6 Times to Send a Thank-You Note (and Love It)


There’s no better time than now to start doing little things for other people that have done something for you. Thank you notes are a small gesture that can show a lot of gratitude, and they take so little time to write up! Use these tips if you’re unsure of the best times to send a thank you note — I promise you’ll be as happy as the person you’re thanking when you’re done.

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1.     After an interview

If you had a big interview for a job or a summer internship and you’re looking to follow up, a thank you note is the perfect way to do it. Writing a handwritten thank you note will definitely distinguish you from the crowd, and it shows extra effort that tells your interviewer that you are serious about the position. Try to include little things that you all discussed during your time together if you can. If you do not know the physical address of your interviewer, a quick email thank you note is fine, too.

2.     After receiving a gift

Birthdays, holidays, and graduation are all prime thank you note writing time — even if you haven’t ever written a family member or a friend a thank you card before, now is the time to start showing your loved ones thanks for their gifts. After all, they took time to pick out a gift for you, so you can take a little time to thank them for it on paper! It can be great to include photos with the gift, too. For example, if you receive a new jacket from your grandmother, sending her a note with a photo of you wearing the jacket would surely brighten her day, and as a result, yours.

3.     After someone helps you with something difficult

Sometimes we get stuck in sticky situations and need some help. Maybe someone pitched in and helped you with that big event you were planning, or maybe a professor listened to your worries about your grades and offered a lot of comfort to you. After you resolve your situation and things calm down a little, it can be nice to send a thank you note to those who were there for you in that time of need. You can even add in a note about how things are after receiving them and how they helped you reach success.

4.     After someone gives you their time

Even if you aren’t in a difficult situation, you might find yourself in a circumstance where you would like advice or mentorship from someone older. This could be someone you know through a friend, a professor or a past work experience. Writing a thank you note to thank them for their time after speaking with them will show your gratitude for their input or advice, and it will help you to strengthen that relationship for the future.

5.     After a wonderful class or experience

Every now and then, a professor will be exceptional, or a friend will throw an amazing event. This is a perfect time to send a thank you note! Any experience that left a positive impression on you is reason enough to pick up a pen and start writing, and the person receiving the note will be so happy that you acknowledged their efforts.

6.     Just for fun!

There are specific times where it is appropriate, and even expected, that you send a thank you note, including the times listed above. But, if you know someone that you just really appreciate for their personality, character or actions, then be sure to show your gratitude for their presence in your life. Everyone appreciates a kind note, and being more thankful in your daily life will help you spread kindness and grow friendships with the kind of people that you seek to be like.

Now that you can picture sometimes in your life when you can send a proper thank you, don’t hold back! Studies show that people appreciate the thank you much more than you think, even if you’re scared about the reaction being awkward. Sending thank you notes can be a very mature way to show gratitude and appreciation, and it’s a great time to start forming that habit of saying “thank you” as often as possible, especially to those who really deserve it.

Did you know that you can cite a thank you note? Just treat it like a personal letter! EasyBib tools can help you cite letters, books, websites, and more in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago Manual of Style, too. Check out our comprehensive guides on MLA parenthetical citations and how to do an annotated bibliography MLA while you visit, and, thank you!

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About the Author

Caleigh Propes

Caleigh is a junior at Yale University studying molecular biology. She is originally from Kentucky and enjoys all things related to health care policy, writing, traveling, and being outdoors.