Remember those afternoons following a birthday party, when your mom would sit you down and force you to write note after note to everyone who brought you a gift? Well, the thank you letter isn’t dead yet—or at least it shouldn’t be.
How to Write a Thank You Note
Just because you’re no longer showered with Barbies or Legos every year doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of reasons to express thanks.
Plus, expressing gratitude isn’t just a form of proper etiquette; it can make you feel great, too. What may seem like a very simple gesture can actually brighten someone’s entire day, and you’ll feel happier in return.
By becoming more consciously grateful for the people and things in your life, you’ll develop a more positive outlook, which can really change your entire attitude about life.
In this post, we’ll discuss when you should write a thank you letter, including the following situations:
• After receiving a gift
• After receiving a kind favor or gesture
• After a job interview
• Whenever you’re feeling appreciative
We’ll also provide helpful samples to guide you in the letter-writing process for every situation.
You don’t have to wait for a reason to say thank you—grab a pen and start thinking today about what you’re feeling grateful for.
Thank You Notes for Gifts
This is the classic example I’m sure we all remember from our childhoods. Most likely, you still follow up with an expression of thanks to anyone who sends you a gift, but with the convenience of text messages and social media, you’re probably not scribbling out an actual note anymore.
Sure, you can send a letter via e-mail, but nothing quite beats the feeling of receiving a handwritten note. It takes a little more time and thought, but that’s what’ll make it feel more personal and special than just a quick e-mail or Facebook DM.
The following template is designed with a casual tone and is ideal for friends and family members.
I just wanted to say thank you for [specific thing you’re thanking the recipient for]. [Statement about why you’re grateful for the gift.] [Statement about a positive effect the gift had on you.] [Sign-off],[Your Name]
Hi Aunt Linda,
I just wanted to say thank you for the set of candles you brought to the housewarming party. I love the scent and they suit my office perfectly! They’ve really helped me to relax while I work from home.
Thanks again for such a lovely gift. Looking forward to seeing you next week!
Thank You Notes for Favors or Gestures
Thank you notes shouldn’t be reserved just for gifts or material items. For example, if a colleague has been a great team player while preparing for a work presentation, or if your neighbor helped watch your kids while you attended an interview last week, a thank you note would certainly be appropriate and appreciated by its recipient.
For this one, you can refer to the same template for gifts. Again, this is appropriate for friends, family, and in some cases, coworkers.
I just wanted to thank you for all of your effort in preparing for the big presentation last week. Your research is what really made the proposal work, and I know you sacrificed part of your weekend to finish it. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Thanks again for the amazing work.
Thank You Letters After Job Interviews
You overcame your nerves, killed the interview, and made a stellar first impression. But you’re not done yet!*
Sending a thank you letter as a follow-up after a job interview achieves several things:
• It shows that you’re serious about the job.
• It demonstrates that you appreciate the interviewer’s time, as well as being given an opportunity to discuss the position.
• It gives you a chance to make one final lasting impression on the hiring team.
You can and should use the opportunity to remind the interviewer why you’re a perfect fit for the job, but don’t overdo it. Remember that the primary purpose is to express gratitude.
In this case, an e-mail is likely the most appropriate and convenient medium for your thank-you note. Be sure to address it to the interviewer (if you were interviewed by a panel, send a separate letter to each interviewer).
While a post-interview thank you note should generally be more formal than a note to your friends or family, you should use your personal judgment to determine the appropriate tone based on the role and company culture. Regardless of how formal your note should be, remember to stay genuine.
The template below is a good start.
*Side note: If you’re still in the midst of your job search, we’re hiring! Check out our jobs page for available positions.
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],[Thank them for their time and for the interview.] [Mention that you enjoyed meeting them and/or the team.] [Sentence(s) about the conversations you had and reiteration of your passion and qualification for the position.] [Mention that you are looking forward to hearing back from them.] [Thank them again and offer to provide more information or materials if needed.] [Sign-Off], [Your Name] [Contact Information]
Dear Ms. Sanders,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday to discuss the position of front desk manager at the Villa Rosa Hotel. It was a pleasure to learn the history of such an iconic hotel and to meet such a strong team of leaders.
As we discussed, I believe that my ten years of top service in the hospitality industry would make me an excellent fit for the position. I would truly enjoy working alongside your wonderful staff and using my customer service skills to give your guests the best experience.
Thank you again for the interview, and I hope to hear more from you soon. Should you need any additional information or materials from me, please do not hesitate to ask.
Thank You Notes Express Gratitude for Every Occasion
You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) limit your thank you letters to only the situations above.
Maybe you’re feeling grateful for a friend who lent an ear when you needed to vent, or maybe you want to thank your building’s janitor for all of their under-appreciated work.
It might seem silly or embarrassing at first, but your words of appreciation will surely put a smile on the recipient’s face. You never know how much someone might need to hear that they matter.
How do you express gratitude? Feel free to share in the comments below!