When you're in a job search -- or land a new job -- one of the key ingredients for your career is to make sure you write letters of appreciation.
These letters should be written to those who have given you recommendations -- either in writing or via phone calls to potential employers -- and to anyone else who has helped you along the way. (This may also include a mentor who has offers advice, a former co-worker who provides a contact or even a supportive colleague.)
The reason you want to write these missives is because it is more meaningful to someone rather than a "thx" text from you. The time you spend writing and sending the note will stick with the receiver, boosting your professional and personal connection. In addition, the person is much more likely to want to help you in the future when it's clear you appreciate efforts made on your behalf.
Here's how to write the letter:
1. Be prompt. Don't wait six weeks or six months to write a letter. Try to get it done within days of the person helping you. If it takes you a while to write the letter, don't let that be an excuse to not send it. A late note is better than none at all.
2. Be clear. "I'm writing you because I want to express my appreciation for ...."
3. Include a few details. You don't need to offer a long explanation, but a couple of details about why the person's help was so valuable will help personalize the message and make it more sincere. "By providing a recommendation letter, you helped open doors for me and make my dream of becoming a sales manager that much closer."
The appreciation letter is often forgotten in other ways -- did you send an appreciation letter to the boss who gave you a raise or promotion? Did you send an appreciation note after a colleague covered for you without complaint?
Sending such notes doesn't take but a few minutes of your time. Instead of scrolling through Instagram for 5 minutes (or more), use the time send a thank-you note.