Tips on Thank You

by Belinda Lao

Whether you are the seasoned applicant who has weathered the application process all the way up to the sweet ecstasy of opening your acceptance letter or a hopeful student who is currently applying, recommendations from faculty and mentors are a critical part of most applications. Professors can spend hours writing recommendations on behalf of multiple students for professional school, so it is important to remember to send a thank you card for their hard work.

Here are several guidelines for you:

Paper is preferable. Sending thank you letters by email can often be considered impersonal, insincere or even downright rude. Taking the time to write a handwritten card to your recommender shows that you appreciate their efforts. They will appreciate the tangible token of your thanks.

Let them know what is up! Have you heard back from all of your programs yet? Where were you accepted? Wait-listed? Have you made a decision on which one you will choose? In general, professors like to hear how their students are doing and where they are headed next.

Quality over quantity. Above all, a thank-you should be sincere. Short and sweet is perfectly adequate in showing your appreciation for their contributions to your success.

Follow up if needed. It is perfectly fine to send a thank you note even before you have heard back from the programs that you applied to. If you include a promise to let them know if you are accepted, make sure to actually follow up on that promise!

Remember that all situations are unique, so these suggestions are only meant to be a rough guide. We wish you good luck in all future endeavors.