thank-you note

7 Strategies For Writing The Perfect Thank-You

Whatever the occasion—a job interview, a baby shower—it’s hard to go wrong with sincere gratitude. Read on for tips about how you can pen a more personal thank-you.

1. After A Job Interview

The best post-interview thank-you notes include an expression of gratitude for the interviewers’ time; a mention of the job title to keep yourself fresh in their minds; a reminder of why you would be good for the job, given what you’ve just learned; and, if possible, some mention of why the interview made you even more eager to work at their organization. Customize your notes to reference things your interviewers said, which will show them you’ve been listening closely.

2. For Letting You Crash At Their Place

Your note to your host should mention one or two of the ways they made you feel welcome, how this made you feel, and some kind of offer to reciprocate. You don’t have to invite anyone to move in; just think about what they might like (a tour guide? Dinner?) should they ever visit your hometown.

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3. For Wedding Gifts

Regardless of what you may have heard, there is no “rule” about how long wedding guests have to send you a gift or how long you have to thank them for it. Send thank-you notes as soon as you’re able. Don’t stress about it. If you have a huge pile to get through, give yourself a tiny goal: one or two per day to start. Try to mention how you will use the gift or what it means to you.

4. Career-Boosting Coffee Meetings

If someone in your field agrees to an informational interview or other networking meeting, they are doing you a huge favor. Pay for their coffee, listen carefully, and take notes during the meeting. Afterward, follow up to thank them, restate any next steps you discussed, and include your resume if they’ve asked for it. Keep it professional, friendly, and brief; they’ve already given you enough of their time.

5. Recognizing Kindness

Did your neighbor bring you soup when your arm was broken? Did a coworker go above and beyond to help you get home in a snowstorm? Let them know how much it meant to you with a short, sincere note and a small gift, if you like (chocolate or coffee gift cards are typically pretty good bets). And the next time they need a hand, make sure you’re first in line.

6. Gifts Of Cash

Whether you find an envelope full of bills glorious or gauche, there’s no denying the practical benefits of cold, hard cash. Thank-you notes for legal tender should include some mention of how the money will be spent. If someone gives you a check, send a thank-you note immediately upon depositing it in order to give the gift-giver a polite heads up that the money will be leaving their account.

7. When You’re Just Not Feeling It

Not feeling very grateful? Think about the original intentions of your thank-you recipient and their generosity. Think about how what they’ve done for you has improved your life. If all else fails, think about trying again tomorrow. A note sent one day late is better than one that’s vague or impersonal.

Speaking of saying thanks, read our 6 Ways to Show Your Military Appreciation.

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