Practicums are formal work positions that are similar to internships and require a cover letter, just like any other job. Individuals must gather information about the position and company, compare the company’s needs to what they can provide, include contact information, explain why they are writing and how they are qualified, how they will meet the practicum’s demands, request an interview while inviting correspondence, and provide a formal closing that details any enclosures in order to write a practicum letter. Writing a general job cover letter is very similar to this. The letter should be between one and two pages long.
Similar to other job cover letters, a practicum letter should always be tailored to the organization or agency where the person wishes to work. As a result, gathering information not only about the practicum position available, but also about the company or agency in general, is the first step in writing one of these documents. Examining the company’s products and services, as well as the company’s mission statement and current stock price, are all useful tools for determining how the business is doing and how the practicum duties fit into the overall scope of the agency’s goals.
Next, take a close look at the practicum posting, identifying the specific skills, knowledge, or abilities that a successful candidate for the position should possess. This enables a person to assess what the company requires versus what she can provide. The goal is to show the company that, based on her education and experience, the candidate is a good fit.
It’s time to start writing the practicum letter once a person has determined which skills, knowledge, and abilities she possesses that match the company’s requirements. The document should have one-inch margins, a minimum of 12 point font, and block paragraphs with single line spacing if it is to be used as a formal correspondence. The candidate’s contact information should be included in the letter, either left justified at the top or left justified beneath the candidate’s typed name at the bottom. The contact information for the recipient is always at the top, under the candidate’s address if one is provided. A date and subject line, as well as an opening salutation addressed to a specific person, should all be included in the letter.
The first paragraph of a practicum letter explains the letter’s purpose and how the candidate learned about the practicum opportunity. This paragraph also expresses a desire to work for the company. The candidate can go into greater detail about her education, experience, and skills in the second paragraph, linking them to the company’s requirements. If desired, some of this section can be written in bullet points, but the content should always describe what the candidate has accomplished or can do, and with whom, rather than who the candidate is — in other words, use verbs rather than adjectives and adjective phrases.
After it is clear that the candidate is qualified and a good fit for the practicum position, the candidate should inquire about the practicum’s specifics, such as start and end dates, as well as degree requirements. She should explain how she will meet these requirements, such as receiving her bachelor’s degree one month before the practicum begins. If potential conflicts arise, the candidate should explain how she plans to resolve them.
Given everything else the candidate has discussed, the last paragraph of a practicum letter expresses that she believes she is a good fit for the practicum and would welcome the opportunity to interview for the job. This section also expresses gratitude to the recipient for reading and considering the letter, as well as providing information on how to contact the candidate. If the practicum posting stipulated that a resume or other documentation be submitted in order to be considered for the position, the last paragraph specifies that these items are also included with the letter.
The closing phrase, such as “Sincerely,” the candidate’s full name, and an enclosure line indicating the number or type of enclosures, if any, are the final elements of a practicum letter. The candidate should proofread the letter for typographical and grammatical errors after including these elements. The letter is now ready to be printed and sent.