This year we made some changes to the Program Support Internship (PSI) application. Along with your resume and application, you will be required to submit a cover letter.
So, what is that and why do we want it? A cover letter is simply a document that states how your education and experiences relate to the position you are applying to. If you think of your resume as a movie trailer, then the cover letter is a quick but detailed synopsis of your skills. Consider these tips when writing your cover letter:
- Your cover letter should fit on one single page. Employers are often reviewing multiple applications and materials while trying to make the best decision for their organization. When reviewing applications employers may not have the time to read a 2 to 3-page essay of your skills and accomplishments.
- Your cover letter should have three distinct sections. Just like an essay or a book, your cover letter will have a beginning, middle, and end. Your cover letter beginning is your introduction. The introduction should tell us what position you are applying for. This summer we will have positions available for the following departments: Young Leaders, Policy & Systems Change, and Training & Education. The body of your cover letter contains all of your skills and experiences relevant to the position you are applying to. Remember, actions speak longer than words. Use strong examples of how you demonstrated specific skills. Finally, the end is your conclusion. This is your time to restate what makes you a great fit for the position. Be polite and thank the potential employer for taking the time to read your cover letter.
- Your cover letter should be addressed to someone specific. Take a look at your target organization's staff page to identify who to address the letter to. Generally, this person would be the program manager or HR representative.
- Be sure to scan the job posting all the important details. The job posting is a road map to exactly what the employer is looking for. Most job postings will state who you would be reporting to such as the program or department manager. You will also find the skills and expertise that are necessary to be successful in the position you are applying to.
- Consider the following questions when writing your cover letter for the Program Support Internship:
- What capacity have you coached, or mentored youth who have experienced foster care?
- How have you demonstrated leadership skills while working in a team?
- What classes or professional development opportunities have you participated in that have prepared you for this position?
- Have you worked in multicultural and multiracial environments? How did your personal identity impact your ability to work across difference?
For more information on writing a winning cover letter, check out this article by the Balance Career or the below. If you are interested in applying for this amazing personal and professional development opportunity, check out the description here.