How To Write a Professional Thank You Letter

You may be used to sending thank you notes to family or friends who give you a gift or help you out in a big way, but thank you notes have a place in the professional realm, too. A thoughtful thank you letter goes a long way in showing a client, colleague, or anyone else you work with that you appreciate something they’ve done for you. Learning how to craft a message that demonstrates warmth while exemplifying professionalism is an important skill for anyone in the workplace.

Why Should You Send a Professional Thank You Letter?

Everyone likes feeling appreciated — that goes for clients, co-workers, employees, bosses, and business partners. A culture of gratitude helps everyone in a business feel more connected. If you’re the boss, showing appreciation for your employees can boost engagement, making them more likely to go the extra mile for your business (and to stick around instead of looking for employment elsewhere). If you’ve just closed a big deal with a client or have some loyal customers who always use your products, you want those folks to know you appreciate them, too.

A professional thank you letter is a great way to acknowledge an employee or co-worker’s effort and hard work, or to show appreciation for a customer’s or client’s loyalty. People sometimes think showing gratitude will come across as awkward. In fact, saying thank you has a positive impact on both the recipient and giver of the message. All in all, expressions of gratitude can:

  • Help you maintain professional relationships.
  • Acknowledge the effort your peers or employees put into a project or goal.
  • Improve your own mood.

In other words, there’s no good reason NOT to say thank you in a professional setting! If you have a reason to show gratitude, go for it.

Example of a professional business letter

Characteristics of a Professional Thank You Letter

Still, actually putting together a professional thank you letter can feel like a challenge, even when you know the benefits of sharing these messages. You’ll want to carefully consider tone and presentation when you communicate in a professional setting. Here are a few ways to make your thank you note more professional:

  • Go for an elegant visual presentation: Your professional thank you letter should appear elegant, organized, and professional. In other words, keep things simple and straightforward. A sophisticated card and neat yet personal handwriting fit right in with this type of presentation.
  • Make sure you use proper grammar: Make sure to read your note over a few times and edit as needed to ensure the grammar is spot on. Sending a thank you note with improper grammar can show a lack of professionalism, and it may even make the recipient think you aren’t paying attention to your task.
  • Pay attention to detail: Keeping a close eye on the details is important for your note overall. Thank you notes are short and to the point, so every detail matters. Pro-tip: Check and then double-check the spelling of your recipient’s name. Spelling someone’s name wrong is a surefire way to look careless.
  • Include a personalized message: Put in specific details about why you’re thanking someone to ensure your recipient recalls the event. Including a personalized message will not only show you’re paying attention but will also help foster a meaningful connection between you and your recipient.

How To Write a Professional Thank You Letter

Here are some steps to follow when you’re writing a professional thank you letter:

1. Start With an Appropriate Opening

Remember to strike the balance between warmth and professionalism. A simple opening like “Dear [Name],” including the recipient’s title if appropriate, always works well.

Consider the relationship you have with your recipient when you write your opening. While some workplaces and relationships are more informal, an informal tone will come off as inappropriate in other situations.

2. Thank the Recipient

It’s important to strike the right tone in your thank you letter, too. Here are a few examples of ways to thank different people.

Thanking your boss:

  • I owe my success to your expert advice and guidance.
  • I have learned so much from working for you.
  • Thank you for believing in me.

Thanking your co-worker:

  • Excellent work on the project!
  • I’m so glad you’re part of my team.
  • I have learned so much from working with you.

Thanking your employee:

  • Thank you for making our business a great place to work.
  • I really appreciate your work ethic.
  • You have made this project a success.

Thanking your client:

  • Thanks for your loyalty!
  • Thank you for putting your trust in our business.
  • Thank you for your long-term support.

3. Add the Personal Details

A thank you letter won’t mean much if your recipient doesn’t know why they’re being thanked. Make sure your letter demonstrates exactly what you’re thankful for.

In other words, don’t take the easy way out with a generic note that says something like, “Thank you for your kindness” that you simply sign and send on its way. Instead, try something with a personal touch that makes your message stand out.

For example, a note like, “Thank you for listening to my concerns about the [name] project. Your kindness means so much to me” lets your recipient know why you’re thanking them while still being straightforward and to the point.

4. End With Your Closing and Signature

Signing off in a personal way puts the finishing touch on your professional thank you letter. A personalized closing can focus on the relationship you have with the recipient of your note. If you have a phrase you commonly use together, you can use that in place of a typical letter closing. Otherwise, just go with something that leaves the recipient in a positive mindset. Some examples of ways to close a professional thank you note include:

  • Thanks again,
  • Warmly,
  • Sincerely,

A professional thank you letter can brighten someone’s day, showing a client, employee, colleague, or boss that you noticed and appreciate what that person has done for you. Learning how to write a professional thank you letter is key to building solid professional relationships.

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