A thank you letter is a common sign of courtesy and a sign of professionalism. When you receive a gift or a favor from someone, it is important that you show that person your appreciation. These days, when saying thank you personally is not possible, a simple thank you text is often the next option. However, for a more personalized way of showing your gratitude, a thank you letter would do the job. This shows that you took the time and effort to write them a letter, and receiving one would surely be appreciated.
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Why Write Thank You Letters
The act of sending thank you notes to other people to show gratitude dates back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. People from ancient times have sent each other simple thank you notes from whatever resources they have at that time. This is a testament of the sense of gratitude at that time and the power or saying thank you. There is great power in gratitude and its effect on both the giver and receiver is often huge.
You may think that thank-you letters are outdated and that they are unnecessary. It is true that technology has made doing things more convenient; a simple email or text would do the job just as effectively and require little effort. However, the result of receiving a written letter is much more profound. It shows that you took the extra mile by exerting time and effort in writing. This simple act would translate very well to the receiver of the letter. Below are some benefits of putting your gratitude into writing.
- They show your understanding of common courtesy. With the way things are these days, one would think that common courtesy is a lost art. More and more people are foregoing the simple act of saying “Thank you” and “Please.” Not only will a thank you letter show you have common courtesy but it will also show that you are deeply appreciative of them by putting it into writing.
- They alleviate your guilt. Receiving something that you are deeply grateful of and something you would really use and keep would make you feel like you need to do or give something in return. While it is not required, you may feel guilt for not reciprocating the act. A heartfelt thank you letter would be surely appreciated and relieve your guilt.
- They fortify your relationships. By writing a thank you letter, you show the other person that you value your relationship with them. They strengthen the bond between the two of you and at the same time build rapport.
- They teach you how to be grateful. By writing thank you letters you become more appreciative of even the smallest things. You will quickly learn the importance of being grateful.
- They are a chance for you to practice your writing. Nobody writes anything anymore these days. All communication has been reduced to short emails and text messages. By making these letters, you practice your writing skills. And even today, writing is still very much a valuable skill everyone needs to have in their arsenal.
- They are good for the brain. Receiving a thank you letter effectively brightens someone’s day. Having a thankful attitude is actually very good for your psychological well-being.
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The Thank You Letter Format
When writing a thank you letter, one might be tempted to be as casual as they can possibly be. After all, the nature of the letter is not as formal as perhaps that of an application letter where you really have to impress the receiver. However, a thank you letter is still very much a formal document and should thus be written in a formal business letter format. In the same way, the same amount of effort needs to be exerted when writing a thank you letter. As it is a formal letter all the things you see in any formal letter also needs to be found on a thank you letter.
- Heading. When first writing the letter, you would need to write the heading first. This would contain the date when you wrote the letter. Like any formal letter heading, you would need to write the name and address of the receiver. Make sure to write the return address as well.
- Greeting. The next part is the greeting or the salutation. When you personally know the one you are thanking, it would be better to address them in the letter. Usually, in the letter, the most commonly used salutation is “Dear (name),”. You should also address them in their appropriate title (e.g., Mr., Mrs., Atty., Dr., etc.).
- Body of the letter. As this is a thank you letter, keep an enthusiastic and friendly tone. Three paragraphs is usually enough to express your gratitude. For the first paragraph, tell them immediately the purpose for writing — to thank them — and tell them what you are thankful for. It could be a gift they’ve given or a favor they did for you. The second paragraph should express your appreciation of the gift and what it means to you. End things on a light note by asking them how they are and how you look forward to meeting them and to thank them personally .
- Complimentary close. “Sincerely yours” is the most common closing salutation for a business letter and that works as well for a thank you letter. But if you want to be more creative, you can make your own closing salutations that you think is appropriate for the situation.
- Name and signature. Write your name at the bottom of the letter and don’t forget to sign it.
When making the letter, you would need to write on a clean piece of paper. Be sure to follow proper letter format. Be concise when writing the thank you letter and keep it at one page. Proper spacing needs to also be observed. Single space is often ideal for the body of the letter and in between paragraphs, you would need to use double space. By doing thank you letters the right way, you are sure to convey your feelings of appreciation to them effectively.
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Useful Tips in Writing a Thank You Letter
Not everybody is saying thank you enough. Since we were children, we have always been taught about the importance of saying thank you. We werre trained how a simple note saying thank you could brighten someone’s day. However, as we get older, we oftentimes don’t say thank you anymore. It’s either we forget or we just take things for granted.
When we want to express our gratitude to other people, the best way is often to write a thank you letter. While sending an email or a text message does the trick, there is nothing more fulfilling than receiving a thank you letter that you can hold and flip, smell, etc. Receiving one often evokes a sensory experience that is not achieved by a text or email. When you are writing that thank you letter to someone, below are some useful tips that you can use.
- Send one right away. Thank you letters should be written immediately after receiving a gift or a favor. Especially after an interview, you must send the letter within 24 hours. This will reflect well with your potential employer as it demonstrates your good follow-through. This act could sometimes spell the difference between getting the job or not.
- Be genuine. Sincerity is key when writing a thank you letter. The reader could actually sense when the sender is not sincere in saying thank you. Write from the heart but don’t go overboard with your praise to the other person.
- Make it as personal yet professional as you can. Your thank you letter should be bespoke and tailored to the receiver. This also helps keep the thank you note sincere. Nobody would want to receive a thank you note that has been written for mass production.
- The letter should have a business-like appearance. Make sure that you follow the formal business letter format. When printing your thank you letter, be sure to use quality paper. It should look clean and easy to read.
- Don’t make it all about you. You may be tempted to write all about you, what the gift means to you, how much you appreciate what they have done. However you should also ask about the other person also. Ask how they are doing and ask for an update.
- Keep it short. Sincerity is best expressed with a few words. Do not write a thank you letter that is longer than one page. This would also save time for you and the reader’s.
- Proofread. Check your letter for spelling and grammar error.
You should make it a habit to say thank you whenever you receive a gift or a favor from someone. For a more personalized way of expressing your gratitude, say it through a thank you letter. We have thank you letters that you can easily download. They are easily customizable and are especially made to make your receiver extra special.
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