by Elizabeth Campbell

August is a busy month for many people. Starting college or moving back to college … classes starting … jobs ending … moving back home from summer internships. The list seems never ending!  Often times many people forget to add things to their list that they think are just “little things.” One of the most forgotten tasks is writing thank you letters.

Thank you letters are so important to end your summers with. You just spent three months working for someone, working with people, meeting people, and finding people to advise you on different paths you’re interested in.  You spent a summer getting gifts from family and friends, meeting with old teachers or family friends who can help you with your careers, so make sure you send a thank you letter to those people.

A well written thank you letter starts with you giving your gratitude for the person’s help, and if your meeting with the person was brief, reintroduces yourself.  Explain how what that person did for you was helpful, and how you will take this back to your campus, work place, job interviews, or internship. Explain why their time was so meaningful to you.

End the letter in a way that you can follow up with this person. The point of the Thank You letter is not only to thank the person, but to keep your door open to them. You want to be able to feel comfortable enough to follow up with them and ask to meet up with them again, send them a Christmas card, or have them give you a recommendation for a job or internship.

Thank you letters are something that you can hold to your advantage. People enjoy receiving something personal from someone they have met.  Make sure you make it personal; don’t have a generic paragraph that you send people.   That person will take note of your kindness, perhaps save the letter, and always remember your sincerity and thoughtfulness.  And that could be a career booster in the future.