For many, sending thank you notes by mail may seem like a trend of the past. Yet friends and family often still expect handwritten thank you notes after giving a gift, and, whether they expect it or not, everyone appreciates a heartfelt thank you. In the world of business, your choice of whether to send one after an interview can mean the difference between getting a job and getting ignored.
To stay ahead in your personal and professional life, fine-tune your thank you note writing skills by following these simple tips! In fact, why not try putting them into practice today and thank your mentor during National Mentoring Month?
Written, Typed or Texted?
With the ease of text and email at our fingertips, you may be tempted to thank someone digitally rather than take the time to write it out. Resist this urge. Only casual and informal situations – a friend offering you a ride home, a neighbor returning your aimless dog or a coworker holding an elevator door – allow for this easy delivery method. In most circumstances, texted thanks can come across as unappreciative, and while emailed ones are a step above a text, they're still perceived as less thoughtful than a handwritten note.
Focus on the Giver’s Feelings
Sometimes it seems like we live in a self-focused society, but thank you notes are one time to fight against the norm. Concentrate on making the giver feel good for their efforts and expense. A big part of that is identifying what they did for you, and show them how they affected your life for the good—whether they gave you an actual gift, invited you over for dinner, or introduced you to a new business connection. Even if you're given a gift you don’t like, you should send a polite, specific thank you, and leave it at that.
Bring it Back to Business
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that thank you cards aren’t just sent in response to receiving a gift. People also send them – especially in business – after receiving a favor. These kinds of acts cover any business effort that will potentially help you succeed, including those with mutual benefit. These include entering into partnerships, providing a discount on a large lot of merchandise or hosting an interview. As with other kinds of thank you notes, these should be handwritten, specific and focus on the impact of the giver’s actions.