How To Thank A Professor For A Letter Of Recommendation

Indeed, there is no perfect way to show gratitude to a professor who gave you the letter of recommendation you needed for a college, job, or scholarship.

Despite this, the least you can do to show your professor how grateful you are is to write them a letter. However, before writing such letters, you need to learn how these letters are written.

This post will discuss how you can write a thank-you note for a professor who gave you a letter of recommendation, how you can request a letter of recommendation from a professor in the first place, and things to consider when requesting a letter of recommendation.

Things To Consider When Requesting For A Recommendation By Position

1. Asking an instructor

As a high school student, it is not even a secret that you need a recommendation letter to get into college. The same applies to college graduates wanting to enroll in an advanced degree program.

No matter what your case may be, when you need a recommendation letter, request one from a professor or teacher that you were very close to and that taught most of the courses you took in school.

This will enable them to write a more attractive letter of recommendation.

Don’t forget that your instructors can have to handle several recommendation letter requests around the year. Thus, contact them early to avoid any disappointment.

2. Asking a colleague

Most companies will ask you to submit a letter of recommendation when applying for a position in their firm.

Your boss or colleagues remain in the best position to write you such a letter as they know you well and can effectively describe your skills and work habits.

However, when requesting a recommendation letter from your colleague, ask someone with more experience than you to write it.

3. Asking a friend

If the purpose of the recommendation is unofficial, let’s say for a club purpose, you can approach your friend to write you a letter.

However, allow your friend to sincerely analyze your skills, experiences, and abilities connected to what you need the letter for.

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How To Request For Letter Of Recommendation

If you need a letter of recommendation and you don’t know how to go about it, follow the steps below to request it:

1. Put together a list of not less than ten referrals

Begin by writing out a list of people in your professional network who can craft a letter of recommendation for you.

The individuals you pick should be based on why you need this letter. For instance, if you need a letter to apply for a graduate degree, find professors that know you well and can describe your abilities in writing.

On the other hand, if you need a recommendation letter for a job, your boss or colleague is in the best position to write one for you.

Overcome the temptation of choosing your loved one to write a recommendation letter for you even if the description of the referral was not stated.

It will render the letter null and void, and you won’t be taken seriously.

2. Reach out to all the options you have

Contact everyone you shortlisted to find out if they can write a recommendation letter for you.

Communicating with them, preferably over a phone call, will allow you to give them reports on your latest achievements, enabling them to write more attractive letters.

When interacting with them, ensure that you tell them all the essential details they need, such as the purpose of the recommendation letter and when you would need it.

3. Send an official request

Once you confirm those on your list that can write you the letter you need, send each of them an official request letter.

This letter should contain your current CV, your current job, the purpose of the recommendation, what credentials and skills you possess that make you a good fit for the purpose, and the date you need it.

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Is Sending A Thank-You Note For Recommendation A Good Choice?

Yes, sending a thank-you note to a professor who wrote a recommendation letter for you is the least you can do to repay them.

The letter of recommendation that the professor wrote probably talks about the educational and professional achievements you have had so far and the skills you possess that makes you a good fit for a college program or a job position, as your case may be.

A thank you note is an excellent way to appreciate the writer for doing a good job, enabling them to keep their door open if they need assistance.

How To Write A Thank You Letter

You can write an excellent thank you note to your professor for writing you a recommendation letter by following the steps below:

1. Select the correct format

There are several formats for crafting an excellent thank-you note to your professor.

The best formats are handwritten cards, typed letters, or an email. However, when selecting a format, apply the tips below:

  • Look at how the professor loves to interact

Some professors may prefer mail interaction for official and non-official matters. Others, on the other hand, seem to prefer handwritten cards only.

If you think a physical card will work best for your professor, go with it. However, the truth is that a physical letter makes more sense and has a more emotional impact than an email.

If your professor rarely has time for physical meetings or you hardly see them in school, you can mail them the thank you note.

  • Send both a short email and an official letter.

If you are unsure about the best format that might work, the best thing to do is send both a short email and an official letter to your professor.

While the email acknowledges that you received the letter, you can use the official letter to update your professional about the advancement you have made.

2. Use the standard outline

When sending a letter to your professor thanking them for writing you a recommendation letter, ensure that you observe the standard letter-writing outlines.

Keep things official, from the salutations to your signature, regardless of how close you are to your professor.

3. Review the letter

Please don’t send any letter to your professor without reviewing it from beginning to end. Check the letter for spelling and grammatical errors and validate any information that you attach to it.

You can even send the letter to your loved one to go through, as they can spot what you may never see no matter how many times you read it.

Sending an erroneous letter will not impress your professor, and they will only think that you don’t regard them enough to write them a good piece. 

4. Don’t waste time

Try to send the appreciation note immediately after you get your letter of recommendation. This is the best way to show gratitude towards them.

Also, send your professor a second letter if there is a new development in what you got the letter for.

For example, if they wrote a letter for you to apply for graduate school and you eventually secured admission, let them know about it in another letter that will fulfill them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On How To Thank A Professor For A Letter Of Recommendation

How do you respond to thank you professionally?

You can respond to thank you professionally by using any of the; “I appreciate your message,” “glad I could help,” “it’s my pleasure,” and “your message means a lot to me.”

What are the best ways to say thank you and appreciation?

You can say thank you and exhibit appreciation at the same time by using; “Thank you for your time today,” “I value and respect your opinion,” “Your kind words make my heart melt,” and “I wanted to take the time to thank you.”

What are the best ways to show gratitude?

You can show gratitude ideally towards people by; using words, giving a gratitude gift, writing a gratitude letter, and asking how they are while waiting for their feedback.

What is a suitable word replacement for “thank you”?

Rather than say “thank you,” you can use the phrase “I’m grateful.”


There is no best way to thank a professor for writing you a recommendation letter. However, writing them a thank you note is only a minor thing you can do.

This article has discussed the best way to write an excellent thank you note, including the steps to request a letter successfully. However, before you get to work, check online for helpful samples.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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