Contributed by Kelly Trinh and Alexandra Hoang, Girls’ C.E.O. Connection Young Ambassadors
The Power of the Hand-Written Thank You Notes
Ask any teenager today and they will probably tell you that they talk using email, text, or web messaging. Although these forms of communication are efficient and often times convenient, handwritten thank you notes can be the perfect example of a little going a long way. They mean a lot and can be great tools to use in the business world, not to mention everyday life. These are our personal stories and advice on the importance of thank you notes.
We were first introduced to thank you letters at the Academy of Business Leadership. At the time, neither of us knew how powerful these little notes could become. In fact, our thank you notes helped us to first establish our relationship with Sylvia. The two of us first met Sylvia at a Realizing a Vision conference in 2009. After having such a great experience at the conference, we both sent Sylvia thank you letters. To our surprise, it was this act that established our relationship with her. Not only are thank you notes good etiquette, but they are also powerful tools to networking.
It’s also important to send thank you notes whenever someone goes out of their way to help you. For high school students, don’t forget to send thank you notes to your counselors and teachers, especially to the ones who have taken the time to write recommendations for you. Writing a thank you note is a memorable, thoughtful, and easy way to show your appreciation.
Recently, a sports club donated tennis balls and benches to the tennis program at school. I felt very appreciative of their deed, and wanted to send them a simple thank you note to be polite. Little did I know, the manager felt moved by my actions. He sent my principal an email saying, “In my 20+ years [in management], this simple note caught me off guard. It is not often we see this type of character in our teenagers today.” I never expected anything to come out of the letter, but the manager ended up offering me a summer membership. Showing and expressing gratitude can go a long way in the hearts of others, and benefit everyone. I am grateful for the ones that have taught me to do this, and encourage everyone else to do the same. Never underestimate how far a thoughtful thank you can go.
Here are some tips:
– Send it as soon as possible when it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind
– You don’t have to write a whole essay! A few well thought-out lines on a card or nice stationery can be enough to express your gratitude.
– Be specific
– Sending a thank you to counselors or teachers writing a recommendation for you can double as a reminder for the deadline!
– You can even add in a thoughtful gift
– Above all, be sincere!