How To Request And Write An Internship Recommendation Letter

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Internships are a common way to start your professional career, and most employers expect fresh graduates to have done an internship programme before applying for a full-time job. You may require a strong recommendation letter from a credible source to get an internship offer. Whether you are a student trying to get one or a professor writing one, knowing the elements that make a good recommendation letter can be useful. In this article, we discuss what an internship recommendation letter is, find out how to write it and share a sample recommendation letter.

What is an internship recommendation letter?

Before answering what an internship recommendation letter is, understanding the concept of an internship is important. An internship is a brief professional experience with a company that helps you apply and explore the knowledge and skills gained during your formal education. The internships usually relate to your field of study and can enhance your practical perspective within the field while improving your employability for a full-time job. Even if you have no professional experience and are applying for jobs as a fresher, most employers prefer candidates who have completed an internship.

To secure an internship, you usually require a recommendation letter or two highlighting your skills, moral character and work ethics. You can ask your college professors or principal to write you a letter recommending you for an internship. If you know a professional, subject expert or any other leader in your domain, you can request them as well. When you are applying for an internship at large and well-known organisations, having a letter of recommendation can improve your chances of selection.

Related: What Are Internships And How Do You Find One?

How to get an internship recommendation letter

If you are a student trying to get an internship recommendation letter, some planning and persistence may be necessary. Writing a letter takes some time and effort, and you may have to follow up with the writer patiently and provide them with any input they require. Here is how you can get the letter easily:

1. Choose an appropriate recommender

Approach a qualified adult who knows you well and holds your moral character in high esteem. This might also motivate them to write an excellent letter that highlights your strengths. If they are already aware of your potential, talents and ethical values, this may be an advantage. Usually, a recommendation letter from a professor or teacher can be helpful in highlighting your internship application. Although you want the recommender to be someone who knows you well, it is inappropriate for an immediate family member to write one.

Related: How To Apply For An Internship (And What To Do After Applying)

2. Give a reasonable notice

Give the writer of the letter sufficient time to write the letter and inform them well in advance. This can help them plan accordingly and take the time and effort to write an earnest and genuine letter. Ideally, let them know at least a few weeks before you have to submit it. Also, keep some time for making revisions and changes. Usually, companies offer summer or winter internship programmes, so plan accordingly.

3. Provide sufficient details

Professors usually receive many requests for recommendation letters from their students, and sometimes they might not have enough information about your achievements to include in the letter. To make this task easier and ensure they include all relevant details, present them with a short introduction about your background, how they know you and any recent achievements. You can also hand them a copy of your resume, your academic record or a list of your extracurricular activities. Also, share the details of the internship that you are applying for.

Related: Writing An Internship Cover Letter (With Examples)

How to write an internship recommendation letter

If you are the one writing a recommendation letter for a student, be sure that you hold a good opinion of them as the recommendation letter serves as a positive reference. If you are not comfortable recommending them, it is best to refuse politely without further delay so that the student has sufficient time to find a suitable recommender. Sometimes, students also write a basic draft of the letter and send them to professors to add more information.

Here are the steps you can follow to write a letter for internship recommendation:

1. List the positives

The recommendation letter highlights a student's capabilities, talents and character traits that make them a good match for the internship. This is your opinion of the student as the writer of the letter. Try to recall the things you have observed them accomplish inside or outside the classroom and list down anything that reflects positively on them.

Related: How To Write A Resume for Internship (With Template And Example)

2. Gather all relevant information

To ensure that the letter aligns with the student's and employer's expectations, try to gather all the information you require regarding them and the internship. Go through their resume and notice the attributes and achievements that seem outstanding. If any doubts or questions arise, ask the student for clarification so that the information you mention in the letter is accurate.

Related: Guide: How To Write A Recommendation Letter for A Student

3. Follow the format

Here are the things that you can include in a recommendation letter:

Start by introducing yourself

After the subject and salutation, start by giving a reference of your relation to the internship seeker and mention how long you have known them. Add a short introduction about yourself to establish the credibility and authenticity of the letter. This is probably the shortest section in the letter.

Related: Salutation Examples For Professional Letters And Emails

Highlight hard and soft skills of the internship seeker

In the second paragraph, you can talk about why you believe the internship applicant adequately meets the requirements for the internship and how they can be an asset to the organisation. This is a good place to quote any valid instances or examples that focus on the candidate's qualifications, skills and potential to succeed. If you are their professor, you can mention their academic record or performance during class or presentations.

State your recommendation clearly

Reiterate your approval and recommendation of the candidate by asserting your opinion strongly with definitive expressions or phrases. You can say something like, Therefore, I strongly recommend... or I highly recommend... A strong recommendation can increase the chances of securing the desired internship.

Provide your contact information

You may provide your contact information and let the reader know you are available for any further enquiries regarding the student if the employer chooses to do so. You can mention your email address and mobile number here. Alternatively, you can mention the contact details along with your signature towards the very end.

Close the letter

As with most formal letters, close it with your full name and role or job title. In a hard copy, signing below your name is also acceptable. You use the regular email signature in an email or add more information if required. If you have an official letterhead, it would be advisable to print the letter on the same.

Sample internship recommendation letter

Here is an example of a letter for recommending someone for a content or copywriting internship:

Letter of Recommendation for Jignesh Virani


Dear (Name) or To whom it may concern

I am Shefali Saran, an associate professor of English at the University of Delhi. I have been teaching Jignesh Virani for the past three years and would like to recommend him for a content writing internship at your prestigious organisation.* *He has been my student in the English literature class since 2018.

Jignesh has always been a diligent student and exceeded my expectations during classes. His comprehension and ability to express himself articulately compared to his peers is commendable. Jignesh also can incorporate information from diverse sources and perspectives into his writing. He has consistently achieved the top grades in all his subjects and has been an active participant in several extra-curricular activities.**

I can attest to his exceptional language skills and writing abilities and would like to place on record my strongest recommendation for his application. I sincerely believe that will prove to be a valuable addition to your team.

If you require further information or details, please reach out to me at [phone number] or send an email at [email address].

Shefali Saran
Associate professor
Dehli College

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