Do you want to know how to write a resignation letter? If yes, you are in the right place. Research shows that companies' poor hiring decisions lead to 80% of employees' resignations or departures. About 310 of 1,000 employees leave in their first six months. Therefore, the odds of needing to write a resignation letter in your career are near 100%.
According to Forbes, about 46% of business owners and managers think burnout is the primary reason for over 50% of annual employees' turnover. Small Biz Genius reports that companies that support remote working conditions and flexible hours have a 25% lower turnover rate.
A letter of resignation is essential to maintain a positive relationship with your previous company or old employer. It helps you move on with professionalism and find a new job without worrying about how you've handled your relationships with previous employers. Plus, most employees need their previous employers to give them a reference down the road. And besides, who wants to burn a relationship bridge over something like a job? (Pro Tip: You shouldn't)
That is why it is essential to write a resignation letter when you need to leave your job. And hey, you never know when your previous employer gives you another career opportunity.
For instance, if you work for a Web Development Company, the HR department may reach out to you about a job opening and ask: “You were a very good employee for us and we wanted to know, will you rejoin our company?” Since neither you nor I know the future it is probably a good idea to have relationships where that type of scenario could actual materialize.
Therefore, take your time and write a professional and polished letter of resignation. And to state the obvious: The entire point of a resignation is to provide official notice that you are terminating your employment with the company. Additionally, the written notification should specifically mention your official last day of work.
Types of Resignation Letters
A letter of resignation is a written communication that allows you to give official notice to your company to notify them about your employment termination. The primary objective is to inform your company, and again, maintain a positive relationship with your soon to be ex-employer. Here are common types of resignation letters:
One Week Notice Letter
A one-week notice letter is a written document that you provide to your employer. The purpose is to inform your employer that you will leave the company within seven days. This is not a common letter and a one week resignation notice should be used in only applicable circumstances. Because a one-week letter is short notice, I highly advise you to offer additional hours or availability to assist in a quick transition and potentially help to train your replacement.
Two Week Notice Letter
A two-week notice letter is the most common and popular letter of resignation. Again, the intent here is to notify your employer about your official resignation. A two-week notice given to the employer is a standard procedure practiced pretty much worldwide. It allows the employer a reasonable amount of time to plan for transition and in many cases identify a suitable replacement to ensure the position remains filled until they find a new employee.
Did you know that I have an entire template bundle with various two week notice resignation letter templates? Head over to this page if you are interested.
Board Resignation Letter
A board letter is a type of letter of resignation sent to the director or board. This type of resignation letter is not that popular simply due to the fact that most employees do not report into a board or executive committee. Many employees don't know how to write a resignation letter to begin with and this is especially true for a board resignation letter. If you are the rare employee that reports into a board, when you resign you must write a formal, clear, precise, and gracious letter, allowing the organization to lay out a path forward.
Email Resignation Letter
An email resignation letter template refers to a written notice about leaving your job contained in the body of an email. Most resignation letters (such as the one's I have identified above) are sent as attachments in an email and not typed out in the body of an email. That's where an email resignation letter is different.
Putting the resignation notification in the email body is considered less formal as opposed to writing and attached a letter of resignation. This type of notification is appropriate in less formal employment settings. When you send a resignation email you can send it to your supervisor, manager, or HR member.
Immediate Resignation Letter
An immediate letter of resignation is a notice to notify the company, but more specifically your Human Resources department of your imminent departure. Although a two-week notice is a professional standard, an immediate resignation letter can come in handy in emergencies and difficult circumstances. But always remember, an immediate resignation typically never goes over well so resigning from a job immediately should be used in only the most extreme circumstances.
Retirement Resignation Letter
A resignation due to retirement is often exciting and simultaneously bittersweet for most people. A retirement letter of resignation is an official notice to the employer or HR department to obviously tell them of your impending retirement plan, enabling you to officially request benefits. Because retirement is a thorough process, it is common practice to provide six months' or twelve months' notice. But again, that duration really depends on the company.
Ready to Resign? Here are a few pro tips
Do you want to quit your job? Are you looking for a newer or more exciting role? Do you want to move on and accept new challenges? If yes, you need to know the art of writing a letter of resignation. It's a simple yet beneficial skill to have.
Think about it – most people feel awkward quitting a job and just don't know how to do it. This often results in many employees failing to maintain a positive relationship with previous employers. Many times the awkwardness and reputational harm can all be avoided by simply writing a resignation letter.
Here are a few professional tips you should consider:
Focus on the Letter's Elements
What exactly should you include in your resignation letter? To begin, make sure your resignation letter is short, precise, and to the point. At a minimum you will need the following elements in your resignation letter:
- Contact Information
- Resignation Date
Use a Resignation Letter Template
Writing a resignation letter can be a difficult task for many reasons. Heck, some people find it to be emotionally challenging and a daunting process. To assist, I already mentioned above that I have a bundle of templates for the common two week notice scenarios but I also have other bundles for resignations due to life circumstances or career specific resignations. Take a look as I think they can be very helpful to craft a professional letter without any inconsistencies.
Keep Your Letter Professional
A professional employee understands boundaries and follows a respectful approach. Even if you have good terms and a good historical relationship with your employer don't screw it up now. Make sure your letter of resignation is professional. Use professional language and a formal tone throughout the letter.
Short and Precise
A resignation letter is not a research paper! So keep it short and sweet. There is no need to provide all of the gory details behind your departure. I am not being insensitive here but fight the urge to write down your sob story about why you feel like you need to leave your role. Even if you want to explain your situation in writing, be concise. If there are additional circumstances you feel you utterly must communicate to your employer I recommend meeting your employer or manager in person and have a conversation. Again, keep your letter of resignation short and to the point.
Mention Reasons for Your Departure
If you don't know how to provide reasons for leaving, make sure you use a resignation letter template. Although mentioning reasons for departure is absolutely optional, they can help your employer understand your situation. For instance, if you want to leave your job due to salary, your employer may attempt to resolve the problem by offering you a raise.
Remain Polite and Thankful
Unfortunately, some employees resign due to unpleasant situations, and it is extremely hard to remain polite and professional. No matter if you face unsavory individuals, make sure you do your absolute best when writing your letter of resignation. Write your letter to be as thankful as you can be. Be grateful for the opportunities you have been given. I also recommend you thank your boss specifically (and yes, that is COMPLETELY appropriate).
Offer Handover Duties
Offering to help during the transition period is a professional action. It ensures the entire process goes optimal and as smooth as possible. At the same time, your positive attitude and offering assistance with handover duties will demonstrate that you indeed want the best for the company.
When you are on you way out of the proverbial door do not criticize your current employer or the company's policies. Even if your departure reason is not positive, it is essential to avoid criticism. Remember, you may need this employer in the future of your career. Be as kind towards your boss as you can be even if you haven't seen eye to eye during your employment history.
How to Write a Resignation Letter – Step By Step
At this point you hopefully understand writing a resignation letter is key to success in maintaining relationships. Leave on good terms with your previous boss with the right resignation letter. Here are the steps to write a successful resignation letter.
Step 1: Focus on a Formal Opening
Start your letter by writing “Dear” followed by your employer's name. For example, Dear Michael.
It is too formal if your write something like “Dear Mr. Michael.” Try to maintain professionalism but avoid too much formalism.
Step 2: Mention Your Intentions
If you chose to mention your resignation reasons be clear and keep it short and concise. That way, your employer won't think twice about the overall relationship and would hire you back in an instant. Here are a few examples:
- “Please accept my resignation letter as I am resigning from my position as [mention your position].
- “This is formal notice of my resignation to [Your Company's name].
- “It is with great regret that I submit my resignation letter as [Your position] from [Your Company's name].
Step 3: Provide a Proper Notice
Remember, the rule of thumb for a notice period is 2 weeks. Give your boss some time to possibly fill your position during the transition period. It is possible your boss may request an additional amount of time to train your replacement, especially if you have a crucial position in the company.
Here are a few examples you can use:
- “I hereby submit my resignation as senior software engineer effective on April 1, 2021.”
- “I submit my letter of resignation as a lead programmer. I intend to work in the department until April 17, 2021.”
- “Please accept my resignation letter as formal notice of departure from the company. I will resign as HR manager effective on April 17, 2021 as it will be my last day of employment in the company.”
Step 4: State Your Reasons
I already mentioned you do not need to provide a thorough explanation for your departure but it is common practice to mention a high level reason. It really can serve as a nice gesture when you state a high level reason for resignation.
This bears repeating: do no go into details if your resignation is due to unsavory matters. On the other hand, if you want to resign because of personal reasons, maternity leave, or retirement, share away. Either way, the ultimate purpose is to give your employer a better sense of your situation. Some examples are:
- “I have decided to leave the position due to personal reasons beyond my control.”
- “After much consideration, I have decided not to continue my employment after maternity leave.
- “It is with a bittersweet tone I inform you that I will retire on April 10, 2021.”
- “A New York-based company has offered me a new opportunity, and I have accepted the offer.”
- “I have accepted an offer from a company to serve as a software engineer. The company suits my employment needs. After careful consideration I have decided to move on.”
Step 5: Offer Help during the Transition Period
Some positions in the company are difficult to fill for the employer. If you are in a position that your employee would find challenging to fill, offer to help during the transition period. Clearly mention that you are happy to train your replacement to pass on your responsibilities smoothly. Here is how you can do this when you write a resignation letter.
“I am happy to offer assistance during the transition period to train my replacement. My intention is the smooth transition of my responsibilities to the identified resources. Therefore, I am available to recruit or train a new employee for the position.”
Step 6: Thank your Employer
The thing most employees forget when writing a resignation letter? TO BE GRATEFUL. If they company gave you a paycheck with reasonable compensation, thank them in your resignation letter. No one likes an ungrateful whiner.
For instance, you can write about your pleasant memories, document your achievements, and mention the positive effects this job has had on your professional career. You can even write about how this position has prepared you for the future and enabled you to secure an amazing new role with a different company.
Even if your circumstances were not ideal I'm sure you can identify at least one thing to be grateful for during your tenure. In fact, I recommend doing this as a common courtesy. If you read through any of my a high-quality resignation letter templates you will notice the element of appreciation. Here are a few examples of gratefulness in your resignation letter:
- “I will always remain grateful for the opportunities I have been provided at this company.” It has played a crucial role in my success.”
- “I am sincerely thankful for all the knowledge and opportunities this company has provided me over the years. Also, I am thankful for our relationship.”
- “I cannot thank you enough for the encouragement, confidence, and all the experience my position has given me over the years.”
How to Write a Resignation Letter – Sample
[City, State Abbreviation, Postal Code]
[Manager or Supervisor's name]
[City, State Abbreviation, Postal Code]
Dear [Manager's Name]:
Please accept this letter as an official notice of my resignation from my position as [Your Job title or position] with [Company's name].
I intend to carry out all the remaining work and shifts scheduled during the transition period. [Month, Day, Year] will be my last working day at [Company's name].
I can't thank you enough for the opportunity and support you have given me while working here at [Company's name]. Likewise, I wish you, and the company continued prosperity and success.
[Mention Your Name]
If you've hung in there with me to this point you know that the ultimate goal of a letter of resignation is to provide formal notice to your company about your impending exit.
PRO TIP: Before you send in your resignation letter, make sure you give your supervisor or manager verbal notice about leaving your position.
A resignation letter is a professional courtesy that allows you to extend your professionalism. It can also help secure a favorable recommendation letter in the future. Follow the steps above to write a resignation letter and leave with your head held high.
Apply this knowledge:
Do you want to quit your current job but do not have your next job lined up yet? If so grab my resume template bundle as well as my e-book on how to ace your resume and you will be ready to craft your resume so that you can get noticed and get hired.
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