Trends in business practices come and go: mentoring, office dress codes, structure-less offices vs. cubicle farms, but one thing that should never change is writing notes for appropriate occasions.
Have you thanked your literary agent, book editor or someone else who helped your career recently? The ease with which you pen a simple note may stick in his mind when he hears someone is looking for a ghost writer or has a special project in mind.
A thank-you note doesn’t have to be long or flowery, but should include some heartfelt words. If you have some trouble tackling these personal notes, try making a list of the words you hope to include, those which support your point, and write a succinct sentence around each. Practice a line or two before setting your pen to stationery (yes, stationery — you should have some for this purpose).
This resource agrees that handwritten notes are a necessary business skill — but be careful of falling into the the “template” trap. Be sure to use your own words or your sincerity will fall flat.
Have you considered a personalized approach to your marketing pitches?
Handwritten notes have great power because they’re rare these days. People pay attention to personalized messages and remember them. They’ll remember you for writing it as well. Isn’t that your objective, whether writing a thank-you for the experience an internship has provided or to praise a particular employee for going above and beyond?
We often include handwritten postscripts to marketing letters — yes, that says letters because email has become too easy to delete without reading. Our response to letters with notes attached is much higher than a similar message sent via email. These hand-written addenda to a type-written pages will point out something specific to the group we’re soliciting, whether it’s a portion of the program that’s pertinent to their geographic area or a “shout out” to an acquaintance in the organization.
Now, sharpen your pen and get to work.