Whether you’re dying to hear what’s going on in your old stomping grounds or hoping to get a stellar recommendation, staying in contact with old bosses is absolutely imperative.
Internships may come and go, but – if you work on them – the connections can last a lifetime.
Whether you’re dying to hear what’s going on in your old stomping grounds or hoping to get a stellar recommendation, staying in contact with old bosses is absolutely imperative. However, there is a fine line between keeping in touch and being that intern. Follow these steps and you’ll soon be networking like a pro.
Rule 1: Never underestimate the power of networking
If the internship is already on your resume, why do you need to reconnect? Believe it or not, touching base with your employers after your internship can be just as important as the internship itself.
“The best part about having a great relationship with your former boss is that they can also open doors outside your old company,” says Ginny Soskey, a marketing manager at Shareaholic who also presents networking workshops. If your old supervisor hears about an internship opportunity, who do you think he or she will email first: the girl who packed her bags and ran for the hills or the girl who still keeps in touch?
Rule 2: Touch base with your supervisor before you leave
Set yourself apart from the rest by contacting your boss while you’re still interning. Getting some one-on-one time will instantly put you ahead of the curve.
“Try setting up a meeting with your boss before you leave so you can get feedback on how you did at the internship,” says Soskey. “At the meeting, you can get an idea of whether your boss may want to stay in touch and help you with your next internship or job search.” Not to mention the feedback will help you in the future!
Rule 3: The sooner you reconnect, the better
Nothing says, “I’m merely using you for your status and connections” more than shooting your old boss an email right before you begin your next internship search or need to submit a recommendation letter. Can we say manipulative?
“You shouldn’t just be reaching out to your former boss when you want or need something,” says Kelly Ford, a career specialist at Boston University’s College of Communication. “Assuming you left on good terms, I would say reconnect within two months.”
Since you’re not waiting until you need something from them, reaching out two months later shows your old employer that you genuinely want to stay in touch.
Rule 4: Touch base with your employer every few months
So how often should you contact your old boss? Even if you secretly wish that you were besties with your supervisor, once every few months will suffice.
“You want to make sure that they don’t forget you and you certainly want them to remember you,” says Forde.
But what are you supposed to say? Simply asking your old supervisor how everything is in the office or updating them on your life at school will do the trick. If the two of you bonded over something during the summer – say, your mutual love for Pretty Little Liars – don’t be afraid to bring it up.
Just when you think your internship is history, a simple email or tweet will remind your ex-boss of all the amazing things you did!
Get more tips for keeping in touch with your former boss here.
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