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While most students concentrate on making great first impressions, it isn’t uncommon for them to forget the chance to follow up with their newly formed connections. An internship thank you letter gives students a chance to strengthen a new bond and emphasize unique topics in your conversation and allows you to express gratitude and the desire to remain in touch.
To define what internship thank you letters are, they are formal letters sent to the person you reported to in a company as an intern. It is an official note or letter to express your gratitude of having got the opportunity and to go on record to state how the internship or your work experience at the company has helped you to learn more and has made you more skilled.
Internship Thank You Letter Benefits
The letter can separate you from the competition by keeping you in the sight of your new contact. While you are building professional relationships, your name may be one of the first to come to mind when an appropriate opportunity arises. This isn’t to say that the thank you letter for your internship will result in an immediate job offer but it will definitely help put you on the right path.
The internship thank you letter serves multiple purposes and has many benefits. First, it leaves a very nice aftertaste and creates the ground for future communications with your boss, the staff at the company or anyone associated with the company. When you create such a connection with the company you interned at, they would think of you in the future if there is a suitable job.
Even if they do not think of you for a job, they would speak well about you when they meet their friends and colleagues in the industry. In other words, you get good word of mouth publicity from the very people who trained you or guided you since the start of your career.
In some ways, it does exactly what an interview thank you letter is meant to do. It might get you a job. The company might keep you in mind and may see you as a potential candidate for a similar job opening that they may have.
In fact, after your internship, they might have an opening that needs to be filled. Just as how a follow-up thank you note after an interview can be a reminder that a candidate is really ardent for the job, a post internship thank you letter can do the very same.
Thank Letters for the End of Your Internships
The end of internship thank you letter can show appreciation of the company for having given you the opportunity but more importantly, it can be inviting of criticism. A company or your boss may have some criticism to share with you but didn’t because you were an intern and not a full time employee.
When they write back or if they share the criticism after you have written the internship thank you letter, it would be constructive, they would have a very positive opinion about you and you shall be able to learn of any shortcomings that you may have to work on.
When Do You Need One?
Here is a list of appropriate situations where a thank you letter will benefit you:
- Post internship thank you letter – You should never neglect a chance to express your gratitude for an internship opportunity. Emphasize in the letter the skills that you acquired and how they will be useful to you in the future. This will also give you additional skills to add to your resume and cover letter. Make reference to your desire to maintain the relationship with the company, if possible. It’s best to type these letters and send them by mail.
- After meeting a company rep at an internship event – It would be helpful to take the initiative and send an email showing appreciation of their time. Here, you can once again mention your interest in the company and the position that you talked about. These thank you letters are best sent via email.
- Post networking events – Upon leaving the event, you will likely have tons of business cards. To help yourself out, jot down notes on the back of the cards as reminders of the conversations you had with each individual. Send an email that relays your interest in the conversation that you had and show appreciation for the time that they spent with you. If you feel it’s appropriate, express the desire to set up a meeting.
- Professional and academic mentors – These people will be vital to your internships because they will commit to giving you the best advice they can in regards to your career. Their dedication to your success deserves more than a simple email. Hand-write and personalize each end of internship thank you letter. It will please their hearts to know that you recognized their efforts. Also, you never know if that person might be able to help you secure a job in the future.
It is essential that you understand how important the relationships you build are as you perform your internships. Although you are in the big world of business, a small step like writing an internship thank you letter can give you a leg up on others vying for positions in the company.
Your thank you letters should be formatted in a business professional manner. Be sure that you check for grammatical and spelling errors and don’t be afraid to use synonyms. The goal is to write a letter that will leave a lasting impression on your new professional contact and build a long lasting relationship after your internship.
Sample Internship Thank You Letter
Every thank you letter for any internship should be unique to that experience. Try not to sound generic because it will come off as impersonal to the person you’re writing to. Mention specific projects that you worked on, what you learned from it, and how they helped you.
A great source to get a sample internship thank you letter here at Virginia Tech’s Career Center. They provide a great overview and examples of these overlooked letters. Be sure to tailor their examples to your internship.
By Diane Barlow