How To Write A Resignation Letter

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Leaving a job can be a fraught experience with a lot to think about and to navigate. Luckily, one of the most important tasks – that of writing a resignation letter – is also one of the easiest to get right, especially if you follow the steps below.

  1. Resign in person first. The resignation letter should not be the first your employer hears about your plans to move on. Sit down with your boss to explain the situation, and then submit your letter to make it formal.
  2. Brush up on letter writing etiquette. If you’re not in the habit of writing letters, make sure you’ve got the basics covered: your address needs to be in the upper right hand corner, for example, and the letter should be dated. Sometimes an email is also acceptable, but don’t be tempted to make the email less formal than a hard copy would be.
  3. Use clear and simple language; there must be no confusion about your intentions. “Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation,” is fine.
  4. Keep emotion out of it. You may feel sad, delighted or even furious, but your resignation letter is not the place to vent any feelings. If you want to give feedback (politely!) then an one-to-one with your boss is the most suitable place.
  5. State your reasons (if you’d like). There’s nothing wrong with briefly describing why you’re resigning – moving away from the area for example, or an opportunity you couldn’t turn down, but don’t feel like you have to.
  6. State your last day at the company as agreed with your boss. Remember that if your contract states a notice period you’re legally required to work until it’s over.
  7. Leave on a positive note – if for no other reason than your boss is likely to be a reference. A simple thank you for the opportunities and the things you’ve learnt while at the company is likely to leave your boss and the company with positive thoughts of you – especially if you offer to help during the transition period as you work out your notice.
  8. End your letter with a formal but warm ‘Kind regards,’ ‘With thanks’ or ‘Wishing you all the best’ to emphasise you’re leaving on good terms.
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