Drafting a letter of resignation may seem like just one more hurdle to cross before you can move on to the next stage of your career. However, like every aspect of resigning, it is important to maintain a professional approach. Even if your boss doesn’t specifically ask for notification in writing, handing in a resignation letter can help you leave your job on a positive note.
It’s a good idea to have an in-person (or over the phone if you’re working from home) conversation with your boss if you feel comfortable. This will signal to your boss that you have respect for the position and the company, and hopefully set a positive tone for your exit process. Of course, this might not feel like a feasible option if you’re leaving your current job because of a toxic boss. If this is the case, the resignation letter may have to come first.
You don’t need to write a lot or give excessive detail, you just need to tell your boss that you intend to resign, add a few key points, and then respectfully wrap it up. Keep your resignation letter to one page and include these key points:
If you are still on good terms with your current employer, mention that you’re willing to wrap up any work or projects and do whatever you can to ensure your exit happens as smoothly as possible for your teammates as a courtesy to your team and the company.
Here’s a sample resignation letter template you can use:
Dear [NAME OF BOSS and/or HR REPRESENTATIVE],
Please accept this letter as my notice of leaving [COMPANY].
My final day of work will be [DATE]. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to work here, but I have found an opportunity that aligns more with my goals.
Before my last day, I am happy to help with finishing any projects and do whatever is necessary to ensure a smooth transition. Thank you again for the opportunity to work here.
It’s likely your employer will keep your resignation letter with other employee files, and it may be referred to in the future if another company requests a professional reference. This being the case, a poorly written or overly critical resignation letter has the potential to impact your career after you’ve moved on from your current job. Some topics to steer clear of:
Keep the tone positive and professional, and your resignation letter can’t work against you at any point in the future. Remember, two weeks is the standard amount of time from when you announce you’re leaving to your last day at your job, however, you must be prepared for an earlier last day. Some companies prefer a swifter exit. Make sure all of your ducks are in a row before sending out your resignation letter.
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