How To Write a Resignation Letter

You are ready to leave your current job, and you want to know how to go about advising your boss about your upcoming departure.

BY: MARK ANDREW ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020
How To Write a Resignation Letter

You are ready to leave your current job, and you want to know how to go about advising your boss about your upcoming departure.

Learn how to write a kind, courteous, and polished resignation letter that will leave you on good terms with your previous employer.

When it is time to move on from your current position, you must do so professionally. You must know what to include and what not to include in your resignation letter to make it happen.

What to Include in Your Resignation Letter

If you are unsure about what should go in the resignation letter, below are five essential items to include.

5 Things to Include in Your Resignation Letter

1. Your Intent to Resign

Give your employer an adequate amount of time before you leave. You can state the reason that you are leaving, for instance, if it is for personal reasons. Advise them that after careful-consideration, you will need to resign. Provide two weeks' notice and hand the letter to your employer in person.

Your letter should start with the fact that you are resigning from your current position.

2. Your Last Day of Employment

Provide information about the last day of work and any work-related requests or details. The key is to ease the transition for both you and your employer.

3. A Thank You

You will want to leave on a positive note and with a graceful exit. In your letter of resignation, be sure to thank the employer for the opportunities he/she provided and express gratitude. Mention experiences gained at the (add company name) or how much you enjoyed working with them.

4. Offer to Assist with the Transition

Leaving a position can be a stressful time for you, your employer, and the new employee hired to fill the position. You need to include a willingness to help the transition go as smoothly as possible. This may involve recruiting or training your replacement.

Offering assistance with the transition is essential to both you and your employer. You can leave the position with closure and respect as you move on to your new job.

5. Enclose Your Contact Information

Include your personal contact information to make it easy for the company to get in touch with you. Write your phone number so your manager can call you with some questions during the transition period.

What Not to Include in Your Resignation Letter

There are at least 5 items you must avoid adding to your resignation letter, no matter how tempting it might be. If you say the wrong thing, it may bring unintended consequences.

5 Items Not to Include in Your Resignation Letter

1. Leave Out Complaints and Criticisms

It is not appropriate to include complaints or critiques of the employer or co-workers in your letter. You need to stay on track and not get distracted by the negatives. This will not come across professionally.

2. Avoid Saying You Are Leaving Immediately

You want to be smart about your departure, which may require you to research the policies for giving formal notice.

Make sure you provide sufficient notice, including the date of your last day. Even if you are sure your employer will ask you to leave right away, never assume.

When you part ways, you want to leave a good impression and on good terms. While doing a job search to find your dream job title, you may need your previous employer to be a reference.

3. Refrain from Writing Anything Negative About Your Supervisor

Your supervisor may have been incompetent, lazy, and irritating but do not share this information.

Refrain from saying anything negative about your supervisor as the resignation letter is not a confidential document and may be shared with your supervisor.

Your supervisor might have to give you a recommendation or answer questions about your work ethics when a potential employer does a background check on you.

4. Leave Out the Reason You Are Leaving Is for a Better Salary

You may want to share the fact that you will receive a better salary with your career change, but prevent yourself from mentioning it.

Even if you have hope that the company will offer you more money if you mention it. If you are looking to use a new job offer as leverage to negotiate more pay from your current employer, meet with your boss, and discuss the situation. Do not put it in your resignation letter.

5. Do Not Offer Advice on How To Improve The Company

One big mistake is to offer your employer career advice on how they can make the company a better place to work. Even if your intentions are right and you are only trying to help, they will not receive it that way, no matter how you write it.

Your resignation letter is one of the last impressions you will make before leaving your position.

Make it a good one.

How to Make Your Resignation Letter Sound Professional

If you do not know what the outline of resignation or formal letter looks like, make sure you search "resignation letter examples" on Google. Find an online sample letter or use a resignation letter template for your message.

But remember, it is not only the appearance of your resignation letter that will make it look professional, how it sounds is essential too.

Start your resignation letter with a friendly yet formal opening. You do not want to come off overly happy or too positive. This can come across rude and disingenuous.

The body of your letter can be simple and to the point. You will want to sound formal here too, yet friendly.

Use wording like:

  • “Please accept this letter...”
  • “Effective two weeks from the date of this letter…”
  • “My final day will be…”
  • “Thank you for the professional development…”
  • “Thank you for the opportunities you have provided…”

Closeout the letter by saying "Warmly," "Kind Regards," "Wishing you the best," “Sincerely,” or something similar just before you write your name.

4 Helpful Tips on How To Format Your Resignation Letter

Use the four tips below to format your letter correctly.

1. Length of the Letter

Most resignation letters are only one typed page.

2. Font and Size

Use a traditional font such as Times New Roman or Arial and make your font size between 10 and 12 points.

3. Format

Resignation letters should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Make sure you use 1" margin and align your text to the left.

4. Accuracy

Be sure to proofread and edit your resignation letter before submitting it in person. Show your resignation letter to a family member or friend to review it if you want someone else to check it over for you.

Conclusion

A professional resignation letter should not take long to write but should be meaningful, formal, and informative.

Include a notice period and your contact information. If the reason you are leaving is for another position elsewhere, only briefly mention the new opportunity.

Just provide the information you need for your resignation letter and avoid oversharing.

Stay classy and be professional in your writings. Make sure you leave them with a lasting impression.

About the Author

Mark Andrew

Mark is a freelance content writer specializing in topics such as Internet marketing for small businesses. His goal is to help small businesses owners understand what types of services and products truely bring in more business.

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