The basics of a letter of congratulations
A letter of congratulations is a formal message in which you congratulate someone for a notable achievement. While other formal letters such as a thank you letter or letter of commendation express appreciation, a congratulations letter is unique in that it includes both a positive statement of appreciation and a recognition of achievement. Not only does a congratulation letter demonstrate kindness, but it also serves as an excellent tool for networking.
Why write a letter of congratulations?
By focusing on adding positive value to other people’s lives rather than wondering how a colleague or employee can help you professionally, you strengthen the relationship. This is a major benefit, as strong relationships lead to excellent networking. Not only does a congratulation letter make others feel good, but it can also be rewarding in the future when the recipient may be in a position to help you advance in your career.
How do you write a letter of congratulations?
If you have the time, a handwritten card or letter is the best way to send your congratulations. A personal touch goes a long way. However, a well-written email is also a thoughtful way to congratulate colleagues.
When can you write it?
The best time to write a letter of congratulations is when a colleague or other professional accomplishes something celebratory such as a new job, a promotion or the launch of a new business or project. Additionally, employers can show appreciation to their employees by sending a congratulations letter when they’ve reached certain milestones such as an anniversary, relocation or retirement.
What you can include in a congratulation letter
In every congratulation letter, make sure to include your contact information so that the recipient knows who they’re receiving congratulations from.
Be sure also to date your letter. If your letter is a hard copy, write the recipient’s name, title, organization and mailing address. This will ensure the letter arrives in the hands of the person you sent it to.
First, mention the professional achievement you’re congratulating the person for. Second, compliment the recipient for the qualities you recognize and appreciate in them.
A letter of congratulations is also an excellent opportunity to thank the recipient for the assistance, hard work or advice they may have offered you in the past.
Sample letters of congratulations
When a team member does an excellent job at work, it’s important to show your appreciation for what they did. It reinforces team spirit and encourages others to continue the good work. A congratulations letter can be sent for achievements ranging from a team member’s promotion at work to their retirement or a new job. If you feel you need to review a sample congratulations letter before crafting your own, we’ve provided several examples below.
Congratulation letter example for a big win
5555 Future Drive
May 5, 2020
I recently learned that you completed the new CRM implementation project. I know this was your first big task as a project manager and want to congratulate you on the successful implementation.
I observed you spend many dedicated hours with your team members and IT, gathering information, communicating efficiently and testing the CRM. Your efforts and patience led to this great accomplishment. We are very proud and grateful for your hard work.
Congratulations email sample for a promotion
It is with great pleasure that I read about your promotion to the Accounting Manager position in the company’s internal newsletter.
Congratulations on this well-deserved promotion! I’ve seen you work many long hours and demonstrate a genuine interest and commitment to continuously improving both your workflow and that of office operations. It’s clear you have the drive and potential needed to lead this team. Thank you for inspiring all of us to work hard and reach our goals. Enjoy the new position!
Related: New employee welcome email examples
Sample congratulation letter for a new job
Subject: Congratulations on the new job!
I recently heard you were hired for the Project Manager position at Sunrise Insurance. Congratulations! I’m wishing you much success and happiness in your new job. I feel I can speak for the whole team in saying that you will be deeply missed.
I have no doubt that your skills and years of experience will prove to be a major asset to your new company. Please be sure to stay in touch.
All the best,
Sample congratulation letter for moving on
5555 Future Drive
May 5, 2020
Congratulations on your retirement! Your presence at our company is irreplaceable, you will be deeply missed. Thank you for all your hard work over the years—your contribution has been immense.
We wish you all the best in whatever the future holds for you. Please never hesitate to reach out, and enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation!
All the best,
Short messages of congratulations examples
Below are some examples of short messages of congratulations to help you find inspiration:
- For a service anniversary: “Happy anniversary! We are proud to have you on our team. Thank you for all the contributions you’ve made in making our company successful.”
- For a promotion: “Congratulations on your recent promotion. Your talents and efforts have paid off. I’m convinced that your leadership will motivate your team and help them become more productive. I am happy for you!”
- For a retirement: “Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for the motivation you brought to this team over the years. Your loyalty and hard work have brought much success to our company. Best wishes for this new stage of your life.”
- For a new job: “Congratulations on getting your dream job! I don’t know anyone better equipped. We will miss you, but I’m grateful to have known and worked with you. Your new company is lucky to have you.”
- For a completed project: “Congratulations on the successful implementation of the new marketing software. I’m impressed by your hard work and continued patience during this project. We are proud to have you as a member of this team.”
Letters of congratulations FAQs
How can you end a congratulations letter?
Here are some popular endings for business communications:
- “Sincerely”: This is a professional sign-off stating the sincerity of your congratulations. It’s a well-received, common and formal expression.
- “Best,” “all the best” or “best wishes”: These endings express your hopes for only good things to come in the future. These are polite and acceptable ways to end formal or informal letters.
- “Best regards”: By signing off with best regards, you express your best feelings and intentions toward the recipients. It’s a little more formal than “best,” and it’s a good choice to end business letters, particularly with unfamiliar contacts.
How do I reply to a congratulations letter?
The best way to reply to a congratulations letter or message is to thank the person who wrote to you and let them know how much their acknowledgment of your achievement means to you. Be sure to maintain friendly and professional language. For example, “I felt honored to work with you. Thank you!”
What can I write in a congratulations card?
In a congratulations card, you can write a short positive message expressing your happiness for the recipient’s achievements and success, such as, “Congratulations to you! I wish you even more success in the future.”
What is the difference between a congratulation letter and a letter of appreciation?
While a congratulation letter can express appreciation, a letter of appreciation does not necessarily always include congratulations. The difference is that a congratulations letter always includes a message expressing happiness for a particular achievement.