Moving On Congratulations Letter Examples

Woman at home at desk with computer and telephone
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When someone is moving on, either to a new job or a new personal path like retirement, it's always a good idea to send a congratulations letter or note. It's a kind way to show the individual that you're impressed with their success and will miss them. 

Sending the letter also lays a good groundwork for maintaining communications and retaining the individual in your professional network.

Which Type of Letter to Send

Consider sending a handwritten note instead of a quick email or LinkedIn message. It is becoming rarer for people to communicate through “snail mail,” and so handwritten notes or purchased “Congratulations” cards make an extra-special impression.

Receiving a card will show the recipient that you took an extra effort to personally recognize their accomplishment.

But the most important thing to do is send the congratulations letter, regardless of how you send it. So don't hesitate to send an email or LinkedIn message if that's the best way to ensure the task gets completed. 

What to Include in Your Congratulations Letter 

The single most important thing you want to accomplish in your letter is expressing congratulations. In fact, after a greeting, that's often the sentiment expressed in the first sentence of the email. Take a look at some more tips for writing a letter congratulating a colleague: 

  • Include a greeting: Choose your salutation based on how well you know the colleague, and the closeness of your relationship. (When in doubt, it's preferable to opt for a more formal greeting.) 
  • Say congratulations: As mentioned above, this is the most important part of the message. Go beyond saying "Congratulations" and be specific about your colleague's achievement, whether it's landing a promotion, retiring, or anything else. 
  • Validate your colleague: Along with expressing your congratulations, it's also common to offer praise, such as "This is such a well-deserved promotion" or "I'm proud of you" or "This [accomplishment] is the result of your hard work and dedication." This is your opportunity to be a bit personal, and reflect on the person's accomplishments. 
  • Express your good wishes: Often, people will say something forward-looking, such as "I hope retirement means you'll finally have all the time to golf you could ever want" or "I can't wait to see what you accomplish in this new role." If the person is moving on to a new role, it's also appropriate to mention that you hope to keep in touch. 
  • End with a friendly close: Just as you opened with a greeting, you'll want to end the letter with a sign-off.

Use these sample congratulations letters as a starting point for your own note to a person who is moving on to a new position.

You'll also find an example of a letter to congratulate someone who is relocating.

Congratulations Letter Example (New Job)

This is an example of a congratulations letter. Download the congratulations letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.

Screenshot of a congratulations letter example
@ The Balance 2020

Congratulations Letter Example (New Job) (Text Version)

Beth Jones
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
beth.jones@email.com

October 13, 2020

Georgia Lee
Director
Sunshine House
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Georgia,

I was so glad to hear that you were offered and have accepted the Director position at the Sunshine House. You have done a super job at the Hosta Foundation, but I know you've felt ready to move on for some time.

I'm glad that you found something that will keep you in town so that we can still see each other occasionally. You were fortunate that the Sunshine House opportunity came along now – and they will be very, very lucky to have you.

Congratulations on this terrific change!

Fondly,

Beth

Congratulations Letter Example (Retirement)

Susan Rodriguez
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
susan.rodriguez@email.com

October 13, 2020

Marvin Lee
Principal
Sunny Middle School
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Marvin,

It was with much sadness for us but joy for you that I learned that you will be retiring from teaching at the end of the school year. It’s been such a pleasure to work side-by-side with you for the past five years. Your mentorship was invaluable to me when I was first hired, and I know that I’ve become a much better teacher by observing and following the example you set each day in inspiring your students.

My fourth-graders (and their parents) have already expressed their disappointment that they won’t have the chance to be in your class next year – and I know that our football team will miss your leadership as an enthusiastic and motivational coach.

I hope the years ahead are filled with wonderful new adventures for you, Anne, your kids, and your new grandchild. Congratulations on your retirement – and thanks again for the advice and support you’ve given me over the years.

Onward and upward,

Susan

Moving on Message (New Job)

Jim Lau
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345a
555-555-5555
jim.lau@email.com

October 13, 2020

Rick Lee
Director
Acme Marketing
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Rick,

Sorry as I am to see you leave us, I was thrilled to hear that you secured your “dream job” at Acme Rental. You’ve worked hard to prepare yourself to take this next career step, and I know that you will surpass all expectations in your new position.

Thanks for offering to help us during the transition to your successor. It is going to be difficult to fill your shoes, but it’s a relief to know that you’re willing to help train our new hire during their onboarding period.

Again – I wish you all success in your new job! Please keep in touch and let us know how you’re doing.

Best regards,

Jim

Sample Congratulations Letter (Relocation)

Mark Jones
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
555-555-5555
mark.jones@email.com

October 13, 2020

Becky Lee
Sales Manager
Acme Sales
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Becky,

Congratulations on moving on to your next venture. I know you've been hoping to move back out West for some time in order to be nearer to your family, and I'm glad that a position opened up for you that is a great next step in your career.

We'll miss you here in the office, but we wish you all the best.

Good luck for a smooth transition, and success in your new position. Please keep in touch – we will all be eager to hear about your new adventures in California.

Sincerely,

Mark