Writing a professional resignation letter can be a difficult task, but it's an absolute must.
Most professionals want to move up the corporate ladder and expand their careers, which often means changing companies and saying goodbye to current colleagues and employers. If you like your current company and the work you are doing, it can be hard to break the news while expressing your gratitude. On the other hand, if you hate your job and are excited to leave, it can be a challenge to temper that in a professional letter.
So, how do you write a resignation letter and say goodbye without burning bridges? Keep simplicity in mind. Then, follow these steps.
Your employer will not appreciate a last-minute resignation, so make sure you send your resignation letter in a timely fashion. This not only is courteous, but it also shows your dedication to professionalism and consideration for who you are leaving behind.
The minimum requirement at most companies is at least a two-week notice before leaving. Giving more notice than that certainly won't hurt, but anything less is unprofessional.
When selecting a timeframe, remember the company needs enough notice to bring in a new team member to fill your position, even if that is someone internal to hold down the fort until a new hire can be made. Not to mention, there is likely other paperwork that will need to be completed, and you should tidy up your workload before departing.
Keep it short
Your resignation letter should be to the point, concise, and clear. The best approach is to start with a salutation, followed by a direct statement about your plans to leave: I am writing to inform you that I will be resigning from my position as [title] effective [leaving date].
From here, the content in the professional resignation letter should be customized to your situation. Then you should close it with a formal signature.
Be honest, but grateful
It's always wise to express gratitude for what you have gained during your tenure. Remember that you should remain brief — if you love your job and want to discuss it further, you can speak to your manager privately. As this is a formal document for HR, brevity and professionalism are key.
If you don't like your job, it's still a good idea to be gracious. For example: I appreciate the opportunity to train and learn about the industry, or Working here was the perfect place for me to launch my career and I will always be grateful for the time I spent with this company.
No matter your experience, the professional thing to do when writing a resignation letter is show humility and gratitude for the time you were employed.
If you're willing to train your replacement, offer to do so
In the resignation letter, you can offer to assist with recruitment and training your replacement if you are truly willing to do it. If you are not, simply do not offer. You may be expected to, of course, in which case you must find a way to fit it into your day while wrapping up key projects before your departure.
Submit your resignation letter both via email and in-person
In this age, digital trails are important. However, the last thing you need is for an email of this magnitude to be ignored in someone's overflowing inbox. Send your letter via email, but also hand-deliver it to ensure the right people see it.
Good resignation letter example
Consider this example resignation letter as you construct yours.
Dear Mrs. Sanders:
This letter is to inform you I am resigning from my position as Team Leader effective December 2, 2021. After five years of working with a fine group of fresh minds and dedicated team members, I have found another position that will help further my career and advance my skills.
Thank you for allowing me to play an integral part in the company. I've enjoyed my time here and learned lessons that I will take with me throughout my career. Do let me know how I can help with the team's transition. I am happy to train a replacement or prepare training materials as I close out my projects.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com if questions arise. It's been a pleasure working with you.
Writing a resignation letter
Leaving a work environment can leave mixed feelings for colleagues, employers, and the team member who is resigning. When writing your resignation letter, simplicity, brevity, and directness are key. Being professional and courteous when resigning is not only proper etiquette, but it minimizes the stress of the transition as well.
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This article was updated in April 2021. It contains work written by M.A. Smith.