What to Include in Your Internship Thank You Note

By Victoria Robertson on January 18, 2018

As a college student, the importance of internships is so great it can make or break your future career. Students that put in the time and effort to obtain an internship oftentimes end up excelling when it comes to their job search.

That being said, it’s important to leave an internship the same way in which you entered it: with appreciation, hard work and full disclosure in terms of your future career goals.

For that reason, it’s important that you put together a thank you note prior to leaving your internship to demonstrate these key components. With that in mind, here are key components that should be included in your internship thank you note.

Photo Via: Pixabay.com

1. Explicitly state your appreciation

While it’s implied that your thank you letter is intended to show your appreciation, explicitly stating the level to which you appreciate the opportunity is essential. While you don’t want to appear as if you’re pandering, you also don’t want to undersell what the internship means to you.

Sincerity is the key here, so be as honest as possible and really show and tell your employer what this opportunity meant to you.

2. Provide anecdotes

The best thank you letters have a personal component that set them apart from the others. Whether this is a personal story of your first day, a quick mention of what you’ve been able to take away from this opportunity or a full-blown confession regarding what it was like to work at the company you interned with, the more personal (but professional) you’re able to make your note, the better.

Again, you don’t want to appear as if you’re pandering, but you do want to give your letter that personal touch to show that you wrote it and put thought and time into doing so.

3. Be specific

You want your letter to demonstrate the amount of time and effort you put into it. For this reason, it’s important that you’re specific in your writing. Don’t simply say “I appreciate the opportunity,” but rather, explain why you are. What specifically are you taking away from this internship? What did you appreciate the most?

Really reflect on your experience and use your interactions and responsibilities to guide your writing so it’s clear you’ve put thought into your responses.

4. Be reflective

That brings me to the next point: reflect on your experiences, good and bad. This sounds counterproductive, but a thank you letter should also demonstrate room for improvement from your perspective, sort of like an exit interview. While you don’t want to bash the company by any means, you should include any missed opportunities as well as why you think they would be helpful for future applicants.

You should also round out this section by including the good experiences so it’s apparent that things were done correctly as well. This will create a well-rounded section that comes across as constructive.

5. Leave the door open

You want to include a short sentence or two in your letter as well to leave the door open for future opportunities. For example, you could say something along the lines of, “I look forward to staying in touch and potentially working together again in the future.”

The above statement is short, sweet and to the point and doesn’t come across as greedy or assumptive. The truth is, you may not get another opportunity with this organization, so you don’t want to come right out and ask for that opportunity. Simply leave the door open, letting them know you would be interested should the opportunity present itself, and end it there.

6. Avoid asking for more

Along these same lines, it’s very important that you avoid using a thank you letter to leverage future opportunities. Again, this sounds counterproductive, but it’s much more effective if you don’t do so.

If you write a thank you letter in asking for a new position, you are diminishing the purpose. The thank you letter is meant to summarize your appreciation and, in a sentence or less, let the organization know you would be available in future if needed.

Again, an internship can make or break your job search down the road, so leaving on good terms is essential. Providing the employer with a thank you note upon your dismissal can leave the door open for future opportunities in a variety of ways. For that reason, it is absolutely important that you take your time in composing your thank you letter and consider all angles of its importance.

Don’t simply throw something together at the last minute; take your time, show your true colors and make sure your appreciation is apparent throughout. With these six components in mind, this should be no problem!

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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