I just love sending cards. Not just because they’re interesting and satisfying to write, but because they have career-changing effects.

 

Holiday Cards

 

 

No really, it’s led to mentorships, freelancing opportunities—even job offers!

 

Luckily for the card lovers, peak card-sending time… the holidays—is here. If you want to get in on the game, check out the list of few people in your professional life who’d love to get a card, templates included.

 

1. Your Boss

 

Oh, this one’s a bit of a no-brainer. I suggest writing a heartfelt and appreciative note to go along with your gift.

 

Dear [Name],

Hope you have a fantastic time during the holidays. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you—it’s been a pleasure working with you for the last [X months/years]. Not only have you taught me [lesson you’ve learned from boss], but you’ve also been incredibly [helpful, patient, inspiring, responsive, supportive]. I’m really looking forward to continuing to learn from you!

Happy holidays,

[Your name]

 

2. Your Former Boss

 

Sending a holiday card to a former boss is a great way to keep alive that relationship. You never know when you’ll need a reference or a referral—or even a job at your old company!

 

Dear [Name],

Happy holidays! I hope you’re doing well, and congratulations on [recent work achievement]. Thank you again for making my time with [former company] so great. If you’ve got time after the end-of-the-year craziness, let’s [grab coffee, chat on the phone, get lunch] and catch up! I’d love to hear how everything’s going with you.

Best,

[Your name]

 

3. Your Co-workers

 

Holiday Cards

 

Cap the number of co-worker holiday cards you write at 10. If you’re at a small company, that could include everyone in the company. But, if you’re at a bigger company, that could just be the people that you are in everyday contact. But writing anything over 10 is crazy.

 

Happy holidays, [Name]! It’s been really great [working with you/getting to know you] over the past [X months/years], and I’m looking forward to continuing in 2017.

Cheers,

[Your name]

 

4. Your Former Co-workers

 

There’s no need to write cards for 20 or more of  your old co-workers, but if there were any you were really close to it’s a very nice gesture. Plus, if in the future you reach out for a favor, it won’t seem too awkward.

 

Dear [Name],

Wishing you a happy and joyful holidays! I hope [company name] is treating you well and that everything in [department] is great. I miss our time [working together, checking out local coffee shops together, hanging out at company events, forwarding each other funny memes]. Please reach out if you’re ever [in my neck of the woods, available for a coffee date].

Best,

[Your name]

 

5. Your Mentor(s)

Holiday Cards

 

This category includes anyone who gives you career advice on a semi-regular or regular basis. It could be a slightly more experienced co-worker, a professional in your industry, a mid- or senior-level manager, or maybe a relative. While you should consistently be showing your gratitude for this person’s help, it’s especially nice to do so during the holidays.

 

Dear [Name],

[Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa] and Happy New Year! Thank you so much for your advises and support. It’s amazing to know that when I have a question about [topic] or [topic], you’re just a [phone call, email, a few doors] away. When I was trying to decide what to do about [dilemma], your advice was invaluable.

I hope that one day I can repay you for all the help you’ve given me! In the meantime, thank you again.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

6. Your Role Model

 

A holiday card’s a great way to put yourself on your role model’s radar. Trust me, the person will be surprised and flattered by your nice message.

Note: Now isn’t the time to ask for a favor or informational interview—it’ll seem too self-serving. Wait until the new year, when the holiday rush is over.

 

Dear [Name],

Happy holidays! I’m a [job title] at [employer name], and I’ve been following your career for the past couple [months/years]. I just want to reach out and let you know that you’re incredibly inspiring to me: After all, you [reason why the person is your role model]. I look forward to keeping up with your future ventures.

Gratefully,

[Your name]

 

7. Your Direct Reports

 

Holiday Cards

 

 

 

Want to make your direct reports even more loyal to you than they already are? Write ’em a card! (Bonus points if you also include a nice gift.)

 

Dear [Name],

I hope you have a great  holiday season! It has been a privilege to work with you these last [X months/years]. Not only do you [always come up with creative solutions, work really hard, maintain a positive attitude no matter what], but you’re also [a team player, a natural leader, a fantastic motivator]. I’m lucky to have you. Can’t wait to see what we accomplish in 2017.

Best,

[Your name]

 

8. Your Miscellaneous Connections

 

People you’ve met at networking events, industry friends, and other miscellaneous connections fall into this group.

 

Dear [Name],

Happy holidays! It was great seeing you [last time you saw the person]. Hope [job] is going well. We should get together for coffee (or eggnog? ); I want to hear all about it in person.

Cheers,

[Your name]

 

9. Your Dream Company

 

OK, this one’s a bit of a long shot. But it can’t hurt—and when you apply, someone might just say, “Oh yeah—she’s the one who sent us a holiday card!”

 

Dear [Company] team,

I hope you have a fantastic holiday season! I’m a huge fan of what you guys are doing at [company], and I look forward to [continuing to use your product, following your company updates, and learning more about your awesome culture] in 2017.

Best,

[Your name]

P.S. Congrats on [recent company achievement or announcement]!

 

And in case you’re reading this too late for the holidays just pick up “Happy New Year” cards instead. That gives you a little bit of extra time to get these out.

 

Good Luck ( :