The Art of Saying THANK YOU

The Art of Saying THANK YOU

By: Jeannie Chong | Special Projects Assistant
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20 years ago, an innocent girl received a lollipop from her grandma. She received this treat with a grin like a Cheshire cat by saying “Thank you”.  Her grandma touched her head softly and said, “My dear, good job!”

Since then, the child understood the value of expressing gratitude and continues to do so whenever the opportunity arises.

Today, this young lady had a co-op interview. She not only thanked all the interviewers at the end of the interview, she immediately sent a follow-up thank you card thus leaving a good impression with the interviewer committee. What’s next? I am certain that the professional thank you was a factor in her being hired at Career Services as you are now reading her blog!

Expressing gratitude and appreciation are the basics of communication between human beings as well as a virtue that everyone should cultivate. A simple yet authentic thank you goes miles and possibly brightens a person’s day. As Etiquette Advantage mentions, good manners are a code of conduct and that thanking someone is a sign of respect. So, one of the significant ways of showing your appreciation is the thank you note – a must for a successful job interview.  

What is a thank you note?

It is an essential component of the interview process that many candidates have missed out on. Sending an effective thank you note; can definitely help gain an advantage over other applicants in any kind of interview. Not only does a thank you note leave a strong impression of you, it also implies the kind of person you are. Using sincere handwritten thank you can be a more powerful “weapon” to gain employers attention.

Sadly, many people nowadays neglect this aspect of etiquette as they think it is old-fashioned to do a traditional handwritten thank you card. Or they may even question, “Do I really need to say thank you?”

Also, people already get used to using all kinds of electronic devices and are obsessed with the social media. They may simply ask, “Come on! People don’t write anymore!” They like tweeting or instagramming!”

However, an article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “The Two Most Important Words” states that the personal touch still matters in this digital age. So, try to do the hand-written thank yous whenever you can.

Even if you aren’t hired by the company, thank you can show your appreciation for the interview opportunity and they may offer you the feedback regarding your interview performance or even keep you in mind for future openings, who knows?

Here are the three words when expressing gratitude:

  • Be Sincere – Sincerity is the virtue of how you express your feelings, thoughts and desires. If you really mean it when you say thank you, be sure to pick an appropriate, meaningful and professional card. Leave the humourous ones for personal use. Also, keep it simple and to the point.

  • Be Grateful – Give thanks with an authentic heart. To quote William Arthur Ward, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Be generous and compassionate to show your appreciation!
  • Be Prompt – Take action and don’t procrastinate! Try to do it right after the interview or within 24 hours as it’s likely to have little effect if you wait too long. Send it in a timely manner to refresh the recruiter’s memory of you and your interview performance!

Want to learn more about how to write effective thank you notes? Check out the articles, Five helpful thank you note samples and tips after a job interview and Sealing the Deal: The importance of saying thank you.

One of the bestselling artists of all time, Rod Stewart put it this way, “Well, there’s not a day goes by when I don’t get up and say thank you to somebody.”

Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be waiting until Thanksgiving! Every day is a thankful day! Why not say thank you more often?

This article inevitably marks the last blog I will write as the Special Projects Assistant. Thank you for spending your valuable time reading my blogs. I am touched by the valuable comments and supports I’ve received!

Last but not least, I would like to take this chance to say a BIG thank you to SFU Career Services. I am very fortunate to have been treated nicely and friendly by all of my co-workers and to be part of this professional team!

Just these two simple yet important words – THANK YOU!

Jeannie Chong

Jeannie Chong is a Special Projects Assistant with SFU Career Services, and a fourth year student studying communications and publishing. Jeannie volunteers at a radio station, spends time doing crafts and Chinese calligraphy, and loves to indulge her sweet tooth.

Posted on August 21, 2013