Write an Effective Thank You Letter | Examples for Your Mentor

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Nothing like being appreciated for your efforts, and you already know all about that. That nice “Fernando, you were great at the meeting yesterday” gets me jumping out of my chair in no-time!

Debunking the Myth: Thank You Notes for Mentors

But does anyone write notes anymore? YES, you’re reading one right now! If you’re confused about what a “thank you note—letter—message—email” is, then let’s debunk that right now:

It’s a simple message that you can deliver any way you want to.

I’ll be using those terms interchangeably so hang tight and enjoy the wisdom nuggets below.

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What is a Thank You Letter?

Of course in any thank you [insert your word], there are some bases we want to get covered, like:

  • What are you thankful for?
  • How has your relationship impacted your life?
  • Why are they awesome?
  • What would you like to happen moving forward?

And I’ll include some examples for you to look at or even copy—paste (and tweak) at your heart’s content.

Is it ONLY Gratitude, or Something Else?

Now, I have a theory, that thank you letters are powerful. At least more than you would think. Ever had that mysterious “old friend from university call”?…


“Hey Fernando this is John from math class. I heard you’re working on marketing and was hoping you could give me some advice on selling my REVOLUTIONARY new hair dryer for men” Do you have a few minutes to chat?


John? Back then we hanged out a bunch, so even if I haven’t seen him in 20 years or so I’ll probably take a flier and give him some of my precious time. And that’s because we (I’m hoping for John’s sake) “paused” our relationship on a positive note.

💡You never know what the future holds for you or your mentor, so keeping the doors open should be your number 2 priority.

When to Send a Thank You Note

Not going to lie, there are different school of thoughts on this one, but I’ll give you some of our very own MicroMentor data to tell you when is likely that your letter will have the highest impact.

Common answers are:

  • When they agree to be your mentor
  • When you achieve a milestone
  • When the mentoring relationship comes to an end

My MicroMentor insight:

Thank your mentor every time you interact, and send a “letter—note” when you’ve achieved whatever is it that you wanted to achieve at the start of your relationship.

Why?

  1. Every time you interact: Because mentors are choosing to give you their time, every—single—time. They like you, have faith in you, and are giving you precious knowledge and/or emotional support entirely for free.
  2. When you’ve achieved your objective: Because you cant ASSUME mentors will have the time/space/willingness to continue your relationship past your original goal. They signed up for a ride, from A to B, not A to “forever”.
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Where to Send Your Thank You Letter?

It totally depends on what your primary channel of communication with your mentor is. And we’ve seen it all! Some mentors are the usual formal email-lovers, others rather do things the casual way over instant messaging like Whatsapp or SMS.

So the answer here is, whatever you were already using, adapt your message to fit that medium.

💡 However, if you have the possibility of thanking your mentor face-to-face (or zoom), go for it. Nothing matches the emotions you can convey in that scenario and the impact that your words will have on your mentor.

Thinking of other ways (non-virtual ways) to thank your mentor? Click here!

A Word on Adapting

“Adapt” can mean many things, here’s what I mean with that exactly.

  • Length: It will vary depending on the medium (channel), just don’t swarm your mentor with a HUGE block of text over an SMS.
  • Tone: Whatever feels natural is usually the way to go, don’t change your tone because you want to be more “formal”, chances are it will look over-prepared and insincere.

Thank You Email to Your Mentor —
Example 1

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“Thank you" Phrases You Might Include in Your Note

I’m not the usual copy-paste kind of guy, but sometimes we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. These short phrases can convey much of what we want to say “but don’t know how to phrase” exactly.

Use these throughout your message as you see fit, or don’t! Think of them as a quick cheat sheet for your thank you note to your mentor:

  1. Your dedication to my achievements has been crucial. I owe much of my success to your support.
  2. Your encouragement has always motivated me to do my best, especially in moments of self-doubt. Your consistent support has been a guiding light in difficult times.
  3. I value the time you’ve invested in me immensely. Your patience, insights, and attentive listening have been profoundly impactful.
  4. Your ongoing advice and recommendations have been instrumental in my growth. I am so much better from having you as my mentor.
  5. Thank you for your extraordinary commitment to my development. Your dedication is inspiring, and I aim to live up to the example you've set.
  6. Recognizing and nurturing my potential has given me newfound confidence and drive. Your guidance has been a cornerstone of my progress.

Thank You Message To Your Mentor — Example 2

Use this example for any “quick messaging” platform that might require short-form instead of long form content like WhatsApp, LinkedIn, SMS, etc:

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Thank You Note to Mentor — Template

So now that you have some phrases and real-life examples (although keep in mind those are in my own voice), let’s go over a quick template you could use for any channel.

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Final Tips for Writing a Thank You Note

  1. Keep it sincere —your voice, tone, style.
  2. Provide as much detail as possible on how did they help you, and how great you feel they are because of doing it.
  3. Offer your help in whatever it is they need now or in the future.
  4. Keep the doors open! —Offer to continue the relationship in whatever capacity you would like to.

Final Thoughts

Time for some parting honesty — there's no "wrong" way to express your appreciation if it's coming from a place of sincerity.

Not to say that my previous recommendations are not valid, but take them as what they are, ingredients that could potentially (I believe so) boost your own message and remind you to cover all the bases that are "professional" custom.

On that note, THANK YOU, for reading this article and if you just met your mentor not too long ago you might want to go over this article on The 3 Best Ways to Thank Your Mentor after a First Meeting.

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