I don’t see many Thank You Notes on a personal or professional basis anymore. I think the way we tell people “thank you” has changed in part to the internet, email and technology in general. A sincere thank you email sometimes does the trick in a very busy life. But, I’d like for us to revisit the practice of personally thanking someone for something, in our own handwriting.
I’ve often wondered if a person who sends or does not send notes is due to how they were raised. Did their Mom bring them up “properly,” teaching them etiquette like Emily Post? But, I now know this isn’t true. For example, I was the daughter of an Air Force Colonel. Even in that world, I don’t recall being taught how, where or when to write a Thank You Note. I learned how to write a Thank You Notes at work. I learned it first when I was looking for a job right out of college, then as a recruiter. If it worked for candidates, shouldn’t we do it from the other side. I tried it and it worked. The top candidates that accepted the job often were the ones that I took time to write THEM…maybe it wasn’t because of the Thank You Note, but I bet it was a big help closing the deal. People want to feel special. A personal note is an easy way to accomplish this.
What does a Thank You Note tell you even today? I think it means you pulled yourself away from the computer; took the time to purchase some nice paper or cards; thought about something to say (with no spell check); put a stamp on it and took it to the mailbox. Ok, that’s about 10 minutes of your day, a lot in today’s standards. “You took the time to send me a Thank You Note…wow!”
So, get out of your seat and pick up some personalized stationery, pretty cards or even post cards. The next time someone does something nice, good, helpful, or unexpected…send a Thank You Note…especially send those notes to your pipeline candidates. It’s not too late, to teach an old dog new tricks. The recipient will be impressed and you’ll probably feel good about it, too.
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