A resignation letter is a document that notifies your employer that you are leaving your job. It formalizes your departure from your current employment, and can be written as a printed letter or an email message.
Your Last Day of Employment
Resignation letters not only describe the employee’s intent to leave but also provide information about the last day to be worked and other requests or details. This eases the transition for both employer and employee.
An Offer to Assist with the Transition
Often, resignation letters will also offer to help in the transition, whether it be by recruiting or training a replacement. In this way, both the employee and the employer can leave the situation with closure and a sense of respect and amicability.
Keep it Simple and Straightforward.
A resignation letter is not the time to get flowery or editorialize. You don’t need to explain why you’re quitting or talk about what your next job is. Begin by stating the job title you currently have and the date when your resignation will go into effect (the day after your last day at work)
Express Your Gratitude.
It never hurts to say “thank you.” Even if you are bursting with joy to be leaving, it’s important to be gracious. Think of something positive to say, either by stating a few things you appreciated or learned. Remember: you may need to get a reference letter from your past employer and you’re actually doing yourself a favor by leaving on good terms.
Offer to Help with the Transition.
Promise to do your best to help create a smooth transition for whoever is hired to replace you. Make it clear that you will organize your remaining projects and files to make it easy for your boss to fill your position. If you think you will be able to handle the additional workload, offer to be available for a limited period of time after you leave to answer work emails. But be realistic: don’t offer more than you can deliver.
End on a Positive Note.
End by saying that you hope to stay in touch and that you wish continued success for the company you’re leaving. You can even offer to be available by phone or email if any work questions arise for the person who replaces you. Keep in mind that even if you feel bitter or angry about how you’ve been treated, by taking the high ground and maintaining a positive, professional tone you will be helping yourself in the long term.
Be Sure to Include Your Personal Contact Information.
Remember that your employer may need to reach out to you in future so include your personal contact details either at the top of the letter or beneath your signature.
What Not to Include in Your Letter
When you’re leaving a job, whether because you’ve been hired elsewhere or because you won the lottery, you may be tempted to storm out in a huff. Depending on how your boss treated you, you may even want to do something dramatic, blowing off the customary two-week notice and slamming the door behind you. It’s important to resist these urges. No matter how you felt about your job, you still should write a polite and professional resignation letter.
Why? Because the world you work in is smaller than you think. Your reputation depends on your behavior, in good times and bad. And you never know when you may end up needing a letter of recommendation from your previous employer. Here’s everything you need to know to write a smart, polished and appropriate letter of resignation.
Resignation letters are not an appropriate place for complaints or critiques of the employer or odd co-workers. Keep it simple, stick to the facts, and don’t complain.