I've arranged a summer internship type thing. It was arranged over email and two weeks ago I gave the nod to the terms, but I haven't received anything back since (I was told I'd get an offer letter ASAP after signalling agreement to the terms).

I'm guessing it shouldn't normally take two weeks to sort this kind of thing out, right? So I'm a bit worried that either: my email never got through to them; they did reply but it never got through to me; or there's been some kind of breakdown in communication between their departments and it's been forgotten about.

However, I feel like if I were to get in touch and ask what's happening, this could make me come across as impatient and/or rude if everything is fine (perhaps the HR department has just been very busy, for example).

So how should I check that none of my above worries are the case, while not appearing impatient if it is simply taking a while to process everything?

Thank you.


2 Answers 2


It is unlikely your email did not reach them. If it had not reached them you would likely have received an automated email from some mailer-daemon stating something along the lines of "An error occurred while trying to deliver this message to the recipient's e-mail address". Sometimes this fails and the email is lost to the void. It is also possible you have sent the email to the wrong recipient, though if you were replying directly to an email then this should never be the case. If you feel they may not have received your email or have forgotten about it then give HR a call to make sure they did receive your email.

There could be many factors going into the processing of your application for internship. Because you said they would get an offer letter to you ASAP then I would imaging 2 weeks is long enough wait before contacting the company to check in.

There is nothing wrong with reaching out to HR via a phone call or email to ask about the status of the position.

Frankly if you never called and I was the one reviewing your application for internship, several weeks had passed and you never called or emailed in, I might think you didn't really care about the position and give it to someone else.

Contacting HR with an update only becomes an issue if you keep calling over and over.

  • Theoretically, sure. I've definitely sent emails before that have just silently disappeared into thin air though. But thank you for the response.
    – lucid7
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 0:45
  • For all we know, the e-mail's sitting in a Junk E-mail folder.
    – Xavier J
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 4:55
  • I have made an update to my pose for clarity on emails. Seams people were assuming I meant every time without fail you would get an email error back for failed email. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 13:04

The problem with impatience is that it makes you appear demanding. So usually the way to soften it is to be offering something instead.

"Hello! I'm looking forward to starting at XYZ company. I wanted to make sure you got my agreement to the terms, and wanted to know if you needed anything else from me before issuing the offer letter."

Replace "agreement to the terms" and "offer letter" with whatever phase X and X+1 are of the process.

As long as you're not doing this multiple times a week, you're good. You can vary this formula, you're just looking to avoid "When are you going to get me an offer letter" in favor of "I wanted to check and make sure everything was on track and if there's anything I can do..."

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