Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

These days, handwritten gestures of any sort seem to be rare novelties. But today I’m encouraging you to take a leaf out of Jimmy Fallon’s book and write some thank-you notes. They’re like a lost art form that can be used to your advantage. Here’s my top 10 reasons why thank you notes are important:

1. They build relationships.

Let’s say someone does a really big favor for you or buys you an expensive gift. If they receive a thank-you note from you, they are a) more likely to do it again, and b) more likely to see your worth and value your appreciation. Hand-written thank-you notes show that you are a well rounded person with positive morals. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who shows appreciation for the things they get in life?

2. They’ll make you feel good.

A wise person once said, “it’s not happy people who are thankful. It’s thankful people who are happy.” Just like whatever this person did for you to make your day, you can easily make this person’s day with a thank-you note. Showing your gratitude toward something will make you feel as if you’ve done some good. For those of you who believe in karma, this is a great way to send out some positive vibes and partake in a good deed.

3. They’re more personal than email or text.

Thank-you notes have a bit more personality to them than electronic messaging, because they’re handwritten and don’t only take a few keystrokes to write. Everyone’s html text looks the same, but everyone’s handwriting looks a little different from one another. This adds a personal touch to your note and allows the person to feel a little closer to you than they would by reading an email.

4. In some cases, thank-you notes can help you increase chances for opportunity. 

Depending on the position, some people send thank-you notes following a job interview. This can be risky because nobody wants to feel like they’re smothering a potential employer, but many people have had success stories involving follow-up thank-you notes. Plus, a note after an interview allows you to reiterate points you made in the interview and lets the company know that you’re serious about the position. Sometimes, and email thank-you message may be more appropriate than a handwritten card for a prospective employer.

5. Thank-you notes demonstrate your communication skills.

The ability to communicate through written word is just as important as oral communication. Anyone can have written communication skills on the computer what with spell and grammar check, but handwritten notes have their own unique form of communication. Depending on who your audience is, you can even draw little pictures or something that you know will communicate a message to the receiver that will be sure to make them smile.

6. Your thank-you note will actually be read (and probably kept).

Nowadays emails tend to get lost in inboxes, and some people don’t even reply to text messages anymore. Electronic messaging is disposable and can be overlooked. A handwritten note practically commands attention, and most people will keep them as memorabilia and keepsake. Let’s be real, that’s so much cooler than being buried in an electronic inbox.

7. You never know what sort of efforts went into whatever a person did that you need to thank them for.

Did you get a recommendation letter from a teacher? Maybe that teacher had to stay up an extra hour or devote a portion of their busy weekend so that they could set aside time and write you the best recommendation possible. Did a friend’s family take you on vacation or let you stay with them for a prolonged period of time? They probably prepared for your visit and treated you at some point, and also probably treated you as if you were a member of their family. Did someone you know give you a nice gift? This means at some point, you were on their mind and they value you enough to show you that you mean something to them. Are you about to leave your long-time employer for another opportunity? Remind them how much personal growth you received from the company, and recognise their efforts..

A thank-you demonstrates your maturity and ability to show appreciation for people that go out of their way for you, or people that have helped out in some way. They really only take a few minutes to write, and for Target fans out there, the store usually sells a pack of 10 for just a dollar in their dollar bin sections. You have no excuse—go forth and be gratuitous!

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the author

Allison Capley is an editor, college life writer, and a member of James Madison University’s class of 2016 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. At JMU she studies Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, with a minor in Health Communication. Allison’s favorite hobby is horseback riding. In the future, she aspires to live life to the fullest and obtain a career in medical and pharmaceutical writing.

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