Writing a proper thank you note to a mentor will undoubtedly be well received. It's likely your mentor will appreciate the kind gesture, as many are accustomed to receiving a quick thanks over e-mail, or at times nothing at all. Some mentors will save thank you notes they receive for years to come, and even keep them in their work portfolio as proof of a job well done. Learn how to write a proper thank you note in five easy steps that will give your mentor a morale boost they deserve, and can potentially further their career.
Purchase some clean, professional looking paper, or a blank note card that shows off your personality with appropriate decor or graphics. Stay away from greeting cards that already have a thank you greeting inside of them---the point of a genuine thank you note is to use your own words.
Start your thank you with a proper salutation, such as "Dear ****," If you are on a more friendly basis with your mentor, feel free to be more casual, but only if it is appropriate. Always address your mentor by name (or affectionate nickname if appropriate). Never just start into your greeting without addressing your mentor by name. This takes away the personal tone of your note.
Make a direct first statement thanking your mentor specifically for what he/she has done. A sentence that begins with something like, "I want to thank you for *****___*," or "I'd like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to ____," is sufficient.
Follow this line by specifying what you appreciate most about your mentor. It may be a certain personality trait, a specific event that took place, or a quality in their work that you really admire. Make it as personable as you would like to, as the more specific you are, the more the mentor will see it was written just for them. Finally, add a closing statement that wraps up why you're thankful for your mentor.
Sign your name. This does not mean scribbling out your first name alone, but rather using a proper closing greeting, such as "With thanks," and then adding your first and last name, unless a mentor knows you extremely well. Place your note in the envelope, and if you are mailing it, address it and send it on its way.
Hand write your letter. While typed and printed notes are acceptable and even preferred in many situations, when it comes to a personal thank you a handwritten note is always best.
Never make crass jokes or "cut down" your mentor's help. Keep it professional and positive. Remember, you may need your mentor to be a future reference for you.