-Charles Harris

The box arrived in the mail as an unexpected thank you. I was caught off guard, not expecting anything this big from the mailman. I was curious to see who sent this to me and what filled up the rectangular box. Like most people, I enjoy an unexpected present.

I gently slid the cover off the silver package and after peeling away the wrapping paper, blue-lined cards with my name printed at the top, were staring back at me. I was the new owner of personalized thank you cards.

I could not think of a nicer gesture to send a business client. This kind offering was courtesy of an executive recruiter, the same person who helped place me in my new role with the Anaheim / Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. I accepted the job just a little more than a month ago, and yet the recruiter was sending me thank you cards.


In today’s world where we all strive to stand out, a personal, hand-written note shows that you care. Investing a few moments to share your thoughts or gratitude, help differentiate you from the rest of the business pack.

I was taught a long time ago that gestures like these matter. Today, it is too easy to write a quick note and click “send” in an email. It is fast and convenient, but it is also a bit lazy. I sometimes use this method right after a meeting or event, but always follow up with a more detailed, hand-written note. Mailing a personal thank you via snail mail has become the exception not the rule.

In the sport management class I teach at Long Beach State, I implore graduate students each semester to use this simple and effective tool. It will help get you remembered after an interview when an executive or committee is making a hiring decision. It’s also just a thoughtful way to communicate your feelings.

You do not need personalized thank you notes to stand out. The words and the gesture matter most.

Sometimes, the smallest of gestures have the most impact.

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