Several years ago I interviewed for a job working at a law firm in the downtown DC area. As part of the interview process, I met with the managing partner, the office manager, and then a couple of the firm’s associates. I went home from the long interview process and the first thing I did was write thank you notes to them all and dropped them in the mail.
A couple of days later, I was offered the job. After I had been working for the firm a while, I had an interesting conversation with my boss. He said how impressed they had been that I had mailed in a hand-written note after my interviews and that I was the only one to have done that. He also said that it set me apart from the other candidates who had interviewed for the job.
I tell this story not to brag about my note-writing skills, but to stress how important a simple hand-written note can be. And from the conversation I had with my boss, I wonder just how common note-writing is these days. Do people still do it on a regular basis? Or has email taken over instead?
Maybe it is partly the Southern way I was raised, but having received many hand-written notes myself, I know how special they can be. There’s nothing quite like opening the mail and finding a little note from a friend after they’ve received a gift or after they’ve come over for dinner or even a note just to say hello. It’s definitely not something that is necessary, but it’s such a nice touch. It shows that they took the time and made the effort, which is really what it’s all about.
Having said all this, I’ll be the first to admit that I need to be better at sending out my own notes. I always mean to write a thank you card or a “get-well-soon” note right away, but sometimes a week slips by before I can get it done. Even as I write this post, I remember a note that I meant to send out a while ago after attending a get-together at a friend’s house. But I will say this: I am trying because I believe strongly in hand-written notes and in the sentiment behind them. And I hope that they don’t become a thing of the past because that would really be a shame.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some notes to write…
What do you think of the practice of sending hand-written notes? Is it obsolete because of email and other modern means of communciation? Do you do it? Do you receive them from others?