How to Write a Business Thank You Note

8 Jul

Make it your business to write an honest-to-goodness thank you note after a business interview or important meeting. In this world of electronic communication nothing will set you apart from the pack more than an actual handwritten note sent through the US mail! While it’s always a good idea to email immediately after the interview to keep your name in front of the interviewer, the note that you send on your own personalized stationery will have an impact well beyond any email. And it doesn’t take much to make that kind of impression. Here is what we suggest for a simple yet impactful business thank you note:

First-choose a piece of personalized stationery that fits you and the occasion.

Any of these thank you notes would be appropriate for a business thank you note.

If you don’t have any personalized stationery…get some! But seriously, a package of simple white or cream note cards can work just as well until you get your own proper notecards with your name. When you order notes to be used for business correspondence, generally stay away from anything too whimsical. But also take into consideration the industry you are interviewing in.  Fashion and advertising will applaud creativity and uniqueness, while banking and law may be more impressed by simple fonts and traditional ink colors.  Motifs can also highlight the industry.

To begin the note….

It’s always safe to start with “Dear” for the recipient.  Make sure to put the date in the upper right-hand corner. The next line should immediately thank the recipient and why you are thanking them. For example, a business note could say…

Dear Mr. Cook

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you Thursday afternoon.

It’s always a good idea to include the date of the meeting when making contact after an interview…it a good reminder for the person you interviewed with.  And that is the reason it is also very important to get a note out as soon as you can while you and the interview are still fresh in the mind of the person you met with. Keeping a stash of notes, with pre-stamped envelopes, in your briefcase or tote will assure that you have them ready to write and mail when the opportunity arises to send out that note.

Next, include a sentence or two that is more specific to the situation.  This is also an opportunity to “toot your own horn” and remind the interviewer why you feel you are right for the job.

“ I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about Barnes & Cook, Inc. and the potential for a position in sales.

Your explanation of the sales position within the company was very intriguing to me and feels like a good fit for my skills.”

If there is something else particular to the situation, like a referral, a personal connection, a friend or co-worker in common-mention that here.

“It was so nice of Mr. Smith to introduce us at the convention.”

For a business thank you, it’s important to comment on “next steps” and any follow-through that was discussed in the interview. And don’t be afraid to mention how you will follow-up or what you expect from the interviewer if there were steps that were discussed.

Remember-you are writing this note to make another great impression on the interviewer.

Lastly…reiterate your thanks and close the note with our sign off and signature.

“I am very excited about the opportunity that exists for me to at your firm and I know I would exceed your expectations.

I look forward to hearing from you before the end of the month regarding the status of the sales position.”

Thank you again for your time.

Sincerely,

John Turner

Do your best to write legibly and evenly.  It’s also a good idea to write out a practice note on plain paper before you write on the personalized stationery.  You can get a feel for how the note flows and how it will fit on your own notecard. If you need to write more than will fit on just the front of a notecard or the inside of a fold over note, feel free to write on the back.  Just be sure that the reader knows there is additional text on the back, either by ending the one side in mid-sentence or indicating with a small arrow.

Pop the note in its matching envelope and address it directly to the recipient with the company name on the second line.  Be sure to include your return address on the envelope with your last name.

Short. Direct. To the Point. A written note has so much more impact than an email and a written note is always in good taste.

Give it a try.

Contributing Editor – Amy Stahr Hawking

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