How to Write a Thank-You Note for a Recommendation Letter


It is both wise and courteous to write thank-you notes to the people who wrote you letters of recommendation for college, graduate school or a new job. A simple note of appreciation can reinforce your relationship with these generous people, while neglecting to recognize their contribution to your success may subtly alienate them. When writing a thank-you note, keep it simple and appreciative while providing reminders of who you are and what the person did for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Card
  • Envelope
  • Stamp
  • Print today's date in the upper right corner of the card and open with "Dear Mr. Smith," using honorifics like "Dr." or "Prof." where appropriate.

  • Write one to three brief sentences thanking the person for sending a letter of recommendation on your behalf. In the first sentence, mention the school or position and company you applied to. Further sentences can include recognition of the person's beneficial role in your life to date or of the time and care she was willing to put forth to write your letter of recommendation.

  • Write one to three brief sentences reporting the current status of your application. If you have not yet heard back, include a promise to let the person know if you are accepted to the school or receive the job offer.

  • Close by reiterating your gratitude and, if desired, offering your help it is ever needed it in the future.

  • Sign off on the right side of a new line with "Sincerely" -- or if your relationship is especially close, "Warmly" -- and sign your name on the far right side of the next line.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you promise in your note to let the person know when you learn if your application was accepted, make sure to follow up when you hear back.

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