Archive | Stationery RSS feed for this section

April is National Letter Writing Month

29 Mar

photo credit: shutterstock.com

Did you know the United States Postal Service designated April National Writing Letter Month in 2001?  They wanted to raise awareness of the importance of writing cards and handwritten letters.  We think it’s a great time to refresh your stationery, update your address book, get out your favorite pen(s) and a few sheets of stamps to encourage you to write some handwritten notes.

Some fresh new stationery to inspire a handwritten letter.

Why send a handwritten letter?

photo credit: shutterstock.com

While we all love getting texts and emails from our friends and family, there is just something about getting a handwritten note.  You know the feeling when you open your mailbox and you sort through the bills and advertising and then you stumble on a handwritten letter – what do you do?  You find time to sit down and carefully read it.

That’s the power of a handwritten note.

I recently moved to another state.  I had to leave behind a group of friends that meant a lot to me.  One of my best friends set up a lunch date with me and wrote me a handwritten note about our friendship.  The funny thing is that I did the exact same.  While we exchanged our notes, she decided she wanted to read it aloud to me during our lunch.  It was written on beautiful stationery.  As she read this out loud, we were both crying and laughing.  It was so touching to me and when I got home I tucked it away so I could read it again and again once we moved.  A handwritten note is a wonderful way to tell your treasured friends and family what they mean to you.

Who should I write to?

While you have friends and family you can write handwritten notes to, why not consider sending notes to people that have made a difference in your life?  Here are a few examples:

  • A coworker who has helped you in your career/job
  • A (former) teacher that really impacted you
  • Your neighbor who always helps you out
  • Write a letter to your children to thank them for something special they’ve done for you

When you really stop and think about it, there are probably a lot of people in your life you can write a letter to.  Why not be inspired by this national month to make an impact in someone’s life?

Happy Letter Writing!

xo,

Jennifer

How to Write a Business Thank You Note

8 Mar

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

Shop Our Personalized Thank You Cards

Best Interview Thank You Note Tips

19 Jun

Thank You NoteWhether you are interviewing for your first job out of college or your third job in your career, a thank you note is a must. A handwritten thank you note is a great way to thank the interviewer for their time.  It helps you stand out from other applicants.  While it is easy to send an email or text to follow up with an interview, a handwritten thank you note is best. (Note: If a job decision is being made within a short time period, an email thank you note would suffice.)  We’ve put together some tips for writing the thank you note to help you land your next job.

What do I write?

  • Thank the interviewer for their time.
  • Summarize the interview.
  • Highlight what you can bring to the position.
  • Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the job.

8 Thank You Note and Follow-up Tips

  1. Ask the interviewer for a business card so you have their spelling and mailing address.
  2. Do a rough-draft of your thank you note before you use your stationery.
  3. Have a friend or family member proofread your note to make sure it sounds sincere and professional.
  4. Write your thank you note on quality stationery.
  5. Mail your thank you note within 24 hours after the interview.
  6. While employers do not always follow-up after an interview, the thank you note is a good reminder that you appreciate their time and are interested in the position. You will make a positive impression when sending a follow-up thank you note.
  7. If the interviewer provided you with a timetable for follow-up, honor it.  Perhaps they said they will get back to you within 2 weeks.  After sending the thank you note, allow the company the time they anticipated for follow-up before you contact them by phone or email.
  8. If you do not hear back from the interview after the period of time the interviewer estimated, it is a good idea to e-mail or call them to discuss whether the job is still available and to express that you are still interested.

 Example Thank You Note

Dear Ms. Smith,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about the marketing position with ABC company. It was a pleasure meeting with you, and I enjoyed learning more about the role and the company. After our conversation, I am confident that my skills and experience are a great match for the marketing position.

I am excited about the possibility of joining the ABC team and would appreciate the opportunity to work for your team.  If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you. 

Sincerely,

Emily Johns