When you think of thank you notes most people think of writing them for gifts or because people attended something of yours, but once you are in college and start looking for a job they become more than just a thank you. When you're looking for a job or networking with people, following up with a thank you card is one of the best things you can do, it makes you stand out! Taking time out of your day to hand write a thank you note to a potential employer or networking connection shows that you care and truly appreciate their time. It is evident to me when I have walked into a professor's, mentor's, or industry professional's office to see a thank you note I've sent them displayed on their desk or wall. If they are willing to display them in their offices, they clearly mean something more to them!
Step 1: Make a list of recipients
If you have attended a career fair, networking trip, or gone through multiple interviews, you probably have more than one person that you need to write thank you notes to. I make a list of all of the people who need to receive them and check them off as I finish them. This way you don't forget someone when you are halfway through writing and you can check them off as they are ready to send!
Step 2: Acknowledge their time
After addressing the person I am writing, my first line typically includes how much I appreciated their time and when it was. For example, "I wanted to say thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me a few weeks ago." You can expand on this with the specific date or location if you want.
Step 3: Address what you talked about
Did you talk about their job? Schooling? Volunteering? Whatever the meeting was about, mention it in your note. If they have a busy schedule or had several similar meetings recently it will help to remind them of you and your specific interaction with them.
Step 4: Tell them what you're taking away
If someone took the time to meet with you they, more than likely, want to help you and hope that something they said will be useful to you. By mentioning what you learned from them, it shows that you listened and are applying things from the meeting to your life. An example could be, "Now that I know you're company hires interns for each semester, I plan to apply for an internship the next fall semester!" - It is also important to remember that if they can see you have learned something from their meeting, and are actually using it, they will be more likely to help you again. If you ask them for advice and then don't pay attention or apply what they said, it may be viewed as a waste of time.
Step 5: Close with a "thank you" or a future plan
I always use a closing line of, "Again, thank you very much for your time!", or "I appreciated your advice and hope to stay in contact with you moving forward!"
These steps are the five that I have followed when writing thank you notes and have worked well for me, but they may need adjusted to work for you! You can always add to these steps, I usually do, but they are good building blocks for thank you notes!