How To Write a Personal Thank-You Letter

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 17 October 2022

Published 21 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Expressing appreciation or recognising someone's contribution is not only thoughtful, but also memorable. Gestures of appreciation can be intrinsically inspiring and heart-warming. Understanding how to write a thank-you letter that is personal, sincere and thoughtful can enhance your existing relationship with the recipient or cultivate a healthy one with someone new. In this article, we outline the steps you can take to draft a meaningful thank-you letter.

How to write a thank-you letter

Knowing how to write a good thank-you letter can help you express your gratitude following professional circumstances such as job interviews, client referrals or new partnerships. It can emphasise your interest in building better rapport with the recipients and create opportunities for future networks. You can follow these steps to draft a well-written thank-you letter:

1. Choose your method of contact

A handwritten letter is more personal and demonstrates commitment. But for mailing, it can take a couple of days before it reaches the recipient. Hence, it's preferable to send an email for time-sensitive events such as job interviews.

Related: How To Say Thank You in Your Email

2. Decide who are your recipients

In the context of a job interview, thank the HR manager personally if you had a one-on-one interview with them. If you met with a group, take the time to send separate notes to each person. Sending a personalised thank-you note demonstrates that you cherish the relationship. It can also ensure you get a response from the right person.

For instance, if you had a group interview but aren't sure who'll make the ultimate hiring decision, write a thank-you note to each individual. This way, the likelihood that your message reaches the decision-maker can increase. Include specifics from your chat with each person to demonstrate that you were actively listening and had a vested interest in what they had to say.

3. Make it easy to read

If you're sending a hard copy letter, make sure to format it neatly. Use a clear and easy-to-read font such as Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman in 10 to 12-point size for typed letters. Review and proofread your letter thoroughly to eliminate spelling, syntax and grammatical errors. If you have any doubts, have a trusted friend, relative or colleague go through your letter. They can assist in assessing readability and catching mistakes that you may otherwise have overlooked.

4. Use a professional tone

Because thank-you notes are a form of professional communication, avoid using colloquialisms or other casual figures of speech. Using clear and plain language can showcase your communication abilities and gain people's respect. It can also improve readability for the recipients.

Example: Hi Ravindran, I had a great time talking to you yesterday. I believe it'll be useful in our work on the construction project.

5. Address the recipient appropriately

If you're confident of the recipient's gender identification, you can address the recipient using Dear Mr., Mrs. or Ms., followed by their last name. For a gender-neutral alternative, use their full name. If the receiver is an acquaintance, you can simply use their first name.

6. State the purpose of your writing

Let the reader know immediately the intent of your letter. Start your letter with the purpose before going into the details. Professionals are typically busy, so it'll help if you can get directly to the point.

Example: I am writing to extend my gratitude for organising the client files last night. Or I want to personally thank you for introducing me to your equipment supplier.

Related: How To Write a Letter of Intent (With Examples and Tips)

7. Refer to specific details from your meeting

Referencing previous discussion topics demonstrates to the recipient that you were actively engaged in the meeting and adds a personal touch. Referring to the points that are most relevant to your aims can ensure that the recipient responds to issues that affect you most. This also enhances your genuineness and sincerity.

Example: I appreciate your insights and suggestions into the company's upcoming plans to first expand to Johor and then to the whole of Malaysia. I believe my consulting firm is well-equipped to do the job.

Related: Tips on How to Write a Thank-You Email After a Meeting

8. Highlight your qualifications

A thank-you note may be more than just a token of appreciation. It may also be used to remind the receiver of your credentials for a position or to engage in other good exchanges. Thus, remember to emphasise your qualifications and skills (if applicable).

Example: I appreciate the opportunity to interview with your firm. I know I have the ability to excel in copywriting because of my devotion and attention to detail. Or Thank you for your first order from Songket Textiles. I am confident that my company can continue meeting your needs.

9. Restate your goals

You may emphasise your wish for future contact in the thank-you letter. It's considerably easier for others to help you if they understand what you need. Hence, you can reiterate your goals for the recipient's reference.

Example: I'm excited about the possibility of joining your law firm as a management associate. Or I hope to hire an architect and an interior designer for the new office building.

10. Ask about the next steps

By asking a question about possible actionable measures, you can show the recipient that you are willing to take the required efforts to maintain the connection. This question can also provide you with a timetable regarding what to expect in the future. Knowing this information can help you plan and understand if alternatives are available.

Example: When do you plan to recruit someone for this position? Kindly let me know if there's anything else I can do to assist you in making your decision.

11. Conclude the letter

Thank the recipient once again for the encounter that prompted you to write the letter. You can then add a suitable closing like "sincerely" or "gratefully" and your signature. The most common professional letter ending is "Sincerely". You can, however, consider other options like “Respectfully” or “Best Regards”. When delivering a physical letter, it's customary to sign your name by hand, followed by your typed name below the signature. Alternatively, you can simply type your name if your letter is going to be sent via email.

Related: Tips for Using Thank You vs. Regards in Emails and Letters

12. Send the letter

If you are delivering a physical letter, be sure to mail it as soon as possible. If feasible, hand-deliver the letter to the front desk. Emails are the quickest option, and timeliness is essential in business interactions. A quick follow-up is more likely to make an impression on the reader.

Related: 63 Email Sign-Offs To Use for Professional Emails

How do you say thank you in a formal letter?

You can consider these expressions to say thank you in various scenarios:

  • Thanking a business associate for their support: Thank you for your assistance in sourcing and securing an alternative supplier when our shipping cargo was delayed.

  • Thanking a recruiter after a job interview: I'd like to express my gratitude for your time yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about the finance associate position and appreciated learning more about the company culture.

  • Thanking a networking contact: Thank you for kindly introducing me to Ms. Lim the other day. Your introduction shows confidence in my personal and professional qualifications, and I am certain that your recommendation will significantly enhance my connection with Ms. Lim.

  • Thanking a colleague: Thank you for your support and assistance in our previous team project. I know you invested a lot of effort and time in getting everything in order, and I greatly appreciate your dedication.

Read more:

  • Example Thank-You Messages for Your Boss

  • 101 Examples of How To Say "Thank You for Your Time" at Work

How do you say thank you meaningfully?

In certain cases, simple phrases of gratitude may not suffice. If the person has made a significant difference in your life, it's critical to ensure that you express your utmost appreciation in a more genuine and meaningful way. You can consider these tips to write a more impactful thank-you letter:

  • Show enthusiasm. Expressing appreciation with more passion can emphasise the extent of your gratitude. Phrases like You made my day! or You saved my life! are more powerful than merely thanking someone.

  • Vary your vocabulary. You can vary your thank-you phrases to show your gratitude. For instance, you can say I appreciate you, I'd like to extend my gratitude or I am very thankful for your help.

  • Get specific. Be specific about why you are expressing your appreciation. This may allow your appreciation note to come across as more sincere to the recipient. You may also want to document your feelings and emotions from the incident.

  • Send a handwritten letter. In today's digitalised world, a handwritten letter can be rare. If your message is not time-sensitive, consider a handwritten letter to convey how you really feel.

Related: How To Write a Personalised Appreciation Letter

The models shown are for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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