Stationary + Stamp = Standout

thank you noteEvery time one of my children goes to a birthday party, we get a thank you card in the mail. Over the last weeks, as teachers have finished the past year and gotten ready for the next, we have received notes and cards thanking us for the end-of-year teacher gifts. Each time we get one, it brings a smile, a comment about the sender’s thoughtfulness, and some excitement for our kids. What child doesn’t like to receive mail?

The thank you note should not just belong to teachers and kids. I received an email from a client over the weekend. He had been on an interview late in the week and was asking for some advice on follow up. His question: “Should I send an email or a letter?” Definitely go with the letter or a card. Here’s why.

Just as the cards we have received in our home tend to stick around for a while, the same thing will happen with your thank you card or letter. It is a tangible thing that will sit on the receiver’s desk. She might share it with others. If it is nice stationary, he may hesitate to discard it. Can any of us say the same about an email? It could be vaporized on a Blackberry or trashed on an iPad and forgotten, if it is even read at all. The extra effort will make you a standout among your candidate competition.

Your challenge: Visit a store that sells stationary (Staples, Target, CVS, etc.) and buy a package of professional-looking cards. Get some stamps. Over the coming weeks, use the entire package. Are you up to it? You get extra credit if you report back your results to this blog as a comment.

Here are some practical tips on using them.

  • Keep your message concise and clear.
  • Express why you are grateful. Example: “Thank you for the time you spent with me today. I enjoyed getting to know you and I hope that we will be working together soon.”
  • Challenge yourself to send them as soon as possible. We all get busy and the opportunity becomes forgotten and lost.
  • Get creative about to whom you will send them. The people who interview you are the easy ones. How about these people: The person who told you about the job opportunity. People who have helped by reading, reviewing and commenting on your résumé. The person who sold you your interview suit and did such a great job. That person who gave you some encouragement and a pep talk when you were feeling down.

Your gratitude, expressed in writing, will brighten the recipient’s day and make you more memorable. The very act of thinking about what and why you are grateful will lift your mood, too. Have some fun and tell us all how it goes.

Here are two other articles about less-common tactics that should be part of your career management strategy starting today.

Pocket-Size Resume: The essentials on a card.

3x5x30: Create your elevator speech now.

And a reminder of what can go wrong with a poorly written thank you letter.

Bill Florin, CPRW is President of Resu-mazing Services Company. Contact Bill for help with your job search, career management and personal brand questions.

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4 Responses to “Stationary + Stamp = Standout”


  1. 1 Christina Jackson-Davis March 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Hello Mr. Florin!

    So are you saying it is better to send a “thank you” for a job interview on a stationary notecard versus the traditional typed “thank you” letter?

    I always ensure I do a “thank you” letter, but never heard the advice to put it on stationary/notecard.

    Thank you for your response in advance!

    V/R
    Christina Jackson-Davis

    • 2 Bill Florin March 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      I have seen both used tools used very well. Your decision should be based a bit on your feel for the organization and your perception of the job opportunity. If you are interviewing for a position as a staff accountant or a paralegal, a formal business letter would probably be your best choice. If you are pursuing something that is more creative, or with a position with a less formal company, then stationary/hand-written note could be a better choice. If you have any doubt whatsoever, use a printed letter.

      Here is an example of a time that a card worked well: I was on a team interviewing a candidate for a position with Target. The candidate interviewed well, but one person on the team was uncertain. A few days later, each of us received a hand-written note card that explained how much she enjoyed the interview, how grateful she was for our time, and a sentence or two on how she would be a great fit for the Target culture. It showed some style (which is a part of that company’s culture – “personal brand”) and it came across as genuine. She was hired. The cards made a difference.

      One more thing: If you have physician-like handwriting, go with the letter.


  1. 1 The Thank You Letter of Doom | Work: Getting it & Keeping It Trackback on March 13, 2013 at 5:40 am

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