Write Memorable Thank You Notes: 8 Steps

Brown_arrow_21 Posted by Nathan Parcells on
Jul. 18, 2012

Thank You NoteHave you ever experienced the joy, excitement, and anticipation that stir within you when you gently tear open the top of a letter? There’s something magical about holding that textured paper in your hand, knowing that someone hovered over that same paper writing a message meant to be read only by you. Your co-workers and supervisors will remember you fondly if you give them carefully-written thank you notes. Within these notes will be the last words you say to the people you’ve been working with throughout your summer internship. This article will show you what to say and how to say it in each thank you note you write.

1) Buy small, simple stationery

Make sure the notecards are small because your message will be brief, and you don’t want to only use half the space of the card. Simplicity is the key ingredient to an effective thank you note design. You want your words to shine, and they can’t do that when they’re drowning in the lime green stationery you bought.

2) Write in blue ink

Marc Pitman has found that blue ink makes your letters stand out and remind the reader of its personal touch. This may be because black ink is generic and is associated with type on a computer screen.

3) Plan out each sentence

You can’t backspace what you write, so plan each sentence before jotting anything down. Rushing the process of writing a thank you card is like rushing through building a house of cards; if you’re in a hurry, you’ll make the whole thing crumble. One typo or awkwardly-worded sentence could ruin the whole letter.

4) Use their name

Dear Sally,

Dale Carnegie said that people love to hear their own name. This couldn’t be more true than when you’re personally thanking someone. Use “Dear.” It may sound old-fashioned, but it has a fondness and familiarity to it.

5) Express your appreciation

Thank you for teaching me how to write effectively and contact potential leads through phone calls and emails.

Write in the present tense. Don’t say, “I just wanted to write to say that…” Be straightforward and specific. Highlight certain skills you’re thankful that person taught you.

6) Explain its effectiveness

I know these skills will greatly serve me in my future job in sales. I now understand more than twice as much about sales than I did when I started this internship.

Be honest and don’t exaggerate. It’s better to mention a specific aspect of your summer internship that you appreciated than to write overarching, vague expressions, especially if they aren’t true. You can always mention what you learned, even if you don’t think you’re going to use that knowledge in the future. Make sure you maintain focus on the giver and their generosity. The only time you should you reference yourself is when you’re talking about how you benefited from something they did.

7) Refer to the past and the future

I enjoyed working alongside you this summer, and I hope we’re able to see each other in the near future. I’m looking forward to seeing you in North Carolina when you come for the Internship fair.

Mention certain memorable experiences you shared or qualities you admire, “I’ll always remember the company trip to the baseball game that you organized for us.” or “Your ability to brainstorm and your passion for expanding the company were amazing to see.” As InternMatch’s Community Director Ashley Moseley says, “a little flattery can go a long way.”

8) Thank them again and sign off

Thanks again.

Cheers,
Billy

“Cheers” is slightly formal but is also friendly and alludes to celebration. “Best” is very formal; “Best Wishes” sounds more considerate. “Sincerely” is too generic and “Kind Regards” isn’t much better.

Get in the habit of writing thank you notes. It’s a skill that will serve you throughout your career. People will appreciate these notes and remember you for them if you write them with this outline:

1) Use their name

2) Express your appreciation

3) Explain its effectiveness

4) Refer to the past and future

5) Thank them again and sign off

Thanks again for reading my post!

Cheers,
Will

P.S. It feels good to be thanked, doesn’t it?

Image provided by rogercarr via Compfight cc

***This is an installment from the series, Mastering Summer Internships. These articles will show how to make the most of your summer internship experience and be a rockstar intern in your company. Click here or enter your email below to receive weekly updates with the latest installments of Mastering Summer Internships.

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