A letter of recommendation is an endorsement of you based on your character, work and/or academic history, written by a respected and accomplished person in your field. These letters can be vital in helping you get a job, internship, or get accepted by a good college or university.
Thanking the person who wrote it for you is important both because it will be greatly appreciated and because it is an important part of the networking process. It keeps you in communication with the person who wrote the letter. It also shows them that they were right about you: that you are an industrious and responsible person, committed in your work and mindful of social interactions with people.
Unlike most types of thank you notes, the one for a recommendation letter should either be emailed or typewritten. That’s because of the more formal nature of your relationship to the writer of the letter. Make sure you use good quality paper and a nice envelope.
Begin with a respectful introduction and thank the person for the recommendation letter. Acknowledge the schedule adjustments and effort it took to write that letter. Remember that your recommender is a busy person who has work on top of the list of recommendation letters she has to write.
Mention how the recommendation letter helped you get a job interview, scholarship or slot in a graduate studies program. Letting them know how their efforts have helped you will be nice to hear, especially after spending quite some time on the letter. This is also a good time to ask for an opinion or advice about the area you’re getting into, may it be a school or an area of study. Again, this reinforces your interest in the field you have been recommended for and enable you to get some guidance on the matter.
Always say that you look forward to future contact. This person may be able and willing to serve as a guide to you later. Someday you may even make the transition from apprentice to colleague. Encourage further contact by giving your contact information.
Close the letter formally and sign your complete name. While this thank-you letter may be the first step in a long-standing friendship, it is best to maintain professionalism. Quick emails are a good way to follow up on this thank you letter. She might be busy but will probably always be glad to hear an update on where your career is taking you.
Dear Ms. Keating,
Thank you very much for writing a recommendation letter for me. It has has helped to open many doors for me. I have been called for several interviews and I received a job offer from Zenith Publishing, where, as you know, I have always wanted to work.
I appreciate the time and effort you devoted to writing the letter. I know it has given my job search and new career a tremendous boost.
I realize you have very a full schedule but I’d love to meet up some time to discuss your experience in publishing. I have included my email address at the bottom of this letter and I hope we can keep in touch.
Once again, thank you for helping me get started in my career.
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