Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How to Write an Exit Report

careertrend article image

If you're leaving your work environment for a change of job, career or location, you're focused on the changes ahead of you. Those you're leaving behind will want information about your position, your suggestions for change in the work environment, your positive impressions of the workplace and other issues. Writing an exit report helps keep things running smoothly in your department after you leave. Since most workplaces will provide a form or an essay prompt, all you need to do is sincerely answer the questions you're asked.

Review your job description before you begin. You should be able to obtain a copy from someone in human resources or from your boss. Note any areas of the job description you think need clarification or refinement, using your computer or pen and paper for this process. Also note areas that are part of the job but not defined as such in the job description. Is the job description accurate?

List the training you received during your job and training you wish were made available. Were there things you needed to learn on your own; should the company train future employees in these areas?

List the reasons you are moving on from the job as well as the things you liked best about your job or workplace, such as relationships with coworkers, bonus incentives or management style. List areas that frustrated you, such as communication problems, shortage of materials or poor management. Be as specific as possible when creating these list. Your suggestions and praise will be taken more seriously if they're grounded in description.

Ask one to two coworkers what they valued most about your contribution to the workplace and what suggestions they would have for another candidate filling your role. Take notes on what they say.

Incorporate the lists you've created and the information gleaned from your coworkers into a draft exit report. Emphasize clear, concise writing that gets enough detail across without being overly emotional. Instead of saying you disliked something, explain why it was a waste of your time or why it posed a challenge.

Reread and revise your exit report the day after you've written it. If you're staying in the same industry, you may cross paths with colleagues again so it's important to be honest, professional and clear in your exit report.

Check in with someone in human resources or with your boss to make sure there are no additional steps you need to take regarding your exit from the company. Hand in your exit report.


A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

Photo Credits