An internship is often a student’s first foray into the professional world. Your internship is a big opportunity to make a great impression and gain professional connections. This means you’ll need to follow professional etiquette during your experience. Of course you’ll make some mistakes here and there, which is expected in your first professional experience. But even if you haven’t been paying attention to your etiquette during your internship, always make sure you at least do one thing: write a thank you note at the end!
Thank you notes might seem tedious, but they’re necessary. Your employer took a chance on you, hired you, and gave you real-world experience! A thank you note ensures you go out on a good note, and makes a lasting impression. If you already had your last day at your internship, that’s okay! Mail your note to your employer or supervisor.
Do: Write a sincere note.
Thank your supervisor for actual experiences you gained from your internship. Did you work on a special project? Mention how you plan on using the skills you developed in your future. If you gained professional connections during your internship, thank them for that too! Don’t just write generic sentiments. They often come off as insincere.
Don’t: Write a note by email.
Emailed thank you notes tend to look like they were thought of at the last minute, and less genuine. Even if you just type up and print a letter, it’s still a better gesture than an email! However, I always try to use stationery to give my notes an extra personal touch. You can get a set of 12 personalized cards and envelopes for $15 on Etsy, which is a great source to grab some professional-looking paper products. If you’d like to get more creative, Canva is a great resource for designing graphics, thank you notes, and even resumes!
Do: Give information for them to keep in contact with you.
Make sure your internship supervisor or employer has a current address, your LinkedIn information, and any other social channels you want them to connect with you on. That way it’s up to them to reach out to you, and you don’t feel awkward trying to add them on LinkedIn.
Don’t: Be rude in your note.
Never ask your employer outright for a job in a letter at the end of your internship. You don’t want them to think you’re entitled! Also, don’t be negative. Don’t mention any problems you had during your internship, and end things on a positive note.
A thank you note at the end of your internship is a way for your employer to remember you at the end of your position, and a great start to learning professional etiquette. Even if you weren’t offered a position with the company, that doesn’t mean you won’t be contacted in the future! Ending things on a good note will make your employer more likely to think of you in the future.