How To Write a Promotion Letter (With Examples and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Promotions are an opportunity for an organisation to recognise an employee's talent and thank them for their contribution to the company's growth. For an effective and professional promotion, it's essential to document the occasion with a formal letter that acknowledges the new role and any changes to an employee's employment contract. Knowing how to write this type of letter ensures an employee receives all relevant details regarding their promotion. In this article, we define what a promotion letter is, explain how to write a letter of promotion and provide you with tips, a template and an example.

Related: 40 Ways To Say "Congratulations on Your Promotion"

What is a promotion letter?

A promotion letter is a formal document provided by a company to an employee acknowledging their promotion to a new, higher position. It serves as a formal piece of communication between the two parties, clearly outlining and explaining the new roles and responsibilities of the employee. The letter often includes information about the new job title, salary increment, effective promotion date and additional roles and responsibilities.

Here are some of the key contents of a letter of promotion:

  • Full name of the employee

  • Exact title of the employee's new role

  • Appreciation for the employee

  • Additional responsibilities in the new position

  • Updated salary details

  • Work hour and payday changes, if applicable

  • Reporting structure

  • Effective date of promotion

  • Request for acceptance of the promotion

Related: How Career Progression Leads To Personal Fulfilment

Why is a letter of promotion important?

A letter of promotion is essential in a formal environment for many reasons. For example, it confirms an individual's promotion, making it more official than a verbal confirmation. Here are some reasons to provide this formal letter rather than communicating a promotion verbally:

  • Formalises the promotion. The document ensures an employee is aware of their new roles and responsibilities when it comes into effect. It clearly outlines their responsibilities after transitioning into the new position.

  • Documents any pay changes. Financial decisions call for written proof to avoid future confusion. These letters are helpful because they aid in formalising pay changes.

  • Expresses gratitude. A letter of promotion expresses your appreciation for your employee. It also represents motivation and gratitude, which encourages them to perform at their best.

How to write a letter of promotion

The format of a letter of promotion varies according to the industry and company. However, here are some important points to include:

1. Include the employee's details

In a large organisation, there may be several employees with the same name. Therefore, it's important to mention the employee's full name and other personal information at the top of the letter to avoid confusion. It also lets them know if they're the intended recipient.

2. Mention the employee's new title

Below the employee's details, mention their new job title. This gives them a greater understanding of their new position. It also lets them make any necessary updates to their email signature or professional networks ahead of time.

3. Write an expression of gratitude

A promotion is a symbol of gratitude for your employee's service over the years. It also means you trust them to take on a more significant role. Express this gratitude in their letter of promotion to not only encourage them, but also to help reduce future employee turnover.

4. Discuss compensation details

While you usually discuss details regarding pay changes beforehand, clearly mention these changes in the letter. Discuss any updates regarding working hours and a payment schedule. In addition, include information regarding any benefits from commissions or bonuses associated with the promotion.

5. List additional responsibilities

Since promotions also mean new and added responsibilities, list these in the letter. As employees transition from their old role to their new one, it's important for them to understand their new duties. Not only does this understanding help them stay productive, but it also ensures important business needs get met.

6. Outline the reporting structure

When a company promotes an employee, the reporting structure may change. Clearly outline these changes in the letter as they relate to the employee. This helps promoted employees adapt more easily to their new role.

7. Mention the effective date of promotion

Include the official starting date of the employee's new role. This helps avoid misunderstandings. It also ensures they start their new duties on time.

8. Include a request to accept the promotion

Add a request to accept the promotion. Even if the employee accepts the promotion in person, have them accept and acknowledge it with a response to the letter. This provides written proof of their acceptance.

Related: How To Create an Individual Development Plan (With Template)

Tips for writing a letter of promotion

Here are some tips to help you draft a letter of promotion:

  • Use a formal template. Adopt a formal letter template to ensure you include all the necessary details. This also helps your letter remain professional.

  • Include only relevant information. Keep the letter of promotion straightforward. Use simple language and only include relevant information as it applies to the employee's promotion.

  • Mention the old and new roles. Although a letter of promotion lists the new position's responsibilities, you can also summarise their previous role to show the clear distinctions.

  • Stay professional. Maintain a professional tone in the letter of promotion, even if you're friendly with the employee. Avoid abbreviations, slang, emoticons and excessive punctuation marks.

  • Keep it short. Ensure the letter of promotion is no longer than one page. A short letter can help the reader focus on the message and understand the important details more easily.

Related: How to Write a Self-Appraisal

Letter of promotion template

Here's a template you can use as a guide when writing a letter of promotion:

[Date]

[Employee's full name]
[Company name and address]

Subject line: Job promotion for [name of the employee]

Dear [name],

Congratulations on your promotion to [new title] at [company name]! Your promotion is effective on [official start date].

You can expect an annual salary of [salary], paid [pay schedule]. On the effective date, begin reporting to [name of their new manager and their title] and maintain your [working hours associated with the new role].

Your additional responsibilities include [list all the employee's new responsibilities]. Also, kindly refer to the employee handbook to further understand details about the roles and responsibilities associated with the [new title] position.

Once again, congratulations on your promotion. We are grateful for all the work you've done to date, and we can't wait to see what you achieve in this new role. If you accept this promotion, kindly acknowledge this letter and provide a written response acknowledging your acceptance of the position.

Best regards,
[Your name]
[Your title]

Letter of promotion examples

Use these sample letters for guidance when drafting a letter of promotion for an employee:

Detailed letter of promotion

Here's an example of a detailed letter of promotion:

5 July 2021

Eric Cheng
Quill Publications
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Dear Eric,

Congratulations on being promoted to the position of Head of Content at Quill Publications! Your promotion becomes effective on 20 July 2021.

You can expect a new salary of $32,000 per year, paid on the last working day of every month. You'll report to Mr Paul Wong, CMO, and maintain your current weekday work schedule. Paul is excited and looking forward to working with you!

Your additional responsibilities include managing the content calendar, training freelancers and interns, delegating tasks to writers, tracking content marketing data and improving SEO.

I sincerely thank you for the wonderful and diligent work you've done in the content department for the past five years. We at Quill Publications are incredibly grateful for your contribution and look forward to having you lead the content team. Kindly reply to this letter to acknowledge and accept your promotion.

Once again, congratulations and best wishes!

Sincerely,
Alice Mo
Head of HR (Quill Publications)

Simple letter of promotion

Here's an example of a simple letter of promotion:

27 July 2021

Paul Chan
Max Technology
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Dear Paul,

It delights me to inform you that the board has promoted you to the position of Assistant Marketing Director, effective 1 August 2021, with an annual salary of $80,000. You'll be under the supervision of Leah Wong, Director of Marketing.

The board was unanimous in its decision to entrust you with greater responsibilities based on your performance and efficiency in handling your work. We hope you continue to deliver significant results and set an example for other employees, too.

Best wishes for your future performance and congratulations!

Regards,
Pak Chan
Managing Director
Max Technology

Explore more articles