Your resignation letter plays a big factor in whether you leave on good terms with your employer. Fortunately, writing a resignation letter is pretty simple if you follow these five guidelines.
The typical worker changes jobs once every four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But before moving on to a new job, you want to make a smooth exit from your current one—and that entails leaving on a positive note, literally.
1. state your intention to resign in the intro.
The first paragraph of the letter should indicate that you’re resigning and specify your last date of employment (two weeks’ notice is still standard in many industries). For example, “Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as research analyst. My last day of employment will be August 1, 2017.” This straightforward approach will help you avoid unnecessary throat clearing.
2. briefly explain why you’re leaving.
There’s no need to offer a long-winded explanation behind your move, so stick to writing a one- to two-sentence summary of why you’re leaving. For instance, “I have accepted a position as [job title] in [location].” You don’t have to say who your next employer is, which can help you avoid ruffling feathers—especially if you’re leaving to work for a competitor. Also, a word of caution: if you’re unhappy with your current job, don’t mention it in your resignation letter. This is an opportunity for you to solidify the relationship with your employer, not tarnish it.
3. express gratitude.
Your resignation letter should mention that you appreciate the opportunity to work for the company and that you enjoyed the job, while also thanking your manager for being a great boss (read: a little ego-stroking goes a long way). For example, “It has been a pleasure working here. I’ve learned so much from you and your team.” You can even highlight a couple of your favorite projects.
4. offer to train your replacement.
To make the transition process as smooth as possible for your boss, you need to help with the onboarding process for your replacement so include the offer to help in your resignation letter. (e.g., “My goal is to help create a smooth transition.”) Depending on your position, your boss might ask you to create a comprehensive list of your job responsibilities, provide a training manual for your replacement or even help interview job candidates. In fact, you may even be eligible for a referral bonus if you can use your connections to find someone to fill your shoes.
5. provide your contact information.
Including your phone number and email address in your resignation letter may seem like a small step, but it’s a crucial one. For instance, you may need the person to be a reference for you in the future or you could very well cross paths again at a future employer.
Some employers require a letter of resignation and some don’t, but regardless of the company’s policy, submitting one paints you as a professional. Plus, leaving with a positive reputation feels pretty good too.
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