How to pen the perfect thank you note for your boss

How to pen the perfect thank you note for your boss

We’ve all heard about customer appreciation and employee appreciation, but what about boss appreciation? Bosses are people too, and just like the rest of us, they enjoy being recognized for the positive things they’re doing. So, when the opportunity presents itself, show them a little gratitude. Not only will your gesture be welcomed, it will be remembered.

Why send a thank you note?

Every day offers plenty of reasons to express our thanks to those around us, and the workplace is no exception. Some appropriate reasons to write a thank you note to your boss are to show your gratitude for:

  • their guidance, support, and understanding
  • a raise or bonus
  • a promotion
  • their endorsement
  • an opportunity
  • some advice
  • no special reason

Keys to the ideal thank you note:

  • Create a singular focus: Don’t try to pack too much into your note. Choose the thing you’re most grateful for and express it briefly. Being efficient with your words allows your boss the time to read and absorb it, while ensuring that your message will be well-received.
  • Be timely: Send your thank you note out as soon as possible. A good rule of thumb is between 1-2 working days.
  • Make it personal: Bosses receive formal letters and emails all day long. Presenting your sentiments in a personalized, hand written notecard is a gesture that’s sure to be appreciated.
  • Keep it professional: Express yourself in a way that doesn’t feel uncomfortable or blur professional boundaries.

quill coupons and specials banner 4

Sample sentiments

Sometimes it’s hard to find just the right words. Here are some sample thank you notes you can customize to fit your own unique situation:woman writing a note

Guidance, support, and understanding

Life happens. Whether it’s a big issue or a little issue, if your boss was generous in offering support to you through a difficult time, let them know what it meant to you.

Sample thank you notes for support:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your (help, support, encouragement, etc.) throughout this difficult time. It’s comforting to know that I have such caring people surrounding me. Thank you.

Thank you for being so understanding as I navigate this difficult situation. Your continued support and encouragement are appreciated more than you know.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being so understanding as I work through (situation). I’m grateful beyond measure for your (encouragement, support, compassion, etc.).

Thank you for being so understanding about (issue). Knowing that I did not have to worry about work throughout this ordeal has made it much easier to work trough things and move forward. Please accept my sincerest thanks.

A raise, bonus, or gift

Being recognized is great. When that recognition comes paired with a gift or a financial reward, it’s even better. There’s a good chance your boss contributed in making sure your efforts were noticed.

Sample thank you notes for a raise, bonus or gift:

Thank you so much for the (raise, bonus, gift)! It’s both exciting and humbling to be recognized (for a job well done, at the holidays, for no special reason, etc). Your thoughtfulness and generosity empower me and encourage me to do my best, always.

Thank you for the recent bonus. It is sure to come in handy, but more than that, it gives me great confidence to know that my hard work is being recognized. I’m so grateful to work for a company that shows its appreciation so generously.

A promotion

Your hard work paid off. Congratulations! Whether through a recommendation, support, or by taking the time to shed the proper light on your achievements, there’s a good chance that your boss was somehow instrumental in helping you reach this new height.

Sample thank you notes for a promotion:

I am so grateful to have been promoted to (position). It will be my honor and privilege to serve in this capacity. I look forward to all of the excitement and challenges that lie ahead. Thank you for this opportunity!

What an honor it is to be named the new (position). I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity, and foresee a future full of possibility and excitement. I look forward to beginning this grand, new adventure. Thank you!

I am thrilled to be named (new position)! Being able to achieve this goal is so fulfilling to me both personally and professionally. I appreciate the role you played in helping me get here. I promise to work hard to maintain the confidence and trust you have shown in me. Thank you!

opening thank you note

An endorsement

If your boss provided a letter of recommendation, a reference, nomination, or other positive referral, make sure you let them know that their personal recommendation was appreciated.

Sample thank you notes for an endorsement:

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to put in a good word for me with (person, place). As a respected member of this (workplace, community, etc.), your opinion carries a lot of weight. I’m humbled by your confidence in my abilities, and promise to continue doing my best work at all times. Thank you for believing in me.

I was both thrilled and honored to hear that I had been (named as, nominated for…) the (position, award, membership, etc.). I can’t thank you enough for your personal endorsement. Regardless of whether or not I am (accepted, offered the position, etc.), the fact that you recommended me means so much. Thank you!

Imagine my excitement to hear that I had been nominated as a candidate for (position, award, membership, etc.)! Your confidence in me and my abilities is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for recommending me for this prestigious (position, award, etc.)!

An opportunity

Forward-thinking professionals know that any opportunity to expand your skill set is a gift. Make sure you offer a note of gratitude for allowing you to pad your marketable skills with company sponsored events.

Sample thank you notes for an opportunity:

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to (expand my skills, learn, get exposure) through the (program, job, internship, class, seminar, etc.). I know the skills I’ve learned as a result will help catapult my success, and for that I am truly grateful.

Thank you for giving me the chance to partake in (program, job, internship, class, seminar, etc.). I learned so much, especially (example of skills or tactics). As a result, I feel more confident and empowered to (take the next steps, apply for a promotion, try a new method, etc.). I’m very grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to attend.

I was so grateful to have been able to take part in the (program, job, internship, class, seminar, etc.) recently. I learned (skills, tips, etc.) which I’m sure will come in handy throughout my career with this company. Thank you for helping me (sharpen my skills, further my professional development, etc.). I look forward to putting my newfound knowledge into action.


If your boss offered some words of wisdom, make sure to tell them that their input had a positive effect on you and your situation.

Sample thank you notes for advice:

Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me the other day to discuss (topic). Your advice was spot on. I’m more confident than ever in taking the next steps towards (goal).

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me regarding (topic). Having you as a sounding board was very helpful in assisting me in (how to proceed, which direction to ultimately take, what to say, etc.). I’m so grateful for your insights and advice.

Just a quick note to thank you for helping me out with (topic) recently. The time you spent with me really helped me (understand, see things in a new light, feel more confident, etc.), and for that I am truly thankful. I’m lucky to have you in my corner. Thank you.

When leaving

When the time has come for you to move on and take the next steps in your career, whether to a different department or a new job altogether, it’s nice to depart on a positive note.

Sample thank you notes for your departure:

Thank you for being such a great role model for me during my time with this (company, department, etc.). As my time here is coming to a close, I wanted to let you know I will proudly carry what I have learned here throughout my career.

It’s hard to believe that we won’t be working together anymore. Before I go, I wanted to write you a quick note to let you know that I enjoyed my time here, in part because of (your management style, personality, etc.). Even though I am moving on, I will take the great memories I have of this office with me wherever I go. Thank you!

I wanted to let you know how much having you as a boss has meant to me throughout my time here. Your guidance and support have been instrumental in helping me achieve my professional goals, and for that I am forever grateful. All the best.

thank you note with pen

Just because

There doesn’t always have to be a driving force behind letting someone know that what they’re doing matters.

Sample thank you notes for no special reason:

I feel so fortunate to have a job at (workplace) that I thoroughly enjoy, and I wanted to let you know that you’re a big part of that. Your enthusiasm and support make it a pleasure to come to work every day. I just thought you should know that you’re doing a great job. Thank you!

The other day I was listening to some friends complaining about having to return to work after (the long weekend, the holiday, etc.). I couldn’t help but think about how fortunate I am that I don’t feel that way, and I have you in part to thank for that. Knowing I have a boss that makes each day a new adventure actually makes it fun to come to the office every day! Thank you for that.

Being noticed for a job well done is both gratifying and validating. Thank you for taking the time to notice the little things and always find a way to offer a compliment or a word of encouragement. Your sincere accolades make me feel like a valued member of this team, and for that I am grateful.

What do you get out of it?

Waxing sentimental is more than just polite, it’s commendable. Being able to step outside your situation and show your appreciation to others is the kind of thing that gets noticed.

Having an attitude of gratitude is important in all aspects life. Don’t leave that graciousness at the workplace doorstep. The next time you’re feeling thankful, take a moment to recognize those who have made your life a bit more pleasant.

How do you show your gratitude at work? Join in on the conversation in the comments and follow Café Quill on social media for more tips on how to make going to work a positive experience.