A handwritten note shows someone how much you appreciate what they have done for you, whether it was giving you a thoughtful gift or interviewing you for a job. Below are some helpful tips for writing great thank-you notes.  

Quick tips for writing thank you notes

A handwritten note shows someone how much you appreciate what they have done for you, whether it was giving you a thoughtful gift or interviewing you for a job. Below are some helpful tips for writing great thank-you notes. 

The basics

Thank-you notes are easy to write once you learn the basic formula. Here are some guidelines to help you get started: 

  1. Get a supply of paper or cards and envelopes and keep them handy. Get note cards or even attractive postcards instead of full sheets of paper. This way even a brief message will fill up the space.
  2. Always handwrite a thank you instead of typing it, unless your handwriting is truly awful.
  3. Remember that anyone who gives you a gift or extends a courtesy to you -- with the exception of the people who live with you -- deserves a thank-you note. Thank yous are appropriate for gifts, after interviews, or after someone does something especially nice for you, such as inviting you to stay at their home for a weekend or picking you up at the airport.
  4. Send thank-you notes within two weeks. But it's always better to send a note late than never send one at all. 
  5. Don't worry about the length of your note. It doesn't have to be long to be genuine.
Follow these guidelines for writing a note:
  • Start with a greeting: "Dear Jim,"
  • Express your gratitude: "Thank you so much for the toaster oven."
  • Mention the past and the future. "It was great to see you for Thanksgiving. I hope we'll see you for Dad's birthday in January."
  • Thank them again: "Thanks again."
  • Close: "Best, Michelle."