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How to write a self nomination letter

Updated February 17, 2017

Many businesspeople and academics do not like the thought of nominating themselves for a promotion or for an award. However, if no one else has nominated you, you should consider nominating yourself rather than letting the award or promotion pass you by. If you deserve the award or recognition, you owe it to yourself to write a well-organised, thoughtful self-nomination letter. With careful preparation, you can nominate yourself without seeming arrogant.

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  1. Insert a piece of company letterhead into your printer. Even though you are nominating yourself, this is still an official communication and it is important for it look professional.

  2. Type the full date, and skip a line space.

  3. Type the name of the head of the awards committee or point person to the review team. Follow this with the sponsoring company name or awards committee name and mailing address. Skip an additional line space.

  4. Open the letter by typing "Dear Mr./Ms. (Name)" followed by a colon. If the letter goes to a committee, find out the name of the head of the committee. It is always better to write to an actual person, but if in doubt, it is permissible to write "Dear Awards Committee." Skip an additional line space.

  5. Start the first paragraph by identifying yourself and the award or promotion at issue. Explain in a sentence or two that you are writing to nominate yourself for the honour. Include a statement about how you believe that you are a good candidate for the award or promotion. Try to keep this as brief and as objective as possible.

  6. Detail your qualifications in the next paragraph. This is the place to expand on why you believe that certain qualities make you a good candidate for the award or promotion. Maintain a confident, matter of fact tone, and try to focus on details more than feelings.

  7. Thank the boss or committee head for her time. Give your contact information in case she needs to contact you with additional questions. Skip a line space.

  8. Type "Sincerely," and skip three line spaces. Type your full name and title. Print the letter and sign above your typed name in blue or black ink. Mail the letter to the supervisor or head of the awards committee by the deadline specified on the nomination form, if applicable.

  9. Tip

    Be careful to maintain an appropriate tone. Sound confident and unapologetic, but do not excessively praise yourself.

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About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

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