How many times do you say thank you in a day? Two? Five? Every time someone holds the door for you? Only for unexpected events, like your significant other bringing you flowers? It’s often difficult to determine exactly how often you need to verbally express your appreciation – after all, you don’t want to say it too often and sound like a broken, insincere record.
To help you out, we’ve put together a brief guide to writing thank you notes in the business world - some of the harder thank yous to tackle.
- Interviews: Whether you’re interviewing for a new job or an internal promotion, you should always send a thank you by email as soon as possible. Though a handwritten note is generally considered more formal and more sincere, the post-interview thank you can actually be considered as the final part of the interview, so you want to get it in as quickly as possible. Be sincere and grateful, but steer clear of anything that could seem obsequious or brown-nosing.
- Review: Naturally you should proofread all business communications carefully, but pay extra special attention to thank you notes. Grammatical errors and misspellings can signify a lack of sincerity and care to the recipient.
- Groups: So you’ve been interviewed in a group setting, or perhaps received advice from a group of older employees. You know you should express your thanks, but to whom? This is a tricky one that you’ll have to feel out on a case-by-case basis, but most people will appreciate individualized notes more. As a rule of thumb, if you can think of a specific thing to thank each person for, write separate notes. If you can’t – if the group acting so cohesively that you would be writing the exact same note five times – one note is acceptable.
- Personality: The key to thank you notes is to make them personal, so that the recipient feels truly appreciated. Try to write with a strong personal voice that is indicative of your personality. You’re not a kid writing a form letter thanking Grandma for the Christmas sweater. You’re a working adult, and you’re marketing yourself.
Thank you notes are a small part of life – the best ones fit neatly on a card and are no more than a few sentences long. They’re disproportionately important – in many situations, a thank you note is the last impression that you leave of yourself. Make sure it’s an impression that counts!
If you'd like to say thank you to an entire business, rather than just one person, consider nominating them for a Consumer's Choice Award. Here at Consumer's Choice, we're working to make sure that the businesses you value get the recognition they deserve.