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How (and When) to Send a Thank You Note

Far from being an abandoned tradition, the humble thank you note is a classic way to make a good impression. Here are the basics, from when a thank you note is required to how to do it properly.

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When: After Receiving A Gift

You probaby already knew this one from every single birthday when you had to go down the list and write thank you notes to your family members for the gift they sent. But even as an adult, even when everything is digital, a proper thank you note will set you apart from your peers and show off your class and poise.

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When: After A Job Interview

This. Is. Critical. Send it by mail (stick it in the mail within an hour of your interview to be sure it arrives the next day) or by email, but within 24 hours of an interview. You need to send a note thanking your interviewer for their time, mentioning one or two specific points from the interview that you enjoyed or were thought-provoking, and a subtle, but positive affirmation of why you’re the ideal candidate for the position, based on something you learned in the interview that wasn’t in the job posting.

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When: After Attending A Party

It’s no easy feat to be a party host. From all of the prep work to the expense of the food, decor, and drinks, it’s a massive amount of work. Show your appreciation to your host by sending a note detailing why the party was the highlight of your social calendar for the month.

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When: After Leaving A Job

This one often gets overlooked in the chaos of getting situated in a new position. But where you land next is always about who you know. Keeping in contact with colleagues and bosses from previous jobs will serve you well throughout your career. A short note about why you enjoyed working with that person and what they taught you will be appreciated and will cement a positive lasting impression of you.

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