Take note of the hand written note

by Nov 27, 20153Plus, Communication, Culture

The hand written note: thoughtful or outdated?

In a world where digital communication takes place at the speed of lightning and we are all communicating across multiple digital platforms, is there a case to be made for the return of the handwritten note? Are they a thoughtful touch or out dated?

Many would say that the hand written notes still its their place in reaching people in a truly personal way. It could be to thank, invite or offer support or sympathy. I try to make a point of incorporating writing one hand written note per week on some embossed stationery I  bought in Harrods on a recent trip to London. The responses I have received have been disproportionate to the amount of effort I put in to creating. In business terms the ROI is un-measurable.

They show the person they are worth the effort.  Sadly my own handwriting has deteriorated enormously over the years, to the point where I had to re-submit my signature to my bank!


Email comes in floods and is deleted. Phone calls are now considered intrusive and are not always easy to schedule. Letters or cards are hard to ignore, easy to manage and discreet. This is also not just a girly thing. Former GE Chairman Jack Welch, often sent employees a handwritten note. Handwritten notes remind us to slow down and take note of our surroundings, our friends, family, colleagues and clients.

Some use them in a business context to create stronger relationships with their existing customers. Others use them for contacting prospects. Jelena told me that “it’s all about standing out and doing something special.”

Candidates quite often drop a card or hand written note to a potential hiring manager after an interview.

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Here is what a 3Plus vox pops on LinkedIn produced. It was a resounding thoughtful:

Here are just a few comments.

Wenona Kleser I still like to write a thank you note for an interview. Most people might send of an email but I think the snail mail note sets me apart. I have yet to have an interviewer forget me when I’ve done it. Even if I don’t get the position they remember me. This is also true when I’ve dealt closely with vendors or customers.

Shannon Prinzo Dembeck After an interview, I follow-up with a thank you email – especially if a decision is going to be made quickly. However, I make it a point to keep a box of cards/notes in my desk drawer – both at home and at the office. It’s been my experience that most people enjoy getting a handwritten note in the mail, so to answer your question, I’d say it’s thoughtful.

thank you note

Ali Rogerson In an age when virtual interactions have created an almost false sense of connection, the handwritten note is a mark of sincerity and good etiquette. Email, texting, tweeting and social media are tools that make it easy to communicate. A personal note on paper tells the recipient she was important enough to deserve the time it took you to write it. My grandmother, who was a proper southern lady, would approve

Jenny Chuaviriya  A hand-written note is still very useful. I don’t reach for a computer or techno gadget to write a note. Trying to write with your hand is as quick as your thinking. No two hand writings are the same. Seeing a person’s handwriting again brings back the story of your written note. People don’t realized how powerful a tool handwriting can be. I  aced a test every time when studying from my own handwritten notes. Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

Patricia Christiano It shows you took the time out of your day just for that person, to thank them. I hand wrote invites to a trade show and some people actually brought the invite with them and did ask specifically for me. Build relationships first and the business will follow!

Annie Tomecek I experimented with this over a year ago, by sending service anniversary cards, birthday cards, new hire cards, and special recognition cards to employees at our company. It does take a while to hand sign them all on a monthly basis but the positive response was OVERWHELMING!

There are many who see this as primarily an US expectation, with one British recruiter telling me “I have no idea why people encourage people to send handwritten thank you notes in a professional capacity. it’s anachronistic. “

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Staff Writer: Career Contributor
3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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