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How to Write an Internship Thank-You Letter in 3 Easy Steps

How to Write an Internship Thank-You Letter in 3 Easy Steps

by | Apr 9, 2020 | Internships

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Writing an internship thank-you note is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your manager or supervisor. It shows your appreciation and keeps the lines of communication open as you continue your job search after graduation.

An internship thank-you letter can be sent as an email or a handwritten note. It doesn’t have to be too in-depth, but it should express your sincere thanks and address your most memorable learning experiences. Below, we’ll show you exactly how to write an internship thank-you letter to send to your employer.

Why Write an Internship Thank-You Letter?

Happy intern smiling at the camera

Do you have to write an internship thank-you letter? No. You don’t “have” to do anything — which is precisely why thank-you notes are such a thoughtful gesture.

A Thank-You Note Shows Appreciation

Think about why you send a thank-you note. Maybe it’s for a birthday gift, an invitation to a dinner party, or even a job interview. Why did you feel compelled to send it? Well, first, it’s polite. And second, you received a kind gesture from someone else, and you wanted to reciprocate.

Sending a thank-you note lets your colleague, mentor, or manager know how much you appreciated the opportunities you received throughout your internship. Remember, these people are employees, too — they took time out of their busy work schedule to sit down with you, provide feedback, and make your internship a success.

A Thank-You Note Makes You Memorable

An internship thank-you letter also makes you memorable. Upon graduation, you’ll be searching for a full-time position. You might return to the same company where you interned, or move on to a new organization that piques your interest. Either way, you’ll need references to speak to your character, integrity, and work ethic. The recipient of your thank-you note will remember your final gesture and might be more likely to speak on your behalf.

Ultimately, a business is a group of people working together toward a common goal. Doing small things, like saying thank you, being humble, and extending gratitude can get you far. You never know when a former boss or mentor might remember your thank-you note, and extend a favor down the road.

3 Steps for Writing an Internship Thank-You Letter 

Two young men writing an internship thank you letter on a laptop

At the end of your internship, write a note to your manager, boss, or mentor. You may end up writing a thank-you note to two or three different people, so make it as specific and personal as possible. Below are three easy steps for writing an internship thank-you letter.

1. Write the Words “Thank You”

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many interns bypass those two words in a thank-you note. Thank your supervisor for their time, feedback, and career advice. Explain which elements of your internship were most memorable, and how they will help shape your career.

For example, a thank-you letter sample might start like this:

“Dear Mr. Weaver,

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work within the marketing department this summer. From taking me out to coffee on my first day to our one-on-one chats, you always made it clear that your door was always open for advice (or a brainstorming session). Thank you for the time, energy, and counseling you put into making me a better employee.”

2. Provide Specific Examples and Give It Personality

Over the course of your internship experience, you contributed to a variety of projects, sat in on business meetings, and learned new skills. Zero in one or two experiences that you’ll most remember post-internship, and write about why you enjoyed them.

If you can, give this section personality to leave a lasting impression on your former boss. Speak to the company culture, your department happy hours, or any inside jokes shared between you and your colleagues.

Here’s what a sample thank-you note could look like:

“Honestly, I can’t thank you enough for putting faith in me, setting high standards, and always pushing my work to be one degree better. Thanks for allowing me to present our business development plan to the rest of the department — I know it will set me up for success in the years to come.

Also, thank you for teaching me that a job is only as good as the people you work with. Thank you for creating an environment where the other interns and I could make lasting friendships outside of work. (Also, thank you for picking up the tab on Wine Wednesdays — when we’re no longer paying tuition, we all owe you a round.)”

3. Make It Clear You Want to Keep in Touch

Toward the end of your thank-you letter, make it clear that you want to remain in contact. Remember, a thank-you letter can help expand your professional network — but only if you leave the communication lines open.

At the end of your letter, provide your contact information, including your personal email address, phone number, or social media handles (if appropriate). If there’s a chance your paths may intersect in the upcoming months, offer to follow up at that time.

A sample internship thank-you could conclude in the following way:

“I’d love to keep in touch throughout the fall semester. (I know the University of Iowa was your alma mater too, so perhaps I’ll see you at a tailgate). This team has been wonderful to work with, and if a full-time job opportunity presents itself next year, I would be thrilled to apply.”

A Sample Internship Thank-You Letter Format 

Now it’s time to piece these three components together. Below, you’ll find a sample internship template to send to your supervisor:

Subject line: Thank you for the opportunity

Dear Mrs. Mathwick,

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work in your marketing department this summer. I can confidently say I’ve never worked with such a high-performing team or within such a collaborative environment. I cannot thank you enough for the constant feedback and support.

I absolutely loved building our blogger network this summer. Thank you for allowing me to spearhead the project. The level of creativity each blogger brought to the table when executing our campaigns was unsurpassed — I’m sure it will help me in my marketing career going forward.

While the summer internship program has drawn to a close, I would love to stay in touch. If an opportunity presents itself at the company next year, I would love to apply (and I’ll certainly recommend your internship program to underclassmen). I’m sending this note from my personal email address, so you have it on file. You’ll find my cell phone number underneath my signature.

Until we meet again at team happy hour, cheers!

All my best,

[Your Name]

Sending a Thank-You Note Leaves a Lasting Impression

Once you send your thank-you note, be sure to keep in touch. Follow the company on social media, liking or sharing their content. If your former manager publishes a thought leadership piece on LinkedIn or the company blog, leave a comment. And if you have a fellow classmate who would make an excellent intern, recommend them to the company (employers are always looking for great talent).

Overall, remember that building a network is about building relationships. Each time the opportunity presents itself to connect with a mentor, take advantage of it.

As you look for your next internship or first entry-level job, be sure to have a profile set up on Scholars. On Scholars, we put you in direct contact with great companies looking for interns or junior hires. If you don’t have a profile set up on Scholars, it’s easy to get started.

About Scholars

Scholars helps companies build engaging candidate experiences at scale. Create personalized journeys for all of your candidates from application through onboarding.

About Scholars

Internships and early-career jobs are unlike any others. They are often accepted months, if not years, in advance of the start date leaving plenty of time for candidates to change their minds and decide to work elsewhere, costing your team time and money.

There are two ways that have been proven to decrease renege rates for any company: keeping candidates engaged by sharing personalized information and helping them make connections with their future teammates. Companies use Scholars to accomplish both of these at scale.