How to Write Thank-You Messages
Expressing your gratitude by sending a thank-you message is always appreciated by the recipient and can often be a memorable way to wrap up an interview, team project or business deal.
Beyond simply saying ‘thanks’, a thank-you message can:
- Make you stand out, perhaps after a job interview
- Provide a bridge to future dealings (for instance, when thanking a contractor or client)
- Build a business relationship, such as a manager with their team
For What Occasion Would You Write a Thank-You Note?
You probably thank your colleagues and work contacts on a regular basis, but there is a wide variety of circumstances that would benefit from the use of a thank-you message.
After a Job Interview
In this competitive job market, being memorable among all of the other interviewees can be a challenge, no matter how well your interview went.
Even where you were displeased with your interview, sending a thank-you note can still prove helpful.
Increase your chances of standing out by sending a thank-you note to the person or persons who interviewed you, expressing your gratitude to them for their time and consideration.
Your thank-you note may well cause the interviewer to take a second look at your application and it also provides an excellent opportunity to address any questions you forgot to ask in your interview or answers you wish to clarify or improve.
After Work Experience or an Internship
Companies offering work experience or internships take a significant amount of time out of their normal schedule to help mentor their interns and give them highly valuable experience of a particular industry.
Sending a thank-you note after an internship is a vital next step. Not only does it show your appreciation of the opportunity, but it potentially leaves the door open to a continued professional relationship.
After a Business Pitch
Once you have made a business pitch to a prospective client, follow up your meeting with a thank-you note to:
- Show your appreciation of their time and consideration
- Remind them who you are and how you can work with them
- Promote your business
As with the post-job interview thank-you note, this is all about being memorable.
On Receiving a Gift
As children, most of us were prompted into sending thank-you notes by our parents for presents received from aunts, uncles and grandparents. In a business setting, that show of appreciation can be just as welcome.
It might be for a bouquet of flowers sent for the birth of your child, vouchers awarded for good performance or a long-service gift.
Sending a thank-you note shows how much that gift means to you.
In Response to an Act of Kindness
An act of kindness at work might be:
- Technical help when a presentation goes wrong
- Stepping in when someone unexpectedly falls ill
- Providing a listening ear
In the workplace, people often feel they cannot step in when colleagues need help, especially if it is a personal matter or outside the remit of their job.
Expressing your gratitude to that person when they have helped will not only make them feel appreciated but also enable them to feel they can act similarly in the future.
At the End of a Project
You and the team you manage have finally wrapped up that dream project. It has been a success, provided value to both the client and your employer, and demonstrated how well your team works together.
Encourage your team by sending them a thank-you note and pointing out how valuable their contribution has been to the success of the project.
After a Meeting
A thank-you note might not be necessary for every meeting you attend but there will be occasions where expressing your gratitude is useful, for instance:
- Following your yearly appraisal
- Thanking colleagues who worked with you to present to a client
- After meeting with your manager to discuss your concerns
Take the opportunity to not only thank the recipient but also to clarify what happened at the meeting and possibly suggest a way forward.
To Show Appreciation of Service or Contribution
This could be thanking a supplier for their prompt and polite service or thanking a colleague for their help with your workload.
Perhaps it’s an acknowledgment of an employee’s long service to the company.
Whatever the situation is, a thank-you note is sure to make that individual feel that their actions have been truly appreciated.
Receiving any feedback can be helpful but positive feedback is especially pleasing to hear.
Thanking that person shows that their effort in giving feedback is appreciated as much as the feedback itself. Make them feel as good as you do.
After Receiving a Referral or Business Introduction
Many companies rely on referrals and introductions from mutual contacts to attract a significant proportion of their new business.
Thanking the person who has made the referral or introduction can help to build an ongoing relationship with them and provides an opportunity for further referrals and introductions in both directions.
Popular Phrases and Wording
You may already have a good idea of how to word a thank-you note, depending on the who and the why, but here are some useful phrases that may help:
Business Thank-You Notes
'Many thanks for giving me this opportunity' – This could be useful when you have been offered a new job, or are invited to join a project or steering committee.
'Thank you for introducing me to...' – When you have received a business introduction, this can be a good way to start a thank-you note.
'Thank you for your help in...' – This can be a good phrase to use when thanking a colleague for their assistance at work or showing your appreciation for a team effort.
'Many thanks for meeting with me to discuss...' – This could be used to follow up a meeting or a job interview.
'Thank you for referring us/me to...' – Use this wording when a contact has referred you or your business to another company.
'Please accept my appreciation for the valued service you have provided for many years' – This could be used when thanking an employee who is retiring or for thanking a longstanding supplier.
'Many thanks for your contribution to...' – Use this phrase where you wish to express your gratitude for a colleague or employee’s input to a group endeavor.
General Thank-You Notes
The following phrases could be used in almost any 'thank you' situation.
- 'Thank you so much for...'
- 'You have my sincere appreciation for...'
- 'We really appreciate all you have done'
- 'I wanted to thank you as soon as I could'
- 'I am thankful for...'
- 'My thanks and appreciation'
- 'Please accept my deepest thanks'
How to Write a Thank-You Message
Writing a thank-you message, especially to a business contact, should be done with care and purpose.
Follow these steps to create a well-constructed thank-you:
Work Out the 'Who' and the 'Why'
Consider the correct tone of voice for the particular person to whom you are sending a thank-you message.
- What kind of relationship do you have?
- Should the note be written formally?
- Can it be more personal and chatty?
Next, work out the purpose of your thank you.
It may be simply to express your appreciation. Alternatively, there may be an opportunity to include some other factor in your thank-you message.
For instance, you may wish to clarify an answer you gave to an interview question, build a future relationship or offer your services.
Understand the 'who' and the 'why' before you begin to write.
Consider the Format
Generally, a thank-you message will be a handwritten note or an email. Consider which format will best suit your situation.
Thinking back to who the recipient is, which of those formats would be most appropriate?
A handwritten note is more personal, but an email is generally a speedier way to communicate.
Thank You for...
Begin by expressing your thanks and making it clear what you are thankful for.
'Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of your conference panel.'
'My thanks and appreciation for your wonderful feedback.'
State Why You Are Grateful
Continue the expression of thanks by explaining why you are grateful.
'It has been a long-term goal of mine to be a speaker at this conference and your kindness made that happen.'
'We rely on customers like you to tell us just how well we are serving our community, as well as giving us valuable feedback on what we can do to improve.'
Finish up the thank-you message with an appropriate closing statement that looks to future dealings with this individual.
'I do hope you will stay in touch and that we can work together again in the future.'
'I hope you will continue to be one of our valued customers.'
Sign off the thank-you message with an appropriate salutation and your name.
Example Thank You Notes
Here are three sample thank-you notes:
Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of your conference panel.
It has been a long-term goal of mine to be a speaker at the Worldwide Wanderings Conference and your kindness made that happen. I had a wonderful time and learned so much.
I do hope you will stay in touch and that we can work together again in the future.
Dear Mrs Broome,
My thanks and appreciation for your wonderful feedback.
We rely on customers like you to tell us just how well, or not, we are serving our community. It certainly made our day to hear that you are so happy with our Orchid range of soaps.
I hope you will continue to be one of our valued customers. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch again.
All the very best,
Dear Mr Allyson,
Thank you for interviewing me for the sales assistant vacancy. Your time and patience are very much appreciated.
Further to your question on qualifications, I have now found my certificates and will forward copies to you straight away.
Thank you again for your consideration.
Whether you send a thank-you email or a handwritten note, showing your appreciation can provide a well-trodden path to future dealings. It is always worth taking the time to get it right.