When to Text, Email, or Write a Personal Handwritten Note

How do you know what method of communication to use when you need to say “Thank You” to someone?  With a multitude of communication devices available today, which one do we use?

The general rule of thumb for standard communication is this:  Respond in the exact same manner as the person who originally initiated the communication.  Phone call = Phone call, FedEx overnight = FedEx overnight, handwritten note = handwritten note, text = text, email = email.  You get the idea.

What if someone has done something special, given a gift, gone over and beyond or simply took time from their own life to do something for you.  These scenarios call for a personal, handwritten note of gratitude.  Go ahead and send that quick text or email to acknowledge their kindness but always, always, always follow up with a personal note.  Simply express your appreciation for their gift, what it means to you and how you envision using it if it is a tangible item.

Have you been job interviewing lately?  Were you interviewed by multiple people?  Did you send a personal, handwritten Thank You to each person for the interview?   After an interview, it is perfectly acceptable and quite frankly, expected, to send an email that evening thanking them for the interview.  Don’t stop there.  Purchase some nice stationery (folded notes or flat correspondence cards) if you don’t already have some and write a personal note to each person who interviewed you.  These notes will be received several days later and not only will stand out because odds are, yours is the only one they received, but this note puts you back in front of them as a reminder of YOU.  In addition to thanking them for their time, simply state your interest in the position and how you will be able to make a difference to their organization.

Why do personal, handwritten notes make a difference? Because they are personal.  Because you took the time and care to be thoughtful and express your gratitude.


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