Employee Letter and Email Examples

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No matter what your job, you will need to correspond professionally with your boss, colleagues, and/or your employees throughout your career. Sometimes this will involve sending a physical letter, other times it will only require a quick email.

Make sure you know the basic rules for sending polite and professional letters and emails. Also check out the letter and email examples below. Use these as templates for starting your own messages.

Tips for Writing Employee Letters and Emails

Decide the right method. When deciding whether to send a physical letter or an email, think carefully about the situation. If time is of the essence (for example, if you have a family emergency and need to take the day off), email is likely the best choice. If time is not as important, and you want to be official, you might send a formal business letter.

Send it to the right people. Think about who needs to receive your message. If you are quitting your job or firing someone, you might need to send the message not only to the specific person, but also to someone in human resources. If you are sending a goodbye email to your coworkers, consider sending individual messages to each person.

Be professional. Even if you are sending a quick message, make sure your tone is always polite and professional. Avoid unprofessional language (such as slang or abbreviations), emojis, and distracting fonts and formats. When the content of the message is business-related, use a businesslike tone.

Include an appropriate greeting and closing. Whether sending an email or letter, include a professional greeting that includes the person’s name. Also include a closing and a polite signature. If it is an email, include an email signature with your contact information. If it is a written letter, include a handwritten signature.

Keep it brief. Keep your message as short as possible. You might include a brief introduction, such as, “I hope your day is going well.” Then, quickly dive into your reason for writing. Include only the essential information.

The message should be no longer than a brief paragraph or two (especially if it is an email).

If you keep it short, the recipient will be more likely to read it.

Edit, edit, edit. Always thoroughly proofread your message for spelling and grammar errors before sending it. Professional emails should always be clear and easy to read.

Work-Related Letter and Email Samples

For a Job Well Done

It’s always a great feeling to deliver good news or congratulate colleagues on their successes. And, unlike in-person best wishes, a colleague can save a letter or email to look at later. With emails of appreciation, you can even copy managers and other colleagues to spread the good news. Here are a few examples to help you get the wording just right.

...And Not So Well Done

If you have to deliver bad news, whether to a job applicant or an existing employee, these sample letters will help. 

When it comes to writing letters with bad news: don't bury the message. Put the essential information (e.g., Unfortunately, you did not get this job. or Due to a downturn in orders, we are reducing all employees' salaries by 10 percent.) in the first paragraph or even the first sentence of the letter. Be direct and to-the-point in your wording. Recipients should be able to quickly absorb the news. 

For the Job Applicant

If you’re applying for a new job, these examples should help you draft a well-worded request for a reference, an interview, and more. This list also includes ways to respond when a company makes you an offer. 

Job Promotion or Transfer

Here's help for when you’re trying to snag a new position within the company you work for, whether you want to get promoted or transfer to a different position or location. 

Welcoming a New or Returning Employee

Whether you’re making an initial job offer or welcoming an employee back from an extended leave, here are some samples of what you might say. This kind of letter can really help set the tone for new (or returning) employees, as well as making the transition into the workplace a smooth one.  

I Need a Change

What do you want? More money? A permanent position? You’ll find the words in these sample letters.

Work From Home Requests

When you’re requesting to work from home on a regular or temporary basis, you need to convey exactly what you want, along with how this change can actually benefit the company. These examples show you how.

When You've Missed Work

Here are a few ways you can explain why you didn’t make it into the office, whether due to a sick day, emergency, or just sleeping through the alarm clock. 

When You’re Leaving Your Job

These examples have you covered, from turning in your resignation to saying goodbye to your co-workers.

Remember: No matter how you feel about the company you're leaving, be gracious and polite in your goodbye message.

When Your Employee Is Leaving

Here’s how to officially accept a resignation as well as write a reference for a former employee or colleague. We also show you how to verify that a current or former employee was employed by your company.

Emails and Letters for Difficult Situations

These examples should help when finding the right words is especially difficult.