The Lost Art of Writing Thank You Notes

1.  the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

thank-you-noteThese days, we find ourselves communicating in the easiest and fastest ways possible. Our computers and smartphones allow us to send a message or a photo to another person on the other side of the world — in a matter of seconds. But has the convenience of technology led to a personal disconnect between us? A quick email or text to say “Thank you” is a lovely gesture in etiquette, but is it enough?

What to do when you want your gratitude to make a lasting impression?

Whether expressing gratitude for a gift, a weekend of friendly hospitality, or to a potential employer after an interview — a thank-you note can be one of the simplest yet powerful things we can do for each other.

Professor Randy Pausch at Sante Fe Community College advises:

          Writing a sincere thank you note is one of the professional skills that can make a lasting favorable impression.

I think that thank-you notes are best done the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper. Job interviewers and admissions officers see lots of applicants. They read tons of resumes from “A” students with many accomplishments. But they do not see many handwritten thank-you notes.

Remember to to keep it sweet, keep it short, and written by hand — and you can be assured that your thank-you note will be remembered long after they have forgotten what they did for you.

Thoughts from 24 Seven readers

I send them occasionally but used to receive them A LOT when I worked in Admissions. There’s no greater feeling than receiving a ‘thank you’ for changing/impacting someone’s life. I’ve actually saved a couple to look at from time to time.”

Matt Morgan was formerly the Assistant Director of Admissions for The New School’s Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students.  Mr. Morgan is currently the Director of Sales for CustomViewbook.

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“When I was a teenager, I sent Chelsea Clinton a birthday card, and received a typed, but still personal note back from her father. It was very special and endeared me to the Clintons for life!”

Shelby Cohen is a Communications Manager at BAE Systems, Blog/Author of Big Hungry Shelby, and an Executive Director for the Miss America Scholarship Program


Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 2.44.36 PM“I send them often. Something that was drilled into me by my mother and grandmother. I think it’s very important and special. I wish more people still participated in sending good ole’ fashioned hand-written notes.”

Nadia Quinn is an actor, producer, writer and singer/songwriter. Known of her work on Broadway, television, and film — and most recently she was the Executive Producer and writer of the Make it Fair Project  (Photo credit : Nathan Johnson)