Yes! Thank you notes are as important to the job search process as they are in every other aspect of your life. I have written a book of sample thank you notes for some common professional and personal situations. By popular request I have also included a section of sample sympathy notes which includes templates appropriate for close friends/family members as well as for individuals with whom you may not know as well.
If you would like to purchase a copy of my Sample Thank You Note/Sympathy Note e-Book (U.S. $9.95), email Liz by clicking the link below:
I think that anytime someone does something nice for you a thank you note, card, email, or gift should be sent.
For example, if you are a college student and a friend of your parents’ makes a call on your behalf that lands you a summer internship you should send a thank you note to your parents’ friend.
If you are new to town and your next door neighbor brings you a plate of cookies to welcome you and your family to the neighborhood, a thank you card is in order.
If a business acquaintance gives you a tip that leads to a job interview, a career opportunity, or a big sale a thank you note is a must. You might also consider including a $10 gift card along with your note as an extra thank-you. I often send thank you notes with gift cards included to folks who refer me new clients.
Professional favors or introductions that result in a substantial sale, a speaking engagement, the acquisition of a big customer, or something similar merit a handwritten note and, possibly, a gift.
Corporate gifts have come under increased scrutiny over the past few years so make sure that you understand the corporate gift policy that potential recipients of your generosity may be subject to.
If you are more comfortable with email and that is your normal way of communicating with friends, colleagues, or loved ones then an email thank you note is fine for you. My personal preference for saying thank you to almost anyone is a hand written note or a small gift depending on circumstances. It seems to me that many people receive only bills and junk mail in their mailboxes so any sort of written correspondence that doesn’t fall into one of those categories will be noticed and appreciated.
The method of communication that you use to thank someone for a kindness should reflect the recipient. I know people who don’t receive their mail on a regular basis or who aren’t at home or in their offices frequently enough to appreciate hand written notes. On the other hand, I have known colleagues who don’t read email but whose personal assistants ensure that they see all written correspondence. Like any other form of communication a thank you note requires that you know your audience.
You can never be too polite or too appreciative of kindnesses both big and small. There is no such thing as being too gracious. When in doubt about when to send a thank you note, I recommend that you err on the side of sending more rather than fewer thank yous. At a minimum you will brighten someone’s day and at best you will make yourself look good while also solidifying your relationships. There is no downside to thanking people for their kindness and consideration.
I hope that this book is helpful to you and provides you with some thoughts about what to write the next time you need to thank someone.
If you have suggestions for specific types of thank you notes or sympathy notes that I could add to future versions of my book please email me. If you would like for me to write custom notes for you please send me an email and ask for a quote.
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