Southern hospitality and manners are real things that are very much alive in the South today, and visitors to the area expect nothing less. Most in the region still promote proper etiquette in all facets of life, including how to write a thank you note.
A “thank you note” is a personal and thoughtful gesture. It can change the outcome of a job interview or help strengthen a friendship. Everyone likes to feel appreciated after their hard work. A thank you note can offer the opportunity to reconnect with someone and to help develop a rapport with that person, especially in business. Most importantly, a thank you note says that what that person did for you, or helped you with, was important enough for you to take time out of your day to show your gratitude.
The most common reason to send a thank you note is for receiving a gift, usually for a wedding or shower. However, this shouldn’t be the only reason to send one. After having dinner in someone’s home, it’s proper to thank the host with a quick thank you note. They should also always be sent to potential employers after an interview. If a group of people put together a party, they should each individually receive a thank you note.
The most common mistake regarding thank you notes is not sending one at all. Another common mistake is not thanking the correct people. For example, if a job interviewer brings in a colleague during the process, the interviewee should send a thank you note to both interviewers.
Many people don’t know how to write a thank you note these days. A personalized handwritten thank you is always best. According to Hallmark, the proper thank you note should begin with a greeting, followed by an expression of gratitude for the product or time, including a specific detail of the product or time. Next, mention that you look forwarding to seeing the person again, followed by restating gratitude. The note should end with warm regards. It’s important to double check your spelling, especially of names. When adding specific detail, it can be something about the product, the excitement to use the product or why the gesture meant so much.
A good rule of thumb is to send the note out before using the product, or within a month of the event. Hand-delivering a thank you note is also acceptable if time allows. If the note is for a job interview, it’s usually best to just send it in the mail. Another good rule of thumb is to begin with a brief apology if the notes are sent out late. For example, “I apologize for the delay in telling you” or “I’ve been meaning to tell you…”