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Over the course of your professional career, you’re bound to come across a number of people you’ll want to thank. Whether it’s for taking the time to meet you for an interview or for carrying out a helpful task, expressing your sincere gratitude is important.
A well-crafted letter of appreciation is an easy way to convey this feeling, and it can also bring tremendous positive impact to your work relationships and environment. Take a look at our free appreciation letter samples below and use our expert tips to create effective professional thank you letters of your own.
How to Write an Appreciation Letter
The main purpose of your professional appreciation letter is to sincerely recognize what the recipient has done for you and the positive impact they’ve had on your work life. The key to writing a truly effective letter is to avoid cliches and broad, generalized statements; instead, make your note a personal celebration of their specific actions, as seen in our own appeal letter samples.
Be Specific: The more that you can pinpoint specific actions and their direct results in your letter of appreciation, the more likely the recipient will feel truly appreciated for their unique and individual contributions. In addition, such specificity can help to positively reinforce that behavior and inspire the person to repeat similar actions in the future.
Be Sincere: When writing your letter of appreciation, be sure to include only what you are truly grateful for and why. If you overwrite your letter with flowery language or exaggerate the impact of the person’s actions, it may come off insincere and do more harm than good.
Be Concise: Keep your letter polite, professional, and to the point. This isn’t an epic love poem, it’s a letter of appreciation. One to two paragraphs should be more than enough. Take a look at our appreciation letter samples for tone, length, and language suggestions.
Be Prompt:Send your letter of appreciation as soon as possible, while the events are still fresh in everyone’s mind. A letter that shows up too late might mistakingly suggest that the person and their actions weren’t really all that important to you in the first place.
How to Format an Appreciation Letter
To keep the tone professional, your letter of appreciation should be written in the style of a traditional business letter, as demonstrated in our appreciation letter samples above. Always be sure to use the recipient’s name in the greeting and then use the opening paragraph to express your sincere appreciation for them and what they’ve done. In the following sections, reference their actions as clearly and concisely as you can, making note of the direct positive impact of those actions in your world. In closing, thank the recipient again for what they’ve done, personally signing the letter, whenever possible.
Common Appreciation Letter Mistakes
- Using Excessive Flattery: Too much praise can make it seem like you’re tryingto butter up the recipient and may make them view your letter of appreciation as some sort of insincere tactic. (See our appreciation letter samples for proper examples.)
- Being Presumptuous: Thanking someone ahead of time for a future good deed may seem as little more than a manipulative act to force them into doing said deed.
- Not Proofreading: Sending out a letter of appreciation full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors suggests that you didn’t appreciate the person’s actions enough to not hastily rush through thanking them.
You’ve Written Your Appreciation Letter. Now What?
A sincere and concise thank you letter, like the ones in our appreciation letter samples, can be a truly powerful and impactful correspondence. The next step is making sure your appreciation letter gets into the right hands at the right time.
Make a Special Delivery: Find a time to deliver your letter of appreciation when the recipient can actually take the moment to enjoy it. Avoid sending it in the middle of the workday, if possible, when it might get buried among a flood of correspondence.
Don’t Expect Anything in Return:Your letter of appreciation should be sent as a sincere gesture without any attached agenda or expectations. Don’t follow up with the person to see if they got your letter or if they liked it; let your letter of appreciation speak for itself.