Monday, April 27, 2015

Thank You Notes: Old Fashioned or Professional?

By Rose Strong

My nephew, who just graduated in June of 2014 with a biology degree with a concentration on entomology (that’s bugs, folks!), is currently in a job-seeking mode. Since grad school is tough in the entomology field, he took what seems to be a good entry-level management position with one of those pet supply chain stores where they sell small pets like reptiles, fish, rodents and birds. For now, it pays the bills and gives him the chance to work with animals.

I helped with his cover letter and reviewed his resume. He received a call for an interview last week with a company in the business of raising insects for animal feeding. (I know, ewwww.) He texted me all excited about it. The first text I sent was a clear YAHOO! The next was telling him to get a thank you card ready to write and send when the interview was over.

My gut told me he was thinking I was just his crazy aunt, (which I am,) but that he’d get around to it.

After the interview he stopped by to tell his parents about it and I happened to be visiting. He said he did great and met with the CEO and the general manager. He felt good about how it went and when I said he now had to send out two cards, he nonchalantly said, “Oh yeah, okay.”

Working at Furia Rubel, we keep a stack of thank you cards on hand and send them out for all sorts of things. They are sent to convey gratitude for a business referral opportunity. We write them out after some business meetings or a networking event we attend. Furia Rubel even sends out thank you notes for gifts folks send to thank us for something! We find the time it takes to write them is a good business investment and helps to leave a lasting impression. This article from Entrepreneur.com is a great introduction to the “how-to’s” of a professional thank you note. It doesn't have to be long or laborious, just legible and sincere.

This article from BusinessNewsDaily.com is filled with the top 10 things you shouldn't write in a thank you note. It includes excellent tips on how to keep your note professional.

Thanks to the instant gratification of email, Twitter, Facebook and all the other forms of electronic communications, too few of us today take the time to hand write a letter or mail anything via the U.S. Postal Service more than some bills. There may still be a few of us who send birthday cards and holiday greetings, but it’s rare to see an actual handwritten note. Perhaps because it is a rare gesture these days, we find that the act of sending a hand-written card makes the recipients very happy, and as a consequence, they remember us fondly. I know that is true in my own life, too. Besides the excitement I feel when I receive a handwritten envelope in my pile of mail, the idea the sender is offering their sincere appreciation or good wishes sticks with me. And that is what good marketing – and good manners – is all about.

2 comments :

Pat Achilles said...

A thoughtful post about being thoughtful! I too find that people remember my notes - it is rewarding for both the sender and receiver. I think it is particularly rare in business practice, so it makes you stand out all the more.

Rose Strong said...

Thanks for the feedback, Pat! Nice to hear what others think about this.

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