Unless you’ve decided to work for one company for the next thirty years, you’ll probably move to another job. So, when you’re ready to resign from your current company and want to create an official letter of resignation, what’s the best way to proceed? How much information do you need to tell your current employer, and know what to include in a resignation letter?
Do I need to provide a resignation letter?
How important is it to put your resignation in writing? Is it not enough to tell your manager of your intention to quit?
Above all, a resignation letter is a professional courtesy. It informs your employer of your intended leaving date and can include reasons for your resignation.
Sometimes, a resignation letter can lead to a negotiation with your employer to improve your working conditions, a salary increase or a promotion. However, be careful about submitting your resignation to achieve a positive outcome within the company unless you have another job confirmed with another employer.
People resign for numerous reasons, such as: –
- A new job
- To return to education. For example, you might wish to pursue a degree
- A career move
- To become a carer to a sick family member
- The company culture is unhealthy
- Many other reasons
A letter of resignation is an official documented record given to your employer and added to your employment file. Nobody in the company can dispute the contents of a printed simple resignation letter, whereas a manager could misrepresent or distort information from a verbal resignation.
When should I submit a resignation letter?
If you’re leaving because you have another job, timing is everything. Firstly, ensure you have a signed contract with your new employer or a job offer in writing. Secondly, never quit your job if you only have a verbal offer from a new company.
Be aware that, even if you have given weeks or months of notice in your letter of resignation, your current employer may request you leave immediately. After that, a company must pay outstanding earnings, but if you aren’t 100% certain you are doing the right thing, or don’t have a firm offer, hold fire for a while.
Above all, try to give your current employer as much notice as possible. That allows you to supervise a handover to a new employee if necessary. In addition, you can offer to exit early once the replacement employer is up to speed with your job requirements.
You may want to leave as quickly as possible, but it’s good advice to avoid burning bridges and maintain a professional approach to the resignation process.
Leave your employer with a good impression because job offers can fall apart. It’s uncommon for a new employee to find a job offer revoked suddenly, but it can happen. Sometimes, companies decide to hire from within, or the job no longer exists because the company is in financial difficulties. It’s a worst-case scenario. Regardless of your reasons for leaving your current employer, it doesn’t hurt to keep a door open for the future.
5 Resignation Letter Mistakes
You may think worrying about making mistakes with your resignation letter is unimportant. Above all, it’s essential to remain professional and courteous and leave the company with a good impression.
- Spelling and grammar mistakes: Before submitting your resignation letter, ask someone else to read it, perhaps a friend or family member.
- Using inappropriate language: Refrain from swearing or badmouthing the company, management, or your team. Moreover, stick to the facts and avoid negativity.
- Lack of clarity: Get to the point succinctly. In addition, don’t add ambiguous comments, hoping the company will “get the message” Be 100% clear on your intentions
- Poor timing: Give the company at least two weeks’ notice, ideally more.
- Not following company procedures: Find out to whom you should hand your resignation letter and stick to the proper company guidelines for resignation.
Above all, don’t tell your colleagues about your intended resignation before informing your in-line manager. Rumours have a habit of spreading, so it’s essential to control who finds out and when. Finally, never badmouth the company even if you haven’t enjoyed your time with this employer. It’s unprofessional and is certain death for an opportunity to return to the company in the future. State the facts clearly without issuing blame.
How to write a resignation letter
Writing a rendition of “War and Peace” in your letter of resignation is unnecessary. The more concise, the better. Above all, be professional and structure the content to include only relevant details.
Structure of a resignation letter
Firstly, add your name, contact details and the date you’re handing in your resignation. The date in the letter becomes your official resignation date. Secondly, add the manager’s name and contact details.
Structure the content formally with an opening greeting. After that, write the statement of your resignation and your intended leaving date. Use short paragraphs of 3-4 sentences.
You can hand write or type the resignation letter, depending on your preference, though the latter is the preferred and more professional option.
Express what you have enjoyed about the job and working with the company. Offer to help with the handover to the staff member replacing you. Finally, close the letter and sign it. If typewritten, print off the document and sign the printed copy.
The following 4-point checklist can help you stay on point with your simple resignation letter: –
- Get to the point: A simple resignation letter is best because it represents a notification of intent. Think of it more like a memo. Avoid waffling sentences. For instance, rather than say, “If it’s OK with you, I hope to leave by the 24th of August, as long as it’s convenient for the company”, instead say, “My final date is the 24th of August, and I am happy to help with handover if required”.
- Present the correct details: Add your full name (according to your employee file), position title and department. Human resources or company leaders can then be sure who is resigning and not confuse you with another employee.
- The reason you’re leaving: You do not have to provide a reason for your resignation. Still, if you wish to do so, keep the details brief. For instance, “I’m leaving to pursue a new career”.
- Be positive: Express appreciation of your experience with the company and offer to help with the transition. Leaving a positive impression stops you from burning bridges.
Short Resignation Letter Examples
Writing a simple resignation letter needn’t be complicated. You may wonder what to say in a resignation letter, but all that’s needed is to outline the details concisely. Here are three examples for how to draft a resignation letter.
For every template, complete the necessary details according to the 4 points of structuring a resignation letter above, including your name, employee position, contact details, etc.
Template 1: No reason given for the resignation
Dear Mr Jones,
Please accept this letter as official notice that I [John Smith] am resigning from the Senior Software Engineer position in the IT Department at [company name] and I propose the 24th of August 2022 will be my last day.
I appreciate the experience and the opportunity provided during my time with [company name].
I am happy to help with the transition before I leave [company name].
Template 2: New Job
Dear Mr Jones,
I, John Smith, am writing to inform you of my resignation from the IT Support position with the IT Department at [company name]. My last day will be the 24th of August, 2022.
I appreciate the support and guidance that everyone at [company name] has provided, but I am leaving the position to pursue other opportunities.
If I can help to streamline the transition, please let me know.
Template 3: Health Issue
Dear Mr Jones,
Please accept this letter as formal notification of my – John Smith’s – resignation from the Human Resources Assistant position with the Sales Department at [company name]. My last day will be the 24th of August, 2022.
I appreciate all that [company name] has done for me during my time with the company, but a recent health concern makes it necessary for me to leave the workforce.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist with the transition.
Use a template to put your resignation letter together. You don’t have to replicate a template 100%. Just use a sample resignation letter template as a guideline to write a professional letter of resignation to your employer.
Conclusion: How to write a fantastic resignation letter
For whatever reason you wish to leave your company, you now have a good idea about how to write a resignation letter. You may be unhappy with your current employment and cannot imagine a reason for leaving the best impression possible. Above all, be professional and polite and follow the tips in this guide to write the perfect resignation letter and leave your company on a good note.
Why is it important to leave a good impression when I resign?
Nobody knows what the future holds. For instance, suppose you got on well with a senior manager or executive of the company but then embarrassed yourself by badmouthing the company, management, or the team when you resigned. It leaves a bad taste.
In another scenario, you remained a professional to the end. One month after starting your new job, the company goes into liquidation. You can respectfully contact your previous company and discuss options to return.
The worst-case scenario is resigning from a company and then finding your new job offer revoked. Use a sample resignation letter above and leave your current company with a positive impression of you as an employee.
Can you email a resignation letter?
In some circumstances, you can submit your resignation by email. Perhaps your company headquarters is in another country or a long distance from your home. Still, even if you’re working remotely, sending a hard copy of your resignation letter to the company is preferable.
If you intend to resign by email, create a document and attach it to the email. After that, check and confirm that it reached the correct person.
How do I know what to say in a resignation letter?
Refer to one of the above resignation letter templates. It’s best to keep your letter succinct