Tips for Writing Professional Thank You Notes | Macaulay Honors College

Tips for Writing Professional Thank You Notes

By Sebastian Leung

Thank you notes have many different purposes and can be sent for many reasons. For most people, thank you notes are generally sent after an after someone writes you a letter of recommendation, an interview, an informational interview, or finishing an internship.

Thank you notes are useful for several reasons. Firstly, as might be expected,

they are a way to show your gratitude towards a person or company who has done something for you. Secondly, thank you notes show people that you care about them or their company. It will leave a positive and lasting impression about you. Thirdly, thank you notes help you keep in touch with a professional and allow you to stay in touch with them in case other opportunities to work with them come up.

 

Different Thank You Notes for Different Occasions

There are several different occasions when you should send a professional thank you note. Here is a link with formats to different thank you notes. Below are a few common occasions to send thank you notes for.

 

  1. Post-Interview

Thank you notes can be sent after interviews to show your appreciation towards the person who interviewed you. Within your thank you note to the interviewer, it may be helpful to reference moments that came up during your interview and to mention anything you forgot during the interview.

It may help after the interview to take notes after the interview while all moments are fresh in your mind. You’ll be thanking yourself when you’re back home on your computer writing that very personal thank you note.

 

  1. After Finishing an Internship

After finishing an internship or a job, writing a thank you note to your supervisor or boss is generally a good move to make. In your thank you note, simply express your gratitude to the person you worked for. You can explain briefly your favorite moments and what you learned from the position. Ultimately, it can be helpful to provide your contact information. By doing this, you can ask to connect on job search sites (like LinkedIn) or even be notified of future opportunities.

 

  1. Upon Receiving a Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are super important nowadays, and can be a big help in securing a job, internship or a spot in graduate school. This is why you should always write a thank you note to someone who writes a recommendation for you. These thank you notes can be very straightforward, just thanking the person for taking the time to recommend you. However, the people who write your recommendation most likely worked with you previously or served as a mentor or teacher, so it might be helpful to add some personal touches to the note.

 

Extra Tips

  1. Don’t Wait!

Thank you notes are useful for leaving a good impression, so don’t wait to send a thank you note. If you’re sending an email, send it by end of day. If you’re mailing a letter, date it and try to have it mailed out also by the end of the day. The more you wait, the less effective the note will be.

  1. Be Brief but Sincere

You don’t want to send someone a mini-novel as a thank you note, but you should keep it long enough to add some sincere, personal notes to the person you are thanking.

  1. Send a Handwritten Letter, if Possible

            Handwritten letters are more personal. If you can’t send one, an email is fine, but always opt for a handwritten, mailed letter if possible.

  1. Sign Your Name

Signing your name usually adds a personal touch to the note, so you should usually try to print or handwrite your letter, sign it, then mail it out.

 

A Simple Template
Here is a simple, short template that I like to use, generally after an interview. Feel free to use it and personalize it any way necessary.

 

Date

Attn: [First Name Last Name]
Company Name
Street Address
City, State ZIP

Dear [insert Mr./Mrs. Last name here],

Thank you for [be specific in your thanks, sound appreciative for specific things].

 

[Here, mention specific moments during the interview or certain things you learned about them or their company and refer to how your skills may be beneficial to them.] I truly enjoyed learning about your company, and I’m confident I’d fit seamlessly within your culture and can truly help accomplish your upcoming goals.

 

[Conclude by reiterating your thanks and bringing up the possibility of working together in the future] Again, thank you for the opportunity to learn about [be specific] and for the warm hospitality extended to me. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

Your Full Name

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Still need help composing the perfect cover letter? Email Gianina Chrisman at Gianina.Chrisman@mhc.cuny.edu or Jamie Ruden at Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu to make an appointment.

Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.