The Art of the ‘Thank You’ Note

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by Anna Whisler, Contributing Writer

We have all been forced to write ‘thank you’ notes at some point in our lives, filling out copious amounts of cards in one sitting. Yes, ‘thank you’ notes can seem like a chore; maybe that’s one reason why the tradition of writing a truly sincere note of appreciation no longer carries the same weight. Yet, there is nothing quite like receiving a special letter in the mail and making its receiver feel appreciated, loved or respected. Below are three scenarios when you should send out a ‘thank you’ note, as well as some tips and tricks to stand out in the crowd and make a seemingly mundane process slightly more exciting.

Situation 1: Just to Show You Care

When was the last time you received a letter that thanked you for the extra help you gave a friend? These are the ‘thank you’ notes that have the greatest positive effect in someone’s life. Many times, the advice we give or the helping hand that we offer have deeper and more significant meaning than the material gift we buy someone during the holidays. Therefore, it only makes sense that we show our appreciation.

  • These ‘thank you’ notes are rather uncommon. Use this element of surprise to your advantage! Skip the mailbox and put your note under their car’s windshield wipers or inside a book they are currently reading.
  • You can also use these notes to dive a little deeper, and thank someone for their emotional support or constant confidence in you. Expressing gratitude for friendship or love is something we should do more often in society.

Situation 2: To Say ‘Thanks’ for an Amazing Gift

The classic ‘thank you’ note, the one that always comes to mind, is one that thanks your friends or family members for a recent present. These letters are always the most tedious (and sometimes boring) to write but are still extremely worth your time to send out.

  • To set yourself apart and make the process a more exciting, try being crafty! Break out the paint, paper or glitter, and utilize your creativity. Plus, a handmade note reflects more effort and care than any store-bought card.
  • If getting your hands dirty is not your thing, you can focus on writing deep, emotional content instead. Do not just follow the generic mold. Give specific examples of what you plan on doing with the gift, mention a funny memory that happened between the you and the giver or talk about how you miss them and would like to see them soon.

Situation 3: In a Professional Setting

Believe it or not, a ‘thank you’ note holds the power to get you that job you have been dreaming of for years. A well-crafted and competent note that professionally thanks a superior can greatly affect your reputation.

  • After an interview, be sure to express gratitude and repeat your interest in the job. Reiterate the characteristics or prior experience you have that makes you well-suited for the position. A ‘thank you’ note will tell possible employer that you want the job, are dedicated and have a lot of respect for them and their company.
  • Thanking a colleague for their help is also beneficial. Although bosses definitely impact eh work experience, co-workers can also contribute to our work environment (positively or negatively). Thus, it is important to recognize when someone goes above and beyond to improve a project or give advice on a new situation. These ‘thank you’ notes can improve your reputation as well as make others more willing to work with you in the future.

No matter whom you are thanking or what you are thanking them for, expressing your gratitude is always worth a little extra time and effort. Use these tips to write some ‘thank you’ notes in your future, and watch your personal and professional relationships flourish.

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