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What Does a Great Resignation Letter Look Like?
You’re ready to quit your job.
Maybe you’ve been wanting to quit for some time now, but you haven’t felt ready to make the jump yet.
Or, you’ve been browsing through remote job boards and have found a handful of postings that qualify as your “dream job”. Maybe you even have an incredible offer from a new job!
But, there’s only one thing standing in your way—your current job.
Even if you’ve mentally checked out, there’s a right and a wrong way to leave your current position.
Even though it might seem like the world is quite large, the business world can actually be quite small. Especially if you’re in a smaller field or a very specific niche. In this case, every little detail matters.
Even something as small as your letter of resignation can have a ripple effect on your employment options and the future of your reputation.
Below you’ll learn why writing a great resignation letter matters and how to do it, plus you’ll find a detailed breakdown of what goes in each section, and resignation letter samples.
What is a Resignation Letter?
The main purpose of a resignation letter is to provide an official document that states when you’ll be terminating your employment. Once your manager or boss receives this letter, they’ll forward this to the HR department.
- Statement of resignation and date of last employment
- Appreciation for your past position
- How you will assist with your transition
- Company name and your relevant contact information
We go into all of this in-depth and break down some resignation letter samples below.
Why Does a Resignation Letter Matter?
A lot of employees make the mistake of writing a resignation letter the wrong way, thinking it doesn’t matter.
However, the last thing you want to do is have your boss or manager left with a sour taste in their mouth over your resignation letter. You want to leave on good terms.
You never know when this relationship might come in handy. A respectful and well-written resignation letter can make the difference between a lasting professional connection and an awkward goodbye and lost relationship.
Here are some common resignation letter mistakes to watch out for:
Burning All Your Bridges
Even if you’re leaving your job on poor circumstances, this doesn’t mean you should burn all your bridges with the company. Your resignation letter isn’t the place to vent about your job, your co-workers, or your bosses. Instead, it’s meant to ensure that you’ll receive a great recommendation letter in the future.
Keeping It Too Short
Your resignation letter shouldn’t resemble a novel. But, there’s such a thing as having a letter that’s too short as well. For example, if all it says is “My last day is next Friday, consider this my resignation,” then you have some serious work to do.
Even though you’re not saying anything bad, it still demonstrates laziness and doesn’t show much respect.
Giving Too Much Detail
Just like your letter can be too short, it can give away too much detail too. You don’t have to give them the exact reason you’re leaving, especially if you’re leaving to work at a competitor. In most cases the phrases, “leaving for personal reasons”, or “accepted a new position” will be enough. You don’t need to write out all the details of these reasons in your letter.
How to Write a Resignation Letter Overview
You’ll want your resignation letter to be formal and professional while containing all the relevant details about your departure. It’s not the time to talk about your next job or the success of your new blog or business, instead, it’s time to show your appreciation for the company you’re leaving.
Here’s a great resignation letter template you can follow to write the perfect resignation letter:
You’ll start your letter with a paragraph that states the name of the company you work for and your current role. Even if you’re at a small company and know your boss on a first name basis, it’s important to include this information, since this will act as an official document.
You’ll also want to include a sentence that includes your resignation statement, the date of your last day of employment, and a brief mention of your reason for leaving (if you’d like).
This next paragraph will touch on all the positives of your job and how much you learned during the time you spent at the company. It’s important to take some time and really think about all the ways this job has benefited you.
When you’re burnt out at your current job, it can be difficult to see through this fog and think of anything positive. But, even if you didn’t learn a lot, or even felt this job was a waste of time, there is still probably at least one thing you learned, or one experience that was valuable.
For example, were you a big fan of the company culture and always felt supported? Did you appreciate the focus on employee development and growth? Or maybe you really loved the free snacks and the company-sponsored gym benefits?
After you’ve made your appreciation for your job opportunity clear, it’s time to spell out how you’re going to assist with the transition. This section will look different depending on your current role and how involved you are in the company’s processes.
For example, something like, “I’m available to assist with this transition in any way possible, including training a new employee or assisting with the hiring process.”
Here are some other things you could potentially include:
- Create documentation that spells out your role and daily tasks
- Completely wrap up any existing or lingering projects
- Stay on board for the transition period, including training for the new employee
- Offer to support new staff emails via email or phone
This paragraph might not completely be necessary, depending on your role with the company. But, it can help your manager or boss fill in the gaps after your departure.
Here you can give a brief outline of the work and projects that you have been actively involved in. For example, if you’ve been involved in any projects that span multiple departments, or are reliant on your unique skills, this will be valuable information to help find a suitable replacement.
This is another optional paragraph. But here you can include your contact information if you want your old boss or manager to reach out to you. You can also encourage them to pass on this information to your replacement.
Resignation Letter Samples
Most resignation letters will follow the simple format outlined above. The contents of the letter will differ depending on your actual role and your communication style. A sample resignation letter can help you see how all the pieces come together.
Here are a few professional resignation letter samples that are adaptations of the paragraph format above.
1. The Short and Sweet
Dear Mrs. Boss,
This letter is to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Digital Marketing Director for ACME Interactive effective February 30th.
I deeply appreciate the opportunities I’ve been offered over the past five years and the amount of growth I’ve sustained.
I’m happy to help make this transition as easy as possible, including conducting interviews or assisting with training.
2. The Long and Grateful
Dear Mr. Boss,
As we discussed in our meeting earlier this week, I am resigning from my position as SEO Manager, effective May 12th 2020.
I’m so grateful for the experience and time I’ve spent with the company. Growing to 750k monthly visitors has been no easy feat. My time here has been challenging, but deeply enjoyable. I feel ready to take on whatever additional challenges my career throws at me.
I’m happy to assist with this transition in any way possible, including interviewing new candidates, or training current team members to take over my role.
Once again, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make this transition as smooth as possible. You, current, or new team members can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime you want.
How to Thrive After Resigning From Your Job
Once you’ve put in your formal resignation letter the real fun begins.
It’s time to step out of the boring and drab 9 to 5 and into the passion economy. Working in the passion economy provides you with an incredible new opportunity to do work that matters to you.
The style of working that allows you to get paid handsomely for sharing your skills and gifts with the world. The kind of work that gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning and start making money on your own terms.
If you don’t have a blog yet, or any idea of what kind of work you want to do, then this post is a good place to start.
There are dozens of ways to succeed in the passion economy, for example:
- Start a popular blog and recommend affiliate products, or sell courses
- Start a podcast and sell sponsorships
- Start a YouTube channel and create your own eCommerce store
- Become an Instagram influencer and sell sponsored content, or create your own product line
- Land the perfect remote job that lets you create your own hours and work from anywhere across the globe
Leaving Your Job the Right Way
By now you should have gathered that your resignation letter needs to be clear and to the point, plus contain the following info:
- Only include the essential details about your resignation
- Clearly lay out any final responsibilities that you have to accomplish
- Have a helpful, grateful, and positive tone throughout your letter
Beyond your letter, it’s important that you also resign the right way. Before you send or mail the letter to your boss, you should have a private meeting to share your news about leaving. This is when you’ll discuss the specifics of leaving your position and how you’ll help with the transition.
On your last day it can be tempting to go out with a bang, like you see in so many movies. But, often the best approach is to go quietly and respectfully. Make sure your desk is cleaned out and tidy, and you say your goodbyes to your staff members and boss in private.
Hopefully you feel well equipped to write an incredible letter of resignation and make some exciting new career moves!