Professional Correspondence

professional correspondence

Each topic below will guide you on what to include in various types of professional correspondence. If you need extra help, please see the templates provided. However, these templates are only meant to serve as a guideline and are not to be copied and pasted into an email. Writing your own emails will make you sound more natural and genuine, and will thus make you a more appealing candidate.

Asking About Internship Availability

Here is our template and some tips:

  • Use "Inquiring about Internship Availability" for your email subject line.
  • Address the internship coordinator by name if possible.
  • Start by introducing yourself – give your school and major.
  • Tell them that you will be in DC with the Washington Program in <Quarter Year> and are interested in interning with them.
  • Write a sentence or two expressing why you want to work for them specifically.
  • Tell them the specific dates that you will be in DC and ask whether they offer an internship during this time, and if so, how to apply.
  • Thank them for their time.
Application Submission

Here is our template and some tips: 

  • If the internship posting does not tell you specifically what to use as your email subject line, use this format: “Application for [specific quarter and year] [internship position] at [XYZ company]”.
  • Address the internship coordinator by name if possible.
  • Briefly introduce yourself and restate what internship you are applying for.
  • List all of the applicable application materials you have attached to your email.
  • State what time you will be in Washington, DC and available for the internship.
  • Thank them for their time and consideration, and say that you look forward to hearing from them.
Interview Invitation

Here is our template and some tips on how to accept an interview invitation:

  • Address the internship coordinator by name.
  • Thank them for the opportunity to interview.
  • State your weekday availability (remember to specify Eastern Standard Time).
  • Put your phone number.
  • Let them know you look forward to speaking to them.

To confirm your interview appointment, follow this template.

Here is our template and some tips on how to politiely turn down an interview invitation:

  • Address the internship coordinator by name.
  • Thank them for the offer to interview for the position.
  • Politely inform them that you have already accepted an internship with another organization.
  • Thank them again for their time on reviewing your application.

If an unforeseen emergency happens and you miss your interview, follow these tips to apologize and request a new interview time.

  • Address the interviewer by name.
  • Ask them to please accept your apology for missing the interview with XYZ organization on <Date Time>. Tell them that you experienced an unforeseen emergency that prevented you from being able to attend the interview.
  • Reassert that their company offers an invaluable opportunity and you appreciate any consideration they could give you in rescheduling your interview.
  • Write 2-3 sentences reasserting why you would be a good fit for the internship position.
  • Thank them for their understanding and say that you hope you will be able to speak with them in the near future to discuss your qualifications for the position.
Thank You Email After Invitation

Here is our template and some tips: 

  • Address the interviewer/s by name.
  • Thank them for the interview and for discussing the position with you.
  • Express your interest in the position once again and reassert that you believe your qualifications are a good match for the position – write 2-3 sentences explaining why.
  • If the interviewer mentioned a specific skill that is very important for this position (i.e. people skills, etc.), give a brief example that shows you have these skills.
  • If they ask you for additional documents (i.e. list of references) this is the place to include them, and mention that you have attached them to your email.
  • Thank them for their time and consideration and say that you hope to hear from them soon.
Accepting or Declining an Offer

Here is our template and some tips on how to accept an internship offer:

  • Address the internship coordinator by name.
  • Thank them for the exciting opportunity and tell them you are happy to accept their offer and look forward to working with them.
  • Tell them the date you will arrive in DC and the date that you will be able to start working.
  • Ask any questions you may have (dress code, transportation, etc.).
  • Tell them to let you know if there is any paperwork or information they will need prior to your arrival.
  • Thank them again.

Here is our template for asking about more information regarding a position you have been offered.

Here is our template for requesting more time on making a final decision.

Here is our template and some tips for declining an internship offer:

  • Address the internship coordinator by name.
  • Thank them for considering your application and for offering you an internship with their organization.
  • Tell them that you regrettably must decline their offer.
Following Up After Application and Interview

Here is our template and some tips on how to follow up after they have received your application and not responded for a week:

  • Address the internship coordinator by name if possible.
  • Give your name and school.
  • Tell them the date you submitted your application to their office and if there are several internships being offered, specify which internship you applied for.
  • Tell them you are writing to verify the receipt of your application materials.
  • Ask if it is possible to learn when they expect to start reviewing applications and selecting their interns.
  • Thank them for their time.

Here is our template and some tips on how to follow up after an interview without a response for a few weeks:

  • Address the interviewer/s by name if possible.
  • Give your name and school.
  • Tell them the date you interviewed with their office.
  • Express that you are still interested in the position.
  • Ask if it is possible to learn when they expect select their interns and give out decisions.
  • Thank them for their time.
Inquiry about Interning for a Researcher
  • For this type of email, you will essentially be writing your cover letter in the body of your email. Researchers are very busy people so you want to express right away why you want to work with them.
  • Explain who you are and that you will be in Washington D.C. with the program.
  • Be sure to reference work of theirs that you find interesting. A little bit of flattery goes a long way!
  • Convince them of the skills that you are able to offer them, especially previous research experience.
  • Be sure to really emphasize why you want to work with this person in particular.
  • Keep the email relatively concise.
Networking Email

Here are some tips on how to compose a networking email:

  • Address the person by name.
  • Write a sentence or two about how you received their contact information and why you are contacting them specifically 
    • Example: “Dr. John Schmidt, a professor of economics at UC Davis, suggested I contact you. He thought that as an alumna you would be in an excellent position to assist me with gathering career information.”
  • Discuss what you are studying and what type of career paths that you are interested in, and tell them that you would appreciate their advice about these fields and that you would be interested to learn what they do on a daily basis at their job.
  • Ask if there would be a convenient time to meet them to discuss your questions.
  • Thank them for considering your request.