Should You Send the Boss (and Former Boss) a Holiday E-Card?

As the holiday season approaches, a particularly relevant question is whether it is a good idea to send the boss (and former boss whom you will need for a good reference sooner or later) a greeting card. If so, is it okay to forego the traditional “snail-mailed” greeting card, in favor of a state-of-the-art e-card/social media greeting?

First, note that job reference-checking firm Allison & Taylor, The Reference Checking Company indicates it is likely a good idea to send your boss an appropriate holiday greeting. Why?

Past surveys reveal that approximately 57% of holiday card recipients indicated they were more likely to do future business with a company (or individual) that sends holiday greeting cards. And with your co-workers competing with you for the boss’s favor, your holiday card could prove to be a small, but decisive, differentiator.

4 Reasons a Greeting Card is a Good Idea

  1. Connecting with your boss (or former boss) will help keep you top-of-mind in their awareness, translating to possible future support or opportunity.
  2. Sending your boss (also former bosses, colleagues, suppliers, etc.) a card demonstrates a personal touch to accompany your business relationship.
  3. Staying in touch with bosses and colleagues with a holiday card is a subtle yet highly effective form of networking. (It is also less expensive than taking them to lunch, and won’t violate corporate edicts if sent via personal mail.)
  4. Staying in the favor of your prospective employment references (particularly former bosses) is critical to your future employment success. The reference-checking firm of Allison & Taylor notes that approximately half of all reference checks they conduct reveal unfavorable commentary from the references. Consider that a greeting card could prove to be a small, but critical, investment in your professional future.

Given our social media age, is an e-card greeting just as good, or better, than a traditionally mailed card?

The answer is “probably not,” for a variety of reasons. A card or greeting sent electronically may be regarded by some employers as inappropriate, perhaps even cavalier. Such greetings also tend to lack the “personal touch” of a card mailed individually to the boss’s door. E-cards and social media holiday greetings are often sent en masse, or (in the case of social media greetings) can be done as spur-of-the-moment responses to a comment seen on Facebook or some similar venue.

You aren’t likely to go wrong with thoughtful, traditional holiday greeting cards that can go a long way in making a good impression on many of your business contacts.

A professional reference-checking firm such as Allison & Taylor, The Reference Checking Company can provide critical information in current job situations as well as future job search efforts.

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