Of all the letters you will write, the thank-you letter may be the most important because it has the potential of producing the most good. Often a thank-you letter is placed on a person’s desk and reminds that person of your appreciation.
- If possible, address your letter to a specific person, not just the company or organization in general.
- Do not thank the person beforehand (for example, “Thanking you in advance for your help in this matter”). To do so is presumptuous and suggests you are unwilling to write a follow-up letter.
- Stick to the point.
- Be sincere–most people can sense when you aren’t being honest.
- Be specific and include details from the event. Make your letter stand out.
- End the letter on a positive note. Closing depends on the type of thank-you letter. For example, you may:
- Reaffirm your gratitude or restate the compliment.
- Suggest possible future action.
- Close with either an expression of thanks or an indication of your intention to continue contact.
Thank-You Letter Tips:
- Write your thank-you letter as soon as possible after the interview or occasion. For a job interview, this should be within 24 hours of the interview.
- Write clearly and concisely; this is no time to be longwinded or flowery.
- Handwrite personal letters and use customized letterhead for business correspondence. Use quality paper. E-mail may also be appropriate in less formal situations, especially if the addressee expresses a preference for it or if time constraints require it.
- Proofread the letter before sending it: grammatical errors and typos are sloppy and unprofessional. You may want to wait awhile and proofread it again.
- Some professionals proofread by reading the letter backwards.
Managers Say Thank-You Letters are Essential:
- 70% said e-mailing thank-you notes was appropriate, especially to acknowledge a small gift or gesture (Recent survey by the Emily Post Institute).
- Thank-you notes are mandatory and expected in some situations. A recent survey by CareerBuilder.com found that:
- Nearly 15 percent of hiring managers would reject a job candidate who neglected to send a thank-you letter after the interview
- 32 percent said they would still consider the thankless prospect but that their opinion of him or her would diminish
- Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of managers prefer handwritten thank-yous
- 21 percent seek a typed hard copy
- 19 percent want e-mailed thank-yous followed up with a snail-mailed letter