How To Write A Congratulations Email (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 2, 2020
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When your friend or co-worker achieves something notable, such as a promotion or new position, it can be appropriate to congratulate them on their accomplishment. Fortunately, the simplest and most efficient way you can express that is through a congratulations email.

Taking the time to send a congratulations email, regardless of who or what it’s for, is a terrific way to build relationships and create a network with your co-workers.

Further, people will also just appreciate the kind gesture. It always feels good to know that someone recognizes your accomplishments, and this positivity will improve your team’s culture in the workplace.

Therefore, even if you’ve never written a congratulations email before, it’s worth learning how.

What is a Congratulatory Message and Why is it Important?

A congratulatory message is a way of letting someone know that you are excited for, or proud of, the job, or objective, they accomplished. And, although the nature of a congratulations email may seem self-evident by the title, it’s still crucial to know why you should write one, and how it should be formatted.

As with any important business letter, a congratulations email will benefit you professionally. Often, one of your co-workers or your boss might receive a promotion, and going out of your way to congratulate them will build positive relationships.

If you’re writing to a boss, you’re setting yourself up to be recognized and gain respect. Likewise, if you’re writing to a coworker, you can reinforce team spirit and encourage them to continue their good work. After all, it doesn’t take a long time to write a congratulations email, and the person you congratulate will view your message very positively. So, you have nothing to lose by writing one, and plenty to gain.

When congratulating someone on a promotion, you should first give your email an appropriate subject line. The last thing you want is for your audience not to read your email because they didn’t realize what it was about. Something like: “Congratulations on Your Promotion” or “Congratulations!” will do.

Depending on how professional your email is, you may want to address it as you would other business letters. However, this may not be necessary.

Next, just as you’ll want the subject line to state what you’re email is about, so should the first line of your email. It’s important to ensure that the first thing you write is a proper congratulations message. It’s also wise to state the specific position the person was promoted to, so you can better acknowledge their achievement. Here are a few examples:

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  • Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion to Assistant Manager!

  • Congratulations on your new position as Director here at Best Company.

  • I was so happy to hear you were promoted to Field Director. Congratulations!

This line is the most important part of your email, as a congratulations email really shouldn’t be much longer than a few sentences.

Afterward, you can say something about how you think said person will be good for the job, or write about how you look forward to working with them in the future. However, keep things short and brief.

Finally, you should select a brief, appropriate closing to end your letter. Some good options include: “Sincerely,” or “Best regards” followed by your name.

Again, though a congratulations email may seem like a small and simple gesture, it serves the purpose of creating a positive network in the workplace.

Congratulations Email Tips

Now that you have a general idea on how to structure your email, here are more tips to aid your writing.

  • Keep your Message Simple and Positive. Your letter shouldn’t be long or complicated. Rather, a brief couple of statements highlighting what you’re congratulating the person for and why is all you need.

  • Don’t be Robotic. The last thing you want is for your message to come across as an automated email with no personalization or emotion. Doing so would make your email far less effective.

  • Use Professional Language Without Going Over the Top. There’s no need to go overboard with fancy words, but you should avoid expressions or words that are considered slang. Using words like kinda, yeah, totally, literally etc. will not win you any points.

  • Don’t Ask for Any Favors. The message should not be about you in any way. Focus on the person you’re congratulating and avoid asking for anything that would be considered inappropriate.

  • Don’t Make Comparisons. Just as you shouldn’t talk about yourself, you also shouldn’t mention your own or other people’s promotions in your email. Again, only focus on the person you’re writing to.

Congratulations Email Examples

Given these tips, here are some samples of congratulations emails that can help you write your own:

  1. Formal Email to a Colleague (With Address)

    Subject Line: Congratulations on Your Promotion

    James Grant
    Human Resources
    Tom’s Groceries
    47 Park Ave.
    Fieldtown, VT, 01301

    October 23rd, 2020

    Alfred Jones
    Manager
    Tom’s Groceries
    553 Central Ave.
    Fieldtown, VT, 01301

    Dear Mr. Jones,

    Congratulations on your promotion to Front End Manager. I’ve seen the excellent work you’ve done at Tom’s Groceries over the past three years I’ve been employed, including the methods you’ve used to reduce staff absences and tardiness. I can wholeheartedly say that you’re bringing positive change to this company.

    I know you’ve worked incredibly hard for this position, and with that being said, I also know that you deserve the new recognition and responsibility. I look forward to working with you more closely in the future.

    Best wishes for continued success in your career.

    Best regards,

    James Grant

  2. Formal Email to a Colleague (Without Address)

    Subject Line: Congratulations on Your Promotion

    October 23rd, 2020

    Dear Mr. Daniels,

    I was so happy to hear you were promoted to Sous Chef. Congratulations! I know you’re an exemplary cook, and you deserve the recognition and responsibility that comes with helping lead the team.

    Best wishes for continued success in your career, and I look forward to cooking with you in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Harry O’Connor

  3. Formal Email to a Boss (With Address)

    Subject Line: Congratulations on Your Promotion

    Robert Hubbard
    Supervisor
    Best Company
    93 Herring Rd.
    Roland, CA, 59421

    October 23rd, 2020

    Molly Smith
    Director
    Best Company
    93 Herring Rd.
    Roland, CA, 59421

    Dear Ms. Smith,

    Congratulations on your new position as Director here at Best Company. I was happy to hear that you were offered, and had accepted the position, as I know you’re one of the most efficient and hardworking people I’ve ever met. I know that with you leading us and reporting to the board that we will excel on our upcoming projects.

    I know you’ve worked incredibly hard for this position, and you deserve the new recognition and responsibility. I look forward to working on projects with you in the future.

    Best wishes for continued success in your career.

    Sincerely,

    Robert Hubbard

  4. Informal Email to a Colleague

    Subject Line: Congratulations!

    October 23rd, 2020

    Dear Sarah,

    Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion to Head Gardener! I’m so happy to see that your hard work and achievements have been recognized.

    I’m thrilled to hear about your new role, and I’m glad we’ll be working closely together in the greenhouse.

    Best,

    Pam

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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