Letter of Recommendation for Internship Applicants

How to write a letter of recommendation for internship positions plus excellent sample letters of recommendation.

Illustration of learning and student icons plus text "letter of recommendation for internship"

Know what to include in your internship letter of recommendation, how to properly format your letter and which skills, knowledge and competencies to highlight in your letter.

What to do before writing your letter of recommendation for an internship

1. Ask the individual for information on the internship

Before you start your letter of recommendation you need to do some research. Find out about the specific internship position including the important tasks and the skill, knowledge and competencies required for the internship. If it is a general letter of recommendation, ask the applicant for more details of the type of internship they are seeking. Discuss with the applicant what you should highlight in your letter of recommendation.

2. Request a copy of their resume

Reading through the individual's resume will help you gain a fuller picture of their academic and personal achievements and provide insight into their credentials for the internship. Take note of any previous internships, part-time jobs or volunteer work.

3. Make a list of the individuals strengths as they relate to the specific internship

Consider what has impressed you about the individual and create a list of their strengths and achievements.

4. Identify examples of when the individual has demonstrated these strengths

Think of examples of when these strengths have been displayed. It is important to support your descriptions with good examples, scenarios or anecdotes. The employer wants proof that the applicant has the desired knowledge and skills for the internship.

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

How to write a letter of recommendation for internship applicants

Your letter of recommendation should include these 6 key components.

1. Header

List the recipient's name, job title, organization and date in the top left of your letter.

2. Salutation

Address the recipient by using  Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms or, if you don't have their name,  use "to whom it may concern"

3. Introduction

Briefly introduce yourself, include your occupation or experience and concisely explain your connection to the applicant and how long you have known them. This provides context for the information you provide in your recommendation. Immediately state that you highly recommend the applicant.

4. Recommendation

Summarize why the applicant is an excellent fit for the internship. Focus on those strengths, skills, credentials and accomplishments that are most relevant and useful to the internship role. Provide a full picture of the applicant but keep it sincere by not overdoing the praise or using vague platitudes. The optimal length for a letter of recommendation is no more than one page.

5. Examples

Include specific examples, stories and observations to support your assessment of the applicant's strengths and skills.

6. Closing

In closing your letter of recommendation reconfirm why you are recommending the applicant for the internship. Sign the letter, include your contact details and state  your willingness to be contacted if any further information is required.

Letter of recommendation for internship - example 1


Recipient Name

Recipient Title

Recipient Address

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms

My name is Dr. John Smith and I have known Glenda Green for 4 years as both a student in my class and a member of the rowing team which I help to coach.  I have full confidence that Glenda possesses excellent credentials for the Type of Internship and I can highly recommend her for the position.

As a student in my Name of Course, Glenda displays both high levels of diligence and strong critical thinking skills, resulting in consistently excellent results. Her natural passion for learning and knowledge drives her to read and study far beyond the required coursework ensuring maximum benefit from her studies.

Glenda is an enthusiastic and perceptive participant in group discussions, making valuable contributions and encouraging robust debate. She is always respectful of the input from other group members and her easy communication style helps facilitate collaborative and productive learning sessions.

Glenda stands out as a key member of the rowing team. Her energy and commitment are evident in the many hours of hard work she puts in to improve and excel in the sport. She is unfailingly supportive of her team members and, on her own initiative,  has successfully organized a number of team social activities.

I firmly believe Glenda would be an asset to your organization and has my full recommendation for the internship position. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

John Smith

Job Title

Contact details

Letter of recommendation for internship - example 2


Recipient Name

Recipient Title

Recipient Address

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms

My name is Full Name and I am the Job Title at Name of Organization where John Smith has worked for X years as a part-time volunteer. I am writing to enthusiastically and fully recommend John for your internship position.

From first hand experience I know that John's many skills and attributes make him an excellent candidate for the internship. John is a tireless volunteer, his commitment and passion for supporting others is evident in both the long hours he commits to and the strong and productive relationships he has built in this organization.

John meets challenges head on and is strategic and innovative in delivering workable solutions to the many problems a nonprofit like this faces. He is well known for creatively maximizing the use of available resources to achieve impressive outcomes.

John's energy and positive attitude act as an inspiration to the other volunteers and he is always willing to lend a hand wherever needed. His ability to effectively communicate with a diverse group of individuals enables their understanding of complex issues and ensures that they receive the assistance they need.

I have no doubt that John would bring significant value to your organization and I offer my complete endorsement of his application. Please contact me should you require any further information.

Kind regards,

Your Name

Job Title

Contact details

Starting a letter of recommendation

How you start your letter of recommendation is key to establishing the credibility of your recommendation and confidently stating your support of the applicant.

Starting a Letter of Recommendation

Closing a letter of recommendation

closing recommendation letter illustration

Find out how to close your letter of recommendation for maximum impact.

Closing a Letter of Recommendation

Top 10 adjectives for your letter of recommendation

These are the most impactful and universally applicable adjectives for your letter of recommendation.

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Skills for a letter of recommendation

Use these top resources to identify those competencies and strengths to focus on in your letter of recommendation for internship.

12 Core Competencies

List of Strengths

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