Plan on leaving your current job? Believe it or not, there’s science behind writing a good resignation letter that is complete and purposeful. When leaving your position, you need to do this. Never neglect this professional courtesy to your current employer.
Don’t worry, resignation letters can be easy and informal.
The purpose of a resignation letter is to give your employer written notice that you are leaving your position. It should include several primary data elements, and I’ll discuss those elements below.
The key to any resignation letter is to be professional.
What should your resignation letter include?
Your resignation letter should include several important elements, including:
- A direct statement that you are leaving
- Your current job role in the company
- Your last day of employment
- The transition of job responsibilities
- A thank you section at the bottom (optional)
- Personal contact information (optional)
Be clear and direct, but never include complaints or grievances in your resignation letter. Remember that this is a written document that will always be tied to you. The last thing you want is for your letter to be used against you in the future.
Whenever possible, give your current employer two weeks’ notice. This is a professional courtesy that most employers will expect. Don’t burn your bridges by leaving sooner. It’s a small world out there, and leaving hastily can hurt your future career prospects.
Also, be sure to express your willingness to train your replacement. This shows your current employer that you actively care about your job role and want to ensure your team won’t be forced to shoulder additional responsibilities without knowing how to do them.
Resignation letters are often sent by email, but mailing a physical copy of the letter might also be appropriate and appreciated for some employers. Use your best judgment. If you work in an office, consider hand-delivering your resignation letter to your supervisor or HR manager.
Company policies will differ from place to place, but your resignation letter should be sent to both your direct supervisor as well as your employer’s human resources department (if your employer has one).
Provided below are two examples of effective resignation letters.
Resignation letter examples
Here are a couple of resignation letter examples that include the key elements from above. The first letter is an example of a printed letter sent via mail to the employer (or hand-delivered in the office).
To: [HR or company representative]
Dear [Manager or company representative],
This letter serves as my formal resignation from my role as [job role] at [company name]. My last day of employment will be [date of resignation].
Over the next few days, I will work with [coworker names] to transition my job responsibilities so my role continues to be fulfilled. I expect this transition to take no more than a couple days and I will work closely with [coworker names] until my official resignation date. I am also happy to train any other replacement team member for my job role.
Thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow as a [job role], and I wish you and the team all the best in the future.
My personal contact information is: [Personal contact information]
This resignation letter example includes all the key elements, but note that providing your personal contact information and a thank you paragraph is purely optional. If you are leaving your employer on good terms, consider adding that in as additional courtesy.
Here is another resignation letter example, this time an email:
Subject: Notice of resignation: [Your name]
Dear [Manager or company representative],
Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from [company name] as [job role]. I very much enjoyed working here and wish you all the best in the future.
My resignation will be effective two weeks from today, or [date of resignation].
Over the next few days I am more than happy to train my replacement and transition my job duties to another team member.
Notice that this letter was a little different. It did not include personal contact information, but it did include a friendly “thank you” sentence at the very beginning of the email after the official notice of resignation line.
When sending your resignation letter through email, always begin the subject with either “Notice of resignation” or “Resignation notice”. This will help ensure that it gets the attention of your supervisor or HR manager.
What to avoid in your resignation letter
As I said above, this is not an opportunity to bad-mouth your employer. Keep your letter professional and direct. Also, avoid long resignation letters. Your letter should be short and sweet. Most good resignation letters are only a few paragraphs long, max.
Just like with your resume, be sure to proofread your letter for typos and other grammatical errors. A letter that seems hastily formulated might leave a bad impression on your way out. Again, the more professional your letter reads, the better it’ll come across to your current employer.
Never burn your bridges. It’s never worth it.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
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Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.