your hands when you talk, speak passionately about your portfolio—this makes me want to hire you.
Talk about your goals
We all want to be somewhere better in 3–5 years. Tell them where that might be—but make sure it fits with the position you're applying for. If you are applying for a entry-level sales position tell them your goal is to continue to grow with the company and be sales manager one day. Don't tell them you want to get a few years of experience under your belt and move on to a bigger or better company. Don't tell them you play the lottery and hope to be on a beach in five years. Enough said.
No "form" letters please
Many web articles state that you should never send a "form" cover letter. Each should be written specifically for the job you are applying for. First of all, I agree with that advice, but I also have to say that in 20+ years of hiring people, I have never received a "form" cover letter. So either the word has gotten out, or I have just been fortunate. Which ever it is, be sure to write each cover letter for each specific position you are applying for.
In my experience, most people know which specific field or industry they are going into, and they write one cover letter for that field or industry and tweak it slightly for each company's open position. I think all those articles warning about using a "form" letter are really targeting people who are applying to job openings in many different fields and are incorrectly using the same cover letter for all of them. I wouldn't do that.
A cover letter is a form of professional business correspondence used to apply for a job. It is your first impression—so make it count. You are a professional graphic designer now, so the way you apply for a job should be professional as well. Businesses will be expecting a cover letter to accompany your resume. Most will ask for it directly in their job posting.
Your cover letter is your opportunity to show your personality and to communicate your skills, abilities, interest, and enthusiasm for the job. It elaborates on your resume, and It helps to differentiate you from other candidates.