I’m the first to admit that while I love the speed and convenience of electronic communication (email, instant messaging, texting, facebooking, twittering), there’s a time and place for everything. When is the last time you sat down and wrote a good old fashioned thank you note? They’re such a simple and classy concept but for many of today’s lightening speed communicators, thank you notes are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Whether you’re thankful for a meeting, a job interview, an act, or gift, a thank you note is a thoughtful way to express your appreciation. With so many people (including myself) relying on email as a primary vehicle of communication, it’s time to slow things down a bit and take it back to the old school. If you’re currently seeking new career and business opportunities, sending a hand-written note will definitely separate you from the competition while leaving your name top of mind.
Following are In Her Shoes’ Do’s and Don’ts of thank you note writing. Keep these helpful tips in mind the next time you send out a thank you and remember - an imperfect note that comes with heartfelt sentiment is better than the perfect note that was never written.
Thank You Note Do’s
Do send your thank you note as quickly as possible
Do use thank you notes that reflect your personality & style
Do feel free to send your notes on informal stationery (except for wedding thank you notes which should be a bit more formal)
Do make specific reference to a highlight of your meeting, interview or conversation, such as “thank you so much for referring me to your graphic designer for my upcoming project.”
Thank You Note Don’ts
Don’t delay in sending most notes. Generally notes should be sent within a week of receipt of gesture or gift.
Don’t forget that the formality of your salutation should be based on your relationship with the person you’re thanking. For example, in the case of a business meeting, the salutation should read “Dear Ms. Smith” unless your relationship with Ms. Smith is informal and you regularly address her by her first name.
Don’t feel the need to lie if you dislike a gift. If something is not to your taste, you should still show appreciation for the thought that went into it. You can always say “Thank you for the thoughtful (fill in the blank). I will always think of you whenever I use it.” This way, you’re expressing your appreciation without pulling out a little white one.
Don’t get too informal with the paper you use. It’s really not okay to use a piece of paper torn from your shopping list pad to say thank you. Check in with discount retailers like Target to find a wide array of thank you cards and keep a ready supply on hand. They don’t need to cost a lot of money. In fact, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative, you can even find attractive cards in the dollar stores.
Don’t underestimate the power of personal touch.
Saying “thank you” is a trend that will never go out of style!