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From a young age, I learned from my mother the importance of writing a thank you note. It needed to be specific, appreciative and written in cursive handwriting. I know, cursive is a bit over the top.

Fun fact: Mom made me write everything in cursive. She’d review my homework and if it wasn’t written in cursive, I’d have to rewrite the whole thing.

I thought she was a little nuts at the time, but now it’s one of the lessons I most frequently thank her for. Thanks Mom! It is such a rare talent that I’m constantly complimented on my handwriting. To me, it’s just how I write.

One of my “secret weapons” in networking, job-hunting and general social life is a well-written thank you note. So few people actually take the time to write and send a note, that I can promise you it won’t go unnoticed. Anything you can do to set yourself apart in job-hunting is a must.

Good quality stationery is an important ingredient. Whether you’re on a budget or willing to splurge, there are LOTS of options. You’ll also want to keep stamps and return address labels on hand. You don’t want to write a note, only for it to sit on your kitchen counter for days waiting for a stamp.

Personal stationery is a priority (because it can also double as a thank you note in a pinch). You should always have a healthy supply ready at a moment’s notice. This is also the type of stationery you should use following a professional meeting, such as an informational interview, an interview or as a follow-up to a new contact met at a networking event. I would recommend when choosing a design that you use the same design for your calling card to keep some continuity within your personal brand. Here are some of my favorites.

Splurge:

Haute Papier

Crane & Co. Ecruwhite Initial & Name Personalized Letter Sheets (I have these)

Paper Source Bebas A6 Flat Stationery

William Aurthur Ecru Debossed Frame Personalized Notes

Kate Spade Monogram Card

Budget-friendly:

Lilly Pulitzer Personalized Correspondence Cards Bamboo Green

Expressionary Greek Keys Aqua Folded Notes

Thank you notes are the second most important thing to have in your stationery supply. Here are some of my favorites.

Splurge:

Crane & Co. Gold Hand Engraved Thank You Notes

Crane & Co. Intaglio Printable Thank You Notes

Crane & Co. "Thank You" in blue Printable Thank You Notes

Budget-friendly:

Paper Source Vintage Marquis Letterpress Thank You Cards

Kate Spade Cherry Blossom

Target Green Thank You Cards (Best deal ever)

Target Thank You Cards Navy

Just as with every other form of communication, you must consider your audience when you choose your stationery and your words. When in doubt, keep it simple and professional.

Now, don’t even tell me you don’t have the time to write a hand-written note. Make the time. As you can see, it takes less time than to make a cup of tea: