How To Write A Resignation Letter: The Ultimate Professional Guide

Resigning from a job is an emotional process. You’re leaving something behind, maybe even people you care about. How you resign from your job is just as important as how you interview for it.

Make sure to speak to your manager if possible before making the choice to leave. They may be able to provide a compelling counter offer to keep you with the company.

Leaving a job can be tricky and awkward, but the right approach can ease the transition so that everyone involved comes out of it with their reputation intact.

While resigning from a job is not an easy decision for anyone, if there are better opportunities available elsewhere it may become necessary to resign.

In this article we’ll discuss what you need to know about resigning from your job and how to do it well while maintaining your professional demeanor.

So, if you are thinking of leaving your current company to explore new opportunities, here is some helpful advice on how to write a resignation letter.

Know the reasons why you want to resign

It’s important to put emotion aside when making the difficult choice to resign from your position. Take some time by yourself to list the Pros and Cons of staying or leaving before making a firm decision.

Once you are sure of your decision to resign, you’ll want to provide a compelling reason for your leaving the company.

Here are some common reasons that employees give for resigning:

– You’ve completed a specific project and now don’t have anything to do.

– You’re taking an extended vacation or sabbatical.

– You want to change industries or job types.

– You’re going back to school.

– You’re moving to another location.

– You’re unhappy with the company or your manager.

– You’ve received another job offer and are leaving to accept it.

How to write a resignation letter

It’s best to write a formal letter to your manager and your HR department to inform them that you are leaving the company. Make sure to end the letter on a positive note, thanking them for the opportunities you have had during your time at the company.

If you are resigning for personal reasons, such as a health problem, family emergency, or a significant change in your personal situation, you can write a brief note to your manager, giving your reasons.

Be clear, straightforward, and honest. It is better to explain your situation briefly and honestly than to leave an unresolved matter hanging.

You might even offer to help find a replacement or to train your replacement before you leave.

A resignation letter is a formal document and so, like any letter, it should be typed and proofread.

Your resignation letter should include the following information:

– Your title and how long you have been with the company.

– The date you plan to leave the company.

– Your reason for leaving.

– Your plans after you leave.

– Any assistance you can offer in finding a replacement.

Check your ego at the door

Resigning from your job is an important decision, but you don’t have to go out in a blaze of glory. Take time to cool off if your reasons are emotional before making any choices that you might later regret.

If you’ve been with the company for a long time, you have likely developed a reputation for being reliable and competent. If your resignation comes as a sudden surprise, you may risk damaging that image both with the company and fellow employees.

At the very least, you will probably have to endure a lot of unhelpful speculation about your reasons for leaving. That could make your final weeks with the company uncomfortable.

If you have been thinking about resigning for some time, you can avoid unwelcome speculation by consulting with your manager about your plans. 

They may have advice or might be able to help in changing situations, schedules, or perhaps offering a raise to keep you with the company.

Don’t burn your bridges

If you decide to offer your resignation as a chance to get out of a bad situation, you may be tempted to be critical of your company and/or manager in your resignation letter.

Don’t do it!

Even if you have legitimate complaints, your resignation letter is not the place to air them.

Leave your resignation on a positive note and don’t give anyone an opportunity to criticize you in return.

You never know when your paths will cross again, either professionally or personally. 

Also, if you need to use them as a reference for your experience you certainly want to have left on good terms.

Provide an exit interview

If you have been with your company for a significant period of time, your employer may require you to complete an exit interview.

An exit interview is a short meeting in which you are asked about your experience with the company, your reasons for leaving, and any suggestions for improving the company.

Your employer may conduct the interview as part of a larger meeting, or you may be asked to come to the office for a more formal meeting with a specific person.

Whatever form it takes, your exit interview is not a place to engage your ego. Be honest and straightforward, but don’t go out of your way to criticize the company, your colleagues, or your manager.

You are leaving the company, and you want to leave on good terms, so be professional and courteous. 

Bottom line

Resigning from a job is not an easy decision for anyone. But if there are better opportunities available elsewhere, sooner or later we all have to make room for them.

If you are considering leaving your current company, here is some helpful advice on how to write a resignation letter.

If you have been thinking about resigning for some time, you can avoid unwelcome speculation by consulting your manager about your plans. Your manager may be able to offer you more assistance with your decision than you think.

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