Please and thank you, they're the magic words!
I've been told I'm old school when it comes to writing thank you letters for basically anyone who I feel like needs to be thanked. But if there is something that I know very well is that Thank You letters will never go out of style. There is something personal about receiving a thank you letter from someone who you have helped, it makes you feel all warm inside and makes you reflect on the kind of person you are. Now, imagine writing one. It sounds a bit daunting doesn't it? It could also be a little bit embarrassing if you think that the person will not like it, but chances are they will. With that said, here are the steps of how to write a good thank you letter to a professor, employer, or even your mom.
1. The aesthetics of the Thank You letter card
It does not really matter if there is glitter all over the top of the card, or if there are ribbons coming off of the envelope, it just has to be neat. Besides it is what is on the inside of the card that matters, what words you write to show your gratitude.
2. Choose the right pen
Be careful about which pen you choose. Some take longer to dry or some are too dull. Before you write test out the pens on another piece of paper. You do not know how many times I thought a pen would be fine for the letter and I ended up smudging halfway through the letter and had to start over.
3. Write the date
I think there is something classy when someone writes me a thank you letter and on the top right hand or left hand corner there is a date. I like it because if I go back and find the letter then I can remember the moment that received it.
4. Outline the letter beforehand
I usually do not do this because I like to live on the edge. But if you are not like me and you like to have things outlined and prepped before putting pen to paper then I recommend outlining since mistakes are bound to happen we are all humans! And if you only bought one Thank You letter card it will be annoying if you have to go buy another one or throw out the one you made a mistake on. Also: Do. Not. Be. Creepy. Not a good time to write odd things in a thank you letter to a superior. It will backfire!
5. Handwriting, Handwriting, Handwriting
I do not have the best handwriting in the world. In fact, I have been told that sometimes people cannot read my handwriting. Therefore when I write Thank You cards I make sure to take my time to write my best. Imagine receiving a letter and you cannot make out more than 50% of the writing. It kinda takes away from the purpose of it.
6. Write with your heart
No one expect you to be the world's greatest writer when you write a Thank You letter. All you need to do is be yourself and tell that person why you are thankful for them. For example if a professor has really instilled a love for mathematics after a class then tell them just that, or if you are finishing with college and you're on a sports team and you would like to thank your coach for all the dedication then write just that. Even though you may have outlined and planned everything out at the end of the day your heart will tell you what to actually write.
7. Do Not Lick The Envelope
I suggest that you tuck in the flap part into the envelope only because it looks a bit better and that person can store the letter you wrote in the envelope without any rips. Besides who wants to taste glue?
8. Be Brave and hand it in!
So you finished writing your letter...now give it to the person. In my opinion this is the hardest part because if you're anything like me you don't want to seem corny but that person has really helped you. Take a deep breath, and walk up to them and say thank you and hand it to them. They will gladly appreciate it.