If you are looking to apply to a dietetic internship in the near future, you will need to submit a professional letter with your application. Students are often unable to translate their experiences into a letter that will offer insight about who they are and why they would make a great candidate. These 8 key points will help you write a better letter and will get you noticed by the dietetic internship committee.
1. Follow directions to the letter. Many students get ahead of themselves and don’t follow directions. Failing to answer the pertinent questions that the internship committee wants to know will diminish your chances of being recognized as a good candidate. Make sure that you always read the directions and questions carefully.
2. Map out what you want to say before hand with a brief outline. This can help you establish a timeline and will generate ideas for your letter. It can also help you write with more focus. Start with the most important experiences first. Once your have an outline it will be much easier to create a new letter document without staring at a blank page wondering where to begin.
3. Once you know what experiences you would like to include, start with a short introduction that states your interests in a particular program and the reasons why that program appeals to you.
4. In the body of the letter you will need to answer specific questions. Refer to the internship packets for information regarding what questions the dietetic internship committee wants answered. Relate these questions to your goals, experiences, strengths and potential as a candidate. Include specific examples as to why these experiences will benefit the internship.
5. You may want to include the reasons the internship program is appealing to you. Is there a dietitian that graduated from that internship program or an article about that particular facility that generated your interest?
6. Write each letter as if it’s the only internship that you want instead of being very general. Give examples of how that particular program will help you reach your short and long term goals.
7. Make sure that you revise your thoughts into a letter that is concise and not too wordy. Most professional letters should be 2 pages maximum.
8. After you wrap up your letter, thank them for their consideration.
According to the information on the All Access Internships website, many dietetic students felt that they received an internship because the professional letter helped them stand out and get noticed. Don’t reduce your chances of receiving an internship because you failed to take the time to write a high quality letter. It may be one of the most important items that you will include in your application packet.