The Art of the Handwritten Thank You Note

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When pursuing a career in investing, or any other field, a job candidate must take several steps to ensure they are viewed competitively among all other applicants. One of the most important things to do is contact an industry professional promptly after meeting them. 

Whether it was a networking event, an interview, or a cup of coffee, it is essential to send a follow-up email to thank the professional  immediately after the meeting concludes. A fast-paced industry like investing requires those in the field to read and respond to emails directly after receiving them. Sending an email promptly after meeting someone demonstrates awareness of industry cultural norms. It also demonstrates an appreciation and gratitude for the employer’s time. 

In an increasingly paperless world, however, even an immediate email can only do so much. A handwritten thank-you note is the best way to demonstrate appreciation. So long as it is well-written, appropriately timed, and follows etiquette standards, a thank-you note allows an individual  to stand out from other applicants who did not complete this courtesy. Here are NDIGI’s tips on the nearly lost–but ever valuable–art of the handwritten thank-you. 

Form 

Use your own personal stationary that is engraved with either your name or initials. This will demonstrate that you are always prepared to send a thank-you and will serve as a lasting reminder of who exactly is writing this note. If you do not have your own personal stationary, use that of a professional organization of which you are a member. NDIGI has cardstock and envelopes available for use in the office. 

It is typically best to use black ink. While blue ink and pencil may be suitable alternatives for exams and note taking, black ink exudes a professionalism appropriate for this occasion. If using NDIGI cardstock, however, blue ink may be a more appealing choice given that the logo and and pre-printed colors are varying shades of blue. 

Greeting and Salutation

Writing

The traditional greeting for a handwritten note or letter is “Dear (name).” If this greeting feels too formal, you may begin by simply stating the reader’s name. It is best to refer to the reader by their first name, while using a tone throughout the letter that recognizes them as a professional and maintains a deferential respect. 

There are several ways you may conclude your thank-you. The most applicable include “Sincerely,” “From,” “Regards,” and “Best.” After this salutation, you may sign the note. If your signature is more calligraphic than legible, however, include your first and last name printed below it. 


Keep your thank-you note concise. It should be no longer than a paragraph. Be sure to thank the professional for their time and reiterate your interest in the firm or position. If you made a personal connection with the employer, such as one about a sports team or a favorite author, it may be appropriate to include it somewhere in the note. Make sure to edit your thank-you note: write neatly and check for spelling and grammar errors. If you make a mistake, do not cross out your error and continue. Instead, rewrite your note on new cardstock. Content 

Example:

Dear Lois,

Thank you very much for meeting with me at Notre Dame last Tuesday. I understand how busy you are and sincerely appreciate you taking time out of your day for me. I was happy to learn more about the Daily Planet and its culture, and am very excited to continue the application process. I firmly believe my experience here would make me a great fit in the office and an asset to the organization.

Thank you again, Lois. I hope to stay in touch. Please feel free to contact me anytime at ckent38@nd.edu.

Sincerely,

Clark Kent

Mailing your Thank-You Note

Write and mail your note within one day of meeting with its addressee. Place it in an envelope and be sure to seal it. Put a stamp in the top right-hand corner of the envelope, and write your name and a return address in the top left-hand corner. In the center, write the name and address of the reader. 

If you follow these guidelines, you will have written a thank-you note that is professional, personal, and memorable. It will distinguish you from other applicants and serve as a genuine and polite reminder to employers and professionals of your appreciation of their time.