How to Write a Resignation Letter – Step by Step Guide
A resignation letter represents thought-out reasons you may want to leave your job. Furthermore, it embodies how you wish to express such reasons to your boss in the most professional manner. But, writing a resignation letter seems like an elephant task, given that it seemingly involves quite some professional guidelines in the buildup. Plus, tasks as such, relating to professional writing could sometimes be relegated to experts.
Away from such claims, this article presents important tips to guide you through writing a resignation letter for any situation.
Why is a resignation letter important?
In most cases, it is the last line of terminating a job or work employment from a particular company or organization. It comes subsequently after informing the necessary quarters about your termination in person or via email. A resignation letter may be simply drafted on a piece of paper, but it is largely significant in the professional context.
Let’s see why it is so important:
It is dangerous to leave the organization with an unclear intention, agreement, and in a bad condition. This is why drafting a resignation letter is a nice replacement for such discredit.
A resignation letter is total evidence of formality, and it communicates courtesy and respect for the company as a corporate body. It speaks volumes about your character and professionalism, and it helps to improve your relationship with such organizations. This may help massively when you are applying for future career opportunities. Moreover, it helps the company stay organized after your departure, and seek a worthy replacement for your position in a short time. Resigning properly will grant you the confidence to add your work experience in such an organization to your resume.
What to include in a resignation letter?
There are vital details and structures you should not miss out on when drafting your resignation letter. These details are necessary to the recipient, and the structures communicate your formality. You should include these elements in your resignation letter:
- Header – Contact Details
- Your resignation statement
- Your reasons and purpose for resignation
- A few sentences offering your assistance in the transition process
- Paragraph expressing your gratitude at the work opportunity
- Request for a reference or recommendation letter for future purposes
- Professional signoff
Your header may not necessarily be a customized letterhead showing the contact details of the sender or the company, it should, however, consist of your name, job description, phone number, and email address, as well as the supervisor and company’s details. You should not forget the date. If the letter will be sent via email, do include these details at the end of the letter, after the signature.
Relay your salutation and address to your manager, and this should be done with a friendly but formal greeting. Something like, “Dear Mr./Mrs./Dr. ABC”.
This part contains your resignation announcement, and it should be reflected in the first statement. You should as well announce your last day at work in this section. However, before doing this, research the specified number of days/weeks required to notify your manager. For most positions, it is either two weeks or a month required for the announcement. This will help the company to diligently prepare for a worthy replacement.
Reasons and Purpose for Resignation:
This is optional though. You may state the reason for your departure – beginning another job, starting a family, enrolling for a degree program, health reasons, etc. Stay positive when making such an announcement, in other words, do not completely express your dissatisfaction or distaste for the company’s services.
Your Assistance in the Transition Process:
The company will be tasked with finding a worthy replacement for your position. Unless you will be unavailable for the task, do offer your assistance in the process of training the new employee on the elements of the job. It helps to cement a friendly relationship between you and the company.
You could as well maximize the period to complete undone tasks.
Your Gratitude for the Work Opportunity:
It is professional to thank the company for entrusting and granting you the opportunity to work. Here, before you appraise the company’s payment policy, state the important points and lessons you learned in your role and how it shaped your career. If you’d love to, mention the manager and company as a point of reference to other firms.
Request for Recommendation or Reference:
If necessary for your next career step, you could request a signatory recommendation letter from your boss. It adds quality to your work experience and gives you an advantage when seeking other lucrative jobs.
“Yours sincerely,” or “Yours truly,” suffice better in signing off. Then, accompanied with your signature.
Proofread, send and ensure your letter is well-received by the recipient in the best conditions.
Tips for how to write a resignation letter
Your resignation letter should be ultimately short, with the above details well represented in every section. The goal is to express your professionalism, which may eventually serve as a reference in the future. You should however consider the following when preparing your letter:
- The length of the letter
- Font and Size
- Letter Accuracy
Length: The letter should at least be typed on one page. In most cases, an A4-sized paper will do.
Font and Size: Traditional fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial are clear enough for such purposes. The font size should range between 10 and 12 size-points.
Format: It should be spaced single with at least a space between each paragraph. Align your text to the left side and use 1” margin.
Letter Accuracy: You could employ the services of an older friend or a counselor to proofread.
Ensure you maintain the most positive and professional tone. Do not notably mention the lapses you experienced in the company. This helps to create an everlasting bond between you and the company’s management even after your departure.
You should strive to complete undone tasks given to you before leaving the company. Else, it may be left undone or completed unworthily by your replacement.
Also, visit your contract details. The details might assist you in the course of writing your resignation letter. For example, in the contract details, the specific period of resignation announcement is conveyed, depending on the job role, level or position.
When delivering your letter, do it in person. This will open up opportunities to discuss verbally with your manager if necessary. Such discussion may see you through following your manager’s subsequent instructions.
Several examples of resignation letters for different purposes
As aforementioned, resignation letters can be structured according to the reasons and purposes of the writer. However, it is not usually required to include such details. Here we go with a few sample templates:
Resignation due to career change:
Do accept my resignation as I have accepted a position in another organisation, and look forward to the next phase of my career. My work with you has been really worthwhile and lucrative, and for this, I will miss you.
Resignation due to school return/degree program:
Do accept my resignation effective from _____. I will be enrolling for my ______, at _____. Hence, I will need to resign from my role at _______.
Resignation due to relocation:
I am writing to inform you that I will be moving to _____ [with my family]. [This is due to _____]. Kindly accept this as my formal resignation from your reputable company.
Resignation due to family reasons:
Note that this may involve a lot of personal reasons.
Kindly accept my formal resignation from my role as _____ in your prestigious company. Family responsibilities come calling, and I need to respond to them.
If you wish, however, not to disclose your reasons, here’s a sample template:
I am writing today to formally inform you that I will be resigning from my role as _____, and this is effective _________. I have enjoyed my time here at _______, and I thank you for the priceless opportunity and training I have received.