21 responses to this post.

  1. Other than for gifts, I don’t send many thank you notes, though I do send thank you emails.

    For job search assistance, I would say after results. Harsh or not, that’s when you have the most to thank them for. 🙂

  2. Posted by Jennifer M. on September 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I was taught that if someone witnesses you opening a gift, there is no need to send a thank you note as (hopefully) you already thanked them in person. Exceptions being some of your older relatives to help relieve their “kids today” stress.

    Thank you notes are important for gifts received through the mail so that the sender knows all has arrived safe and sound.

    It’s trickier for modern job searches. Many times the turnaround from interview to offer is so fast that the tradition of sending a quick handwritten note after an interview is out of step. I still do it so that even if they don’t offer me a position, when they are going through their files for other upcoming positions they will recall my interest in their firm. (I’ve been known to bring the thank you card with me and then fill in the name on the subway ride home so that I can mail same day).

    For those helping you in your search, I would suggest sending after so that you can provide them with an update and get them excited that their help yielded positive results.

    I also send them for big favors. Last February during the coldest weekend of the month, my heat broke. It wasn’t too bad the first night, but Sunday night I asked my aunt and uncle if I could spend the night. They said of course and included me in a dinner outing that they had planned with friends at a very nice restaurant. I sent her a thank you on stationary embossed with my name that she had given me years ago for my birthday. Once she got the note, she called my mom to tell her that she had raised her daughters right. However, I think I neglected to send her one after she drove me around for several hours looking for an urgent care center to address an unfortunate bagel related injury. She even bought me lunch (I tried to pay!). But I should have sent a thank you!

    I always think it is fun to receive mail that isn’t a bill or an offer for a credit card so I try to spread the joy. I also have boxes and boxes of personalized stationary and envelopes, so maybe I’m just trying to de-clutter.

  3. Tricky question! When helping others with job hunts, I don’t expect thanks at all – I just hope they help someone else (or me!) if/when the opportunity arises. Some of my neighbors deserve big thanks-you’s for their help here and there, but I rely on verbal and/or emailed ones, plus the occasional little gift. But after reading Jennifer M’s comment, I will have to consider broadening my realm of potential thank-you’s. Oh, and THANK YOU for returning to your blog! i enjoy following your journey.

  4. Posted by Courtney on September 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I’d say a note is warranted if someone really goes out of their way to help you. I have thank-you stationery that’s been on my desk for years because I hardly ever use it. Now I’m wondering if I have a reputation as The Girl Who Doesn’t Send Thank-You Notes.

  5. I say whatever situation you want to send a thank you card to, send it. I hate that our society has put all of these “expectations” on us to do this, not do that, no, do it that way.

    When I moved last year and my mother and father helped me tremendously with time and money and whatnot, I sent them each a thank you card for their effort, and they both loved them.

  6. I send thank you notes for the standard things — birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, etc. My mother sends them for just about everything, including after she comes to stay at my house (apparently my banana bread is really, REALLY good).

    When I’m interviewing, I send thank you e-mails to those who have interviewed me. With snail mail taking several days to arrive, e-mail wins out for its speed (although I am old enough to remember a time when I sent the real deal via the USPS).

    I’d send a thank you card or e-mail to a recruiter if that person (a) did a really outstanding job (even if they weren’t able to place you) or (b) found you a job. If they found me a job, I might even get them something in addition to a card. Kind of like realtors do when you buy a house they’ve shown you …

    Overall, I’d say send a thank you card or e-mail when you feel so inclined. They’re not required so it’s really up to you to decide who gets one and who doesn’t.

  7. I’ve always wanted to send out cards and notes but I don’t have many people to send them to. :/

  8. i think you should only send thank-you notes to those who will appreciate them. especially if they’re handmade. a lot of people regard an email or call as exactly the same. personally, i think snailmail thankyous are an awesome surprise.

    it’s hard to gauge for an interviewer, so i always send one anyway.

  9. I’m wairing for someone to say, “Thank you cards are not eco-friendly,” or, “There’s an electronic way to send thank you cards.”

    My wife makes the kids send thank you’s. I think it’s good but I doubt they will do it when they get older.

  10. Posted by austen on September 2, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I send thank-you notes all the time, probably because my mom spent years getting my sister and me to sit down on Boxing Day or the day after our birthdays to write our thank-you notes. I hated it then (it was such a drag when there were new toys to play with!), but now, like Jennifer M., I like the idea of sending someone a piece of mail that isn’t a bill!

    If it’s for a friend who bought me lunch or something similar, I’ll send a quick email; but I usually send real mail to say thanks for a weekend stay, a meal at a pricey restaurant, or a gift, especially if it’s going to an older relative, or to more than one person/a family. Everyone likes to know their efforts are appreciated, so I figure it’s hard to go wrong.

  11. I STINK at mailed correspondence of any kind. I have for as long as I can remember.

    I am good at giving verbal thank yous though.

    Your comment about Oldest Daughter being trendy made us both giggle. Thanks! 🙂

  12. Do you send out cards?

    If so, what prompts you to do so when you don’t have something obvious like a wedding or a shower?
    My wife asking me, “Did you send those thank you cards?”

    I send them when I can’t thank someone in person for a gift they sent, or I have received something exceptional (like when my co-workers took up a collection for me after my house was hit by a tornado).

    Here’s the thing: you can never send too many thank you cards.

  13. Posted by lizgwiz on September 3, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I’m not great at sending any kind of cards via snail mail in this, the age of the e-card, but I do think that any time you think positively of the writing and the mailing, etc., it’s probably appropriate to do it. The recipient will likely be thrilled.

  14. I used to be really good at thank you and birthday cards. I am not anymore. I can’t remember to do things and nothing ever seems to make it to the mail.

  15. I send thank you cards for gifts, usually just birthday gifts since like someone mentioned, I don’t open them in front of people.

    As for job help, I say either and email or a thank you note is fine. I mean, I don’t ever mind getting thank you notes or emails at all. It’s never going to hurt!

  16. i think you should only send thank-you notes to those who will appreciate them. especially if they're handmade. a lot of people regard an email or call as exactly the same. personally, i think snailmail thankyous are an awesome surprise.

    it's hard to gauge for an interviewer, so i always send one anyway.;…

  17. I am awful about sending real mail. But who knows, maybe it is the key to job search success. Probably that’s why I’m stuck in a middle school.

  18. Posted by Grey Boy on September 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Grey Boy observes no one dislikes getting thanked for even the smallest things. There’s nothing wrong with being gracious to a fault. E-mails are all well and good, but generally pale. Get out those stamps and pens, folks! No one does it enough, or can do it too much.

  19. I’m with Grey Boy, you can’t go wrong by moving towards a kind act. Sounds lovely!

  20. Everyone likes getting real mail that isn’t bills, right? I say send as many cards as you want, even for that left turn help!

  21. I send many many thank you notes and other cards by mail. I always think its nice to get something in the mail that isn’t a bill and think others might feel the same way. I also think it’s more memorable because its such a lost tradition. As far as when to send, I maintain what I call the “attitude of gratitude” and feel like even if the effort failed to product a result, it still deserves to be acknowledged. You never know, maybe they will run into just the right person to help you or maybe they will just remember you and think of you first in the future if an opportunity comes their way. Ok, I’ll stop rambling!

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