Hello everyone, I hope that you had another great week! It’s that time again for Shining Moments, a weekly gratitude overview and reflection. This week’s reflection is on the lost art of Thank You cards but first, this week’s gratitude/awesomeness:
I got to spend time with my favorite two boys – we had a great time going to the park and playing bingo
My aunt and uncle are on a cruise for 5 days and the pictures they’ve uploaded are beautiful!
Got to see a gorgeous Great Dane while out doing UberEats delivery.
Found out family is coming into town in early August – so stoked!
Had an “informal/how are you- my name is Jenn” interview and he was so nice!
Got my thank you cards out to the people I met during this interview
Had another interview for a different position and they were also nice/honest about the availability of upcoming work over next few months (interview lasted 5 minutes- think shortest interview I’ve ever had)
Holiday pay for a day I had off (yay!)
This week’s reflection is on the lost art of Thank You cards.
Most likely in your childhood, you were raised with the idea that if someone does something nice for you or gives you a gift, you write out a thank you card. You put in details about the action or the gift, how nice of that person to do/give that and how it affected you or how you would use it. Your parents may even have taken some of the buzzkill out of your birthday because you had to write a card for each gift (sometimes before you could even use the gift). Commence the eye rolling now. My mom didn’t make me write a card, but she did instill in me to say thank you graciously. As technology grew, it became easier to send an email or even a cute or pretty e-card (hello Blue Mountain and 1-2-3-Greetings **guess what, they still exist!**) In my opinion, more often then not we simply give a half-hearted thank you and carry on with our lives. It’s truly become “it’s the thought that counts.”
Fast forward to the business world and in the fast pace of hustle and bustle, making it rain and keeping on your own tasks while trying to be a team player, the Thank you (verbal or not) has also become pretty lackluster with little heart to it. Many years ago I read somewhere in career growth and such, especially about interviews, the power of the Thank You card. Seems kinda silly, but I attest it does have a power of its own.
Power # 1 – NO ONE DOES IT! So if you do it, you’ll look like a champ. One of my favorite college professors always had a saying: “Be the extra 5%” which basically means go above and beyond, go that extra mile and make yourself stand out. Anybody can fill out an application and for the sake of this point, let’s assume that anybody can get an interview and will wear nice clothes/clean cut/etc. If everyone does the same thing, wears the same thing, lets assume has equal skill sets, what makes you different from other candidates? A thank you card can help set you apart.
Power # 2 -You took time when you honestly didn’t have to send a card, it shows you’re willing to take initiative and can/will followup too
Power # 3 – You probably mailed it so that means you were willing to spend money to buy a [pack of] card[s], put a stamp on it and put it in your mailbox or took it to the post office – it shows you’re willing to invest in yourself, shows interest/proof that you’ll probably invest yourself to the company and the best interests all around
Power # 4 – It shows that you have a kind, gracious and humble spirit about you – who wouldn’t want to be around someone like that?
So now that you know the why you should send a card, now the daunting task is what to write! My best advice is to truly speak from the heart. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, long, x amount of lines or as short as a haiku. The date, a proper greeting, the reason why you’re saying thank you (for an interview regarding ___ position/company, for taking time out of their busy day [whether or not the interview was planned the day before or for a month – your interview is still with someone else’s time] show genuine gratitude and appreciation and a proper closing. My closing usually is a mixture of a well wish (“Wishing you/ ___ Company the greatest of success, [next line] Sincerely [Your Name].” This simple card goes a long way, I’m telling you. Almost every job I’ve ever gotten has had a [or multiple if different interviewers] a thank you card with it. Sometimes I’ll even have one ready and once we’re done, we’ll separate ways and I’ll ask the receptionist to put it in their box. I’ve gotten emails from people telling me that unfortunately I wasn’t the lucky candidate, but that they REALLY appreciated the gestured and equally wished me the best. I usually don’t leave my “pre-written” cards anymore because a good rule of thumb is to mention something from the interview like a certain skill or trait they’re looking for, a joke that was shared, etc. It makes you sound personable and not robotic like you googled a message and wrote whatever the screen said. It also shows that you were paying attention and not zoning off as well as showing genuine interest in the process of hiring. If you’re still stumped, check out LinkedIn for some articles or business savvy companies like Forbes, or yes, even a Google search. There are all kinds of templates and ideas, just don’t forget not to copy and paste word for word!
I hope that you had a great week and I look forward to talking to you next week.
As always, Shine Bright