When most people resign from a job, they’re often eager to move on to the next exciting step in their careers. Some might be tempted to hop from one place to the next without much attention to what lies between, or how to properly close the door on a current position in an amicable way. But there is a right way and a wrong way to resign. And the right way starts with a well-crafted resignation letter.
Since the choices you make here could affect your career in the future, let’s look at the most common questions employees ask about writing a resignation letter.
A common misperception that some employees have is that the resignation letter is the first step in quitting a job. It’s not. (Or it shouldn’t be.) Before submitting your letter, sit down with your boss privately and let him or her know that you’re planning to leave and when.
The resignation letter is a formal document that you submit to your boss and HR, officially resigning from your position.
The reason this letter is so important is because it creates an official record. The date on the letter shows exactly how much notice you gave your employer. If you have a contractual obligation to give notice, this letter will serve as your proof that you met that obligation.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no federal or state law that requires employees to give two weeks notice before resigning. However, some employers may have a company policy that does. Some employers may even ask for more notice. One of my previous employers required 30 days notice. So check your employee handbook or your employment contract to see if your company has a policy before you give notice.
Hopefully, your HR representative will conduct an exit interview. Here are a few questions to ask during that meeting:
This letter doesn’t have to be long or complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. There are four components to a good resignation letter:
There are a number of common mistakes that employees often make in drafting resignation letters. We’ve boiled it down to the two most harmful. Whatever you do, don’t write the following:
If you are still having trouble composing your letter, feel free to copy this sample.
|Dear (Employer’s Name),
I am writing to inform you of my resignation from my position at (Name of Company). My official last day will be (date).
I want to thank you for the opportunity to work for (Name of Company). In my time here, I have learned valuable skills and gained (length of time) experience in (name of your industry). I particularly appreciate (name at least one thing you enjoyed about working at this company). I will always remember my time here, and I wish you and the company well.
There is a right way and a wrong way to resign from a job. A well-crafted resignation letter will have you on your way to an amicable parting from your employer so that you can start your next project without any unneeded baggage.