How To Congratulate a Coworker on a Promotion (With Tips)

By Jamie Birt

Updated May 26, 2022 | Published October 7, 2019

Updated May 26, 2022

Published October 7, 2019

Jamie Birt is a career coach with 5+ years of experience helping job seekers navigate the job search through one-to-one coaching, webinars and events. She’s motivated by the mission to help people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers.

Receiving a promotion at work is an exciting step in someone’s career. If a colleague or supervisor gets promoted, it is polite to congratulate them on their success. Taking small steps like these for colleagues, friends and family is an important part of building rapport and maintaining healthy relationships.

In this article, we discuss why you should send a congratulations message, review tips for creating one and provide sample messages to help you write your own.

What is a “congratulations on your promotion” message?

A message congratulating someone on their promotion by email, card or note shows that you value your coworker. Recognizing them for their achievement shows that you care about investing in a positive professional relationship.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Professionalism

Tips for congratulating someone on a promotion

Your congratulatory message should be short, simple and error-free. Send it as soon as you learn about the promotion. Here are some other tips for composing your message:

1. Start with a salutation

Begin your congratulation message with a greeting. You can decide which one to use based on how close you are with your coworker. A more formal letter should begin with, “Dear Kami,” or you may start with, “Kami,” if you are a close friend. You could also think of a creative salutation, such as, “You made it!” or “I heard the good news!

Related: How To Choose the Best Business Salutations for Your Correspondence

2. Congratulate the recipient

You should say congratulations at the beginning of your correspondence, so the recipient knows immediately what you are writing about. Examples include, “I want to be the first to congratulate you on your promotion,” or “Great job on all your hard work that led to your promotion.” Other possibilities include simple phrases such as, “Cheers on the new job,” or "Job well done.” Make sure to include just a few congratulatory statements to make your letter sound sincere.

3. Be encouraging

If you consider your coworker a close friend, you can tell them how proud of them you are. You might say something like, “I am very proud of you and knew you would reach your goals.” You can then write an encouraging statement such as, “I know you will do great things in this position, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you.” This statement shows that you share their excitement and are celebrating with them. While an exclamation point is fine to use, try to limit them, so your message is professional.

Related: 12 Ways To Encourage Teamwork

4. Recognize their specific achievement

Your letter should discuss its recipient’s specific achievement to recognize how they earned the promotion. You could mention a recent project they did a great job on. For example, you could state, “You did an excellent job on the marketing project last month and I’ve continued to be impressed by your work ethic.

Related: A Guide to Meaningful Employee Recognition

5. Add a personal touch

If you have known them for several years, you can mention how you have seen the person grow. For example, you could say, “I am happy to see how you have developed over the past three years, and I can’t wait to see what you do with your new position as assistant manager.” You can go into more detail about their growth at work, such as their leadership in weekly meetings or discussing what role they started in and how they have advanced.

Related: 12 Tips for Building a Stronger Personal Network

6. Offer advice, help or good wishes

If you are in an appropriate position, offering advice is a nice way to end your letter. If you have gone through a similar experience, you can include it or offer to help with the new duties. For example, you could say, “I know being promoted to a new position can be overwhelming at first, but this is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the company and your capabilities. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you with the transition.” You can also wish them good luck on their new journey.

Related: How To Prepare for a Promotion Interview

Example “congratulations on your promotion” messages

There are various ways to write a congratulatory email, card, note or letter. You can use these sample messages to help inspire you to write your own:

Example 1: An email to an unfamiliar coworker

Subject: Congratulations!

Dear Fin,

I want to offer my genuine congratulations on your hard-earned accomplishment. You are evidence that great things come to those who are willing to work hard to reach their goals. You have the determination and creativity to accomplish whatever you dream. Enjoy this exciting time, and congratulations again.

Murray Arneaux

Related: How To Write a Professional Email

Example 2: An email to a familiar coworker

Subject: Great job on your promotion!

Hello Won,

Congratulations! You have worked hard and it has certainly paid off. I want to tell you how proud I am of you. I am happy to see how you have developed over the past five years and I cannot wait to see what you do in your new role as office manager.

I know that suddenly having a new job title can be overwhelming but this is an exciting time to look forward to. I cannot wait to see what new skills and experiences you gain. I know that you are up to the task no matter what challenges you face in the future. If you ever need anything from me, please reach out.

Best wishes,

Example 3: A message on a card to a coworker friend


Congratulations on your well-deserved success! It could not have come to a more worthy person. I have enjoyed watching you begin as a receptionist and develop your skills over the years. It was not a surprise when I heard the news that you are the new regional manager. You have worked hard to get where you are and I am glad your manager finally awarded you the promotion you deserve. You may have more responsibilities now, but I know you are more than equipped to handle them. I am proud to have a friend and a co-worker like you.


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