Sample Emails to Employers

The sample emails below provide guidance on responding to situations that students often face when searching for public interest internships. Should you encounter a particularly tricky situation or need extra guidance, please feel free to take advantage of our walk-in hours or schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Responding to interview requests

When replying to an offer for an interview from an employer, be sure to be prompt and prepared. Respond to their call or email as quickly as you can, and have your schedule ready.  Keep your communications professional, especially when responding via email.

Withdrawing your application after an interview

This sample can also be edited to use when withdrawing from a scheduled interview.

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you for considering my application and taking the time to interview me for your summer internship. While the position sounds like an exciting opportunity, I recently accepted an offer for a summer internship with Earthjustice, and therefore must withdraw my application.

I remain enthusiastic about the mission of your office and hope to have the opportunity to work with you in the future.

Sincerely,
John Harvard

Withdrawing your application - no interview scheduled

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you very much for considering my application.  I recently received, and have accepted, an offer from another organization.  I remain very interested in the work that you do, and hope that you will consider an application from me in the future.

Sincerely,
John Harvard

Turning down an offer

Be sure to respond as soon as you know that you will not be accepting the employer’s offer.  An email is only appropriate if you were also offered the position over email; otherwise, you should make a phone call. You do not need to go into great detail, but most employers will appreciate some insight into your decision.

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you for your email; I am very grateful for your offer of an internship this summer. It was a pleasure meeting you and your colleagues and learning more about the work of your office.

After careful consideration, I write to let you know that I must decline your offer.  While I am inspired by the work that you do on the national level and hope to contribute to your mission in the future, I have decided to pursue an opportunity that affords me the chance to work one-on-one with clients.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
John Harvard

Requesting more time to consider an offer

You may find yourself in a situation where you need more time to decide on an offer, either for personal reasons or because you are juggling other offers and interviews. You may politely ask for more time; the sample below provides guidance, but please know that not all employers will be able to accommodate these kinds of requests.

If no decision deadline was given:

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you very much for offering me a position as a summer intern with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. I greatly enjoyed my conversation with you and your colleagues, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with your organization. 

I am carefully considering my options for the summer and hope to let you know of my decision soon. I believe I can respond to you by February 15 (it is ok to suggest a date up to two weeks); does that timeline work with your schedule?

Thank you again for offering me this opportunity.

Sincerely,
John Harvard

If a decision deadline was given:

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you very much for offering me a position as a summer intern with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. I greatly enjoyed my conversation with you and your colleagues, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with your organization. 

I understand that you would like to know my decision by this Friday. I am still carefully considering my options and schedule for the summer and would like to know if I may respond to you in another week. If that poses a problem, I will be sure to reply to your offer earlier.

Thank you again for offering me this opportunity.

Sincerely,
John Harvard

Following up on outstanding applications (without an offer)

Dear Ms. Smith,

I’m sorry to be contacting you again, as I know how busy you must be, but I just wanted to confirm that you had received my application, and to let you know I remain very enthusiastic about your work and the possibility of a summer internship with your office. If there is any other information you need from me, please let me know.  Thank you very much for your consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,
John Harvard

Following up on outstanding applications when you have an offer (first choice)

Send ONLY ONE email like this to a first-choice employer

Dear Ms. Smith,

I have recently applied for a summer internship with your office. I am writing because I have been offered another position, and have been asked to accept or reject the offer by February 15th.

I am extremely interested in working as an intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office this summer, and it remains my first choice. (Do not state that an office is your first choice if it is not.) Would you be able to provide me with an update on the status of my application? I would greatly appreciate the chance to interview with you before mid-February, if possible.

I have attached my resume and cover letter here for your reference. Thank you very much for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you. 

 Sincerely, 
John Harvard

Following up on outstanding applications when you have an offer (not first choice)

To be used for other, non-first choice employers

Dear Ms. Smith,

 I have recently applied for a summer internship with your office. I am writing because I have been offered another position, and I've been asked to accept or reject the offer by February 15th.

 I remain very interested in the possibility of working as an intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office this summer. Would you be able to provide me with an update on the status of my application? If you would like to interview me, I would greatly appreciate being able to do so before mid-February, if possible.

I have attached my resume and cover letter here for your reference. Thank you very much for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you. 

 Sincerely, 
John Harvard

Last modified: January 08, 2014

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