I must give credit where credit is due: much of the following advice & how-to actually came from Mama DS. Don’t get it twisted, she knows her ish. She’s just not know for mixing patterns. Or wearing faux fur. Amateur.
So, let’s just get right down to it, shall we? You had a job interview, attended a baby shower, received a gift from a friendly acquaintance. When do you write a thank you note? Always. You always send a thank you note. Whether it be handwritten or via email, when in doubt, always thank.
There are a few particular situations where handwritten notes are the most appropriate form. For example, a job interview. But it’s nearly 2014. Can’t I just email? Absolutely. However, you must also hand write & snail mail another note. Not only will a handwritten “thank you” show your potential employer that you still know how to use a pen & perhaps can even recall some cursive from third grade, it shows you cared enough to sit down & take the time to hand write & address the card. Which, nowadays, can go a long way. & isn’t that the exact message you want to send someone you just interviewed with? I suggest writing the note after your interview, the day of. This way your conversation is still fresh in your mind & by the time you get it in the mail & it’s delivered to the interviewer at their place of employment a few days will have passed – the perfect time to jog their memorit about your professional, enlightening, & stimulating interview.
While snail mail is a must, it’s also imperative to email the employer the day of the interview. This email is less of a formal thank you & more of a follow up. Thank them for their insight into a particular issue, thank them for their time, thank them for the opportunity. Keep it short, sweet, & uber professional. This let’s them know that you’re serious about the position & it also puts your email address to their inbox. Score. The handwritten note can be a more generalized ‘thank you’. But why can’t I just send an email? Honestly, you could. I prefer to send a hand written note, as well, to really show that I’m interested in the position & to show the interviewer that I fully comprehend the value of their time. OK, fine. So if the hand written note is so important why do I also have to write that initial email? There are many reasons but one should be enough: What if it is never delivered to the intended recipient? Ever had a piece of mail get lost before? Don’t miss a potentially stellar opportunity because you’re too lazy to write a thank you note.
I also suggest handwriting ‘thank yous’ for gifts received at weddings/baby showers/etc. A normal human realizes that this may take some time as you’re likely on a honeymoon or trying to not kill the tiny human that you just brought into this world. With these key factors in mind, I’d say two or three months is an acceptable amount of time before sending the last one out.
With best friends, I typically send a quick text in order to 1. let them know their gift/envelope of confetti/new toy for Wendell has been received the moment it is received, 2. nothing quite expresses genuine thanks like CAPITAL LETTERS, superfluous exclamation points, & emoticons, 3. I’m likely texting them anyways to let them know I got snail mail in the first place. It’s like Christmas! I know you know what I mean. & since I know they appreciate a good Papyrus card as much as the next 26 year old female, I’ll mark one up with a huge thank you, far too many ‘xo’s’ & send it on its merry way.
On that note, it depends on your family but likely it’s appropriate to send a thank you email depending on the situation. Grandparents are another story. Get out that monogrammed stationary they got you for high school graduation & send that sucker out asap. You’ll make their day & effectively end the incessant phone calls from your parents asking if you’ve sent them a ‘thank you’ yet. Real life.
Shop a bunch of my favorite ‘thank you card’ flavors below & enter to win a fun monogrammed set from Pretty Smitten. Please note that any recipient of a formal, professional, or otherwise conservative note should not get it on hot pink, leopard stationary. Stick to neutrals, embossed with a simple gold ‘thank you’ or a monogrammed set. Save the crazy for your friends. All, including aforementioned pink leopard sets can be found below.