Two years ago, I interned at a company over the summer. Everything went well, and at the end of things they informally invited me to work for them again. About a month ago, I decided to see if they would be willing to rehire me for this summer.

The company had changed their email provider, however, so I was unable to contact my old boss. A friend of mine, who has interned at the same company, and is doing so this summer, gave me the email address of his boss to contact. I sent him the following email:

Mr. [Friend's boss],

[Friend] suggested that you might be the person to contact to discuss the possibility of an internship at [company] this summer. We met briefly a while back; I interned at the [city] office under the supervision of [my boss] from summer 2011-spring 2012. If a position is available, I'd be thrilled to work for [company] again, and would appreciate information regarding what would be necessary to arrange this.

Thank you, [Me]

I never received a response. I waited two weeks, and asked my friend to, if he saw his boss, mention that I was trying to get in contact. A few days later, he tells me that he spoke to his boss, and that his boss told him that he had been busy, and would respond to my email soon.

That conversation occurred two weeks ago, and still nothing. Is there any way I can politely prod for a response?

1 Answer 1


Is there any way I can politely prod for a response?

Why haven't you emailed or called your previous boss? You should have his name and likely phone number at the very least.

Also, your email to this person randomly is really not well written from a "emailing someone randomly asking for a job" perspective. You are incredibly timid, notice you use the following phrases:

  • suggested
  • might be
  • possibility
  • if a position is available
  • I would be

None of these wordings really give off a confident aura and it makes it really easy to ignore this email, because it's written as if you expect to get rejected.

Anyways, you should probably followup in a way to minimize the time it takes this person to deal with you. Most managers don't like spending lots of time with details. You just asked this manager to do the following busywork:

  1. Find out if any internships are available
  2. Figure out if you are worth hiring (this person doesn't know you)
  3. Locate/find information on applications
  4. Connect you with all this information in spite of #2 above

Keep in mind you probably won't work for this person and they have lots of more important work to do.

Sooo. You want to minimize the time requirement on this random manager who doesn't know you. in your followup. Honestly you should have simply asked your friend for your previous boss's contact information (sounds like the friend currently works at this company) so you could contact the person who will want to get your job more seriously.

You're really going to (likely) have a hard time getting this manager to really spend all this time on you.

Try getting contact information for your previous boss or the HR department or someone who actually would be the right people in this followup.

  • Thank you for the response. The company I used to work for was acquired and completely changed infrastructure- my boss' phone number and email address are different now.
    – mferrell
    Mar 16, 2013 at 23:15
  • 2
    Regardless of if the company has been restructured or not, they should have a phone number to at least contact the same division, and you can ask the receptionist to connect you to your old boss. If that fails, you can send a letter to the company, addressed to your old boss, which will almost certainly get through. The point is that there should be an easy way to accomplish this...
    – jmac
    Mar 18, 2013 at 8:03

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