It's always a good idea to say thank you to an employer after you have finished an internship under their sponsorship. It's a way to show your appreciation for the opportunity and to continue your relationship with the organization. If you play your cards right, it could even set the stage for turning the internship into a full-time, paying job.
Why Write a Thank-You Letter
The primary goal is to thank your employer and the people you have worked with for the opportunity to develop your skills, gain job experience, and learn all that they had to teach you. Extending your appreciation is the polite thing to do, and will help you leave a good impression on the people you met during your internship.
Before you write your note, consider what method to use. If you want to send a personal message, you might give your intern supervisor a handwritten card or typed letter. If you just want to send a quick note, you can send an email.
It's appropriate to send a thank you message to everyone who helped you. You can send a team-wide email, but you can also consider sending separate notes to each individual who worked with you during your internship.
If you go this route, make sure to send different notes, not variations on the same letter. It's unlikely people will compare, but it means more if you send a genuine thank-you and not just a form letter.
What to Include in the Letter
Express your gratitude and appreciation. Make sure the phrase "thank you" is actually in your note!
Mention the details. Include specifics about the things you learned and the experiences that were most useful. For instance, you might say, "Thank you for spending the time to explain the ins and outs of planning a campaign launch." Or, perhaps you'd say, "I really appreciate all the feedback you provided on the initial marketing strategy draft."
Provide your contact information—including your LinkedIn URL – so that the employer and the other professionals you met during your internship can keep in touch with you should they wish.
What Not to Include in the Letter
Ask for a job outright. Your thank-you letter can certainly set the stage for a job offer down the line, but you don't want to seem like you're only saying thank you in order to get something else.
Use this note to keep the connection strong and express your thanks. If you mention future job opportunities, do so with tact.
Don't be negative. Use the letter to vent frustrations or to express negative sentiments about the company, its employees, or the experience. If you had issues with any aspect of your internship, now is not the time to bring it up.
Include anything that isn't genuine. False compliments come off as phony, even in the hands of a skilled writer. Hopefully, even if your experience was less than 100% positive, there was something about your internship that you valued. Talk about that, and leave the rest aside.
Excessive length: While you want to be specific about what you've learned during this experience, keep your message short. Your email or letter should likely be three to four paragraphs in length at most. The main things you want to include are your appreciation, some details on what you got out of the experience, and your contact information.
Sample Internship Thank-You Letter to Download
This thank-you letter example is a model for you to adapt and use to thank your employer after completing an internship. Use it as inspiration when writing your own message. This letter is in business letter format, with the contact information at the top.
Download the thank-you letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.
Internship Thank-You Letter Example (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
May 22, 2020
Manager, Marketing and External Affairs
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee,
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as marketing intern at XYZ College’s Marketing and External Affairs Office. I have gained valuable insight into the marketing industry over the past six months.
Because you gave me the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, I had the chance to observe numerous aspects of college marketing, from publishing magazines and brochures, to drafting email newsletters, to maintaining the college website. You and your staff were extremely welcoming and helpful, and offered me terrific career advice.
This internship has definitely increased my interest in pursuing a career in marketing. I would love to stay in touch, and perhaps speak to you regarding steps I should take in the future to pursue a career in marketing. Once again, thank you for a terrific six months.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)
Your Typed Name
Sample Internship Thank-You Email
A thank-you email is very similar to a thank-you letter. However, instead of putting your contact information at the top, you will put it at the bottom, in your email signature.
When you're sending an email thank-you message, put your name and "thank you" in the subject line of the message so that it's sure to be read.
Internship Thank-You Email Example
Subject: Your Name - Thank You for the Opportunity
Dear Mr. Ms. Last Name,
Thank you so much for a rewarding three months as the Environmental Health and Justice Intern at ABC Nonprofit.
I really appreciated your willingness to let me explore all of the departments within the company. I was able to sit in on board meetings, organize fundraising events, collaborate with campaign staff on environment policies, write content for your website, and more. You really allowed me to see how an environmental nonprofit works, from the ground up. I have gained skills in campaign research, writing social media content, and event planning.
I look forward to going back to school and completing my degree in Environmental Studies. This internship has only helped increase my desire to work for a company like yours in the future.
Thank you again for all of your support, and for all of the opportunities you have given me.
LinkedIn Profile URL (optional)
How to Write the Best Thank-You Note
KEEP IT POSITIVE: Be sure your thank-you letter or email is positive, even if your internship experience wasn't.
MENTION THE DETAILS: Share examples of valuable learning experiences or skills you attained in your note.
STAY CONNECTED: Share your contact information in your note or email, so it's easy for the employer to stay in touch.