“Modern Expressions” is a series that helps you to find the perfect words when writing cards or letters. In this article, we provide tips on how to write a thank you note with 25 examples.

Receiving gifts or acts of kindness — whether big or small — feels wonderful. It’s a show of care, thoughtfulness, and love. When you receive a gift or are on the receiving end of a kind act from someone, it’s natural to want to return the favor and let them know how much you appreciate the gesture.

Thank you cards are a splendid way to express your gratitude. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you sit down to write a thank you note. If you’re trying to write the perfect thank you or are unsure if you should send one in the first place, our comprehensive guide about thank you notes will help.

What to say in a thank you note

Photo of thank you note with pens

When starting your thank you note, think about how you feel. The goal of your note is to let the other person know how their actions have impacted you. So, consider your feelings and go from there. “Just write it and send it,” says Diane Gottsman, a national etiquette expert at The Protocol School of Texas.

“Sometimes, we let the pressure of [thank you] cards allow us to let time-lapse, and then we never send them,” says Gottsman. “The most important thing to do is to complete it!”

Gottsman notes that it’s better to express whatever we’re feeling, even if it’s not as elegant as we would like than nothing at all. “It’s easy to put off a thank you note when you don’t know what to say,” she says. “But write from your heart — even in your chicken scratch handwriting — to show that you appreciate someone’s kindness, generosity, and thought.”

Deciding what to write in your thank you is solely dependent on the context. What gift was given? What act of kindness was bestowed? What was the occasion? Who was the giver?

Answering these simple questions will give you the foundation on which to craft your personalized thank you note. Be sure to mention what it is you are thankful for, why it is meaningful to you, and how grateful you are for the gesture.

“Thank you notes show that you appreciate the effort or the kindness someone extended to you,” Gottsman says. “They’re an effort on your part to acknowledge what another person did for you and to continue to build relationships with the people who are special to you.”

When to send thank you notes

Of course, it’s not necessary to send a thank you note every time someone does something nice for you. Here are five occasions when it’s necessary to send a thank you card.

After receiving a gift

We receive gifts every year on our birthdays and holidays like Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. We also get presents if we’re celebrating major life events, such as weddingsgraduationsanniversaries, or the birth of a child. When you receive gifts on one of these occasions, you should express your gratitude with a thank you note.

Some examples to get you started:

  • You know me so well. Thank you for the amazing gift!
  • I’m touched beyond words by your generous gift. Thank you so much.
  • Your thoughtfulness is a gift I will always treasure.
  • Thank you for thinking of me on my big day!
  • Thank you for the [gift you received]. It makes me smile to think about how thoughtful you are.

After someone hosted an event in your honor

Whether it’s a baby shower, a bridal brunch, or a big birthday celebration, let your hardworking hosts know you appreciate them with a thank you note. Get started with these ideas:

  • Thank you for hosting such a fabulous [type of event] for me. Your attention to detail, from the delicious food to the fun party games, still makes me smile.
  • I am beyond grateful for you. Thank you so much for making my big day extra special.
  • The thought and care you put into planning my [type of event] meant the world to me. Thank you for such a wonderful day. I’ll remember it forever.
  • Thank you for being part of such a big moment in my life. It was perfect because of you.
  • Thank you for celebrating my [type of event] with me. I feel so loved!

What to write in a thank you note after a job interview

In certain professional contexts, thank you notes are an appropriate demonstration of appreciation. One professional occasion that necessitates a thank you note is after a job interview.

“Surprisingly, not a lot of candidates send thank you notes anymore, so when they do it sticks out,” says Dannerys Fuccillo of 1-800-Flowers.com’s human resources department. “Some hiring managers pay very close attention to how well and how quickly a candidate writes a thank you email after an interview.”

Make sure you have the interviewer’s email address and follow up with a thank you note after the interview. Your note should start with a salutation, such as “Dear [Interviewer name].” You should also address the interviewer with the name they provided when you met, and the body of your message should start with an expression of gratitude.

“A thank you email doesn’t need to be long and drawn out,” says Fuccillo. “Just a quick, simple email thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterating their excitement for the role; should suffice.”

Make an impression

If a candidate wants to stand out, they should be more specific in the note. Fuccillo recommends using examples from their interview that show they paid attention. Reiterate what a great fit you’d be and provide examples/solutions to anything that was discussed during the interview and how you can add value.

Stationery, stamps, and mailing a letter in a postbox may seem like symbols from an antiquated time but a letter delivered by mail is like receiving a flower delivery — it feels special. “Personally, my absolute favorite is the handwritten thank you. I’ve received a few in my time here, and I’ve kept a lot of them!” Fuccillo says.

Not sure how to get started? See the examples below.

  • Thank you for taking the time to discuss the [job title] position with me today. My [expertise] skills make me an excellent candidate for this role. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to arrange a follow-up interview.
  • Thanks again for taking the time to meet with me [insert day]. I enjoyed our conversation about the [job title] role. I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
  • Thank you for taking the time to interview me this morning. The [job title] role sounds rewarding, especially given the leadership opportunities. I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.
  • Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today. Our conversation about the [job title] role was inspiring, and it was great to learn more about the position. Thanks to my years in the industry, I think I’d make an ideal candidate. I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
  • Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the [job title] position this morning. It was inspiring to have such an in-depth conversation about the responsibilities and future of the role. The details you shared convinced me I’d make an ideal match for the position. I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.
Thank you note ecard with sunflowers
Thank you note e-card with bees
Thank you note with blinking you

A thank you note after someone wrote you a letter of recommendation

If your professor or boss wrote a letter of recommendation for you or helped you prepare for an interview, a thank you note is a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for their support. Get started with the following examples.

  • I appreciate the reference you gave me for [position]. The hiring manager called to offer me the job!
  • Thank you for taking the time to write me such a thoughtful letter of recommendation. I believe it was a significant part of being offered the position.
  • Thank you for writing on my behalf for my graduate school application. I truly appreciate your support.
  • Thanks so much for writing me a thoughtful letter of recommendation. I’ll keep you updated on my progress in applying to graduate school.
  • Thank you for taking the time to write me a letter of recommendation. I hope I can reciprocate the favor.

After someone did you a favor

Thank you notes aren’t just for special occasions. If someone helped you out in a small way, such as to water your plants and bring in your mail while you were on vacation, a thank you note should be sent to recognize their generosity. See the examples below to get started.

  • Thank you so much for [favor]! Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.
  • You were so kind to [favor]. Thank you for your generosity.
  • Thanks for coming to the rescue when I needed you. You’re a great friend!
  • Thank you for being kind enough to [favor]. It means a lot more than you know.
  • You’re my hero! Thank you so much for going out of your way to [favor]. I appreciate it.

Send a gift to show your appreciation

Want to send a little something to go with your thank you note? Say thanks for a great party, a thoughtful gift, or a show of support with our thank you flowers and gifts. No matter what the reason, these gifts show how much you appreciate their generosity.

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Nicole DiGiose is a lifestyle writer who serves as an editor and writer for 1-800-Flowers. Previously, she's been published in Electronic Products, EE Times, Chilled Magazine, and local newspapers based in her hometown.

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