How to Write a Farewell Email

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 May 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.

When the time comes for you to leave your job, for whatever reason, it is important to send a farewell email to your colleagues. A farewell email will help maintain professional networks and allows you to leave on good terms.

In this article, we are going to discuss the essential components of a farewell email and how you can write a proper farewell letter. We also provide a few samples to get you started.

What is a farewell email?

A farewell letter or email is a concise, short, and informal message that you write and send to your coworkers to notify them about your departure. It can detail a few important and notable memories during your time with the company and how colleagues have contributed to your career growth.

A farewell email gives you a unique opportunity to say thank you to your coworkers on your last working day. It is a friendly gesture for future communication and collaboration. You may choose to send a generic email to your entire team or even personalise your letter for your closest friends in the workplace.

It is important to differentiate between a resignation email and a farewell email. A resignation letter addresses your supervisor, while a farewell email is sent to your team. Even the mode of address differs between the two. Resignation letters follow a strict business letter format. Farewell emails, on the other hand, are more casual. However, this will also depend on your company culture.

Elements of a farewell email

As you leave your job, a farewell email to your teammates sets the tone for your departure. Remember this email is about your colleagues. So, use most of the words in the letter to express how your teams have been crucial to your success.

Here are the elements you should ideally include in your letter:

  • Straightforward subject line

  • Informal salutation

  • Time of your tenure

  • Former positions

  • Witty humour

  • Good advice

  • Your future plans

  • Contact information

Straightforward subject line

Keep the subject line in your email short and concise so that your coworkers can immediately understand the purpose of the email. You can make the subject line playful and infuse it with workplace slogans or nickname your teams easily identify with you.

Since your boss might have already told your department about your departure, make the subject line is succinct.

Use phrases like, “A fond farewell,” “Saying goodbye,” or “Farewells are never easy.” Such phrases are short and casual, allowing you to leave a lasting positive impression.

Informal salutation

Unlike formal letters where you have to address your boss as “Dear sir/madam,” a farewell letter can hae a casual tone. Immediately after the subject line, you can address your team as “Fellow engineers,” or use a similar salutation your colleagues would relate to.

Time of your tenure

Mention how long you have been with your team. Appreciate each moment you spent with them and keep it positive. Focus on your growth and thank your colleagues for their efforts.

Mention some key projects or activities your coworkers helped make successful. Make a list of notable contributions that were critical to the success of your team.

Former positions

Alongside the time you have been in the organisation, highlight the positions you have held and be thankful for colleagues you worked with while serving in those positions. Express that you are grateful for the growth and opportunities they gave you.

Witty humour

If you have a knack for fun, feel free to be humorous and add a few inside jokes to your message. This will go a long way in making your professional farewell letter memorable. However, do consider the culture of your workplace. Some offices in Hong Kong may be a bit more reserved than others.

Expert advice

After expressing your gratitude and showcasing your growth with the help of your colleagues, you can also leave them with some of your own advice. The experience you have may be of great value to them so share it while you can.

As you conclude your email, encourage your team to continue working towards the organisational goals and mission. Or better, leave them with a quote from a famous person.

Your plans

Let your colleagues know what lies ahead of you. Remember to keep your information vague yet interesting. Say, for example, “I'm going to explore a field in an innovative fintech franchise,” or “I'm following my passion in real estate development.

Contact information

Your work relationships are valuable connection for the future. Some of your teammates too would love stay in touch with you after your departure. At the end of your email, leave your phone number, email address or social media handles so that they can reach you easily.

How to write a farewell email

Writing a farewell email is important, regardless of the period you have spent with your colleagues. As you walk out of your current job, leave on good terms by following the guidelines below on how to write a proper farewell email.

  1. Check with your boss

Before sending your farewell email, ensure that your manager has already made a formal announcement about your departure. This is the usual top-down protocol in every workplace, and it helps you show that you observe the rules in every decision you make.

2. Select your recipients

If you can, personalise your farewell note for different groups of colleagues. While you may be able to be more casual with your teammates, it may be more appropriate to use a formal tone with your boss. If you are working in a large company, remember to tailor your message to those directly in your department.

3. Format it properly

A proper format and structure is a reflection on you. Colleagues have several incoming messages everyday, so you want to make sure yours is easy to read.

Here is how you can structure your email:

Header

Recipients

Subject line:

Salutation

Body

  • **First paragraph: Open with a casual greeting and state the reason of your email.

  • Subsequent body paragraphs: Express gratitude towards your colleagues and thank them for their support. In this section, you may also share a few special anecdotes about your time together.

  • Last paragraph: Before you sign off, express your appreciate towards your team once more. Close your email with your name and personal contact information.

    Your contact details

4. Keep it short and memorable

It is important to keep your email short but remember to bring out crucial highlights of your career. Show your appreciation, share your contact information and move on. Do not reminisce about company politics. Keep it warm, polite and sweet.

5. Offer to help on the last day

In your last paragraph, suggest that you are willing to help out with the transition. Your replacement may need your handover document so make sure everything is readily available. When possible, help your colleagues as you leave.

Farewell email sample

Here are two sample farewell emails for you to make your own:

Farewell note to your supervisor

Hello Mr. Lee,

As you know, I am regretfully leaving Fars Construction on February 13, 2021. Thank you for both your support and mentorship over the past ten years of our collaborative relationship.

Over the years, I have grown as a professional thanks to your support, for which I'm very grateful. I appreciate having known you on an individual level and very much hope to keep in touch after my departure.

Below are my contact details so please feel free to catch up with me some point in the future. I'm taking on a new challenge in the modeling industry and will hopefully connect with you as I forge my way in this new environment.

Good luck for the future,

Jani Cahi Rong

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/janirong

Twitter: janirong@twitter.com

Farewell note to your colleagues

Hey Team,

I know you might have already heard that I am leaving, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your time. Well, it's time to leave, but my heart will always be close to you guys. My last day at Fars will be tomorrow and I already miss you.

I would want you to know that you have all played an important role in my career growth. I enjoyed working with you and getting to know you. Your friendship and camaraderie cannot is something I truly cherish. You made me who I am, thought me the critical aspects of this job and allowed us to thrive as a team. I will take these memories with me and treasure them forever. I will miss all our weekend soirees and the beautiful moments we shared together.

Indeed, my time at Fars is drawing to a close, but I know our friendship will continue to thrive. Please keep in touch and call my mobile number or email me any time. I would love to get together for lunch, a movie, or a ballgame or just to swap stories. I will always consider each of you a colleague and friend and wish you all the very best that life offers.

Jani Cahi Rong

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/janirong

Twitter: janirong@twitter.com

Phone number: +852 1234 1234

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