7 Quick Tips to Write Short Effective Thank You Notes that Make Grandma Smile and Colleges Say, “Yes!”

Now that the holidays have passed, do you wish your teen would crank out well written thank you notes to show appreciation and gratitude without you nagging them? Do you wonder the positive impact a quick, effective thank you email would have on your teen’s college acceptance?

Following the holidays, your teen likely has many people to thank. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, siblings, and more. Thank you letters aren’t just necessary around holidays though. Your teen can and should also use thank you letters in the college applications process for interviewers, recommenders, and admissions counselors.

The benefits of writing thank you notes remain strong! 

  • Lands scholarships, college acceptance, or a job. 
  • Sets you apart and shows your kindness and attention to detail.
  • Refreshes your gratitude and makes the writer feel good.
  • Gives a healthy dose of positivity and make someone’s day!

For example, if your teen has an interview with a college alum or admissions counselor, it is important express thanks; or if your teen has reached out to a member of the admissions office at a school for help, a thank you letter is a great way to leave a lasting impression.

Here are 7 steps to write the perfect thank you note for a family member, friend, interviewer, or even admissions counselor:

  • Use simple notecards or stationary. You can find these anywhere from Target or Walgreens to a tiny boutique or online store.
  • Start with the date at the top right or left and a simple but warm greeting: This part is easy! Determine who your teen is writing to, and address the letter accordingly.

Tip: If your teen is writing to a friend or family member, the greeting can be more conversational. However, if your teen is writing to someone they don’t know as well, it’s best to start with “Dear ___,”

  • Say thank you: Be creative here! Your teen doesn’t just have to say “thank you for,” you can switch things up.

Tip: Here are some ideas: “I am so grateful…,” “I really appreciate…,” “It was so thoughtful of you…,” or “It really made my day when…,”

  •  Be specific and give details: What is your teen saying thank you for? If your teen is saying thank you for a gift, specify what the gift is and add one or two specific qualities about the gift.

Tip: If your teen is saying thank you for someone’s time and help, make sure to include positive details regarding the conversation.  Add a reference to the future: For example, if writing to a family member, include, “I can’t wait to see you soon” or give a specific time when your teen will see that family member. If writing more professionally, try “I look forward to working with you in the future” or be more specific if possible.

  • Restate thanks: This part is easy too. A simple “Thank you again…” will do! Don’t forget to add details here again to explain why your teen is thankful.
  • “Sincerely,” Finally, your teen should sign the thank you note. For a close friend or family member, try a warmer tone such as “Much love,” or “Yours Truly.” For more professional thank you notes though, stick to the basics such as “Sincerely,” or “Best regards.” 

 *Do you want your teen to polish up writing to earn stronger grades in school and make college admission essay writing easier? 

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Wishing you all a happy and healthy start to 2021! See you next year!


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