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The art of the ‘Thank You’ note

The art of the ‘Thank You’ note | University of Rochester | Emerging Leaders

You may know it’s proper etiquette to send a “thank you” note after an interview, but did you know there are far more common situations that call for a simple thank you note?

Thank you notes are an art form all of their own – from the timeliness of delivery to their return on investment, there is a lot more to a thank you than you think.

My mom had me write thank you cards for the special events, especially if I received gifts for my First Communion or graduations. Let me tell you – I hated it. Having to write in my neatest cursive the same message and changing the name or gift was tedious. However, now, I take pride in my cursive. Those pen strokes create a font unique to me.

A thank you email is nice, but in my opinion, a physical note is even better.

Something handwritten from you is a sure-to-be winner. Think about how you felt the last time you recieved something personal, physically, through the mail. I bet you felt appreciated and what a good feeling that is! Certainly, something that can make someone feel good and only take a few seconds of your time is worth the investment.

By now, I’m sure you are asking when it is appropriate to send a thank you note, and there is no honest answer or rule. I am guided by the philosophy if you have a feeling, you already know.

For me, when someone goes above and beyond, just completting a tedious project, or volunteered their time, that is when I write a little thank you note. If you let someone know that you appreciated something they did, you cannot go wrong.

I recently sent a thank you note to a guest speaker and received an email from the speaker with the subject line “Impressive.” They were impressed we sent a physical thank you and that we had done so immediately after their talk. This interaction keeps me on top of the speaker’s mind, and since they felt appreciated, they are more likely to help out again in the future. Same with someone at work which may be helping you with a project – a nice thank you lets them know they are valued and will remember when they feel valued.

Sending a note allows you to build your network. People will remember small gestures like a simple thank you note.

It is just another opportunity to make yourself stand out amongst your peers since the handwritten thank you note is slowly becoming a lost art. So grab a pack of thank you notes and start writing!

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