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While you’re waiting to hear back from employers during your internship search, it can be easy to forget that communication goes both ways. Employers appreciate the little things like a thank you email after an interview. Plus, an email that takes you five minutes to write can make a huge impression and help you stand out. Below is a list of the four essential emails you’ll need during your internship search.

The “post – interview” email

Regardless of if your interview was casual and over lunch, or a grueling hour – long panel, you should always send a thank you email. Sometimes, if the top two candidates are neck and neck, the final decision could be based off something as small as whether or not someone thanked the interviewers. You don’t want to have an amazing interview, only to lose the position to someone else because you never sent a thank you email.

When writing your email, mention something unique that was discussed during the interview. You could include a new project the company is working on, an award the company recently won or how the role your interviewed for fits within the company. Make sure to express your enthusiasm and interest in the position. For more tips, check out this article from Forbes.

The “accepted another offer/changed mind” email

You just accepted an internship offer! Hooray! But, what do you do if another company you applied to wants to schedule an interview or even offer you a position? You should never ignore them. Instead, politely thank them for reviewing your application. If you’ve already been interviewed and they’re offering you a positon, thank them for their time and for extending an offer. Finally, let them know that you’ve accepted another position.

What if you simply change your mind about a position? Maybe after an interview, you realize that internship isn’t for you, or after researching the company, you realize it wouldn’t be a good fit. You still shouldn’t ignore that company! Thank them for their time and provide them with a good, but brief reason for declining the position.

While I’m sure you don’t appreciate being left in the dark by hiring managers, they don’t appreciate being left in the dark by applicants either. Give them a polite heads-up so they can move on to other applicants. Also, you never want to burn any bridges. The company you decide not to work for today, may be the company you dream of working for a few years down the road. For tips to write this type of email, check out this article from The Muse.

The “didn’t get the position” email

Getting turned down for a job/internship offer really stinks, but that doesn’t give you a reason to completely cut ties with the company. If you genuinely still want to work for that company, send a follow-up email! In the email, express your appreciation for the opportunity, your disappointment for not getting the position and your continued interest in the organization. You could even subtly ask to be considered for future openings and for feedback about your interview skills. For tips to write this type of email, check out this article from Business Insider.

The “staying in touch” email

Your professional network can be one of your strongest assets. However, if you don’t work hard to develop and maintain it, your network can quickly disappear. Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen, recommends staying in touch with your connections three times a year. These emails are for just saying hello and not asking for anything.

It’s so important to stay in touch with your professional connections because some day, you may need them to give you a reference for a new job, internship or promotion. If you haven’t kept in contact, it can be considered rude to reach out months, even years, later to ask for something. Use these tips and templates from The Muse and get writing!

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