I have noticed that one of the most frequently visited pages on my main writing help website is the sample goodbye letter. The template that I have posted there is a typical farewell letter of the type that I recommend you write whenever you are leaving one organization to take a position elsewhere. It is a professional gesture to make; one that I believe is worth the extra few minutes that it takes, even though you are leaving and might not expect ever to be back. It is the kind of action that will make you stand out in people’s minds as a sincere person and colleague.
Just the fact that thousands of people from all over the world search out this particular sample letter each week, tells me that a lot of folks are looking for ways to leave a positive and lasting impression when they move on in the business world.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when composing a work-related goodbye or farewell letter.
Keep It Short
Two or three short paragraphs will do. Never exceed one page for such a letter.
Make It Sincere
Use simple, sincere and upbeat language. Keep it real — don’t forget that the people who receive it know you; so make sure whatever you say rings genuine and true.
Take the High Road
Even if you were unhappy in your position and are pleased to be leaving, make sure you don’t say anything that would “burn your bridges”. You never know when you might end up working with some of the recipients again in the future. Nothing good will come out of a negative farewell letter.
Don’t Include Details
I suggest that you do not provide the details about where you will be moving in your letter. Simply offer to give your new contact coordinates to anyone who contacts you directly. Your letter should be focused on the place and people you are leaving. So, don’t give too much information about your destination, except to those who request it from you directly. (That way, you’ll also find out who your friends really are!)
In my opinion, an appropriately sincere goodbye or farewell letter is definitely the most professional way to leave an organization, and is well worth the time and trouble. (As usual, I always recommend a real letter, but if that’s not possible a well-worded e-mail can also work).
Here’s a link to that typical goodbye letter that I mentioned above:
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