Thank You Letter to Coworkers When Leaving a Job (5 Tips + Guide)

November 30, 2021
6 Min Read
Photo by
Radostina Georgieva

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Why is writing a thank you letter to coworkers when leaving a job important?

When you leave a job, it's important to end the relationship on good terms. A heartfelt thank you letter is one of the most effective ways to do this. It can also help give your reputation an extra boost with future endeavors. 

When interviewing for a new job, prospective employers may ask if there are any people they can contact as references. According to PR Newswire, one in five applicants are eliminated based on the results of their reference check. This is one of the major reasons why sending a quick thank-you note before leaving your current job is important. Your thank you note will help them remember who you are in a positive light.

Benefits of writing a thank you letter to coworkers when leaving a job

There are countless benefits to writing a thank you letter and a goodbye message when you're leaving a job. One of the biggest, most important reasons is gratitude. In the world today, it's very common for people to use each other and then just leave without saying goodbye. It's good to keep in mind that people have feelings, and they do get attached. Some may even throw a farewell party to a wonderful colleague.

In addition to being grateful, writing a thank you to a coworker can also help with:

  • Keeping relationships strong and healthy after you start your new position
  • Leaving on good terms and allowing opportunities to work together again or even be friends off the clock
  • Making connections outside of what happens during office hours
  • Networking and forming new professional relationships that could help you on your career path or even introduce you to a new opportunity
  • Writing a thank you letter or farewell note is one of the best ways to leave gracefully and on good terms.

Ultimately, writing a thank you letter when leaving a job shows gratitude, professionalism, maturity, and integrity.

When to write a thank you letter to coworkers when leaving a job

Sending thank you letters after leaving a job can help maintain professional relationships with people who were once your superiors or co-workers. It's common courtesy that should be done whether or not someone was particularly helpful during your employment. If you didn't get along well with everyone, or even if you don't have fond memories of them, write a formal letter anyway to avoid burning any bridges, especially if this company does business with your new one in the future. You will want their continued support!

The best time to write a thank you letter is immediately after the resignation has been accepted. In case you have already left the company, send a follow-up letter to anyone who went above and beyond their duties to assist you. If you're going to write a personal thank you note, don't wait too long or your co-workers will think that it is insincere or they may not remember what was done for you.

Remote teams and writing a thank you letter to coworkers when leaving a job 

If you are part of a remote team, you may wonder how and when to write a thank you letter or farewell letter to your coworkers when you are leaving your job. The answer is similar to what an employee in a traditional office setting would do. While a thank you letter can be written at any time, it is especially important to compose one when you are leaving your position for another opportunity.

Just because coworkers don't see each other in person, does not make their jobs any less important. They may feel like they are even more integral to the success of the company. An appreciation letter with a farewell message will make this known and be a lasting reminder that you were an asset to the team while working there; regardless of how or when you leave.

5 tips for writing a thank you letter to coworkers when leaving a job

  • Keep it positive: Well before the day of your departure, make sure all loose ends are tied up with your management team, fellow workers, and clients. It is important to be positive in your thank you letter.
  • You might want to consider writing two separate letters: one for your entire team and another for other co-workers at the company. The goodbye letter to the immediate team should express gratitude for their support during your time together. Express appreciation for them being able to work with you before you leave, then wish them continued success in the future. A letter of thanks to others in the company can also be structured with a similar tone of kindness. Sharing words of encouragement will make this part of leaving a job a positive experience for everyone involved and ensure you all part with sweet memories rather than sour ones.
  • Choosing the right words: It is also possible that some people may be sensitive to certain words or phrases, so it's smart to choose them carefully. Before deciding what should go into the note make sure it will not upset anyone or come across as unwelcome. After all, leaving a job should be seen as an opportunity and nobody likes to feel like they were part of getting somebody else fired.
  • Close with gratitude: It's also important to close with heartfelt gratitude in any thoughtful correspondence like this one. It would be beneficial to mention things about yourself that you will miss about each coworker or department contact, stating specifically what it was that made them so special during the span of your career together. Additionally, sharing examples of how much you learned from these individuals is an excellent way to express your gratitude.
  • Sending out thank you letters: Make sure you allow enough time before your departure date to send out a thank you letter or even a thank you email. Even if it's just a matter of a few days, sending off the note in plenty of time before your last day on the job lets people know that they are important to you and that you have appreciated their help. It is also possible for someone to be so busy with work or personal matters that they might not get around to saying goodbye until long after the initial leaving date, so being prompt with your mail can be an effective way of dealing with this situation too.

Software for writing a thank you letter to coworkers when leaving a job

There are apps and software options available to make writing your thank you letter easier. Some of these options include:

  • Felt app: This app lets you “handwrite” your thank you using an electronic device. You can either use your finger to write the message or you can use a stylus. You simply write the message and Felt will print the card, stamp the envelope, and stick it in the mail for you!
  • Thankster: This website lets you pick a card and write your note. If you’re not sure what to write, there is a library of sample messages to help you out. They will then mail your thank you card on your behalf!
  • Matter: This app integrates with Slack and allows you to send uplifting messages to coworkers on the platform. You can send a thank-you note or letter, words of praise, kudos, or detailed feedback!

So if you're looking for help writing a thank you note, there are plenty of useful tools that can assist you!

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