Emailing Your Way Into an Internship

internship
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You’ve made a thorough effort to scrub your digital profiles, but how does your email communication stack up? Some employers are heavy users of more traditional communication methods like email.  If you fail to respond to a hiring manager’s email message, you leave them wondering about you and your level of interest in the position! Your effective email communication is a powerful way to differentiate yourself. Here are a few tips:

  • Have a professional sounding email address and use the email signature feature which includes your contact information and major. 
  • Greeting: Start with a “Dear, Hello or Hi” not a “Hey”.
  • Mention an important mutual connection like a mutual friend or your college Career Center to personalize the communication in your introductory email.
  • Remember to respond to all emails that you receive. Even if you are confirming a meeting, this is important.  Definitely use email to thank people for sending you information.
  • Use the subject line as a headline.  Your subject line is the most important part of your email and will determine if it is opened.
  • Make your email communications clear, professional, friendly and targeted. Use proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling at all times. Limit use of exclamation points and special characters or acronyms. Do not use upper case letters except as appropriate.

Sample Email Signature

Set up your email signature through the settings.  You want your email signature to look great and make it easy for potential employers to easily reach you.

Your Name
XXX College Class of 2018
Major: English
Specialty: Social Media Marketing
555-555-5555
Yourname@xxx.edu

Sample Email Messages

Here are three sample email messages. Notice the use of the headline. Each student also provides context and explains how or who connects them to the employer. You want your communications to be professional and clear. You definitely don’t want to leave any question about the purpose of your email.

Sample 1:  Following up on an interview

Subject Line: “Interview Appointment”

Dear Mr. Thompson,  I am a sophomore at Prince William University. Thank you for your email about an interview for the accounting internship.  I am available every day after classes finish at 2 PM.  Would late afternoon be convenient for you?  I look forward to the interview. Sincerely, Mark Jones

Sample 2: Setting up an informational interview

Subject Line: “Adele Smith and Project Z”

Dear John,  I am good friends with the Smith family. Adele recommended I contact you after I shared some details about my school project with her. I am a sophomore at Prince William University with a major in geology. Adele thought that my project was directly related to your company’s new Project Z.  I would like to meet you and learn more about your project and company.  My contact information is below. Sincerely, Jason Smith.

Sample 3: Establishing contact with a hiring manager

Subject Line: “Internship Question”

Dear Mr. Thompson,  I am very interested in the internship position you posted at our Career Center. I am a student at Prince William University. I have a few questions about the position.  May I call you at a convenient time for a brief call? Thank you. Sincerely, Jennifer Brown

Email remains as the #1 communication method for most hiring managers.

What other tips can you share about email ?

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