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Power Moves: The Handwritten Thank-You Note

September 11, 2013

handwritten thank-you note

Even if you’re the type who practically sleeps with iPhone in hand and laptop at arm’s length, there’s always room for a little analog elegance. And for this reason, the handwritten thank-you note is far from dead. On the contrary, it’s more powerful than ever.

Whether you’re following up after a job interview or expressing gratitude post-dinner party, a handwritten note catches the recipient by surprise and distinguishes you as a woman of purpose, someone who is both thoughtful and exceptionally classy—an excellent combination, especially when you’re trying to make a first impression.

Of course, there’s a time and a place for this “old-fashioned” gesture. If you’re applying for a digital media job, it might appear odd to opt for the old quill-and-ink as opposed to going the electronic route; but in more traditional fields, by all means, pull out your best penmanship.

If you’re worried about the 2-3 day delay it takes for the note to arrive (versus the immediacy of email), just know that most folks aren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for your thank-you email to show up. When the handwritten version arrives, they’ll understand right away that it was composed promptly after the interview—and they’ll appreciate the planning that went into it.

At a former job, I was involved with recruiting and hiring new employees. For every five or so people I interviewed, one would follow up with a handwritten note, which always prompted me to take a second look at that person. It’s no coincidence that the best hire I ever made had also written the most well conceived (and handwritten) note of all the candidates applying for that position. You can’t copy and paste that kind of thoughtfulness.

Whether your stationery is personalized or stock, preppy or whimsical, classic or modern—it’s a stylish and refreshingly old-school way for you to communicate what you’re all about. After all, gratitude never goes out of style.

Keep these five stationers in mind next time you’re on the hunt.

handwritten thank-you note

“Mr. Danielson’s Stationery Set” from Mr. Boddington’s Studio is clean and classic, with a touch of graphic intrigue.

handwritten thank-you note

Smythson has long been the gold standard in old-school elegance. Its dragonfly correspondence cards are chic without being too stiff.

handwritten thank-you note

Letterpressed stationery inevitably identifies you as a power player. A splash of neon gives Sesame Letterpress‘s fine underline note cards a modern feel.

handwritten thank-you note

Who doesn’t love a fox? In addition to its wildly popular e-invites, Paperless Post now offers a broad range of printed options, including Mr. Fox.

handwritten thank-you note

Simple, stylish, and modern is the name of the game at Paper Source. But unexpected elements, like this stacked monogram, keep things interesting.

Main image: KS-Sato

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Tory Hoen is the author of the novel The Arc. She spent five years as the Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur (where she founded The M Dash!) and has written for New York Magazine, Vogue Fortune, Bon Appétit, and Condé Nast Traveler. Read more of Tory's posts.

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