3 Reasons You Should Write a Handwritten Thank You Note

*Opens mailbox*

Bill, Bill, Bill, Junk, Credit Card Offer, Bill, ooh What’s this?

You just got a letter. I wonder who it’s from? How rare is it these days to receive a piece of handwritten mail? I can think of maybe two reasons that a person may receive communication in this form regularly, but for most of us, it just doesn’t happen. But when it does for the right reason, we are wholly overtaken with curiosity. We live in a digital age where communication is instantaneous, and sending mail via the pony express is impractical and costly. Even emails are too slow for most and rightfully so. Just send me a text.

Writing a letter takes extra time and effort. Typos or Writos* are not easily corrected and if you don’t get to the mailbox by five, it’s not leaving until tomorrow. All valid reasons why you should not write a letter, more importantly, all legitimate reasons why you should! Not for every occasion, but for special ones, personal ones, professional ones!

Why should you send a thank you letter for professional occasions like job interviews, especially job interviews?

  1. How many applications have you sent out? Out of those, how many companies offered you a phone interview? Out of those, how many offered you an in-person interview? Exactly.
  2. All the feelings you experience when opening a letter, your prospective hiring manager is just as human as you are and they like notes, as well.
  3. As mentioned, the effort that goes into writing a letter is above average so it could be the differentiator between you and the person(s) who wrote an email and definitely between the person(s) who didn’t write anything.

You haven’t written a letter in a while – or ever – so how do you do it?

This starts with the interview:

  • Remember names
  • Remember titles
  • Remember what they said
  • Remember what you said

Pen to paper:

  1. Dear Mr./Ms. So and So,
    • Do not use Mrs. unless explicitly stated and chances are it won’t be
  2. Discuss how the interview made you feel and express gratitude
  3. Discuss why you would be a good fit for the position
  4. Discuss your value add to the company
  5. Briefly, discuss the position’s value-add for you
  6. Discuss something concrete that they said that caught your attention and why
    • This shows you were paying attention
  7. Sprinkle some more gratitude at the bottom
    • Add an I look forward to hearing from you for effect
  8. Sincerely,
  9. Signature
  10. Your Printed Name

I would recommend to keep it on one piece of paper, or even better in a thank you note. You know the ones that look like the generic greeting cards you would get from your grandparents that would work for any occasion or holiday. Grandma, why does my birthday card have Kwanzaa on it? Because it’s not about the cover. It’s about what’s in it.

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