In the face of conveniences such as e-mail, online chatting, and instant messaging, handwritten letters or ones sent through regular mail expressing gratitude are a dime a dozen. Few people realize that thank you letters remain the most important letters we will ever write in our business and personal lives.
With this in mind, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific situations where sending a thank you message is considered not only a sign of good manners but also a great way to improve relationships and spread positivity around.
After An Interview. Every time after a job interview, it is always a good idea to follow up with a letter expressing your thanks for the opportunity given to you. Aside from it being polite, it also becomes a way to keep the employer’s attention on you as the likely person to hire.
For it to work properly, write and send the letter immediately after the interview. The contents should be fairly simple. You can express your appreciation for being given the chance to meet with them, as well as offer some additional information that you may not have mentioned in the interview that will make the employer more interested in giving you the job. Remember to keep it straightforward and avoid sounding desperate.
After Your Boss Entertains You. It may have come in the form of a dinner party in his or her home or a weekend luncheon for an informal business meeting, but your boss’ graciousness in extending an invitation to you should always be reciprocated through a personal thank you note.
Similar to the approach of a thank you message for being granted an interview, keep the content short and simple, making sure that you still maintain your professionalism.
After Receiving Gifts. According to several social experts, thank you letters are always required after getting a gift. This is regardless of the occasion--a birthday, wedding, baby or bridal shower, graduation, or even out of sympathy. As much as possible, it is recommended that you handwrite them and make an effort to personalize them, even if that means writing out individual names on the envelopes. Write as soon as possible after receiving the gift. Not only does a timely “thank you” seem more sincere than a late one, but it’s also easier to write.
After Being A Houseguest. This is most applicable when the person that served as your host is not a close relative or friend. Some people believe that buying a small token and giving it before your departure will suffice but the action of sending a letter over even after your visit shows more of your gratitude. Because chances are you will only be addressing the note to one person-your primary host-do try to make the message as personalized as possible. Do without the generic statements and Hallmark cards.
Keep the aforementioned situations in mind the next time you’re pondering on whether or not you should send a note communicating your thanks. Also remember that when you’re writing these thank you letters your first priority is to be appropriate and sincere.