How to write an appropriate resignation letter

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 21 May 2019

If you are a job-seeker with a current job, there will come a time where you will need to write and hand-in a resignation letter. This isn’t something a lot of people necessarily want to do, it can sometimes be hard to say goodbye to a job if you love it. However, if you have been looking for a job, applied and been accepted, then you may thoroughly enjoy handing in that resignation letter. Whichever your situation, it is important to write it appropriately and if you can, leave with a good working relationship with the business and your colleagues. Getting a new job is meant to be an exciting time in your career, where you are able to move forward and make progress for yourself, don’t let your resignation letter make you feel bad about it. Do it right and leave the company on a high note!

What should I include in my resignation letter?

Writing this letter shouldn’t have to be a long and horrible process, you should include the basic template expected on all letters and keep it simple and professional. The basic elements that should be included start with your name and address. This is basic letter etiquette. The date is another important aspect, your employer should know the exact date you have handed in the letter, often for HR or filing reasons. You need to include details of your last day and your notice. Your employer can use the date you handed it in and the date of your last day to show that you are sticking to your contracted notice period. Finally, your signature.

You should use a typical letter format when you are writing your resignation letter, no need to over complicate things. There are loads of templates available to you online, or just use your basic knowledge of letter writing. As long as it is professionally laid out, keeping it simple and sleek, then you cannot go wrong with the format of the letter. If you include all of the above, you will be able to produce a professional and visually appealing letter.

Keep it professional

Whether you are leaving for personal reasons, you found another job role, or you just don’t like your current job, make sure you are always keeping the letter professional. Some companies may have a laid-back environment, but always stick to writing a resignation letter, instead of just letting them know about your departure. It is courteous and if you keep a good relationship with the company, even after you leave, you can potentially still keep them in mind for future job prospects. Never burn your bridges, make sure you are not leaving-behind a bad employee legacy.

Short and sweet

The length of your resignation letter is something that some people may struggle with. Some employees may feel like they have to include every little detail on why they are leaving. This is unnecessary and can cause the letter to feel a bit lengthy. Try not to over do it and keep it short and sweet. Provide notification of your notice, your last day and any other details that may be needed. Always make sure you know what your company expect of you and what details they will want/need in your resignation. You can include your reason for leaving, if this is necessary, but it is not always needed. It depends on your preference but keep it in mind.

Remain polite

Whether you are leaving for a negative reason or not, make sure that the letters tone remains polite throughout. It can be extremely unprofessional if you are taking all your negative thoughts and feeding them into your resignation letter. As stated before, try and remain unbiased and don’t destroy any ties you may have. Being negative can only bring more negativity. If you do have any concerns or a negative reason as to why you are leaving, make sure you bring it up with the correct person. It can damage your career if you were to put any personal criticism in your resignation letter. Try and avoid it at all costs.

Finish on another positive note

Even if the reason you are leaving is solely negative, make sure you hold that positive tone throughout. It’s always good to end on a high, so keep the flow of positivity and end the letter on another positive. Always end the letter with a thank you and acknowledge the person you are addressing. This gives it a very professional look over all and it will be highly appreciated.

When and what now?

When you hand in your resignation letter is up to you. However, it is probably best to wait until you have a confirmed job offer, if you are job-seeking. This means that when your notice period is over, you aren’t left without a job. Although, if you feel like it is your time to leave, then that is your decision. So, what do you do now? – You continue your job, as you were. It can have negative effects if you were to treat your notice period as time to relax. Just enjoy your notice period and make sure you are getting ready for your next job!