Thank You Note

The Art Of The Handwritten Thank You Note

Daryn Peterman, January 28, 2020

Some might say that writing a personal thank you note is a dying art, but I think otherwise.

We recently interviewed two excellent applicants for a job at McDill. Afterward, one emailed a thank you note within 45 minutes of leaving the interview. The second sent nothing. Typically, candidates send us some sort of thank you note or email after meeting.

This sparked an internal debate. Several of my colleagues argued that thank you notes are important. Others maintained that they’re old-fashioned and therefore irrelevant. Someone suggested they don’t matter because schools today don’t teach students to write thank you notes after interviews.

Personally, I’m pro-thank you note. The actual, handwritten kind. Always have been and always will be. I’m sure that originates from my childhood, when my mother made me write thank you notes for every gift I received. But I’ve also discovered the value of a kind gesture in the workplace. That’s why I regularly send thank you notes to my colleagues, clients and partners.

To me, a handwritten thank you note is a clear differentiator in the corporate world, and here’s why:

  • It shows that you appreciate people’s time. It says, “Thanks for making time during your busy day to learn about me.”
  • It’s memorable. In a digital world, an analog note clearly stands out.
  • It’s classy. It demonstrates that you have acumen and a knack for corporate professionalism.
  • It proves that you go the extra mile. You know that those little extra touches matter, and you’re likely to apply this mindset in your day-to-day work.

So, if you want to brighten someone’s day, find some nice stationery, take five minutes and write a thank you note. The positive impression you make will last a long time, and may even land you a job, big project or new client.