How to Thank Someone

How to Thank Someone

There are hundreds of reasons you might owe someone a thank you. Perhaps your boss trusted you with more responsibility, or a co-worker assisted you with a major project. Maybe you want to thank someone in your network for recommending you for a job. In any case, the person who helped you deserves some appreciation. But how should you thank them? Writing a thank you note isn’t as easy as it seems. Learn more about when to send thank you notes, what to say in the notes and everything else you need to know about the process.

Isn’t “Thank You” Enough?

Before you continue reading, you might question why you would need to do anything more than simply say “Thank you,” or even “Thanks.” In some circumstances, a short and sweet response is appropriate. But this isn’t always the case. To show respect or genuine appreciation, you may need to do a little more than writing a few words.

Deciding how to thank someone is the challenge. For instance, a gift basket might be the most appropriate way to thank someone. Or, a heartfelt email could get the job done. With many options for showing your gratitude, you need to assess the situation and decide the best way forward.

Your career could depend on your actions. If you’re thanking a manager or employer, they could either hold your thank you against you or see it as a reason to invest in your future. Similarly, thanking a networking connection also has long-term impacts on your career. If you don’t properly thank a colleague, they might disappear from your network and fail to help you in the future.

The Types of Thank You’s

If you want to know how to thank someone, you need to understand the various types of thank you’s. Here are a few ways in which you could thank someone:

An Email Thank You

The first and most common type of thank you is the email thank you. Usually, it’s acceptable to send a short email thanking the recipient for their actions. One or two sentences should be enough to get the job done. If you’re thanking someone you never met in person, or you don’t know well, an email thank you is probably the most appropriate method. You should also write a thank you to an employer who turned you down for a position. Another person could turn down the job and your note may put you next in line.

When you go this route, don’t write a lengthy email. Keep it short and sweet, but personalize it with names and a little information. Instead of saying “Thank you for the opportunity,” you can say, “Thank you for taking the time to interview me for the Sales Assistant position.” By being specific, you show that you took effort to write the email, and you also remind the reader who you are.

A Handwritten Thank You

If someone recommended you for a job or promotion, you should take things up a notch. A hand-written letter shows more appreciation and creates a lasting impression on the recipient. For an added flair, write the letter on nice stationery.

The only disadvantage of this type of message is the slower delivery. While an email is instant, a hand-written card can take days to arrive. If you’re concerned about the delay, you can send an email thank you and follow up with a hand-written note a few days later.

To thank someone in your own office, write a note and place it on the recipient’s desk. They’ll receive it right away and will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your actions.

A Thank You Present

If you bought everyone who ever helped you a present, you probably would go broke. But, while you shouldn’t always thank someone with a gift, there are times when you should send a gift. A gift is ideal when someone writes a reference letter or goes above and beyond to help you.

When you look for a present, consider the cost. You don’t want to thank someone for a minor favor with a $200 gift basket. Rather, you should make the present more in line with the favor and the nature of the relationship. Gift cards make excellent thank you presents, as do small gift baskets.

A Thank You Dinner

One of the best ways to thank someone for a major favor is with a dinner. In addition to showing your appreciation, the dinner also solidifies your relationship with the person. Once again, you can keep the cost of the dinner in line with the favor. You don’t need to take a co-worker out to the most expensive restaurant in town to thank them for helping you out. However, you may want to take them to your favorite small restaurant.

If you choose to thank someone with a dinner, make sure you know the person well enough to do this. The last thing you want is an awkward meal with no conversation. Keep your dinners limited to people you know and feel comfortable with. Avoid eating at a place that’s too noisy or busy to have a conversation and keep things appropriate.

Before you invite someone to a restaurant as a thank you, find out if they have dietary restrictions. This meal is about them, so you should cater to their preferences. You can always ask them where they would like to eat, or give them a few different options.

When Should You Go Big?

It can be difficult to know when it’s time to make a grand gesture. If you’re not sure how to thank someone, think about what the person did for you. How much effort did they put into their actions? And how much did their actions benefit you?

When all else fails, go with your gut. You probably know whether someone deserves a quick email or a present. It’s better to be over-appreciative than it is to be under-appreciative, so go the extra mile if you’re uncertain.

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