Writing a Professional "Thank You" Letter
Elaine W., Writing Center tutor
Please keep in mind that these are only general guidelines; always defer to your professor's specifications for a given assignment. If you have any questions about the content represented here, please contact the Writing Centers so that we can address them for you.
When conducting interviews and business in general, thank you letters are a useful tool for fostering positive sentiments as well as individuality. They serve as a means for expressing gratitude and strong interpersonal skills. Writing thank you letters is a form of networking because they help to acquaint individuals with memorable and desirable aspects of another’s persona. This clearly defined positive perception of an individual can lead to recommendations that become new opportunities.
Thank you letters were traditionally handwritten and mailed to individuals. Handwritten letters are still occasionally utilized (i.e. thanking small local businesses, writing to businesses that are not technologically oriented, etc.). However, most thank you letters are now typed. An increasingly popular trend for the sending of thank you letters is email. Since decision making has become more instantaneous, email is now considered the most efficient and personal method to thank individuals. The mailing of a thank you letter is still consider a suitable means for sending a thank you letter, but only if the correspondence can be sent directly to an individual.
All thank you letters should be:
Elements to include in an introduction:
University of Minnesota: Offers detailed models of what information to include in a thank you letter as well as formatting. This source includes a helpful checklist of Do’s and Don’ts for thank you letter writing as well. The easy to read website recommends further advice based on thank you letter medium (i.e. handwritten, email, etc.).
Writing-Business-Letters: This resource details reasons for writing thank you letters and objectives that should be kept in mind during the composition process. There is help here for individuals writing post- interview thank you letters and those showing gratitude for business transactions. Additionally, there are openly assessable examples included on this site.
Virginia Tech: This website offers further explanations for elements within thank you letters. Information is divided by situation for writing the letter and how content changes based upon purpose. There are several thank you letter models included in this resource as well.