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How to Write a Resignation Letter


The cycle of work involves applying for your job, getting your job, and, more often than not, leaving your job – and that means a resignation letter.

To get the job you need to make a good resume that catches the eye of the interviewer, presented beautifully with a top-class cover letter.

If things go well, you’re likely to spend at least a couple of years in the job.

But there comes a time to move time to move on.

A resignation letter almost as crucial as an application cover letter, or your resume itself.

However difficult your work situation is, it’s always best you remain professional and write to your boss explaining your reasons.

Reason for Resigning

You must provide a justification for quitting your job.

It can be simply that you’ve got another job, but you should be willing to provide reasons for leaving.

“A reason” rather than “all the reasons” are fine, your boss won’t want a diatribe about everything that’s wrong with the company.

Many companies like a resignation in writing.

This means as well as having a conversation with your boss, you should be reading to put your announcement on paper.

Some people might find this a nightmare, as they might not have the writing skills to put together a letter.

If you struggle with this sort of thing, then the best advice is to keep it simple.

READ MORE: What You Need To Put In Your Resignation Letter

The Resignation Letter Style

Writing a resignation letter should be easy, if you mess up, what are they going to do—fire you?

However, there are some elements that must be in and out of a resignation letter.

If you’re leaving your job, you don’t want to ruin any business relationships in the process.

Bear in mind you’ll also have to serve at least two weeks after you resign, so burning your bridges might not be wise.

It’s definitely best to make a graceful exit.

You don’t want to make enemies of people you might need to maintain a good relationship with in future.

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist

Format – What to Follow

Always make sure you personalize it by addressing it to your manager.

It needs to state “as needed, I am giving one month’s/three months’ notice of my resign and will leave on a specified date” to take care of the formalities.

You should understand how to write a formal resignation letter properly if you’re thinking about quitting your current job. There is no justification for submitting a shoddy letter.

The Ups and Downs of Resignation Letters

You should have carefully considered your reasons for leaving your job and be certain that this is what you want to accomplish before you sit down to compose your resignation letter.

It’s very rare that anyone is allowed to “un-resign” but returning to the role could be an option at some point in the future – provided you don’t alienate your colleagues.

REDA MORE: Relocating For Your New Job

Below is some advice on what you should and shouldn’t do with regard to your resignation letter.

When learning how to compose a resignation letter, the first thing you must keep in mind is that your letter should be brief.

You don’t have to go into depth about the why, when, how, or any other specifics that your employer doesn’t care about. Simply express that you are leaving and your finishing date.

Keep your resignation letter positive

Keep your letter of resignation positive, even when you have a lot of grievances and problems with the business.

You don’t really want your potential new employer to find your bitter and resentful resignation letter, do you?

Resignation letters should be kept in mind because they are part of your employment record.

These documents have a tendency to appear when you least expect them to.

Make sure you know you want to leave

You must be completely certain that you want to leave your position before writing a letter of resignation.

A resignation letter is a concrete piece of evidence that cannot be withdrawn after it has been distributed. Go through resignation letter samples or examples to get more ideas on drafting one. Sure, you could say, “Hey, OJ, the black glove didn’t really fit,” or “I didn’t actually compose the letter,” but employers won’t be duped by that. Whether you choose to or not, you must resign after submitting your letter of resignation.

Your workplace might be toxic and your boss awful but a resignation letter is not the place to tell them.

Don’t forget you may well need a reference from them, so it’s important to keep them on side.

Background checks and even apartment searches might contact your employer for information about you, so keeping your views to yourself is a wise move.

READ MORE: Looking for a new job? Find our free resume templates here

Not Too Short, But: Writing “Peace, I’m outta here!” on a piece of notebook paper doesn’t quite qualify as a resignation letter.

Instead, write a letter thanking your employer for the years, or maybe days, you’ve spent working for the business and formally announcing your resignation.

All of your contact information, like phone number and address of both current and future, should be included.

You might need to get in touch with your employer later.

There are perhaps a million or one reasons why we leave a job.

Our job is monotonous, we despise our coworkers, or just terrible coffee.

Don’t list your grievances on your resignation letter

Whatever your reason for leaving, keep it a secret from your boss.

Doing so will just put your boss on the defensive because nobody wants to hear negative things about the organization they are in charge of.

After receiving a resignation letter, the majority of companies will call the departing employee into their office for a brief follow-up.

Formalities such as what needs to be completed by your employer before you go, how far along you are with your workload, and a general debriefing are usually involved.

Hold your tongue even though the disgruntled employee in you may be screaming to tell your supervisor what’s on your mind.

READ MORE: The Best Things To Do After You’ve Handed In Your Resignation

There is no point in creating a can of worms that you won’t be there to close which could subsequently damage your reputation.

What happens next?

You’ve handed in you resignation letter, and you’re leaving.

So what happens now?

You can find more detailed advice on how to go about your notice period here, but there are some important dos and don’ts you should consider to make your life – and everyone else’s – a lot easier.

In the US, two weeks in generally the usual amount of time you’ll have before you leave a job.

Most states operate an at-will agreement instead of a statutory one.

What this means is there’s no actual requirement for employees to be granted a notice period or for them to give any advance notice they’re leaving at all.

Some contacts have terms and conditions in, but employees can request new terms once their resignation is received.

It’s a good idea to get you lawyer involved if you find yourself having to negotiate a short-term contract.

If you do have a good relationship with your employer, the right thing to do is a two-week period before you leave so things can be handed over and replacements trained.

Again, if you’re prepared to help out, it’ll help you get that reference.

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