“The smallest thanks is always worth more than the effort it takes to give it.” – Unknown
Graduation day is fast approaching and it’s such a thrilling, yet busy time for the graduate. As you think and plan ahead for the next exciting phase of life, it is important to acknowledge the mentors and educators that helped guide you to where you are today.
It is also a customary courtesy that you’ll take into your future personal and professional relationships. Showing real gratitude will help you maintain connections and distinguish you as an emerging leader. Use these guidelines to help you hone your graduation thank you note etiquette.
Graduation Thank You Note Etiquette Tips
How to start: Bulk thank you cards, purchased at the drugstore, do not generally communicate the same kind of personal feeling of a nice quality stationary. Use a black ink pen, which is the most formal and legible color for such a grand occasion.
What to say: Open by using their name, “Dear Professor Stewart”. In a couple of short sentences, thank them for the value you gained from their oversight. Be specific on the influence their guidance offered you. “Thank you for going above and beyond as I worked on my thesis about Microfinance Repayment Incentives. You have inspired me continue to search for creative ways to improve the quality of life for those living in poverty.”
Or, think of something that stood out about their teaching style. “You modeled for us how to use our time and resources to impact the lives of others.” Mentioning something specific about your experience in their course will transform an ordinary card to one that’s uniquely personalized.
How to close. Mention how you plan to stay in touch and close the message with “Sincerely” or “Best Regards”, including both your first and last name. Mail the card to the institution’s address and note the specific department, when applicable. Or, hand deliver your thank you note before the last day of class. When addressing the envelope, use an honorific. A Forever Stamp (instead of a holiday stamp) is the best choice of postage.
The entire endeavor takes just a few minutes and your sincerity will make a lasting impression on those that made a significant impact on your life.
Young professionals may also find my Huffington Post article, How to Send a Professional Thank You Note, helpful as they begin their career.