Thank You Letter for Recommendation


Writing a recommendation letter for a student or colleague takes time and effort. You have to write it with careful attention so as not to sound too patronizing. Also, it needs extra effort to compose a letter that will strengthen an applicant’s interest, whether for a promotion, college admission, or legal process. A thank-you letter does not only display the applicant’s courtesy to the recommendation letter’s author, but it will also heighten the chance of requesting another letter if necessary in the future. Find out more by reading this article. Read More

What Is a Thank-you Letter for Recommendation?

A thank-you letter for recommendation is not necessarily an over-the-top display of gratitude. Often, it is a well-written paragraph or two that tells about the applicant’s progress. The best thank-you letters are the ones that appreciate a recommendation effort. It is a recognition to someone who had spent some time to provide a character reference on other people’s behalf.  

How Do You Write a Heartfelt Thank-you Letter for Recommendation?

Writing a thank-you letter for recommendation is not as challenging as you think. For some, showing gratitude is a natural response to a person who supported their endeavors, which is a good stepping stone for the letter. Even though you can opt to deliver this letter through email, a handwritten message will make a personal impact. Nevertheless, it is the thought that counts when it comes to letters of gratification. Here are simple steps that will guide you on writing a letter of this variety. More on this below:

1. Start With a Greeting

It is widespread today for people to say, “thank you!” using mobile phones. But, believe it or not, nothing beats an old-fashioned handwritten thank-you letter. That’s why it is one meaningful way to express gratitude when an individual received a recommendation. So, warmly start the letter to make it personal and sincere. Naturally address the receiver by a salutation. Ideally, a message begins with “Dear (receiver’s name),” it works whether you are sending a former teacher, employer, supervisor, or colleague. If it is more personal, try: “Dearest,” “Hi,” or “My friend.”

2. Sincerely Express Your Thanks

Generally, a thank-you message is brief and direct to the point. On that note, thank the receiver right away after the salutation. Do this by specifying why you are writing an appreciation letter. Please describe the reason for the message and how it impacted you. Say, for example, “I am very grateful for the recommendation to support my college application. It was a great help for my admission process at the university…” If it seems uncomfortable to write on a blank space, try to jot down the letter on scratch stationery. It is helpful, especially if you are not sure what to include in the message. 

3. Cherish the Reader’s Specific Effort

Even if the recommendation did not help you, try to think about the trouble the author went for your benefit. It must be enough to show the same effort by sending them a thank-you letter. Let that person know you care for the recommendation, and it is essential to you. The way around this is through sincerity and honesty. Afterward, inquire after the receiver. In the next few lines, ask some questions and share some news about your life. This makes the recipient take more pleasure about your words because it makes all the difference between a dashed-off note and a heartfelt thank-you letter. 

4. Thoughtfully Close the Letter

Next, appreciate the receiver one last time to wrap things up nicely. No need to restate the reason for gratification. Thank the recipient for being them. Lastly, close the letter by considering your relationship between the recipient. It will help you properly end the message. If you are indecisive, signing your name is fine. However, more personal closing leaves a better impression than a bland signature. Here are some popular closing examples that you can use: cheers, thanks again, warmly, many thanks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you thank your references?

Expressing gratitude to someone who did you favor is a great idea. Hence, always thank a person who allowed you to use their names as a reference. Or, someone who had written a reference letter for you. The thank-you letter does not only show appreciation but also leaves the door open for help in case you need it in the future.

How do you say thank you professionally?

Saying thank you is a basic courtesy we learn as a child. But, it is another story in the corporate world. If you want to express appreciation to a colleague or employer, send out an email signifying gratitude. Or, give them a printed or handwritten thank-you letter. This makes the simple letter look formal. Remember, always compose the letter with sincerity. And be honest with what you include in the thank-you letter.

When should you send a thank-you letter for a recommendation?

Some people might think that a thank-you letter for recommendation is only necessary if the recommendation worked. The truth is, you can give a letter of appreciation to someone even if their effort did not help your pursuits. Since you have requested for a recommendation, it is best to show the same effort by sending out a thank-you letter. The letter does not need to be an excessive display of appreciation. A well-written paragraph or two is fine.

There are one hundred and one ways to say “thank you!” One of these is composing a letter of gratification. Do not wait for that wind-beneath-my-wings moment to show appreciation to someone because as simple as a recommendation letter makes an excellent reason to do so. There is no excuse to send a thank-you letter, only reasons to be grateful.