The art of the Thank You
I’m amazed when I talk about Thank You notes and someone asks, “Do people still send Thank You notes?” Indeed, they do; however, not that many anymore.
Years ago, it was a very common practice, and more of an expectation, to send a Thank You note to anyone who opened their door to help us with our job search or consider us for a position with their company. Not so much anymore.
Real, written Thank Yous will make you stand out!
So, who comprise this rare breed of Thank You note senders? Generally, the breed is made up of individuals who really take their job search seriously. They are the ones who stand head and shoulder above the mill of jobless individuals who go about their job search always looking for the easiest way to do things. And that’s often the reason people are unemployed for such great lengths of time: they are doing things the easiest way possible, yet hardly the most productive.
Some people say, “I just send emails; it’s much easier.” Indeed, it is. Do you send your mom an email on Mother’s Day to wish her the best? She must have been a poor excuse for a parent. Do you send a person with whom you have an intimate relationship an email to wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day? Good luck with that relationship. Easy rarely translates into true sincerity.
The form of a Thank You
So what makes for a good and genuine expression of one’s gratitude? Here is what I would suggest. First of all, take a little time to find the Thank You notes that would show some thought on your part. If I were looking for Thank You notes to send to people who have helped me in any way with my job search, I would look for very specific note cards. The front sides of most greeting cards are printed in a portrait style with the card opening like a book. I would look for cards where the front is in a landscape style opening like a calendar. That way, the cards could easily stand up on someone’s desk like a tent. I would try to find blank cards with a reproduction of some famous artwork or an esthetic photograph of nature or historic landmark. It would have something on the front that would compel an individual to keep rather than toss into a wastebasket. I have heard people say that it’s a great feeling when you walk into someone’s office two or three weeks after your first meeting with them and find your card sitting on their desks or tacked up in their cubicles. The sender of that card left something of himself behind. That person tends to be remembered long after all the others.
And what should be in that Thank You note? The note needs only a brief, hand written expression of gratitude for that person taking time from his busy schedule to consider you for a position at his company or for helping you with your search or your networking efforts. It contains no self-serving comments, just genuine gratitude. People like to help people that appreciate their help. People like to hire people that they feel are appreciative. You would be surprised at how powerful an “attitude of gratitude” can be.