Men and Thank You Notes

Since we are in the holiday season and real soon we will have to write thank you cards for the gifts we receive let us explore ‘Why men don’t send “Thank You” notes in business and why they are a missed opportunity in the workplace’.

The art of the handwritten note is long lost, especially on men. Many men have excuses why they don’t practice personalized note writing in the workplace (ex. “I have bad handwriting.” And “why write when I can email?”). According to speaker and author Thom Singer, these guys are missing an important networking opportunity.

Singer, a networking expert and avid note-writer, says smart businessmen should seek out every advantage to stand out from the crowd, including the handwritten “Thank You.” In his campaign to get guys putting pen to paper once again, Singer debunks five excuses men commonly make when it comes to personalized notes:

1. “No one writes notes any more, it is old fashioned, I use email and it is the same thing.”
This is a common belief amongst people looking to not hand-write notes. Email is a great tool for communicating, but it is commonplace. Many people receive over 100 emails a day. They scan them, deleting ones that don’t stand out, and forget about them instantly. Handwritten notes are rare. Since human beings are experiential creatures, the whole act of touching the envelope, holding the card, opening it and reading it become part of a tactical experience.

2. “I work in a technology field; I would appear out of touch communicated by snail-mail.”
Just because there are new modes of communication does not mean that the old methods are offensive. Nobody is offended when you take the extra time to show them that they matter to you. By making the effort to send a handwritten note, you show the other person that they are worth the use of your valuable time, not just another person who can get an email.

3. “Men don’t write letters.”
This is not a gender issue. Lazy and selfish men (and women) don’t write letters, but successful and thoughtful business professionals do pen handwritten notes that express their gratitude. Many people look for any excuse to avoid tasks they do not choose to do, but smart mothers and grandmothers have made their boys (and girls) write thank you notes for generations.

4. “I don’t have the time.”
You don’t have to write everyone you know daily, a handwritten note is reserved for special occasions. When you meet someone important for the first time, when someone makes a referral to you, or anytime you want to honor someone. Most people would not need to send more than three to eight such notes a week. Each one only takes a few minutes (you are not writing a novel). The impact the note makes on the person who receives it is an investment in your future.

5. “I don’t have good handwriting.”
Many people over-think the quality of their penmanship. With a little effort you can write an acceptable note that is legible to the recipient. If you believe that your handwriting is that horrible, practice improving it. Anybody who wants to advance their career will have to work on overcoming their shortcomings, if this is yours, you can make it a priority. If this is just an excuse, get over it.


Perry Newman, CPC is the driving force behind First Impressions Resumes. He is a nationally renowned executive resume writer and career coach with extensive experience in numerous industries. He can be reached for a complimentary consultation at or by calling 646-894-4101.

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