A professional thank you letter, whether hard copy or email, helps build and maintain relationships in the professional world. It’s important to let colleagues, employers, vendors, networking contacts and other contacts know that you value their time and efforts. Sending a professional thank you letter is a great way to build rapport with your network and communicate your intentions for the future.
Here are some examples of when to send professional thank you letters:
- After someone helps with a job search
- When someone provides a networking contact
- When a customer makes a purchase
- If a business awards you a contract
- Stating general appreciation
Thank You Letter Format
- Start with a greeting.
- Share your gratitude with specific examples.
- Include any details from your conversations.
- Close with any additional thoughts or information.
End with a polite closing.
*Proofread your message: Take a few minutes to review your thank you notes for any spelling, grammar or syntax mistakes. A message that’s free of errors shows you’re professional and detail-oriented.
How to write a thank you letter
It's important to send thank you letters in a timely manner. Sending a thank you note immediately following a job interview, for example, shows your genuine interest in the job. Sending a thank you letter after your company bids on a contract shows the organization your determination and willingness to be a good partner. If a coworker does something helpful for you at work, a thank you letter shows your appreciation. No matter the occasion, following up within a few days is best for sending thanks.
Here are 12 simple steps for writing a great thank you letter:
1. Pick your method of contact
A handwritten letter is more personal and shows dedication. However, a mailed letter can take several days to arrive. Some occasions like job interviews may be time-sensitive, in which case an email is better.
2. Choose your recipients
If you interviewed for a position with an HR manager, thank that person directly. If you meet with a team, send each individual separate notes. Sending a unique thank you to each person shows that you value the relationship. It will also help ensure you receive a response from the appropriate person.
For instance, if you interview with a group but you’re unsure of who will make the final hiring decision, writing a thank you letter to each person can increase the chance that the decision-maker receives your message. Be sure to include details from your conversation with each to show you were actively listening and genuinely interested in what they had to say.
3. Make it legible
If you send a hard-copy note, write neatly. For typed letters, use a clean, easy-to-read font like Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman in 10 to 12-point size. Carefully proofread your note to avoid spelling and other grammatical errors. If you’re unsure, as a trusted friend or family member to read your note. They can help determine legibility and catch errors you may have missed.
4. Use a professional tone
Professional thank you letters are forms of professional communication, so it is best to avoid colloquialisms or other informal figures of speech. Maintaining clear, direct language will show your communication skills and earn the respect of others.
Example: “Hello Greg, I enjoyed our talk yesterday. I believe it will be helpful in our work on the construction project."
5. Address the recipient appropriately
You can use Dear Mr., Mrs. or Ms. as needed, followed by their last name if you’re certain of the recipient’s gender identity. You may also use their full name for a gender-neutral option. If the recipient is an acquaintance, it is appropriate to use only their first name.
6. State the purpose of your writing
Let the reader know immediately why you are writing. Professionals are usually busy, so it will help if they can get right to your point.
Example: “I am sending this letter as thanks for organizing the client files last night.” Or “I want to convey my gratitude for introducing me to your equipment supplier.”
7. Refer to specific details from your meeting
Referencing earlier conversation points lets the receiver know you actively participated in the meeting and adds a personal touch. Choosing the points most relevant to your goals will help ensure the recipient responds to the issues that affect you most.
Example: “I appreciate your insights into the company’s upcoming plans to renovate your offices. I believe my contracting firm is well equipped to handle the job.”
8. Highlight your qualifications
A thank you letter can be more than a display of gratitude. It can also be an opportunity to remind the recipient of your qualifications for a position, or other positive interactions.
Example: “I am grateful for the chance to interview with your company. With my dedication and attention to detail, I know I have the skills to succeed in copywriting.” Or “I appreciate your first order from Langley Textiles. I am confident that my company can continue providing the products you require.”
9. Restate your goals
The thank you letter allows you to reiterate your desire for future contact. It is much easier for people to offer you assistance if they understand what you want or need.
Example: “I’m thrilled at the prospect of joining your law firm as a conflicts analyst.” Or “I hope to hire a roofer for the new office building next week.”
10. Ask about the next steps
Let your recipient know that you are ready to take the necessary measures for a continued relationship by asking a question regarding next steps. This question will also give you a timeline for what to expect later on. Knowing this information can help you plan if there are other measures you can take.
Example: “When do you expect to hire a candidate for this position? Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to aid your decision.”
11. Conclude the letter
Thank the recipient again for the interaction that led to you writing the letter. Follow this last item with a proper closing (ex: “sincerely” or “gratefully”) and your signature. If you’re sending an email, typing your name is appropriate.
12. Send it
If sending a hard copy, make sure to mail it promptly. You can also hand-deliver the note to a front desk if possible. Emails are the quickest method, and promptness is key in business communications. A fast follow-up is more likely to have a strong impact on the reader.
How to use thank you letter examples and templates
Reading example thank you letters can give you inspiration for what you’d like to include in your own thank you letter. As thank you letters should be personal and unique to your situation, you should avoid copying a template word-for-word. Use the following examples to guide you when writing professional thank you letters.
Example 1: Job interview thank you letter
Dear Ms. Gonzalez,
I would like to send my appreciation for your time yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about the marketing manager position and appreciated learning more about working with the marketing team.
It sounds like a rewarding role, especially given the opportunities for collaboration and advancement. I think my master's in marketing and marketing experience would make me an excellent candidate for the role.
I look forward to discussing this opportunity with you more. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need additional information about my references.
Example 2: Thanking a new business contractor
Dear Ms. Paulson,
I would like to thank you for meeting with me yesterday regarding the new accounts. My firm is excited to provide you with our document review services. I am confident that our 30 years in the legal business make us an ideal vendor for your needs.
You noted yesterday that you need us to review a minimum of 1,000 documents per month. Our team of eight dedicated analysts will certainly provide you with the level of work you require. We pride ourselves on attention to detail, diligence and timeliness. These skills will ensure your satisfaction with our firm. Can you tell me if there is an opportunity for more work after this contract is completed?
Again, I am grateful for your time and that you have chosen us for your business. I look forward to developing this working relationship with you.
Example 3: Thanking a colleague
Thank you so much for your assistance in decorating the office for the holiday party. I know you stayed late to get everything in order, and I appreciate your dedication. The holiday party is an important opportunity for the whole team to socialize together. Having a great location and atmosphere is crucial to the experience and your help made it possible.
I look forward to working with you on many more successful events throughout your time at the company.
Example 4: Thanking a networking contact
Dear Abdul Kahn,
Thank you for introducing me to Leanne Jones yesterday. Your introduction showed faith in my professional qualifications, and I am sure that your recommendation will greatly benefit my relationship with Ms. Jones.
As you know, I am seeking employment and Ms. Jones’ software engineering company is ideal for my skills and training.
I know your extensive experience in the software development business has provided you with many valuable contacts. I am grateful that you thought to include me in your professional network. Please keep me in mind for any future introductions.
The value of writing a professional thank you letter
Thank you letters show potential employers, colleagues and other business contacts your dedication to the professional relationship. Other benefits of expressing your gratitude in this form include:
- It demonstrates professionalism. Showing your contacts respect in your interactions fosters better business relationships.
- It is an act of courtesy. Basic etiquette calls for sending thank you letters to individuals you conduct business with. Even in situations where the recipient does not expect a note, the act of sending it will let your contact know that you care about your relationship.
- It will make you memorable. Positive gestures toward others will help them remember you. This kind of act could be a deciding factor in whether you get a job or contract. If you send thanks to contacts, it may make them more likely to help you in the future.
- It is another opportunity to promote yourself. After conveying your gratitude, you can further promote your goals and qualifications. Restating your qualifications will let your recipient know that you are a valuable contact and are ready to work with them.
It maintains communication. Sending a note of thanks can extend a conversation beyond the interview or meeting. Remaining in the contact’s mind could make you the first choice for a professional opportunity.
Related: Guide to Writing Thank You Notes