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The Lost Art of the Hand-written Thank You Note

By: Adam Peter Shinn

Let’s face the facts folks, the job market took a sucker punch to the face and is still seeing stars, still striving to stand itself back up and continue the match. At a time when there is a supply and demand imbalance with regards to the amount of job positions advertised and those applying for them, differentiating oneself from the rest has become increasingly important! Matters can and should be taken to do everything possible to stand out in a positive way.

                One practice that can be followed is writing the hand-written thank you note. The hand-written thank you note can be used not only for occasions like post-interview follow-ups but in personal lives as well. Test this on yourself. Imagine yourself looking through the mail (physical mail, not your e-mail). You have a stack of envelopes; you can probably assume that 65% will be advertisements and promotions that will be trashed immediately, 30% may be bills or other important documents or reminders, and if you’re lucky you may get the occasional postcard from a relative who is visiting Germany. Whenever you get postcards or even typed notes  sent via snail mail, it almost feels like a holiday and will more than likely make you smile knowing that that person took the time to do that. The truth is that in this digital day in age, we are sending most all of our personal greetings electronically due to convenience, speed, and cost saving. Of course, why spend nearly 50 cents on a message that will take a day or two to arrive when we can send that same message instantly for free? Hence, the hand-written letter, which was once very practical in worldwide culture, has become obsolete. It essentially has become a lost art.

This lost art, however, is powerful for those who wish to take advantage of it. Imagine the HR manager of a company getting tons and tons of thank you emails from everyone that was interviewed. Even though this is a nice and acceptable gesture, one could go above and beyond what is common and expected. Out of the many that were equally qualified for the position, one applicant took the time to send a hand-written thank you note to the office. Can you imagine how dedicated this applicant will be perceived? This subtle difference in action can translate into a stark contrast in attractiveness to the employer.

Don’t overlook the hand-written thank you note. The price of postage is more than worth the results!

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