Guidelines and Alternate Phrases
Mention the event, achievement, or honor immediately. Don’t keep the reader in suspense about your reason for writing.
Focus your message on the other person—not yourself or your company.
You deserve all the recognition coming your way. We’re delighted.
You have worked long in gathering the expertise necessary to make this step. We have all noted your personal effort and sacrifice to accomplish these goals.
Thank you for your long hours of work and creative effort in making the company look good. In so doing, you’ve made quite a favorable impression around all of our branch offices.
Be specific in your praise. Exaggeration and vague generalities sound gushy and insincere. Let the reader know you understand the time, effort, expertise, persistence, creativity, or whatever was necessary to accomplish the achievement. Elaborating on these specifics gives the reader time to “enjoy” your attention.
This award simply recognizes what those of us who work with you have already figured out—you’re a born motivator. Where would we be on the Thornton project if you hadn’t stepped in? This award just underscores the genuine excitement you show around the office daily.
Each time you bring your children by the office for a brief visit, I’m reminded how well behaved they are. This new baby, I’m sure, will be equally fortunate to grow up in such a home.
The new job is one I think will allow you to use your talents fully—your leadership abilities, your eye for opportunity and new trends, and the articulate way you express yourself to prospective customers.
Publication in such a prestigious magazine certainly underscores the value of your ideas for all of our industry leaders.
Be informal and personal without being too familiar (unless you know the reader very, very well). Remember the recipient may not want a count of birthdays, remarriages, or children.
Express enthusiasm. Don’t make your letter sound like the typical form letter that duty dictates. Promptness itself indicates an eagerness to recognize the occasion or achievement.
Congratulations on your new position as vice chairman! Nimitz is a great company to work for, and I’m glad to see they recognize their star players.
Be sincere. An effusive display of flattery makes even a great accomplishment seem small or undeserving of your notice.
Stay away from negatives that may detract from the overall success of achievement or the happy occasion.