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You’ve heard business professionals and your parents tell you, “Don’t forget to write a thank you note,” time and time again. If you’re anything like us though, you’re sick of hearing these instructions – we’re all old enough to understand the importance of a thank-you note (and obviously know to write one when it is deserved). Sending a thank you note, whether it be after receiving a gift, a job interview, or visiting a friend, should be second nature to you by now (and if it isn’t, it definitely will be after you read this article). So we’re not going to go on and on about the power of a thank you note (it’s polite, thoughtful, professional, and makes a good impression), but rather show you the proper presentation and content for the oh-so-important after-job-interview thank you note. Because thank you notes can make or break a job application (“Sending a thank-you note after a job interview can be instrumental in securing employment for that dream job,” according to Marcel Legrand, senior vice president of product for Monster, in an HL.BLR.com article) it’s important to have a personalized and simple stationery set on hand. While we love the new Lifeguard Press printed Lilly Pulitzer stationeries, our future bosses may not. We’re not trying to discourage you from buying these stationeries – by all means, please do (they’re adorable!) – just save them for someone who might appreciate them more, like your best friend or grandma.

The Right Stationery

Instead, use simple stationery printed with a sophisticated, yet simple font, like this one from Crane & Co . This stationery set expresses nothing more than your name and whatever you choose to write on it. Furthermore, the paper it’s printed should be both durable and professional.

The Right Message
You may be worrying that you aren’t able to express yourself in your thank you note. Well stop worrying, because that’s exactly what a thank you note is – an expression. The context of your card will, and should, express your personality. After all, the context and depth of your thank you notes are much more important than the way your card looks. Check out this website for some samples of what the inside of your thank you notes should say, based on the occasion.

The Right Timing
According to Kate Spade’s Manners book, it is best to send thank you notes within three days of whatever you are thanking the person for, be it a gift or the time they took to speak with you. “Timely correspondence is key to maintaining healthy and active professional relationships,” the book says. Also, while we may live in the 21st century where e-mails are a popular form of communication, a hand-written thank you will distinguish you from other candidates, if the thank you note you’re writing is following a job interview.

The Right Presentation
Hand-written thank you notes, however, should only be sent if you are going to take your time writing them and make sure they are written with your best penmanship. They should not have smudged ink, crossed-out letters, folded edges, or any sign that you made a mistake and tried to cover it up. “For the recipient, the appearance of your letter is a stand-in for you,” according to Manners. Show the recipient the thoughtful, put-together, polite girl that you already are.

Oftentimes we get caught up in day-to-day activities and fail to send a thank you note in the three-day time frame. Even if you miss the deadline, still send it! While we may tell the recipient in person how thankful we are for what he/she did for us, no amount of verbal gratitude can meet the cordiality of a thank you note. “Thank-you notes make all the difference between feeling grateful and showing your gratitude,” says Kate Spade. So next time you are thankful for something that has been done for you, sit down with your finest stationery, best penmanship, and favorite thank you note template, and show your gratitude!

Manners by Kate Spade

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