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Recommendation Letter for Internship – with Samples

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Recommendation Letter for Internship – with Samples

Updated July 21, 2023

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A recommendation letter for an internship is a character reference, usually written by a past teacher or employer, that is submitted to a company or organization to help the applicant get the internship position being offered. The typical internship is usually easy to get as they are essentially jobs without payment. Although, high-level positions will require a letter of recommendation to ensure that the person being selected has the knowledge and wherewithal to handle the everyday tasks of the position.

Table of Contents

What to Include

The purpose here is to make a case that the applicant will be successful in the targeted internship position. The author should describe how he or she knows the applicant and should provide:

  • A short description of the applicant and his or her best relevant qualities
  • Specific examples that illustrate positive characteristics
  • Any anecdotes that are relevant to the internship responsibilities

While it may be easy to sing the applicant’s praises, remember to stay on topic. Try to highlight qualities that will translate to the internship and steer clear of mentioning humor, looks, or other things that are not relevant.

Who to Select?

The ideal person that should be selected to write a recommendation is a former professor or employer who can comment on your character, personality, and work ethic. It is more important to select someone that has known you on a personal basis than an individual that has a particular title in an effort to show the employer who you really are and if you will be a good match for their organization.


How to Write


In the introduction, explain how you know the applicant. Then, provide a brief snapshot of the applicant and an explanation of why you believe that he or she will be successful in the desired position.

Body Paragraph

Here, you should develop your case. Pick specific examples that illustrate your claims and are relevant to the target position.

If you were a workplace supervisor, you might include examples of diligence, honesty, and hard work on the job. If you taught the applicant in a high school or college class, you can discuss academic achievements, classroom leadership skills, or other related qualities.


Try to end with a snappy sentence or two, stay positive, and offer to follow up if necessary.

Sample Recommendation Letter for Internship

Dear Hugh,

I enthusiastically offer this letter in support of Jonathan Donahue’s application for the summer internship at the Sidney Law Firm. Jonathan was my student in the undergraduate prelaw seminar at Southern State College. I found him to be a creative and industrious student who showed a natural flair for both legal research and writing, and unsurprisingly, he earned the highest grades of any student in this course.

I understand that summer interns are responsible for researching novel topics with limited supervision or support. In my course, students were regularly tasked with tackling new and exotic legal topics, relying on legal databases, and collaboration with classmates to get a handle on challenging content. Jonathan exhibited expert-level LexisNexis skills and a facility with group work that is rare among undergraduates.

While I have taught hundreds of students in my two-decade career – many of whom have headed to law school after college – I can remember few as talented as Jonathan. I have no doubt that he will be successful in your summer program and offer my unqualified endorsement.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any other information that I can provide.


Jane Lewis, Esq