How to Write a Letter of Resignation

So you’ve found a new job. Congratulations! Now you need to let your boss know that you’re walking out the door. It’s time to write a letter of resignation. Chances are there are many things you’d like to tell your boss. It’d be fun to rant, right? However, writing a good – and appropriate – letter of resignation can improve your professional future.

You just never know when you’re going to run into your old boss, so burning bridges is rarely recommended. You might end up working for your boss again in the future, or they may end up working for you – or being a customer. A respectful resignation helps pave the way toward a smoother relationship in the future.

So what do you include in your letter of resignation?

When You’re Leaving

It’s important to date your letter and to document when your resignation is effective. For example, if you’re giving two weeks notice then let your employer know the exact date that will be your last day. You may also want to include why you’re leaving, but that’s not completely necessary. If you do include a reason, make sure to keep it short and simple. For example, I’ve accepted a new position as President of Marketing at ABC Company.

Don’t be Wishy Washy

Some people like to play games with their letter of resignation. They like to be open to counter offers and the potential to stay where they are and make more money. If you’re writing a letter of resignation, you’ve missed that window. The time to negotiate is before you accept the offer from the other company. Be clear, concise, and polite in your resignation letter.

Do be Complimentary

Use the body of the letter to thank your employer for all they’ve offered you. You’ve no doubt learned some things while working for them and they did pay you a salary. Express your gratitude.

Offer Support

Another way to protect your professional relationship with your employer is to offer to help with the transition. You may offer to train a new person, help hire a new person, or finish a particular project before you leave.

It’s a Letter, So Make Sure it Looks Like a Letter

A letter has a date, a salutation, an introduction, a body and a conclusion. It also has a signature. Make sure your letter of resignation contains all of these formal requirements. It’s a document that will be kept and stored in your human resource file. It is something that could pop up again in the future. If you’re unsure how to structure your letter or what to say, you can find templates and examples online. Use them to help you write a professional letter of resignation. It’s important to put your best foot forward, even if that foot is walking out the door.

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