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How to Write a Resignation Letter?

Are you planning to resign soon from your current job?

No matter your reason for quitting, it is a good idea to write a resignation letter. This is a formal document explaining your reason for leaving and the date you plan to go.

how to write a resignation letter

But if you’re here, you probably already know that there is an art to writing a letter of resignation. It is essential to be polite and formal so that you smooth out the process of leaving and avoid unpleasantness.

So, if you’re wondering exactly how to write a resignation letter, then it’s time to find out…

Why You Should Write a Resignation Letter?

Creating a professional resignation letter is an efficient way of notifying multiple departments that you intend to leave the company. If constructed well, it leaves behind a good impression of your character. It could also bring about letters of recommendation and word-of-mouth recommendations.

And you never know…

In some cases, you may be planning to return to the company at a later date or at least want the opportunity to. A professional resignation letter can help to leave the door open for you. Your employer is likely to remember your professionalism when you apply to return to the company.

When To Write The Resignation Letter?

You should only write a resignation letter if you are sure you will be leaving the company. Ideally, you should aim to submit your resignation letter two months in advance. However, in some cases, it is completely fine to give two weeks’ notice.

How To Submit Your Letter?

Ultimately, the way in which you submit your letter of resignation depends on what you are comfortable with. If you have a great rapport with your manager, arranging a private meeting is a good idea. This will allow you to share your plans before handing over the letter to make your resignation official.

However, if you have a conflict with the manager, it may be best to stick to a formal letter. This could help you to avoid an unpleasant confrontation that could ruin your future employment plans.

how to write resignation letters

Just remember the point of all this…

However you decide to submit your resignation letter, make sure your manager is aware that you are leaving. You also need to make sure that all key stakeholders and the HR department know you are exiting the company.

Building a Resignation Letter

Try to be brief and write as concisely as possible when writing your resignation letter. You should aim for a professional tone that is also civil. These are the key elements to include in your resignation letter.

The Date and Address

Make sure that you include the date on the top left line, just above the address. The address of the company should be written out in full, even if you are delivering the letter by hand. This will include the ZIP code on the last line of the address.

The Addressee

It is usual to address your resignation letter to your manager, using their first name if you wish. You can also choose to address your resignation letter to your team, department, or even the whole company.

Your Date of Departure

Make sure that the date you plan to leave is clear. This allows your manager or the HR department to find a suitable replacement.

Your Reasons for Leaving

The first sentence should make it clear that you are resigning. While you need to explain the reason you are leaving, this is also the time to be diplomatic. Taking the opportunity to air grievances with the company or your colleagues will not go down well at this point.

So what are the best reasons to state?

There are many acceptable reasons for resigning, such as relocation, health issues, or a career change. While you need to make the reason clear, it is best not to go into too much detail. Simply giving your general reason for resigning should be sufficient.

how to write the resignation letter

The Thank You Section

Make sure you express some gratitude to your manager for the employment opportunity. You could also extend your appreciation to your employer and the company in general. It is worth highlighting some of the key things that you learned while working in the role.

And if there were none?

Even if you are excited to be leaving, it is still essential to include this section. Your manager is more likely to provide a good reference if they feel appreciated. Even if you are never planning to work in the industry again, you never know when your paths may cross.

The Hand-off

At the end of the letter, express your willingness to help with the transition. It is best to keep this statement general and avoid promising anything you are unable to deliver. You should simply express a general willingness to wrap up your duties to show you are a team player.

Tips for Writing a Great One

For many people, leaving their place of employment is an emotional experience. This can make writing a resignation letter rather tricky. Here are some recommendations on how to keep the overall tone light yet professional.

Maintain a Positive Tone

Try to make sure that the voice of the message is as positive as possible. You should aim to part on good terms to maintain a professional relationship and preserve your professional network. Explain how the job has helped to improve your skills and any career goals you met while working in the position.

Review Your Contract or Offer Letter

Check your offer letter or contract for information on the required length of resignation notice. Some companies require thirty to sixty days’ notice to give them time to find a replacement. In other cases, the required notice period could be just two weeks.

how to write the resignation letters

Consider Networking Opportunities

Even though you’ll no longer be working with your manager, they may still be a valuable professional contact. Include language that encourages your manager to keep in touch with you. They may work for another company in the future and have the perfect job opportunity for you.

Plan for an Immediate Departure

Even if you had not planned it that way, your manager might ask you to leave on the day you resign. This could be an issue if your next job is not due to start for a few weeks. When other employees quit before you, take note of the procedure and prepare your exit accordingly.

Follow Your Manager’s Instructions for The Next Steps

After you have submitted your resignation letter, your manager may ask you to compose a transition plan. There may be certain projects they need you to finish or skills they want you to teach other team members. The manager could also ask you to write a goodbye note to your colleagues to help make the transition more positive.

Giving Two Weeks’ Notice

If you need to resign from work suddenly for any reason, you usually need to give two weeks’ notice. This is the minimum period of time that is required by most companies and is usually written into your contract. It is designed to give employers time to find a replacement, which is fair.

Plus, you probably have a few things on the go?

The two-week period also gives employees time to finish up any ongoing projects. This time can be used to pass on essential knowledge to your manager and colleagues. It also provides enough time to say goodbye to colleagues and leave things on a professional yet friendly note.

Why Should You Write a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter?

It may specify in your contract that you need to give two weeks’ notice in writing. Even if this is not a requirement, it is best practice to write a formal letter. This is a respectful way to inform your manager of your intentions while securing a reference.

More importantly…

The letter also provides a written record of your intention to resign. In many cases, companies like to keep records of the reasons employees choose to leave. You should also be sure to keep a copy of the letter for your own records in case any legal issues happen to arise.

How to Resign on Short Notice?

Resigning on short notice can be tricky, especially if you are a valued employee at the company. It is important to avoid hurting the feelings of your manager and your work colleagues. Leaving a place of employment with a conflict or bad feelings could damage your future employment prospects.

Try To Meet Your Employer in Person

By the time you are ready to resign, you may have been working closely with your manager for several years. Therefore, it’s best to have a conversation with your manager about your intention to resign in person. Make sure you have that conversation with your manager before informing your colleagues.

And if that’s not an option?

If it is really not possible to arrange a meeting, try to schedule a phone call or video conference. This gives your manager the opportunity to ask questions and clarify certain points if necessary. You should prepare your official resignation letter in advance and be able to supply it during the meeting.

how to write resignation letter

Prepare for The Conversation and Focus on The Positive

While it is best to be honest about your reason for resigning, there is no need to go into too much detail. Try to keep your conversation as light and positive as possible. It is best to prepare for the discussion in advance to help prevent nerves from getting in the way.

Preparing for the conversation can also help you to work out precisely what you want to say. If your speech sounds too emotional, any lack of preparation will highlight this. It’s best to steer away from sensitive topics that could give rise to bad feelings.

Be prepared for that difficult question…

During the conversation, your employer may ask for details of your next opportunity. At this point, it is your choice whether to divulge this information or not.

At the end of the conversation, it should be clear to your manager your expected date of resignation. Make sure that they agree to this date to avoid potential conflict. Also, find out if there are other people you need to inform to make your resignation official.

Be Prepared for Pushback

In the best-case scenario, you will have been a valuable and well-liked employee in the company. Therefore, your manager may be reluctant to see you go. They may offer you a pay raise or other types of incentives to try and make you stay.

This can make the situation more awkward if you are determined to leave the company. It is best to prepare for this situation in advance and work out what you want to say. In some cases, you may get a counteroffer that could tempt you to keep your current job.

Should I stay or should I go…

If you decide to stay at the company, be aware that the future relationship could be uncomfortable. Your manager may feel that you are more interested in incentives than working at the company. It may be better to politely decline their offer while maintaining a friendly manner.

Send an Email as a Last Resort

If it is not possible to speak to your manager in person or on a call, it may be necessary to send an email. Make sure that the email has a clear subject line and keep it as brief as possible. Instead of rehashing the contents of your resignation letter, send it as an attachment.

Resigning Due to Illness

If you need to leave work because of health concerns or illness, you may not be able to give advance notice. In this case, you may have to leave the company with unfinished work, causing an inconvenience to your team. Therefore, it is vital to write a friendly yet professional resignation letter to smooth out the issue.

Regardless of your ailment…

If you are leaving with little or no notice, you need to be prepared to go into details about your illness. It is up to you to determine how much you are comfortable revealing. Again, make sure that you leave on amicable terms in case your situation changes and you want to return to work.

Need Extra Support with How to Write a Resignation Letter?

Suppose you feel you still need further help. In that case, I recommend these resources for additional support and maybe even a bit of light relief through your resignation process: How to Quit Your Job Gracefully, Resignation Letter Sample, Good Luck Finding Awesome Coworkers Like Us Again, and Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem.

Plus, if you’re going to be job hunting soon, we have a wealth of resources just for you! Access Walgreens Customer Service Associate Interview Questions, Dollar General Interview Questions, Levi Strauss Interview Questions, Del Taco Interview Questions, Disney Store Interview Questions, and much, much more! Simply type your ideal employer in our search box to check!

We’ve even got answers to some tricky concerns you may have, like Does Kohls Run Background Checks? and Does Whole Foods Conduct Drug Tests?

Back to today’s question…

Now You Understand How to Write a Resignation Letter?

Learning how to write an appropriate letter of resignation is a valuable skill. It is an excellent strategy to craft a professional letter of resignation in advance that can be applied to different situations. When the time comes to resign, you will simply need to adapt a few details according to the specific situation.

While a letter of resignation signals your intention to leave the company, it also serves another useful purpose. It should smooth the way for leaving the company while also making sure that there are no hard feelings. Maintaining a professional attitude even when resigning could help you to secure work in the future.

Good luck with your future endeavors!

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About Eugene Casey

Eugene works in a busy employment agency in Chicago and has nearly 20 years of experience in finding clients the perfect job. His philosophy is simple, the right match for the right position is nearly always a win-win for both the employee and the company.

When he isn't working or writing for us, he enjoys cooking and exploring the United States, one state at a time.

He lives with his wife Lisa and their two German Shepherds, Wilber and Gus.

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