As a child, my mom insisted I pen a handwritten note thanking my Grandma Schmitt for my birthday present. I wasn’t happy – that note stood between me and the neighborhood kickball game. But the next time I visited my grandma, the note was taped to her avocado green fridge. She said it made her smile every time she saw it.
From that experience I learned that penning a well-written note is an important skill. This is important skill you should consider adding to your toolbox in 2021.
Let’s say in the next few months you are looking for a job and have interviews lined up. You crush an interview. Writing a note after an interview is a given (carry stationary with you, stamp ready, and drop it in the mail before you head home). If you interviewed on a virtual call, sending a handwritten note shows a lot more than your penmanship – it shows you “get it”.
I’ve watched a number of excellent candidates not invited back because they didn’t send a follow up email. Don’t let this be you. Send an email to each person you interviewed with. It doesn’t have to be long. Include one detail from the interview per person along with your interest in the position. Pro tip: make sure to spell check it.
Fast forward. You got the job. You’re meeting lots of new colleagues. Someone sticks out; they offered you a piece of good advice or an interesting strategy. Don’t let the moment pass. Drop them a note thanking them for taking the time to get to know you better. Mention something they said really clicked with you.
Don’t stop there. You are out recruiting; and a coaching peer says something that gets your juices flowing. Write them a note and let them know. Love something someone tweeted? Enjoy someone’s podcast? Let them know! Leading the country in note writing is about as important as leading the country in wins – especially when you are looking for a new job. AKA: note writing is networking at its best.
With so many emails bombarding us daily, receiving a handwritten note is a real treat. When I worked at USC, a former Gamecock football player, Henry Taylor, called me asking for my Clemson football tickets. I felt bad because I’d given away my allotment. We had a nice chat anyway. A week later, I received a handwritten note from Henry. He thanked me for taking his call and for being nice about the tickets I DIDN’T give him. That’s class and something I’ll never forget.
It isn’t what’s written in the note, it’s the fact you sent it. Gratitude feels good. There are plenty of articles out there to cue you on when to send one. Click here to learn more.
I keep a stack of thick flat note cards close by; and send out notes frequently. Kentucky head coach John Calipari is a MASTER at returning a handwritten note. I’ve sent him a few notes (we met when I was at USC). He always writes a short, but clever note back within a week or two. Makes me feel good that he cared about my message enough to drop a note back.
Are you ready to get started? Take five minutes and jot down that note you’ve been putting off. Penning a well-written note should come first. That kickball game will still be there when you finish.
STUCK ON WHAT TO SAY?
Hallmark has your back on what to say when with the following blog. It provides messages for various sentiments: https://bit.ly/3lpNbgz.
You wouldn’t make it to the Final Four without shooting free throws before and after practice every day. If you are out of practice on note writing, no problem. Write it on a piece of paper before you put it on the notecard or in an email. And make sure you proofread it a couple of times before you send it.
BONUS PRO TIP
Handwriting a mess and prefer to do it another way? Check out the website Handwrytten, by clicking here. It’s cheating in my book, but maybe this is the push you need today.
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