You’ve handed in your letter of resignation, and even if a formal announcement hasn’t been made, word has probably got around the workplace that you’re leaving. Even so, it’s good manners to personally say goodbye to your colleagues, and sending a farewell email is the perfect way to do it.
Follow our five top tips to ensure your farewell email says just the right thing.
- Show what the email is about in the subject line.
- Tailor your message to reflect your relationship with each recipient.
- Express positive sentiments about the company and your (soon to be ex-) colleagues.
- Give your contact details so they can keep in touch (if they want to!).
- Check your writing for errors before you hit “send.”
Read on to learn about these points in more detail.
1. Make It Clear What The Email Is About
No doubt your colleagues receive more emails each day than they have time to read. Make sure yours doesn’t get ignored or, worse, filed in “trash,” by making good use of the subject line.
The exact wording will depend on who you are writing to, but in every case you should keep it brief and make it obvious what the main body of the email will be about. Here are a few examples:
Goodbye for now
Thanks and farewell
My thoughts on leaving
2. Tailor Your Messages
You probably have a range of different relationships within the workplace, and this should be reflected in the tone of your farewell emails.
We suggest drafting several wordings. You could write a casual message to your closest colleagues, which might include an invitation to join you for a drink on your last day or reminiscing about some shared memorable moments at work.
When you write to staff members that you are less familiar with, you will want to adopt a more formal style (and you might not want to invite them to the bar!).
3. Be Positive And Appreciative
Use your farewell email to express gratitude to your co-workers and to acknowledge the experience and opportunities you have gained through your employment.
You should say positive things about your time with the company rather than enthusing about what you are going to do next. It’s fine to briefly mention your immediate plans, but make sure that’s not the main focus of your message.
Take the opportunity to mention specific things that you are grateful to individual people for, and remember to wish them well for the future.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you might end up working with some of these people again one day, especially if your new role is within the same industry, so you’ll want to be remembered as a supportive and upbeat teammate.
4. Give Your Contact Details
When you leave, you will no longer have access to your company email, so if you want your former colleagues to keep in touch, you need to tell them how to do so.
By providing your private email address or Linked-in profile, you will be leaving the door open for both professional relationships and valuable friendships to continue.
Of course, there may be some staff members that you’d rather not hear from again. That’s ok—you can send them a tactfully worded email that doesn’t include your contact details!
5. Check Your Farewell Email For Errors
It’s a good idea to read your email through a few times before you send it. After all, you don’t want your parting message to be full of typos.
Try reading it to yourself out loud—preferably when nobody else is around—so you can be sure that it flows well. Spell check is a useful tool for weeding out any nonsense words like goobdye or thnaks, but you can’t rely on it alone, because it won’t pick up correctly spelled but wrong words (e.g., I’ll kiss you instead of I’ll miss you).
And if you’d like any of your writing to be proofread by an expert, our team is available 24/7. You can even try our service for free.
Farewell Email Examples
We will finish this post with two suggested wordings for goodbye emails, one for close work buddies and one for a more senior colleague. Hopefully you can tell which is which! We hope these will inspire you when it’s time to write your own farewell emails.
To: BenG; JohnnyS; ReedR
Subject: It’s been fun
As I’m sure you already know, Friday will be my last day with Fantastic Job Ltd. Next week I’ll be starting a new role at Forcefield Corp. I’ve really enjoyed working with you, and I wish you all continued success at FJL.
Ben, I’ve appreciated your honesty as well as your jokes (most of them anyway). I will always remember you, Reed, as one of the most flexible people I’ve ever worked with. And Johnny, I learned so much from our heated discussions.
I’m sure we’ll stay in touch even though you won’t see me at the office anymore. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Keep on making a difference!
Subject: Moving on from FJL
Dear Dr Allen,
As you will have heard, I will soon be moving on from my role here at Fantastic Job Ltd. My final day will be this Friday, October 8th.
I wanted to thank you personally for the support you’ve given me throughout my time at FJL. I am especially grateful for the training I received when I first joined the company and for the way you helped me develop my skills.
If you wish to contact me in the future, you’ll find me at www.linkedup.com/in/susan-storm12aabb
All the best,