3 Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter

If you are planning to leave your current place of employment, you should consider writing a letter of resignation. This letter serves as notification to your employer that you are moving on.

Why write a letter of resignation if you’re quitting? Because not only it is respectful, it is beneficial to not burn bridges when leaving an employer. It is important to give an official document so that the paper trail reflects your professionalism. This letter gives your employer the time to prepare for your departure. Whenever possible, avoid quitting on the spot. It does more harm than good and it’s difficult to explain impromptu quitting to a potential employer.  

Most employers prefer that you give two weeks’ notice. If you leave too quickly, there may not be ample time to properly train your replacement. If you stay too long after announcing you’re leaving, you take a chance on people wondering if you’re actually leaving. When you write a letter of resignation, include your full name and address so that the company has your information in case they need to send further paperwork related to your separation of employment.

Here are 3 tips for writing a resignation letter:

1. Keep it simple.

State that you are leaving and the effective date. You can be as detailed as you feel you need to be, but your reasons can be kept personal in most cases. Stick to the facts. Grace goes a long way in your career, so whatever the reason for leaving your current job, there’s no reason to share more than necessary. Brevity is important in these types of documents.

2. Be helpful. 

Offer to help during the new employee transition. The more willing you are to help with the change, the better you may feel about your departure if it’s something that you’re conflicted over. Not every professional separation happens in a negative manner. If it’s hard for you to leave your current position, focus on all that you have accomplished during your time there.

3. Be courteous.

Your current employer could very well be a reference for a new job. Keep that in mind. Thank your employer even if you are not particularly fond of your supervisor or the company. Acknowledge your service by including the dates of your employment and the skills that you gained while employed. Explain that you appreciate the opportunity, but that you feel ready for a new experience.

Sometimes the resignation process goes through several hands or departments. Most likely, human resources will be involved in some capacity which is why a letter is great for record-keeping. All-in-all, it’s wise to be professional whatever your reason for leaving your current employer. Most employers are legally permitted to only confirm details such as dates and whether you would be rehired by the company. It’s important to follow protocol so that you are able to maintain proper communication post-employment.