Writing a respectful and well balanced resignation letter can mean leaving your job on good terms and avoiding an awkward goodbye. If you get it right it can also serve as thank-you note and help to form long-term professional connections with your soon to be ex-colleagues.
Importance of resignation letters
They are necessary because many HR departments require a paper trail to say that you’ve left. It’s something they can keep on your employment file and refer to in the future.
As official documents, resignation letters are part of the exit process. They formalize the details of your departure and can remain as an enduring record after you have gone. Although they usually come as a physical printed letter, resignation emails are also acceptable.
Writing the best resignation letter ever
If you’re lacking inspiration and need help, then you’ve come to the right place. Below are different sections of one, and also tips on how to write a professional and business-like letter stating your intention to go.
Employer’s name and address
This goes at the top. On the first line give the addressee’s name (usually your line manager, supervisor or manager etc.) then the company name, followed by their street, city and post code.
The Big Peg
Enter the date in full format.
Example; 4th October 2021
Always start with “Dear” followed by the addressee’s name. If you have a friendly relationship with your boss then enter their first name, otherwise use their surname.
Example (informal): “Dear John”
Example (formal): “Dear Mr Smith”
First paragraph – Say you want to leave
Get straight to the point by explicitly stating your intention to resign from your position at the company.
This sentence should be crystal clear to make you sound confident in your decision and avoid ambiguity, thereby leaving no room for your boss to offer you a higher salary or other perks.
Be sure to mention the role you are stepping down from, as this is one of the first questions your employer is going to ask.
Also, mention your expected last day of employment, which ideally should be at least two weeks after you submit your resignation letter and within any required notice period.
Example: “My last day of employment will be the 17th November 2021″
Second Paragraph – Offer to help with the transition
In order to depart on good terms, offer to complete a full handover before your final day and assist during the transition period by:
- Helping to find a replacement.
- Assisting in training your replacement.
- Preparing transitional documents that list all of the things that have to be done before and after your final day.
- Finishing all of your work and projects.
- Leaving documents and equipment in an orderly fashion.
- Completing any filing.
Third paragraph – Say thank you
It is standard practice to leave professionally and courteously by thanking your immediate superior and the company for the opportunities they have provided you during your time there.
This expression of gratitude will not only leave a civil impression of you throughout the resignation process but will also help if you need a work reference from them in the future.
Closing and signature
Finish the letter by using informal terms such as;
- Kind Regards,
- Wishing you the best,
These sound more friendly than a formal “Yours Sincerely”. Below this sign the letter.
Your contact details
Lastly, add your contact details, which should include your full postal address, personal email and phone number.
Tips on writing a resignation letter
Apart from keeping your letter simple and focused on the facts, here are some other points to remember when writing one;
Try to keep it formal and professional but also friendly at the same time. The aim is to keep things amicable.
Keep it positive
You may need a reference from the employer in the future so avoid burning bridges with the company you’ve worked so loyally for. Try to leave a good impression with people who might be able to help you one day.
Reason for leaving
You don’t have to give one, but if you do then try to be tactful when explaining your reasons be it a new job, personal reasons or relocating etc.
Keep it short
There is no need to have a lengthy detailed rambling letter. Instead get straight to-the-point through a few simple paragraphs that explain you’re leaving your job on a specified date.