Writing A Thank You Letter

November 26, 2011

in Creative writing

Thank you letters have become increasingly rare over the years, and one might argue that this is due to a decline in politeness. However, this rarity means that when you do send a thank you letter, it appears as an extra special gesture. Thank you letters can be sent for both personal and business related affairs, and while an email will suffice, a hand written thank you letter will go a long way in showing the true value of your appreciation.

Business Thank You Letters

The following is a list of business related circumstances when it is deemed appropriate to send a thank you letter:

  • After attending an interview
  • After receiving a pay rise or a promotion
  • After receiving a letter of reference from senior management for a new job
  • After attending a corporate dinner
  • After attending a trade show or corporate day out
  • After receiving a gift from a fellow employee

Obviously the language you use for a business related thank you letter will differ greatly to that which you use for personal thank you letters to the likes of your grandma or best friend. Keep business thank you letters concise, fairly formal but friendly and very polite; humor should be reserved for personal thank you letters.

Things to Remember…

  • Business thank you letters should be typed, ideally on letter-headed paper. Handwritten or emailed letters are okay if you know the recipient personally.
  • Send the letter promptly, within 48 hours of the event, where possible.
  • Be friendly but also professional. It would be very inappropriate to end a business thank you with “love from”.

Personal Thank You Letters

The following is a list of personal related circumstances when it is deemed appropriate to send a thank you letter:

  • After receiving a gift (wedding gift, house warming gift)
  • After being a guest in someone’s home or residence
  • When someone has gone out of his or her way to help you out

Things To Remember…

  • Write your letter on paper rather than emailing it over.
  • Use good-quality notepaper or a nice greetings card.
  • If you do send an email make sure it is personalized and not a mass email sent to a group.
  • Incorporate some recent, interesting personal news that will add a personal connection to the letter; don’t just say hello and thank you.
  • End the letter with “looking forward to seeing you soon” or something to that effect.
  • Start with “Dear” and end “With Love,” “Love From” or “Best Wishes.”
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