Handwritten Thank You Notes: When To Start Over After a Mistake

When writing thank-you notes, there may come a time when you spell a word wrong or want to change a word.

With handwritten notes, you have a choice to make. Should you start over or cross it out?

The answer depends on your situation.

Start Over When…

  • If it is a thank you note, you are writing after having a job interview. The thank you note could determine if you get another interview or the job. Make sure your thank-you note looks professional. No crossing out!
  • The recipient is not someone you know well. You want to make a good impression!
  • The person may put the thank you note on display. This could be if you give a thank you note to a co-worker. Some of my co-workers display any note they are given. Other co-workers may read your card. It is better to start over than to become known as the messy writer in your office.
  • You have several cross-outs in the same note. One or two is okay, but if your thank you note is only three sentences, many cross-outs may come across as sloppy and like you didn’t care about what you were writing.

Cross it out when…

  • The note is being sent to someone you know well. I do this when writing thank-you notes to my parents, grandma, or siblings. We know each other well and have written enough thank-you notes that a crossed-out word is okay. They are likely not judging your penmanship.
  • It’s your last thank you note card, and it’s not for a job interview. If you don’t have a blank card to start over with, keep going. Most people are forgiving and will be thrilled to receive a thank you note in the mail.

If you like everything to be neat, then feel free to start over in any situation.

Read Next: 22 Expert Tips To Improve Your Thank You Notes

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Heidi Bender is a writer and author who founded Tons of Thanks. Her goal is to help people write thank you notes by providing  examples examples and tips. She is the author of A Modern Guide to Writing Thank-You Notes.