So, the time has come for you to move on to a new job.
There are many reasons an employee might leave a job.
Some employees resign because they are unhappy, because they have grown all they can at a role, or simply because they have been offered a new positions they cannot refuse.
Whatever the reason for your resignation, it is time to pen your resignation letter.
Yes, it is 2017.
You could send a simple text saying “SRY NOT WRKING HERE N E MORE.” with a deluge of both smiling and frowning emojis.
You can write an email saying with the proverbial “Peace Out!”
The worst thing you could do is quit like Scarface.
Penning a letter of resignation might be the most difficult thing you have done to date. However, if you are dedicated to your career, writing a resignation letter is not only the right thing to do; it is crucial to the forward movement of your career.
Before You Write The Letter
Before you even set out to write the letter, you may have already verbally notified your team and supervisors. Ideally, you would be able to resign in person, especially if you are in a good standing relationship with your boss.
In this scenario, simply notify your supervisor that you need to take a few minutes of his time in order have have a discussion.
We will dive deeper into the four simple elements of your letter of resignation. Verbally notifying your boss should reflect what will be included in your resignation letter.
At this time, tell your boss you are, indeed, leaving. Make sure to communicate your last day, your gratitude for the position and opportunity and what you are willing to do in the transition time between then and now.
You may be inundated with questions from your boss. You are not obliged to tell your boss where you are going, what salary you have been offered or any other personal details. However, if your supervisor is keenly interested in making you an offer to stay on board, you might explore those options. Be thoughtful about what you share during a resignation process.
Finally, consider this verbal notification a draft of your resignation letter, which your company may require you to write either way. Carefully plan out what you are comfortable sharing at this juncture.
How To Write The Letter of Resignation: The Basics
Writing a resignation letter, once you take the awkwardness of the situation out, is very easy.
The function of the resignation letter, after all, is to be a formal document of your transition out of a company.
Adding the human touch to it, ie. an expression of gratitude, will likely serve you well when seeking references down the line.
In addition, giving thanks is a decent human thing to do ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A professional and informative resignation letter consists of four straightforward elements:
- Date when your resignation will be effective (ideally at least two weeks from the header date)
- An expression of gratitude for opportunity
- Transition offer / Signature
Sample Resignation Letter Template
Below is a free sample resignation letter template that combines all the points discussed previously. You can use this to get started.
Greeting: Dear [name(s)],
Date of Resignation: I am writing this letter to inform you of my resignation from my role as [position] effective two weeks from today, [date].
An Expression of Gratitude: I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for what I have learned as an employee of [company].
In working alongside my team and under the leadership of [supervisor] I have gained a surplus of knowledge and experience. Thank you for this opportunity.
Best Wishes / Signature: I am happy to use the next two weeks to make the transition as smooth as possible. My best wishes for the future of [company].
See additional resignation templates here.
Relationships & Tone of Resignation Letter
Now you know the basics of what to include in your resignation letter.
Before you set out to actually write your letter of resignation, consider the tone it will have.
To whom are you writing this letter?
Is your relationship friendly or a little rocky?
Consider the message you want to send in your resignation letter. If it is a message of gratitude, make sure you cite specific instances for which you are grateful. If you have a friendly relationship with the supervisor to whom you are writing, feel free to diver deeper into your appreciation, some memories and maybe even some heartfelt good wishes for the future.
Refer to this excellent collection of resignation letter templates that cover virtually all the bases. Whether you are retiring, changing lanes in your career or simply moving onto greener pastures, you are likely to find a resignation letter sample that can get you started.
Leave Negativity Behind
So, you hated your boss. Maybe she micro-managed your every move. Maybe she was so hands off you felt like you were navigating your job alone.
However you feel about a certain person, whether it be your boss or your teammates, try your damnedest to leave any negative emotion out of your resignation letter. This is not your chance to air all of your grievances and achieve some sort of vindictive closure.
If you are leaving a very toxic situation, get a second pair of eyes on your resignation letter. In lieu of expressions of anger, you might also fall into the trap of passive aggression within the body of the resignation letter. Having a second pair of eyes, especially when going through a shaky resignation, will ensure that your tone and language is perfectly professional.
Instead, focus on the good in your resignation letter.
Of all the letters exchanged throughout a working employer-employee relationship, including the cover letter and the offer letter, the resignation letter can be a tough one to write.
Follow these guidelines to write a clear and thoughtful resignation letter. While this may be the technical end of your relationship to your supervisor or company, there is always a good reason to leave any/all bridges unburned. These will likely be the people you call upon as references when moving upward throughout your career.
These professional relationships, though tenuous at times, can be preserved in these final moments by writing a meaningful resignation letter.