Personal and Professional Appreciation Letter Examples

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There are many reasons to show appreciation for someone during your job search. You might want to say thank you to a former boss for a letter of reference, thank a client for a job referral, thank a networking contact for an informational interview, or thank a potential employer for an in-person interview.

You might also want to show appreciation for something unrelated to your job search. For example, you might wish to demonstrate appreciation for an employee who has made a contribution to a team, a boss who has provided you with guidance, or a supervisor who recommended you for a promotion.

Perhaps you'd like to thank a colleague or client for an introduction or a referral. Sending someone an appreciation letter is a great way to show thanks and to maintain strong relationships with people in your network.

Why Send an Appreciation Letter

In an age of text messaging and “instant communications,” writing thank you notes and business letters is becoming a lost art. Yet formal letter writing is still a very valuable skill – one that is appreciated by both business and personal recipients alike. Saying thank you is also a way to forge or grow a relationship with a professional connection. That can help your career in the future, as well as on a short-term basis. Thus, if you take the time to write a sincere letter that is well-expressed, grammatical, and free of spelling errors, you will stand out favorably in comparison to peers who lack this ability.

Below are tips on how to write appreciation letters, as well as a list of appreciation letter samples to use as templates for a variety of personal and professional circumstances where you would like to show your appreciation.

Tips for Writing Appreciation Letters

Write as soon as possible. Try to send the appreciation letter or email as soon as possible. For example, if you have an informational interview with a contact, send them a thank you letter by the next day. You want the person receiving the letter to remember what you are thanking them for.

Explain why you’re writing. Clearly explain what you are showing appreciation for. Especially if it has been a while, the person might need a reminder.

Keep it short and focused. Keep your letter concise. You want to express your thanks without going on for too long. A couple of paragraphs is typically sufficient.

Be sincere. Don’t go over the top in your appreciation. Express your gratitude sincerely, but briefly. Simply state how much you value the person’s help or their achievement.

Edit, edit, edit. Be sure to proofread your letter before sending it. You want to appear professional and polished, even in an appreciation letter.

Consider the format. You might consider sending your letter in one of three formats: in a business letter format, as an email, or as a personalized thank you letter. For more formal relationships (such as an employer or a new networking contact), consider the more professional business letter format. If you want the person to receive your letter right away, consider sending an email. A personalized letter or card would be appropriate for a close contact, friend, or family member.

How to Use Letter Examples

It is a good idea to review the appreciation letter and email examples below before writing your own.

Examples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your letter. Examples can also help you with the layout and format of your letter.

While examples, templates, and guidelines are a great starting point to your appreciation letter, you should always be flexible. Do be sure to take the time to personalize your letter, note, or email message, so it reflects your sincere appreciation and the reason why you are writing.

Business and Career Appreciation Letters