How To Write a Personalised Appreciation Letter
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 10 September 2022 | Published 30 June 2021
Updated 10 September 2022
Published 30 June 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.
Showing appreciation or acknowledging someone's kindness is not only meaningful, but it's also memorable. Expressions of gratitude are inherently motivating and heart-warming. Understanding the importance of an appreciation letter and writing it in an appropriate format reflects your thoughtfulness and effort, which can lead to strengthened relations with others. In this article, we outline the importance of appreciation letters and the steps you can take to draft a sincere thank-you letter.
What is an appreciation letter?
An appreciation letter is a professional note written to business contacts that demonstrates your gratitude. There are likely many times in your life when it's appropriate to write a letter of appreciation. You may receive a gift, a piece of advice or professional connections from someone in your personal or professional life. Regardless of what favour you are showing gratitude for, an appreciation letter can leave a positive impression on the recipient.
How to write an appreciation letter
You can learn how to craft your own appreciation letter and add a personal touch to your letters. Here are the steps to kick-start your first time writing an appreciation letter:
1. Be prompt
Regardless of the purpose of appreciation letters, whether to thank an interviewer for meeting with you or to express gratitude for a favour, you can write and deliver thank-you letters no later than three days of the event. Not only does your promptness demonstrate your good manners and efficiency, but it also conveys the sincerity of your message. Fret not, if you send the letter after the recommended three-day window, expressions of gratitude are likely to still evoke a positive response from the recipient.
2. Choose an appropriate format
Assess whether the recipient of your letter is a professional or personal connection. Type letters to professional contacts and print them on high-quality paper if you intend to hand-deliver them; otherwise, express your gratitude via email. If you are writing a letter to a personal acquaintance, a more casual format may be appropriate.
3. Write a greeting
The greeting is the first thing your reader sees when they open your letter, and it states who you are writing to. When writing professional letters to business contacts, potential employers or people you don't know well, begin with a title, such as "Mr." or "Ms.". Personal letters that you write to people you connect with on a regular basis can include more personal greetings that include the recipient's first name. The greeting you select can set the tone for the rest of the letter. As a result, it's critical to use the appropriate greeting.
4. Express the letter's purpose
Start with a brief expression of gratitude in the body of your letter. In a professional setting, for instance, thanking someone for meeting with you can begin with something like, "Thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Monday. I had a great time talking with you.” If you state the reason upfront and in a clear manner, the recipient knows the reason for your letter instantly.
5. Be specific
Be particular about the details and personalise the letter to demonstrate your genuineness and sincerity. This also demonstrates your active listening skills and conveys your interest and enthusiasm. You can give specific examples by mentioning a detail or two about what you are grateful for, but do make sure it's brief, personalised, authentic and meaningful. To make this step easier, take some time to write some notes as soon as the event or conversation is over. This way, you won't have to worry about forgetting any meaningful details of the event.
As an example, you can say something like, “I especially appreciate your help in connecting me with your network. I was very touched by your kind gesture and support. I intend to follow up with the contacts you referred to me straightaway.” Pay close attention to the tone of your letter as well. You want to be writing your message in a genuine tone.
Reiterate your gratitude and the impact their recommendations have had on you. You can say something akin to, “Thanks to your suggestions, I now have a better understanding of the many networking resources available online. Your insights have inspired me to become much more motivated in my job search.”
Reinforce the importance of their input by saying something such as, “Your expert advice has encouraged me to refocus my career goals and to continually broaden my skill set to enhance my resume.” End your appreciation letter with concise but impactful well wishes. For instance, you can say something like, “I wish you the best for your future endeavours.”
7. Sign your letter
Lastly, select a suitable closing and sign your name at the bottom of the letter. The most widely used professional letter closing is “Sincerely”. But you can use other options like “Respectfully”, “Best Regards” or other phrases of a similar nature. 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.
8. Proofread your letter
Prior to delivering your letter, carefully proofread it for grammar, spelling and typographical errors. A well-written letter free of errors makes a good first impression and can demonstrate the effort and time put into it. It can also provide evidence to your orientation to detail and meticulousness to the recipient. Here are some proofreading tips to help you deliver an error-free letter:
Read the letter aloud
This can assist you in catching errors that you may otherwise have missed while reading silently. Reading the letter aloud enables you to clearly identify mistakes and parts that can be improved in general. In a lot of instances, you can catch many awkward phrases when using this technique.
Get a trusted friend or colleague to review the letter
Select someone you can confide in to highlight flaws and suggest potential improvements. Ensure that the person you entrust to proofread your letter is reasonably fluent in both reading and writing the language, and can be honest with you in pointing out any mistakes. This way, they can be more likely to help spot incorrect spelling or grammar.
Read the letter backward
Reading the letter backward from the end to the beginning can assist you in identifying missing, incorrect or misspelled words. Keep in mind that this approach may work better for some people than others. If you think this method confuses you, you can always skip this step.
Know your common errors
Being mindful of the errors you're prone to make can help you look for those specific errors more closely while proofreading your letter. But while you focus on your common errors, it's best that you make sure you still pay attention to the entire letter.
Why are appreciation letters important?
You may receive a lot of assistance throughout your career and personal development. Mentors and bosses may offer guidance and strategy, while coworkers may assist with projects and training. Others may freely extend help to you for your other personal matters.
All of these instances pose endless opportunities to express your gratitude to those who have helped you. Apart from showing gratitude, a thank-you note allows you to reach out, connect and acknowledge kindness. These are some reasons why you can write appreciation letters:
It's common courtesy. Sending an appreciation letter displays good character and shows that you are well-mannered. Although people may not always expect you to follow up and extend your thanks, the recipients would feel valued and appreciated.
It demonstrates professionalism. Taking the time and effort to send a thoughtful thank-you note in a professional setting communicates respect and demonstrates that you know how to conduct yourself in professional relationships.
It allows people to remember you. Apart from being able to stand out and leaving a good impression, sending an appreciation letter is a nice and courteous gesture. It also increases the likelihood that people are more inclined to help you again in the future.
Writing thank-you letters to those who have helped or assisted you is beneficial in all aspects of your personal and professional life. It not only strengthens your relationships, but also promotes a positive attitude in both the sender and the recipient at no cost to either party. The self-perpetuating nature of gratitude encourages people to be more appreciative of the actions of others.
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