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Letter of Appreciation Samples (to Employee & Boss)

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In the world of work, there are many situations where a thank you doesn't cut it. It might be your boss being extra supportive, or maybe your employees finishing a massive task before the deadline.

Guess what—you can express gratitude without sending a hundred happy emojis. Just send them a well-written letter of appreciation. Not sure how to write one? Keep reading, and I’ll explain in detail.

This guide will show you: 

  • A sample letter of appreciation for support better than 9 out of 10 other samples out there.
  • How to write an employee appreciation letter step-by-step.
  • Tips for writing a letter of appreciation to a boss.

Generating business letters in Zety’s online builder takes mere minutes. You can adapt our cover letter templates for a variety of other letter formats, including a letter of appreciation.


letter of appreciation sample

Sample letter of appreciation made with our builder—See other letter examples here.

Check our writing guides here to learn about other types of professional letters:

What Is a Letter of Appreciation?

Maybe you’re still wondering,”What is a letter of appreciation? When do I send it? And why?”

A letter of appreciation is a short semiformal letter that expresses your sincere gratitude to the recipient. You can send an appreciation letter to a recruiter, an employer, a colleague, an academic advisor, and any other person who helped you in any aspect of life and whom you wish to thank.

What is the Purpose of an Appreciation Letter?

As the name suggests, the purpose is to express how thankful you are. As the number of paper letters is decreasing, sending someone a letter of this kind can help to strengthen the business relationship. Especially in the modern world of remote work, where more than 50% of workers use instant messaging to communicate, and physical letters are a rarity.

In this guide, I’ll focus on two types of such letters:

  • Letters of appreciation to a boss
  • Employee appreciation letters

Each type can be easily adapted. For example, you can use an employee appreciation letter to say “thank you” to a colleague or a friend.

Continue reading to see specific tips for each letter of gratitude and appreciation type.

Lack of appreciation at work is one of the leading causes of the Great Resignation. Learn more: What Contributes to the Great Resignation?

How to Write a Letter of Appreciation to a Boss?

There are so many unfavorable stories about bosses that it’s easy to overlook those who actually support their employees. If your boss (or maybe another person in authority) has done something nice for you, it’s understandable that you want to express your gratitude and say thanks.

Here are some situations where a letter of appreciation to a boss is a good idea:

  • A manager signed you up for a development training program that you found really useful.
  • Your team leader encouraged you to apply for an internal recruitment opportunity.
  • Your boss has given you a chance to lead an ambitious project.
  • A former boss has written great reference letters for you.
  • You enjoyed the questions during a job interview and want to be remembered by the potential employer.

But how do you write an appreciation letter that covers at least one of the above? Check the below sample to find out:

Letter of Appreciation to a Boss—Sample

Zara Mckinney

18016 Woodrow Estates, Suite 270

Port Hunter, MO 89054

(189) 435-1234

April 7, 2022

Ryan James

Marketing Manager

Blue Leaf Media

9350 Aurelia Ridge South

Mayville, MO 14680

Dear Mr. James,

Thank you for meeting with me earlier today. I enjoyed learning about the company culture and sharing my career goals with you. Our conversation has given me valuable insight into digital marketing, especially concerning content strategies.

I appreciate your advice regarding career opportunities that match my professional background and recommendations for online courses. I’ve decided to sign up for two of them, and I believe they will help me to develop my content creation skills.

You mentioned during our conversation that the key to successful content is understanding the target audience. It’s given me a lot of thought. Now, whenever I see a piece of content I admire, such as an online article, infographic, or YouTube video, I try to analyze it by thinking about the audience. I’m grateful for your professional advice.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Best regards,

Zara Mckinney

Now that you know why you should write a letter of appreciation to a boss, let’s look at how you should do it:

1. Use a Professional Greeting

Whether you’re writing to your current boss or a potential employer, you should respectfully start your letter of appreciation. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use a formal greeting—Dear Mr./Ms. and the employer’s last name if your relationship is solely professional.
  • Go for a less formal greeting, such as Hi or Hello plus their first name, if you’re on really friendly terms with your boss, or if you work in a very relaxed environment.

You may also add an academic title, such as professor, if the employer has one.

Pro Tip: Remember to do your research before deciding how to address the letter of appreciation. Check the signature in your boss’ emails, have a look at their business card, or check their profile on LinkedIn to ensure you know their full name. For example, if everyone calls your boss Sandy, her given name might be Alexandra or Cassandra, so don’t try to guess.

2. Create a Compelling First Paragraph

The recipient of your appreciation letter may not expect to get a message from you, so they’ll most likely want to know what the letter is all about immediately. Bosses receive a massive amount of emails daily, so you don’t want yours to get lost in their inbox. That’s why catching their attention in the first line and paragraph is important.

This is how to create the first paragraph of your letter of appreciation to a boss:

  • Explain why you’re writing this letter with a big “Thank you” in the opening sentence, and add what it is you’re thankful for, such as their help, support, advice, etc.
  • Refer to a specific situation that happened recently—a conversation, a meeting, an interview—that involved their support for you.
  • Keep the tone formal, even if you’re on friendly terms with your boss, as it’s better to appear more professional rather than too relaxed.

Remember that this is the most important part of your letter of appreciation. Keep it short: 2–3 sentences maximum. And be specific about why you want to say thank you.

Pro Tip: Sometimes, writing the first paragraph of a letter is the most difficult part. It’s best to go back to it after you write the rest of your letter and re-read it a few times to make sure it sounds good.

3. Be Explicit in Your Gratitude

Everyone loves a bit of praise, especially if it’s sincere. However, in a professional setting, it’s important not to turn praise into flattery. You don’t want your boss to think you’re sucking up to them!

This is how you express praise in a letter of appreciation to a boss:

  • Mention specific advice, recommendations, or help that turned out especially valuable for you. For example, they might have given you an ambitious project to lead, or they could’ve advised you to complete training that will improve your qualifications.
  • Give more details about how their support helped you solve a major issue or improved your situation, and say what you achieved because of their help. Maybe you developed new skills, tried a new approach for your project, deepened your knowledge, etc.
  • Explain how their support can contribute to your future success—for example, you’ve decided to upskill and apply for a new position at your current company.

Remember that your letter of appreciation to a boss shouldn’t be too long, so keep this part limited to 3–5 sentences.

Feeling a bit lost in your current career path? Click here: 8 Steps to Choose a Career

4. Finish Your Letter of Appreciation to a Boss with a Memorable Line

It’s time to conclude your letter. You want the recipient of your letter of appreciation to feel good after they finish reading. So, it’s important to leave a lasting and great impression.

Here’s how to conclude a letter of appreciation to a boss:

  • Start with something they said that you remember clearly—it’s even better if you can quote or paraphrase their words, as this will make a great impression on them.
  • Explain how this made you rethink your ideas, have a fresh look at a situation, or achieve a goal, to highlight how important your help was for you.
  • Close the letter with Best regards or Sincerely.
  • Add your signature.

Remember to sign your name by hand if you deliver a physical letter.

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When you’re done, our professional resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the other type of appreciation letter and start with—

How to Write an Employee Appreciation Letter?

There are many ways to show appreciation to your employees. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to give your best worker the keys to your Lambo. Instead, you can send them an employee appreciation letter that expresses your gratitude.

Here are some examples of when it’s a good idea to send an employee appreciation letter:

  • Your subordinate led an ambitious project and delivered the results before the deadline.
  • A colleague helped you solve a complex problem at work.
  • One of your employees exceeded targets and brought significant revenue to the organization.
  • Your team worked overtime during the holiday season to provide excellent customer service.

Now check the employee appreciation letter sample below: 

Employee Appreciation Letter—Sample

Lenore Eldritch

Head of Marketing

Cosmic Horrors Inc.

123 Ambrose Lane

Algernon Town, PA 15032

October 10, 2022

Arthur Chambers

890 Gothic Road

Machen, PA 15038

Hello Arthur, 

I would like to formally and sincerely express my gratitude for your amazing work. Recently, you’ve completed designing a complex advertising campaign for Byron Enterprises and accomplished all project KPIs well before the deadline and within the estimated budget. I know that this project was a truly challenging task, and I admire your ability to adapt your work style to achieve the goal.

Your ability to lead a team of creative professionals is truly outstanding, and it shows exceptional management skills as well as interpersonal qualities that are much valued in this company.

Your work has helped to strengthen the company partnership with Byron Enterprises and will surely benefit us in the future by increasing recognition and bringing more advertising projects in the future. I want you to know that I truly appreciate your work and that the marketing team values your efforts.

Again, thank you so much for your work. I can’t wait to see you excel at the next project you work on!


Lenore Eldritch

Head of Marketing

Cosmic Horrors Inc.

Continue reading to see how to write an appreciation letter to an employee for outstanding performance:

1. Start With a Friendly Greeting

Good news—you don’t have to be super formal. In fact, it’s better if you go with an informal greeting, as it sounds more personal. Go for “Hi,”“Hello,”“Hey,” or another form you usually use to greet your employees in person. Follow the greeting with your worker’s first name. 

Pro Tip: If you’re sending the employee appreciation letter via email, use a subject line that clearly indicates this message is a good one. Employees often fret about receiving an email from a boss. Even a simple subject line such as “Thank you!” or “BIG Thanks!” can help to put the recipient at ease.

2. Open the Employee Appreciation Letter With a Strong First Paragraph

When employees receive a letter, they may initially have mixed feelings about it. Is this a good message? Is it a terrible one? You don’t want them to feel any doubts about its purpose. That’s why you should express your gratitude straight away.

Here’s how to write the first paragraph of an employee appreciation letter:

  • In the first sentence, say you’re grateful for the employee’s amazing work.
  • Specify what they’ve done recently to impress you.
  • Explain why you value their contribution to the company.
  • Be personal—avoid vague statements, as they can make your employee think that you send the exact same message to the whole company.

The tone of your letter depends on the company culture. Use formal language if you work in a traditional business with a solid hierarchical culture. You can use an informal tone when working in a smaller, family-like business or a modern startup environment.

Getting on well with your employees is important. For some bosses, it comes naturally. Others may have to work on it. Learn more: People Skills and Why They’re Important

3. Praise Your Employee’s Abilities and Achievements in the Middle of the Letter

The beginning of the letter has already put a smile on your employee's face. Now, you don’t want this smile to fade. That’s why the middle of the employee appreciation letter should be dedicated to praising their work.

This is the way to express your admiration for the employee in the middle of the letter:

  • Specify which of the employee’s skills you value in particular.
  • Say how their recent work achievements have contributed to the company’s success and how they’ll profit in the future.
  • Repeat that you appreciate their effort.

It’s important to be specific when praising your employee—refer to the personality traits that make them good team members and recollect their accomplishments. Don’t be generic—you don’t want to sound phony.

Need to brush up on personality traits that matter at work? Check here: Describe People with These 100 Words

4. Conclude the Employee Appreciation Letter Professionally

We’re nearing the end of your letter! Now is the time to repeat your thank-yous and wish good luck to your employee to reinforce your gratitude.

Here’s how to finish the employee appreciation letter:

  • Say you’re thankful one more time.
  • Wish your employee good luck with their future endeavors.
  • Sign off with “Sincerely,”“Best regards,” or a more informal greeting such as “Keep up the good work.”
  • Add your full name, professional title, and company name.
  • Place a handwritten signature if you’re handing in a physical letter.

If you’re sending the letter by email, you can also add your scanned signature at the bottom of the letter.

Writing business letters is one of the elements of written communication skills. Learn more: Why Are Communication Skills Important at Work?

How to Format a Letter of Appreciation?

You’ll be happy to hear that you don’t have to write the letter of appreciation by hand—a typed one is perfectly good. The key is to make it look business-letter-like.

Follow these steps to format your letter of appreciation:

  • Pick fonts like Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, or Georgia, which are popular cover letter fonts, by the way.
  • Set the font size to 11–12 pt for the contents of your letter and 13–14 for any headings.
  • Use 1–1.15 line spacing and arrange parts of the letter in paragraphs.
  • Select one-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Limit your letter of appreciation to one A4 page.
  • Save it in PDF or Word format, paste it into the body of an email, or print it out on good-quality paper.

See? It’s pretty simple and very similar to the standard formatting of a cover letter.

Remember that your letter of appreciation also needs a header with the contact information of the sender and the recipient—just as if you were creating a cover letter header.

Format the contact information this way:

  • Place your full name, address, phone number, and email at the top of the letter.
  • Add the date below.
  • Write the recipient’s contact information together with their official job title and company details.

Phew, that was easy!

Pro Tip: While emailing your letter of appreciation is the easiest way, a printed version will make a much better impression. You can either use the traditional post to deliver it or just place it on the recipient’s desk together with some nice flowers or a box of chocolates.

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Thank you for reading this guide! Have you ever written a letter of appreciation? Do you think letters of appreciation are useful? Comment below!

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Roma Kończak, CPRW
Roma is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career expert with international work experience and a background in education and humanities. She has spent considerable time assisting individuals in advancing their careers by helping them improve their communication skills in diverse cultural and professional settings. She has written over 50 articles on effective approaches to resume writing and career advice.

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