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Job Hunting and Business Communications - Remember to Say Thank you!

Updated on April 10, 2015

Communications is similar to trimming your sail. When the waters are rough, your expertise is clearly shown on how you handles the ropes. Similarly, in communications knowing the ropes is important to getting the job done effectively and correctly. This article explores the challenges and rough waters that approach us in sending notes of appreciation in business or social events closely linked to our professional duties. You manage your business, you manage your professional duties, you must recognize your personal brand is an important skill to manage also.

In this series of communication articles we look at the important elements in communicating from the elemental handshake, to body language, proper diction and preparation for interviews. Specific tools are offered to allow you to slice through even the roughest of waters with ease.

Journey with us as we explore the importance of thank you notes and the critical elements for your communications toolbox. Learn how to trim your sail and make the race or regatta in business a winning race for you! These simple tools will allow you to slice through the rough waters of your business regatta!

Thank You Notes

thank you with a danke and a little blond doll in a green cap
thank you with a danke and a little blond doll in a green cap | Source

Thank You Notes of All Colors and Styles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
colorful and elegant thank you notes with different fonts and interior envelop colorsTypewriter with typed letters Thank you
colorful and elegant thank you notes with different fonts and interior envelop colors
colorful and elegant thank you notes with different fonts and interior envelop colors | Source
Typewriter with typed letters Thank you
Typewriter with typed letters Thank you | Source

Envelope Addressing Etiquette

Planning a major event or perhaps a wedding and need more details on the preparation of the envelopes (outer and inner envelope help too!), try googling: Envelope Addressing Etiquette

Perplexing Questions - Two Doctors - Two with Advanced Degrees

What to do when both spouses hold advanced degrees? Great question - here is a great article to guide you through those rough waters - Perplexing Questions Answered In Detail

How to Write An Interviewing Thank You Note

Corporate Thank You Notes

How to Write A Thank You "Letter"

Important Element in Business - Appreciation

Thank you notes are an important part of business communication and a critical item for developing your own professional brand. People remember the details.

Two occasions for thank you notes - when you are seeking prospects and clients and after a mentoring session or an interview. Both occasions demand knowing the proper etiquette from the salutation of Dr. Ms., Mrs. or Esq. to the proper way to address an envelope for an official. Please find below some simple etiquette tips to guide us through these rough waters.

Written or Electronic or Typed

The more personal the contact, the less formal your correspondence would need to be. The general rule is, for more formal and professional contacts, always send typed letters. Personal notes demand a handwritten note.

Mentors are professional contacts who train and counsel you.

Mentors are your most valuable resource in business. Care and attention and great respect must always be given to your mentors. This includes taking the time to send notes of appreciation.

Keep In Contact - Send Updates

Your professional contacts appreciate knowing about your progress. Be sure to send updates and thank references and mentors who have contributed to your networking efforts. Networks are important and your brand image is what will ultimately drive your career over your lifetime. Thank you notes only serve to enhance your networking relationships.

The Ultimate in Class - The Thank You Note

A thank you note is the ultimate in class. Even if you you interviewed for a job that you do not want, always take the time to write a sincere and truthful thank you letter. Many times, another position will arise that will better suit your qualifications and you will be first in line - thanks to your professional, timely and sincere thank you note.

How to Write A Thank You Note aka "Thank You Letter"

Writing the note in a timely fashion is important but equally important is the function of the note. Do you have the correct title for the person or person's salutation? Have you addressed the envelope correctly? This is especially important for elected officials and doctors - both medical and university faculty. Remember your goal is to manage your brand. Show them you can not only do the job but you can make an impact with your professional image.

Ms. Mrs. and Mr. - Title is Important

Title is important, especially for Doctors and females. For females, Ms. Mrs, or Miss., when in doubt use Ms. In general, Ms is a married or unmarried women, Mrs. is a married women, and Miss is an unmarried women. Some females who are married prefer Ms. Many software programs now ask, if you have access to their preference, take the time to check, if not, when in doubt, you are safe with Ms. For more information on this topic, see Mister Micawber's.

Doctors & Nurses & Lawyers

Doctors, lawyers and nurses have worked hard for their credentials. It is important to recognize their years of schooling and professional achievements. Doctors should always be address in your salutation as Dr. not as Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. The envelope should have 1.) the Dr. or 2.) M.D. following the professionals name. For example, Dr. Smith or Allen B. Smith, M.D. are both acceptable for the envelope. The letter, the note, should have Dr. Smith for the greeting.

The proper envelope for the nurse would be their name Allen B. Smith, R.N.

Lawyers likewise have worked hard for their professional credentials. Two options are also acceptable on the envelope: 1.) Allen B. Smith, Attorney-at Law or 2.) Allen B. Smith, Esq. Proper etiquette dictates that we never spell out Esquire - it is always abbreviated Esq.

Mayors, Governors, Senators, Judges

The envelope for these elected positions should be "The Honorable" on the first line. Then the second line of the envelop will have the person's full name, no other salutation and the third line is the title, so in our example here we would have:

The Honorable
Allen B. Smith
Mayor of Hope City 

Side Note: First Names - Never At First - In Conversations

While our society is very casual, it is recommended to always be more formal at the beginning of any business relationship. It is best to wait until the person invites you to use their first name.

Handwritten Thank You Notes Are Preferred

In our busy lives, a computerized envelope, metered stamp are items which quickly hit the trash can. IF you want to manage your brand, take the time to hand address, hand stamp the thank-you note. Remember items typed are often overlooked - our lives are too busy for conversing with a computer. We need and want and deserve a handwritten note of appreciation.

After Accepting the Job Offer - Send Letters/Notes of Appreciation

Send thank you letters to those in your network of references, mentors, etc. and let them know you have accepted an offer. Let them know you appreciate their assistance and inform them of the results of your search.

Be Careful of Copy & Paste - Uniqueness Is Key to Demonstrating Real Appreciation

Each and every thank you note must be personalized. I know it is tedious and I know you will draw from similar verbiage but the uniqueness of the note must shine through. Always be sure to add in something unique to that particular gift or event.

Great Videos on Writing Thank You Notes

Be sure to check out the videos for more guidance on this critical communications tool.

Thank You!

Thanks in colorful letters
Thanks in colorful letters | Source

Regatta - A Race or Series of Races

Like business, a regatta is a boat race or a series of boat races. Similar to business, regattas often include social and promotional activities, often highly organized with formal structured events denoted by complex rules. According to AskOxford, the term "regatta" originated from Italian - meaning to fight or engage in a contest.

Accordingly, our communication skills, are a race or a contest. Manage your ropes, trim your sail, navigate the rough waters within the race and you win the regatta!

Do you regularly write a thank you note?

See results

"By the Set of Your Sail

You Control Your Destiny."

Set Sail Your Communications Your Job Hunt with Thank You!

Colorful sailboat sail with royal blue, aqua and bright pink
Colorful sailboat sail with royal blue, aqua and bright pink | Source

Three Takeaways for Your Communications Toolbox

In trimming your sails for communications, we always end with three specific tools to help guide you on the rough waters of business.

Sail through the rough waters of communications with ease by following these three specific tools to help you trim your sail:

1. Thank you Notes Are An Integral Part of Your Professional Brand

Thank you notes are an integral part of your professional brand.

Remember, we learned that thank you notes are the ultimate in class and professionalism.

2. The Salutation Is the Formal Recognition of Professional Achievements

The salutation on the note, the proper name and titles on the envelope demand some care and attention to detail.

Your contacts have worked hard for these achievements - they deserve recognition and respect.

Your personal brand is elevated when you acknowledge their credentials correctly.

3. Professional Necessity - Always Send After Every Interview

Always send acknowledgments and notes of appreciation to both your mentors and and those who have interviewed you for a position. Even IF you decide you don't want the job, remember, that person may have the connection you need to for you to land your dream job.

Business connections are golden. Your professional image is platinum - IF you manage it well.

Summary - Trim Your Sail to Win the Business Regatta

The business climate is rough, the waters have always been choppy. Knowing how to trim your sail determines IF you win the race - win the communications regatta.

The business climate is colder than ever with the advent of the electronic age denoted by the complicated Internet and a trend towards "business casual". Don't be fooled in these rough waters, the rules of appreciation are critical to allow you to cleanly maneuver through these rough business waters - put your communications skills to the test - trim your sails and win the business regatta!


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    • CelebrateUSA profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Kline 

      3 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      MJ Martin,

      An associate of mine in the HR field recommended to her job hunters to place the thank you notes in the car glove box. I thought this was brilliant. Write the note in the moment when everything is fresh. For me, my hand writing is not the best so to amend that for my needs, a notebook would work and then transcribe the note to the real thank you when I have access to my office desk.

      Thank you notes, I feel, are needed more than ever in our digital world. We need to remember we are human.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 

      3 years ago from Washington State

      Interesting, awesome and useful indeed, thank you for the reminder. When I worked in retail it was an important part of our business. Messenger services, ideas are pouring into my brain again, thank you.


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