Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

Did your mom make you sit down to write thank-you notes when you were young? Yes? Well, good for her! Thank her for teaching you good manners. But how many of us continue to send thank-you messages?

Writing them is easier than you might think. Here’s an acronym to help you write your thank-you letters: GUESS.

Genuine. Show your genuine feelings when thanking someone.

Unique. Use conversational language, not overused business phrases. Imagine a person reading several thank-you-for-the-interview letters that all say, thank you for your time and consideration. How original does that sound? Be unique; stand out from the crowd.

Error-free. Proofread your note. (Of course!) Be sure to prove your attention to detail, especially in a thank-you-for-the-interview letter. It might be your last chance to make a good impression.

Specific. State in detail what you’re thanking the person for. Thank you for the gift or thank you for the interview is too vague. Be more specific. My cousin wrote a thank-you letter for a Christmas centerpiece I had sent; he described the arrangement perfectly. I had ordered the flowers online, so I was grateful to know he received what I ordered.

Short. Keep the message brief. The note doesn’t have to be a major undertaking.

Thank someone for the interview, thank an employee for completing the project ahead of schedule, thank a client for his/her order, or thank a LinkedIn contact for an introduction. We have so many opportunities to acknowledge someone. People like to be appreciated, especially when it’s unexpected.

In the spirit of this message, thank you for being a part of my blog audience. I truly appreciate your support of National Proofreading Day and your dedication to improve your business writing!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Judy Beaver, The Office Pro
Founder of National Proofreading Day--just 100 days away!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Your Favorite Thank-You Note

“The joy I get from winning a major championship doesn’t even compare to the feeling I get when a kid writes a letter saying: ‘Thank you so much. You have changed my life.’” ~Tiger Woods 

Reading a thank-you note is a wonderful feeling. Have you recently received a thank-you note? From whom? When’s the last time you sent someone a thank-you note? 

I’ve added 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik to my reading list. Becky Brillon, Program Director of the Community Career Center, recommended it. 

Scott Gerber, principal and CEO of the Gerber Group, was featured on Learning From the Pros on “Your Business,” a TV show on Sunday mornings. He offered four guidelines for entrepreneurial success. His last tip was “say thank you.” Ten years ago Scott received a handwritten thank-you letter from his server two days after going to a club. He was impressed. After that, Scott and his staff started sending thank-you notes to customers and their staff. 

Next week I’ll offer guidelines for writing business thank-you notes. 

Some of my favorite thank-yous were written and illustrated by the 5th graders at Pleasant Hill Elementary School where I volunteer. Those notes are better than a pay check! One student wrote he thought I was going to be a mean teacher because I taught college. Another student drew a picture of a beaver on the front of the card. 

What’s the nicest thank-you note you’ve received? Who sent it? A client? A vendor? An applicant? An employee? What made it special?

Judy Beaver, The Office Pro 
Founder of National Proofreading Day 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Send Thank-You Notes Via E-mail or Snail Mail?

Do you send a thank-you note after an interview? According to Therese Droste, “The thank-you letter after an interview is a necessary tool for any job-hunting strategy."

Sending a thank-you-for-the-interview note demonstrates your soft skills; you can reinforce your communication skills, attitude, and professionalism in your follow-up note. People hire people they like.

So, let’s focus on giving thanks this month. Thanksgiving is defined as “an act of giving thanks.” Seems appropriate for November, right? 

If you’re hiring someone, does receiving a thank-you note have an influence on your selection? Do you think the notes are necessary? 

If you’re the applicant and you’ve decided to send a thank-you note, do you think it’s better to send it electronically or through the U.S. mail? Please share your ideas on this topic. 

Judy Beaver, The Office Pro
Founder of National Proofreading Day