An appreciation letter is a formal document that sincerely recognizes what the recipient has done for you and the positive impact he or she has had on your professional life. A well-written appreciation letter can be a powerful type of correspondence that carries much impact, helping build strong working relationships.
An effective letter of appreciation avoids clichés and generalities. Instead, you should pinpoint specific actions and explain how they helped you. Such precision allows recipients to feel truly appreciated for their unique actions and contributions. Hastily or poorly written letters of thanks can work against you by causing recipients to feel they are not important enough for you to take the time to proofread what you send, thus casting doubt on the truthfulness of your entire expression.
A solid letter of appreciation, whether to a co-worker, manager, or someone who gives you an interview, is an important component of your employment life cycle. Sending a letter that you quickly slapped together or left riddled with mistakes can reflect poorly on you and give recipients a bad impression. For help crafting a genuine message of thanks that reflects your gratitude, study our appreciation letter templates and tips for advice and inspiration.
Appreciation Letter Templates
Appreciation Letter for Good Work
A letter of appreciation for good work recognizes the contributions an individual or team has made to the success of the business. It thanks those involved as well as informs peers of outstanding professional work, creating a stronger work bond. Our appreciation letter templates can help you write the perfect message of thanks.
Appreciation Letter to an Employee
When employees go above and beyond standard responsibilities to accomplish professional goals and tasks, a letter of appreciation is an excellent way to formally recognize their dedication and hard work. Let our appreciation letter templates and included tips guide you to crafting a graceful acknowledgement of an individual’s positive contributions.
Appreciation Letter to a Boss
Supervisors play a large role in the work atmosphere. If your supervisor has supported you, a well-written letter of appreciation lets him or her know of your respect. It also says that you note and remember attention and encouragement. Use our appreciation letter templates as guides in creating a document that expresses your honest feelings.
Letter of Appreciation to a Company
Recognize a supportive, innovative, or service-oriented company with a letter of appreciation to let executives and employees know you appreciate their efforts. Sending such a letter can reinforce positive changes and operations within a business. Our appreciation letter templates can show you how to write a meaningful message of gratitude.
Appreciation Letter Writing Etiquette
1. Avoid excessive flattery
If you pack your letter of thanks with too much praise and excessive flowery phrases, it could come across as insincere. The recipient may think you are trying to flatter or curry unmerited favor, making him or her view your letter — and your motives — as some type of dishonest or hypocritical tactic. Keeping your expressions of thanks clear and brief is the best way to send an eloquent message that comes across as genuine. Make your note a celebration of their personal efforts. Our appreciation letter templates can help you find believable words to convey your gratitude.
2. Be positive
An appreciation letter should be a means of expressing honest gratitude. Therefore, keep your tone positive through thoughtful word choices. Only use negatives such as “not,” “do not,” and “will not” to deny, not to evade or be indecisive. Even a phrase such as “I cannot tell you how much you helped me” gives your message a whiff of negativity and even artificiality. Instead, keep your expressions clear, strong, and upbeat. Write positive expressions such as “Thank you for your help, which allowed me to beat the deadline by three days.”
3. Be specific
In your letter of appreciation, avoid sweeping generalities and banal clichés. Instead, pinpoint precise actions in your message, and explain their direct positive impact on you. Doing so increases the likelihood the recipient will feel genuinely appreciated for individual efforts. In addition, stating specific examples of positive actions and your appreciation of them can actually reinforce that behavior and encourage similar acts in the future.
4. Be prompt
When sending an appreciation letter, do not wait too long after an event or development. Dispatch your letter as soon as possible, while details are still fresh in everyone’s minds. Doing so is another way to convey a genuine feeling of gratitude, whereas sending a note long after an event has occurred could actually give the recipient an impression that you do not consider his or her actions all that important after all. Any type of professional communication better conveys both sincerity and proficiency when sent in a timely manner.
5. Be concise
As with all business correspondence, keep any formal letter you send polite and to the point. It should have a pleasant but professional tone, which lets the recipient know you recognize his or her skills and accomplishments even as you share your own personal message. A business letter is not an epic poem, and one or two paragraphs at the most should be sufficient to express your thoughts. Use short words, and remember that simple expression does not indicate simple thinking. Our templates can give you ideas of what to include and, just as important, what to leave out.
6. Format carefully
Precise formatting not only shows respect for the recipient; it also reflects positively on your professionalism. When you write a formal letter to a co-worker, company, or supervisor, format it according to best practices for all traditional business correspondence. Include an inside address, and always use the recipient’s name in the greeting, making sure it is correctly spelled. Use the opening paragraph to clearly state the point of the message. In a letter of appreciation, for example, you would open by communicating your gratitude to the recipient and for his or her efforts. The next section should reference precise actions or points and state exactly what your message is, which, in a letter of thanks, should be a description of the direct positive ways those actions impacted you. Finish by again clearly stating the point of your message. Use a standard closing such as “sincerely,” and personally sign the letter.
7. Present well
The presentation of your business correspondence is as important as the contents, because if a note is hard to read or confusing to look at, your message may not get across effectively, if at all. Proper presentation also reflects well on you. Print professional letters in black ink on paper of the standard size of 8.5 x 11 inches. Use a font that is easy to read, and ensure your margins are standard and consistent throughout. Addresses for envelopes look best when typed in all capital letters.
8. Avoid humor
To be on the safe side, do not use humor in an appreciation letter. The tone should be polite and professional. With this type of correspondence, your point is to offer heartfelt thanks for professional support. If you insert what you think is a comical touch, you run the risk of having your meaning misconstrued and your entire message undermined. However, if you know the recipient and think that he or she will understand a pun or joke, you have more leeway to insert a bit of levity within your message of gratitude. Be sure in all cases, though, that you do not include any sarcastic or ironic remarks.
9. Be appropriate
Remember that the point of a professional letter of appreciation is to express your earnest gratitude — and nothing else. This type of correspondence is not a venue for asking for additional support or monetary assistance.
Sending out an appreciation letter riddled with grammatical mistakes and spelling errors has a two-fold negative impact. First, it suggests to recipients whom you mean to be thanking that you did not consider them important enough to take time to check the document you sent them. Secondly, sending out sloppy documents that have not been proofread reflects negatively on you, because it hints at general carelessness. Before sending a letter of appreciation, proofread it three times, and read it aloud.