Getting mail is a ton of fun, but in an increasingly digital world, writing it can sometimes be hard. This blog post series about Letter Writing aims to make it easier. For more tips on writing letters look at my previous posts on writing Thank You Notes, Personal Correspondence, Love Letters and Sympathy Letters.
Congratulations, For Your- fill in the blank. Life is full of changes and happy occasions, ones you might want to write congratulatory letters about. Here are just a few reasons you might be writing to congratulate a person- that person graduated or completed some sort of certification, they had a baby, got married, moved to a new home, are celebrating an anniversary of some sort. You might write if they got a promotion, an award, a scholarship, or if they completed some especial task like having a book published. The list could go on. And just as the reasons are varied, so will what you write vary to suit the occasion.
No matter the reason for writing a congratulatory letter though, one can assume the tone of the letter will be a joyous one, and the content focussed on the other person's event or achievement, rather than catching up on news. The formality will also vary depending on the capacity you are writing in, and level of intimacy you enjoy with the person. A boss will write in a different tone than a grandfather might, for example. In general though, this is one letter where you might strive for a more formal, and eloquent style. In fact, it is not uncommon for congratulatory letters to include quotes or poems. The trick is to keep the balance between eloquent and sincere. These are the type of letters people will keep and look back on in posterity so make your words count!
The format of your congratulatory letter will usually follow this general guideline: After the date and standard greeting, start right off by expressing your happiness over their good fortune and follow that up by telling the recipient congratulations for whatever milestones you are commemorating. You might add a few lines about the work they had put in to get to this moment, or the bright future that lies ahead, or even, when appropriate, add a bit of advice to help them with the new tasks ahead. In some cases, such as with moving into a new home or having a new baby, an offer of help might be appropriate. Even if you have gone through a similar event, refrain from using those anecdotes as it is their moment not yours. As with all letters, it is quality over quantity. For the most part, this type of letter will be on the shorter side. Most will range from a few sentences to a couple of paragraphs.
Still wondering about writing a congratulatory letter? More reading here:
- Sending a Letter of Wedding Congratulations
- Words of Congratulations for a Wedding
- Congratulations Letters on Achievement