Goodbye Letter Examples and Writing Tips

This illustration shows an example of a goodbye letter when leaving a job and includes the opening, "Dear Anna, I wanted to drop you a line personally to let you know that I'll be leaving James Associates at the end of the month. Please keep in touch."

Julie Bang / The Balance

Are you leaving your job soon—or do you know someone who is? These transitions are a perfect time to drop your colleagues a note.

Sending a goodbye letter when you move on from a job is the polite thing to do, but more than that, it’s smart.

Leave Your Job on a Positive Note

End your tenure on a positive note, and you’ll find yourself with a much stronger network of folks willing to help you with recommendations and referrals when you need them.

Whether you're leaving your job or writing a goodbye letter to a colleague who is moving on to something else, here are sample letters and email messages here to help you craft a professional and sincere goodbye. Use these goodbye letter examples for a variety of circumstances, such as accepting a new job, retiring, or simply resigning from your current job. 

Goodbye Letter Template

You can use this sample as a model to write a personal goodbye letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

personal goodbye letter sample

Personal Goodbye Letter Sample (Text Version)

Brittany Miller
5 Maple Ave
Seaside, Rhode Island 02804

July 1, 2021

Jennifer Rodriguez
Senior Graphic Designer
LMK Corp
30 Main Street, Ste. 3
Seaside, Rhode Island 02804

Dear Jennifer,

I wanted to drop you a line personally to let you know that I’ll be leaving LMK at the end of the month. I’m sorry to go, but as you know, I’ll be starting school in August and I want to give my studies my undivided attention.

I’ve learned so much during my time here, and you’ve been a big part of that. I want to thank you for your mentorship and guidance when I was an intern, and your support during my search for the right graduate program.

Please keep in touch. My email address is, and my phone number is 555-555-5555. Let’s get coffee sometime during the coming semester, and you can tell me all the news about the best team in the business.

Thanks, and best regards,

Brittany Miller (signature for hard copy)

Brittany Miller

How to Say Goodbye to Colleagues

There are many ways to say goodbye to those you work with, and you’ll find them in these examples. When you tell your boss that you plan to retire or quit, ask if you can make the announcement to your co-workers yourself. Or if they already know, they are sure to appreciate a thoughtful goodbye from you.

When It’s Your Turn to Say, “I Quit!”

You might want to shout out those words, but burning bridges is never a good idea, no matter how upset you are. Or maybe you really do love your job, but you can’t pass up a new opportunity. Either way, craft a diplomatic and professional letter, emphasizing the positive experiences you’ve gained from the job and tactfully informing your employer or clients that you are moving on.

  • Resignation Letter Examples
  • New Job Announcement Letters

To Say Congratulations on Their New Job

It’s always good form to wish colleagues all the best when they move on to new opportunities. It’s an exciting time for them, and it’s good to keep colleagues in your network.

Those warm wishes are a good way to keep you in someone’s mind and will give you a boost to maintain a positive business relationship or re-establish your work relationship if you cross paths again.

Here are some example messages to send to colleagues leaving for a new job:

If your colleague or coworker is moving but staying within the company, kind words of encouragement are always appreciated:

College graduates need props, too, and these examples will help you find just the right words to congratulate them and give them encouragement for embarking on their post-college careers.

When a Friend or Colleague Loses Their Job

If your colleague or co-worker has been let go, don’t ignore the person out of embarrassment or awkwardness. It’s a rough time for them, and they’ll probably appreciate the fact that you care enough to check on them.

At the very least, write a simple letter acknowledging the job loss and offering your sympathy. If you want to do more, consider that your colleague might appreciate help in finding another position.

By offering whatever help you can provide—such as writing a reference or offering to include that colleague at your next networking event—you give your letter a positive and helpful spin.

For Your Own Retirement

These examples will help you inform your employer of your intended retirement. This will likely be a more formal letter that includes several key details. In fact, your boss or HR department might want to guide you in providing the information in writing they need to start winding down your position and preparing for any retirement benefits to kick in.

  • Retirement Letter Template

For a Colleague's Retirement

For the employee heading off to retirement, what you write in your goodbye letter depends on how close your working relationship was, and how long it lasted. You might send a brief, formal congratulations email to a business associate you see only a few times a year. But a long-time colleague deserves a more thoughtful sendoff.

These examples have you covered for either situation:

Key Takeaways

Send a Goodbye Letter When You’re Leaving a Job: It’s the polite thing to do, and it will strengthen your network.

Use a Letter to Say Congrats to a Colleague Who’s Retiring or Moving On: Your well wishes will mean a lot and ensure that your co-worker thinks positively of you later.

Don’t Be Shy About Reaching Out to Co-Workers Who’ve Been Fired: Your sympathy and offers of help will be welcome.