How To Write A Congratulations On Promotion Email (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 7, 2020
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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Obtaining a promotion is an important career milestone that should be recognized as such. Since you and your co-workers work as a team, you should be ready to congratulate them on the accomplishment of getting a promotion.

Offering your co-workers a celebration for their achievements contributes to building strong rapport and communication skills. One way to do this is by reaching out with a congratulations email.

How To Congratulate Someone on a Promotion

Sending a congratulations email or letter is a small gesture that goes a long way in making someone feel good. Your co-worker or supervisor worked tediously to meet their goals and attain a promotion. It can be rewarding for employees to be supported by the people they work with. It only takes a little time and effort for a lot of appreciation.

Consider the following suggestions for how to write a successful congratulatory email.

  1. Write in a professional email format. Email correspondence should always have a professional tone. Writing an email of congratulations for a promotion is no different. You should include all the ingredients for a typical business email, such as:

    • Greeting

    • Contact Info

    • Subject Line

    • Sign Off

  2. Write it close to the promotion news. You don’t want to send a congratulations email weeks or months after someone has already found out about their promotion. It doesn’t have the same impact and can be confusing for the recipient. Try to write and send it out as soon as possible after it’s been announced that they received the promotion offer.

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  3. Congratulate them early on. You should express your purpose for writing an email to a colleague at the beginning of it. Congratulations messages should also be straightforward in this way. Let them know at the start of the letter how happy you are for them and enthusiastically congratulate them on their achievement from the beginning.

  4. Consider your relationship with the recipient. Tailor your congratulations email to match how close you are with the recipient. Even if you’re just acquaintances with your co-worker, it can still be nice to let them know that you value their work. The less familiar you are with the co-worker, the more professional your letter should be.

    If it’s a close friend of yours who received the promotion, you can adopt a little more of an informal voice.

  5. Be encouraging. A congratulations email for a promotion is more than just simply saying the word “congratulations.” You should be encouraging and let your co-worker know how proud you are of them for reaching this important milestone.

    It can also be nice to say how you know they’ll excel in their new position and that you wish them well.

  6. Express approval. You should avoid giving a half-hearted congratulations without showing some level of approval for them receiving the position. This can be in the form of telling them that you think they’re the best person for the job. Or that you’re rooting for their upcoming success in this new and exciting journey.

    Make sure the reader knows that you’re confident that they’re up to the task of the promotion. Part of writing a letter of congratulations is to offer reassurance that they have everyone’s support.

How Not to Congratulate Someone on a Promotion

As much as sending a congratulatory email can strengthen your working relationship with a co-worker, it can also do harm if you go about it wrong.

Consider the following suggestions for how not to congratulate someone on a promotion.

  1. Exaggeration. When reaching out with a letter of congrats, exaggerating your praise to the point where it comes off as ingenuine can have a negative impact. The recipient may perceive this as mocking them. You want your co-worker to know that your feelings about their promotion are sincere.

  2. Be vague. You don’t want to be too simple or vague with this type of exchange. Your co-worker likely got promoted to a newly titled position or excelled in a project to reach this objective. You should recognize their specific accomplishments and be clear about your care.

  3. Make the letter too long. While the recipient should know exactly why you’re reaching out with the message, you should also be wary of making it too long. There’s no need to go on for ages about every detail involved in their success or how much they’ve grown in their time working. You can express that sentiment concisely, and you’ll need to when writing an email.

  4. Be rude. If a co-worker that you’re not fond of received a promotion, and you’re considering reaching out with a snobbish email, think twice. It will reflect negatively on your teamwork and communication skills as an employee. You should put differences to the side when someone on your team receives a promotion and reach out with kindness.

  5. Attempt networking. A letter of congratulations for a promotion is not the time to try networking with a co-worker. You shouldn’t be sniffing out advantages for yourself. It should be all about showing your appreciation and support of your co-worker and their future endeavors.

  6. Forget to edit the letter. Proofreading and editing is a crucial part of completing any written document. Even a seemingly simple congratulations email. Taking a few extra moments to read over your email can make a huge difference in how you appear to the reader through verbal communication.

    A message that’s riddled with grammar mistakes and careless errors makes you seem unprofessional.

Useful Tips to Write an Effective Congratulations Letter

  1. Be personal. You don’t want to sound like you’re giving your co-worker a stereotypical rendition of congratulations. Give it a personal touch. This can mean addressing the extent of your working relationship, the maturation in their skills you’ve witnessed, and where you expect them to go in the future. The recipient should read your email knowing you wrote it just for them on this celebratory occasion.

  2. Be positive. Receiving a promotion is an occasion filled with happiness and joy. Your email should follow this positivity. Steer clear of a negative tone that can be a downer for the recipient during a time that should be filled with excitement and happiness.

  3. Format your email based on examples. Looking into examples of congratulations emails for a promotion can be beneficial in writing your own. While you can use these examples to your advantage, you should avoid copy-and-pasting from a sample. You should use it as a resource for ideas about format and tone to use when you write your email from scratch.

  4. Consider a small business-friendly gift. If you’re particularly close with a co-worker or boss, it may be appropriate to get them a gift in addition to your email of congratulations. While this may not be necessary on all occasions, it can be a nice added touch for a colleague you know well. You shouldn’t feel any pressure to purchase anything, though. A congratulations email is plenty of support in most cases.

    Examples of Gift Ideas for a Co-Worker Include:

    • Coffee or tea mug

    • Laptop cover

    • Candle

    • A good book (that isn’t too controversial)

    • Gift cards

  5. Acknowledge what they’ve achieved. Reaching a goal is about doing all it takes to get there. When someone has done that and come out successful, it can be validating to have co-workers and friends acknowledge this specific achievement. Mention in your congratulations letters the position that they’ve been promoted to or any specifics about their accomplishment to make the letter more personal.

Sample Congratulations Letters

Sample #1

Subject Line: Congratulations on the Promotion!

Lynn Jones
(365)-226-3118
LynnJones@Gmail.com

Dear Lynn,

I wanted to reach out to you with my sincere congratulations on receiving the promotion to a Design Supervisor. I know that you’ve been working tirelessly to meet this goal, and I’m thrilled that you’ve reached it.

Working with you the past three years as associate graphic designers has been a joy, and you’ve taught me so much. I’m sure you’ll bring these skills to this new role.

Wishing you the best for your new position!

Best Regards,

Jamie Kennedy

(268)-354-9854
JamieKennedy@gmail.com

Sample #2

Subject Line: Nice Job in Landing the Promotion!

Erick Samuels
(644)-364-9877
ErickSamuels@gmail.com

Hello Erick,

Congratulations!

I recently heard that you got the promotion to the administrative coordinator you’ve been working towards, and I wanted to tell you how happy I am for you. I knew that you were up for the task, and you’ve absolutely proved yourself.

I’m excited to see you succeed in this new role as an administrative coordinator. I know that you’ll be able to tackle any challenges that come your way with grace and that you’ll excel in your responsibilities for this position.

Congrats again. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ever need anything.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Lowes

(826)-639-4492
BenjaminLowes@gmail.com

Sample #3

Subject Line: Congratulations

Lisa Andrews
(692)-633-9712
LisaAndrews@MainevilleClothing.com

Dear Lisa,

Congratulations on this incredible achievement! Getting a promotion to a retail manager is an extremely impressive and well-deserved accomplishment. I knew that you were the perfect fit for the role.

You‘ve grown so much in the past two years that we’ve worked together. I’ve seen your interpersonal and strategic thinking skills improve drastically in the past year in particular. I’m excited to see your abilities develop even further in this position.

Enjoy this victory and celebration.

Best wishes,

Megan Thompson

(619)-192-8864
MeganThompson@MainevilleClothing.com

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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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