The Congratulatory Letter

The congratulatory letter is a fun one to write because you are happy when you write it. 

You are truly happy for the recipient – for the achievement or the success earned. 

Try to show that enthusiasm and that happiness in your well-chosen words for the congratulatory letter.

Congratulations!  Well done!


Format.  As with all letters, the format is important. 

Use the standard 8 ½" x 11" paper and set up the letter as you set up all business letters.  Include all the required letter parts. 

If you are personally involved with the recipient, then you can be a little less formal. 

  • You might omit the Inside Address and begin – after the Date – with  a personal Salutation.  
  • Dear Richard  OR Hi Richard

There is no need to thank your reader for anything in this instance. 

  • Instead, provide sincere compliments for the achievement
  • Well deserved! You’ve earned it!  Take the time to enjoy your well-deserved achievement!

First paragraph

The first paragraph in any letter always tells the purpose of the letter and leads into the main body (middle paragraphs) of the letter.

  • Congratulations on your excellent promotion to your new job…OR
  • Congratulations on the birth of your new baby boy!... OR
  • Congratulations on reaching your goals…

Then, to the first sentence, add a short goodwill sentence to complete the opening:

  • Congratulations on your excellent promotion to your new job… It is a much-deserved promotion!
  • Congratulations on the birth of your new baby boy!  You and … will be able to look forward to a very happy life now as a loving family.
  • Congratulations on reaching your goals…  It’s been a long journey, but you must be very satisfied and pleased to have earned this honour.



Continuing with the Congratulatory Letter

Middle paragraph(s)

A short middle paragraph can provide a few details.  If you wish, use a proper business letter format. 

  • In a business letter format, provide a minimum of three short paragraphs. 
  • If you don’t have enough detail for a middle paragraph, consider a shorter and more personal handwritten note with a special note card instead of the business letter format.
  • Regardless of the style you use, the recipient will be pleased that you've taken the time to write a short congratulatory letter.

The closing paragraph

The closing paragraph will be short – and can be much the same in all of the letters you write.

  • Please contact me at … if I can assist you.  I look forward to

The above can be tailored for each situation mentioned above:

  • Please contact me at … if I can assist you.  I look forward to meeting you at your new office as we work together to …
  • Please contact me at … if I can assist you.  I look forward to meeting little Tommy as soon as you are able to set a date.
  • Please contact me at … if I can assist you.  I look forward to participating with you in your new role.

Letter Template

A template works well for all your business writing and works well for the congratulatory letter style.  Writing business letters becomes such an easy task when you follow this very simple and straightforward template.

  • A short opening paragraph – tells the purpose and adds a short and appropriate goodwill comment.
  • Short middle paragraph(s) - provide the details.
  • A short closing paragraph - begins with a request for action and closes with a goodwill comment that highlights benefits to your reader.

With writing practice, and keeping a focus on the reader - the benefits to the reader, and the reader's needs - you can become an excellent business writer.

You can see that the basic template phrases have been used - and tailored - for the three quite different examples provided above.

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