When a friend or colleague obtains a new job, it is both courteous and smart to send a congratulations note or email. Professional networks are maintained through small but positive expressions of support and encouragement, and taking the time to write shows that you care. If you send a simple note of congratulations, it will be remembered by its recipient.
While the most personal approach would be to send a handwritten card by mail, it is also fine to send an email to express your best wishes. If you're sending congratulations to a former colleague, and do not have their email address at the ready, sending a LinkedIn message is appropriate.
Whichever form of communication you use, be sure that your message is personalized to reflect your relationship with the person you are sending the congratulations note.
Here's when and how to send a congratulations message or email to someone who gets a new job.
Why You Should Send a Congratulations Message for a New Job
It's a nice gesture to acknowledge the positive moments in people's lives. There are also strategic reasons to send a congratulatory message. When your friend or colleague gets a new position, their number of contacts will grow—and that can help you increase your circle of connections too.
By maintaining contact with a person in a new job, you may be able to get introductions to people in that company.
A company that is hiring is undergoing changes and restructuring or expanding, and that means that exciting new opportunities will inevitably arise. If you provide a specific service or product, your friend may learn that your talents or skills are needed in their new situation and recommend to their supervisor that you join their new team. Even if your friend is taking a position within your current organization or company, it's still very likely they'll make new contacts.
At times, you may have applied for the job that your friend was hired to fill. Don't let that hold you back from sending a congratulations message. Keep communications open with an upbeat and supportive email. If you maintain a positive relationship with your friend and colleague, you can learn more about their new job and use this information to craft your applications to similar positions in the future. Follow up with another note in a couple of weeks, suggesting getting together to see how things are going.
What to Include in a Congratulations Email for a New Job
In your email, be sure to include the name of the company and the position of the recipient’s new job.
Add personal, specific details that exemplify why you believe that they will prosper in their new role. Wish them success, and offer to support them during their career transition. You may also suggest getting together for coffee, lunch, a happy hour, or a phone or video call, in a couple of weeks so you can catch up on how they are doing in their new position.
Finally, be sure to include several ways to contact you, including email, phone, website, and social media (such as LinkedIn) in the signature of your message.
You do not have to send a long note—just a few sentences relaying your congratulations are sufficient.
Congratulations Email Message Example
Here is a congratulations note example you can tailor to send via email to someone who has found a new job.
Subject Line: Congratulations on Your New Position
It was with great pleasure that I learned about your new position at the Kiwi Company.
Having known and worked with you, I know that you are more than ready for such a challenge, and I am impressed by your initiative in pursuing this wonderful new career direction. You have the necessary skills and experience and will make a terrific Team Leader.
While we will miss your expertise and the general optimism and cheer you’ve generated in our department, I am personally thrilled about your success in landing your new role. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you during your transition between jobs.
Best of luck as you advance in your career, and please keep me updated on how things are going!
Your email address
Your phone number
Your social media handles
When to Send a Handwritten Card
The most important thing is to convey your congratulations and best wishes. Should you send a traditional card as well? If you have a strong relationship, sending flowers, balloons, candy, or simply a lovely, handwritten card in addition to the email is a nice touch.
If you are sending a handwritten card, employ your nicest, most legible handwriting. You may want to write out your message on scrap paper beforehand to avoid grammatical errors or crossed-out words and phrases.