When is the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? If you are like most people, it has probably been quite some time since you have received a genuine “thank you” or anything that is handwritten. If you put these two things together, you really have a chance to make an impression.

I recently provided two gift certificates to a local benefit. A community member is battling a serious illness and an acquaintance asked if I would be willing to donate to this cause. After donating the two gift certificates, I certainly didn’t expect anything in return. However, I recently received a handwritten thank you card from the person that was honored at the benefit.

Receiving this thank you note was a great surprise. In fact, it is so seldom that we receive a genuine “thank you,” that we forget what it is like to be appreciated. Think of the impact a thank you note could have on a potential employer or someone that was able to provide you with a valuable referral. Then, think of putting that “thank you” in writing—your name will be in front of that individual for an even longer period of time.

The next time you have a job interview, be sure to send a thank you note. Or, when you meet someone at a networking event, send a thank you card and let them know that it was a great experience to meet them. A thank you note can provide more than just a polite gesture; it may be the key to building a potentially valuable working relationship.