How to Write a Letter of Resignation

Online College Review - ECPI

When you have to resign from a job, you’ll need to turn in a formal letter of resignation. Here are a few tips on how to write a letter of resignation without stepping on anyone’s toes.

Write a Letter of Resignation: Prepare a Professional Document

Scribbling your resignation in crayon on the back of several receipts isn’t going to make a good impression, and it might ruin future references that your employer might make. Instead, handle your resignation like a professional and print it on good-quality paper with the proper business letter format. It should be sealed in a crisp #10 envelope with your boss’ name on the front. Make sure that you do not use company letterhead, as this can be viewed as a sign of discontent. It is also a good idea to type your full name a few spaces below your closing so that your boss doesn’t have to guess whose signature is scrawled at the bottom.

Write a Letter of Resignation: Make an Up-Front Statement

Letters of resignation shouldn’t carry on for six paragraphs before you finally tell your boss that you’re quitting. The first sentence — the first paragraph, at the very least — should state that you are turning in your two-week notice for resignation. After you’ve stated your intent for the letter, you can go into the details. Remember that you only get one chance to write this letter and you can’t change your mind once it’s been delivered.

Write a Letter of Resignation: Outline Your Achievements

Since you will want your employer to provide positive references to future employers, it is always a good idea to remind your boss about the positive things you did for the company. The trick is not to sound as though you are bragging when you do it. Openers like, “I appreciated the opportunity to lead the team for…” and, “One of my favorite aspects of this job was the ability to manage such a large group of people” will work well for this purpose. Whatever you do, don’t create a bulleted list of the wonderful things you accomplished.

Write a Letter of Resignation: Express Appreciation

Even if you are leaving your job on negative terms, don’t forget to thank your boss. Even if it’s only an impersonal, “I appreciate your guidance over the last ___ years”, it’s better than nothing. You might also wish your boss success in a venture he is pursuing to further create good-will toward you when it comes time to make a recommendation.

Write a Letter of Resignation: Give a Date

Never sign a resignation letter without giving an Effective By date. You want your boss to know, in no uncertain terms, when exactly you will be leaving the company. This way, you won’t be expected to continue a project for a few extra weeks. Remember, however, that some employers will ask that an employee not stay his two weeks and just clear out his desk immediately. To that end, make sure you’ve collected your personal belongings before you turn in the letter.