How to Write a Letter of Appreciation

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”, according to William Arthur Ward. And it is rightly so.

You will come across people during your job search who will help you with a letter of reference; it could be your former boss or client(s) who granted you a job referral. Similarly, in other aspects of your career, you will meet team players who helped you accomplish a project or supervisors who gave ample feedback and guidance. It is always wise, and of good adherence to thank them. 

This “thank you”, when said verbally is good enough, but why stop in “good enough” when by writing a letter to that person could result in a potential long-term relationship and goodwill? By expressing gratitude while putting an effort to write it makes the person on the other side feel good about themselves and want to do the thing, if possible, more sincerely, the next time for someone else. A letter of appreciation is, therefore, a very handy tool in the workplace, just as it is elsewhere.

Elements of a Letter of Appreciation:

Now what to include in your letter of appreciation. A quick overview of what you will need is as follows:

  • Greeting: If you have an informal relationship with the recipient or as are in most cases, you can start with a “Hi/Hey/Hello, ……….!” In a formal relation, “Dear …………” is better whereas in a more formal scenario opt for, “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. ………….. (Last name)”.
  • Body: To show that you were truly benefited by their work, give attention to details while writing and talk about how they went out of their way to help or took out time for you, or something befitting to the situation. Do not generalize just to be precise. Specificity is key here. Also, don’t just share the details of their help, but share the details of how YOU got helped.
  • Closing: Call it quits with a closing line and thank again, ending with your signature.

Now remember, as email inboxes overflow these days, a handwritten letter might make, or if I daresay, will make the recipients day. 

Tips for You: 

There are also a couple of other things you need to keep in mind:

  • Don’t delay the letter. Try to send it as soon as your job gets done.
  • Don’t thank in advance. It is overbold.
  • Be polished and professional. Edit, proofread and re-edit if needed.
  • Be short but sincere. Don’t write as if you are in a hurry. Take your time to draft a meaningful letter.
  • Pay attention to the grammar and meanings. In order to sound crisp, don’t use too technical words, but don’t also write a bland letter even if it is your best mate at work. Choose your words wisely.
  • Close with best wishes.

This is everything you need to know about writing a good letter of appreciation. Follow these instructions and tips, and don’t forget to write one the next time you get helped!

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