Drafting a Professional Resignation Letter.

Okay, you’ve decided to move forward. You signed on the dotted line for the new gig, and now all that’s going on between you and your awesome new job is writing your resignation letter to your former one.

When you resign from work, it’s a good idea to provide the company with a letter of professional resignation informing your employer that you will be leaving. This formal letter gives the company a strong and positive impression of you as an employee.

This may be helpful in the future, if you need a reference from the company or your manager. Plus, it’s always a good idea to put important information in writing — that way, you can make sure your last day is known, and there can be no questions about when you leave the company. This also shows future employers who request your employment records that you have left the job of your own volition rather than being fired.

You can find tips on what information to include in your resignation letter, as well as how to manage in-person correspondence during the remaining time at the company.

What your resignation letter should say

Although the specific content of your letter of resignation can be tailored to your job and your company, there are a few basic elements that should always be included. Keep it simple and concise, whatever the circumstances.

Your end date. Provide your official end date, preferably at least two weeks in advance.

Help with the transition. Finally, mention your willingness to help with the transfer. You don’t need to go into great detail (and certainly don’t guarantee something you can’t deliver), but a couple of lines mentioning that you’re going to ensure a seamless wrap-up of your tasks should demonstrate that you’re in the match until the very end.

Gratitude for the opportunity. It’s always a good idea to thank your employer for the opportunity, describing some of the key things you’ve enjoyed and learned on the job. And yes, this is true even if you’re thrilled to leave. Note that you may need these individuals to refer down the line, so leaving things on a good note would leave a lasting (positive) impact.

Request for instructions (optional). If you are not yet aware of your company’s exit protocol, ask for specific instructions on the final work commitments and so on. Some companies will ask you to leave immediately, while others will involve you in a two-week transition, or may ask you to work from home.

What your resignation letter shouldn’t say

Knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to say in a letter of resignation. Many resigning employees make the mistake of including too many personal details and emotional statements in their official letters.

When you write an official resignation letter, skip the following details:

Why you are leaving. Although you may feel the need to clarify the reason for leaving, it is not mandatory to include this in your resignation letter. Keep your language both professional and positive.

What you hated about the job. A letter of resignation is not the place to air your grievances or speak poorly about your former company or colleagues in the near future. Let go of anger before you submit the letter.

Emotional statements. An aggressive or otherwise emotional letter will only come back to hurt you. Even if you are overworked and resentful, don’t quit angry. Avoid using phrases like “I feel” or “I think,” unless they are followed up by positive statements.

Since this is a formal letter, you will also need to include the date you wrote it down. If someone looks at your letter in the future, this will help to make it clear that you gave a notice two weeks before your departure, which is often required in employment contracts.

The data you exclude is just as important as the details you provide in your message. With your resignation letter, you would like to leave a good impression. Even if you’re dissatisfied with your work or you don’t like the business and your bosses, now’s not the moment to share your thoughts. Please keep your letter respectful and courteous.

The letter can be sent either to the boss or to the human resources representative, and you can deliver it as a message and print it out and submit a hard copy.

What You Need to Know Before You Resign?

If you have a contract, make sure you know the terms before you quit your job.

If you have a strong relationship with your boss or superior, it is also worth talking to them in person to let them understand that you will be sending a formal letter of resignation.

Letting your boss know you’re going to leave before you officially resign gives them extra time to take the news and prepare the team for your departure.

No matter what your role is, why you’re leaving it, and who you’re informing, be polite in your resignation letter. Gratitude and support during your departure go a long way with employers, and the last thing you want to do is leave the company on a sour note — even if you’re leaving for sour reasons.

Sample resignation letter

Here is an all-purpose resignation letter template you can fill in with your personal details. Remember, you are not required to include your reason for resigning in your letter.

[Current date]

Dear [supervisor’s name],

I request you to accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as [title]. My last day with [company] will be [end date].

To ease the transition after my departure, I am happy to assist you with any training tasks during my final weeks on the job. I intend to leave thorough instructions and up-to-date records for my replacement.

I am very grateful for the time I have spent in this organization, in our team and the professional relationships I’ve built. It’s been a pleasure working for you, and I hope our paths will cross again in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support, knowledge and experience I have gained by working here.

Sincerely,

[Your signature and printed name]

If you choose to give a reason to leave, either in your letter or during a conversation with your employer, be clear and positive, focusing on what you gain from the change and not the circumstances that caused it. Always maintain your professionalism and keep things formal.

With these tips, you’re going to protect your bridges and keep your professional network intact as you start your next adventure.

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