Thank you gift?
September 12, 2012 1:29 PM   Subscribe

What should we give as a Thank You gift to someone who helped my husband rewrite his resume?

What should we give as a Thank You gift to someone who helped my husband rewrite his resume, which is now close to landing him a job? She works in HR, but not at the company where he will be working. She spent about 90 minutes one night after we had her family over for dinner, going over his resume, helping him tweak it for their mutual industry. We aren't real close friends, but our kids are friends and we've all hung out a few times.
We are still very poor from the months of being laid off, so nothing too pricey. Thanks!
posted by southeastyetagain to Human Relations (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Since you are broke and since they have kids, you could offer a few babysitting sessions, if the kids are still young enough to need a babysitter. And of course, a sincere thank you note is often more satisfying and meaningful than a physical gift.
posted by kate blank at 1:32 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

An elegant handwritten thank-you note with a few words about what this means to you would be a lovely gift.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:33 PM on September 12, 2012

I find a decent bottle of wine (i.e. not two buck chuck) is pretty much the all purpose "thank you gift" for things like this where you don't know the person well enough to get them a gift specific to them and they put too much effort in for a simple thank you. Even if the person doesn't like wine they generally understand what you're trying to get across.

My neighbors water my plants while I'm on vacation. Bottle of wine.
Let the cable guy in while I'm a work? Bottle of wine.

Ignore my advice if they're alcoholic.
posted by bswinburn at 1:35 PM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: For now, I think a hearfelt "thank you" is enough, although kate blank has a good suggestion.

When your husband gets a job, you should have them over for dinner again and toast her.
posted by griphus at 1:37 PM on September 12, 2012 [7 favorites]

I agree with griphus. A heartfelt thanks and have them over for a celebratory dinner to say thank you seems most appropriate.
posted by jph at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2012

(I do this for friends pretty regularly myself. I would honestly feel a little awkward accepting a gift of value from a person who is unemployed, but that might just be me.)
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Agree with kate blank above - this is the sort of this a sincere thank you note is perfect for. It wasn't a big favor for them to do, but it wasn't insignificant either and it was something they had no reason to do other than being nice.

I'm guessing your husband may have some nice paper around from printing the resume? It's pretty easy to turn that into stationary if you don't want to buy store stationary or a card. If you don't have anything better than word, just go in, set margins to zero, paper to landscape, and make it two columns. That's the easiest way I know offhand to make nice centered headers with your name or address or whatever. You'll want an A2 envelope (you can fold one out of a standard piece of paper if you want, Google directions). This is all assuming USA paper sizes.

If you really feel the need for a gift along with the note wine, a baked offering of some kind, or another offer of dinner are all appropriate as suggested above. Maybe candy in a pretty little jar if they have a sweet tooth.
posted by Wretch729 at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2012

arg. Second "this" should be "thing" and "word" = MS Word above. As I demonstrate - proofread that thank you note before sending!
posted by Wretch729 at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2012

I help friends with resumes all the time. It's kind of my thing. I'd feel weird if someone gave me a gift over it. I'd be over the moon if my help got them a job.

Perhaps a nice family barbecue and a toast acknowledging the help?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2012

Because of my network and understanding of local employers, particularly in the tech sector, I've helped a lot of people look for work, both on AskMe and in the real world, and a good number of those people did enjoy success thanks to my advice and connections, but it is important for me to always remember that whoever hired them hired them for themselves, and not because of me. So I don't have a sense of entitlement.

Anyway, one thing that has always bugged me a little - actually enough for me to stop providing advice regularly anymore - is that people never say thank you. I suspect it is because they are busy doing a good job at their new jobs, but hearing a thank you and an update a few months later would be a nice touch, especially since I typically invest a few hours and some social capital with these folks.

So, while a bottle of Chilean value wine would be nice, it's not necessary. It's more the meaningful thank, and the follow-up a few months down the road. The follow-up could be an email or a phone call, but anything that indicates that there was some sort of human connection there at some point.

I like helping people out, and I get confused when people don't follow some simple and inexpensive etiquette.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:02 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

a very sincere thank you should be sufficient. when your husband is employed again and you get back on your feet a little, take her (and you) out for a nice pedicure, if she's into that.
posted by koroshiya at 2:31 PM on September 12, 2012

Depending on the person, I'd go wine or flowers. Definitely a Thank You, especially if that note can say with certainty that he got the job.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:06 PM on September 12, 2012

Hand-written thank you note and the possibility of taking them to dinner when the money comes in again.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:14 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone.
We have verbally told them thanks but were waiting until he, for sure, had the job to do something else. Our kids are all teens, so although the babysitting thing was a good idea, it won't work for us.
I'll write a note and ask them back over for dinner.
posted by southeastyetagain at 4:23 PM on September 12, 2012

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