Writing a thank you letter can be difficult, because exactly how you write it depends on the audience you are writing a thank you letter for. If it’s to a friend, for example, it would be a lot less formal than it would if you were writing to your boss after a promotion. The point is, the format, style, and word choices you choose depend largely on who you are writing your thank you letter to.
In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the most common reasons you might have for writing a thank you letter to begin with, and we’ll provide you with some useful tips and examples to help you format a thank you letter of your own.
Thank You Letter
Thank You Letter Format & Tips
Regardless of who you are writing your thank you letter to, it’s likely that the following tips for how to format it will be relevant. That’s because people expect thank you letters to look a certain way, and here’s how to do it:
- Start with a greeting. You’ll need to decide on how formal you need to make it. If it’s for a professional setting, perhaps ‘Dear …’ would work best, if it’s just an informal thank you to a colleague perhaps ‘Hi …’ would work, it’s up to you to decide what is best.
- Then you will need to thank them specifically for whatever they have done for you. This makes clear to the recipient that you are sending a thank you letter.
- Following that, you may also want to include something personal to show how sincere your thank you is. It might be a personal detail about why their help means so much to you, or you mentioning something that happened between the two of you whilst they were helping you. Whatever it is, making the letter more personal to them makes the thank you seem more genuine, and therefore they’ll appreciate your thanks even more.
- Just before finishing, thank them again, and possibly let them know if you’re waiting for a reply (this is typical in a thank you letter after a job interview, for example, but may not always be necessary). You should thank them one last time though, because it shows your appreciation just before you finish the letter.
- Finally, sign off. Again, just like the greeting, your sign off should be appropriate to the recipient of the letter, and how formal or informal you wish to be. In more formal settings something like ‘All the best’ or ‘Best wishes’ followed by Your Name directly beneath it might be your best options. Likewise, if it’s to a friend or family member ‘Cheers’ or ‘Love’ followed by Your Name beneath it might be better. It’s up to you, but make sure the tone suits the situation.
How Should You Write a Thank You Letter?
This last section really comes down to the age-old question of whether you ought to write your thank you letter by hand or electronically. It doesn’t really matter. Both have their own merits, so it’s really up to you.
Sending a thank you email will get to the recipient quicker, so in the case of thanking an interviewer, this is probably for the best. A hand-written letter can often seem even more personal though, so if there’s an opportunity for you to express your thanks without time being of the essence, then certainly a hand-written note will be appreciated. Really though, if you follow the formats and suggestions above, you won’t go wrong with a thank you letter no matter how you send it. So long as it is a sincere thank you, the recipient will be grateful no matter what.
How to Write a Thank You Letter (with Samples)
Thank You Letter After Interview
If there was ever a situation where a thank you letter is not only advisable, but most times necessary, then it’s after a job interview. Remembering to send a thank you letter to the interviewer can be an excellent way to show gratitude for their consideration, but also place you as a candidate for the job firmly in their mind again.
Think about it, an interviewer has probably interviewed a fair amount of people for the role you have also applied for, so if you can do anything to stand out or trigger their memory about you and why you were such an excellent interviewee, then you should absolutely do it! One of the best ways to do this is with a thank you letter that follows the format we laid out for you above, but in a slightly more formal way. We’ll provide an example below and then highlight some extra things we included to make the thank you letter more suited to an interviewer following a job interview:
Dear [Interviewer’s Name],
Thank you for inviting me to the interview yesterday and considering me for the role of [insert job title here] at [insert business name here]. I really enjoyed talking to you about your vision for the company’s future and how you plan to grow moving forwards. Hearing about your passion for the company has definitely left me thinking about how I might assist you with those goals, and I would be most excited to put these ideas into motion should I be chosen for the role.
I realize it may take you some time to come to a decision about who you wish to hire, but I’m looking forward to hearing your decision, whatever the outcome. In the meantime, if there’s anything more you need from me, please get in touch. Thanks again for considering me.
As you can see, we broadly followed the format that we provided as an example above. The key thing to do in a thank you letter to an interviewer is to remember to highlight something that the two of you discussed – this will help them remember you specifically. Always show that you’re still excited about the position and that it is still on your mind, and remember to thank them for their consideration, no matter the outcome.
Thank You Letter for Scholarship
If you are lucky enough to receive a scholarship, then a thank you letter is a must. It shows your gratitude for such a generous gift, but also reassures the scholarship donor that you were the right choice. Again, we’ll show you an example below, and then we’ll highlight any differences from the general format we have already provided:
Dear [Scholarship Donor],
I am writing to you to express my thanks after finding out that I am to be the recipient of your [insert Scholarship info here]. I was thoroughly overjoyed at receiving the news. With your generous donation, I will be able to pursue my goal of becoming [insert potential future career path here] and I am looking forward to studying [insert the course they have awarded you the scholarship for] at [insert educational institution here].
By awarding me [insert Scholarship name here] I am now one step closer to achieving this goal, and I just wanted to say thank you again. I hope one day to pay this generosity forwards.
The key in a scholarship thank you letter is to remember to highlight what you intend to do with their scholarship. By reassuring them that your dreams are big and they have helped you on that path, they will be rest assured that they made the right choice in providing you a scholarship. Be sincere and honest in your letter, and your thank you will be appreciated.