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Whether you’ve found a new position (congratulations), or you’re leaving your job because of another reason, a resignation letter is inevitably something you’re going to have to write. But it can actually be a pretty daunting task. What should you include, how formal should you be and should you tell your boss what you really think of them (no is the short answer here)?
Read on to find out how to write a resignation letter in just three steps that is graceful, professional and allows you to move on to pastures new with your reputation and relationships intact.
You’re resigning from your job, not applying for a new one, so there really is no need to sugarcoat things too much or try to be overtly creative. After all, chances are you’ve already discussed your resignation with your boss, including your reasons, so you don’t have to repeat it all over again.
Start by considering the tone you’re going to use for your letter, which all really depends on the relationship you’ve got with your boss. For example, if you call your boss by their first name at work, address them by their first name in your resignation letter e.g. “Dear Sally”. If you normally call your boss “Mr Smith”, then “Dear Mr Smith” would be more appropriate.
Then you should jump right in and explain the reason for your letter:
You’re not apologising, not stringing things out. Just being professional and straight to the point from the off.
It’s good practice to thank your boss and the company for the experience you’ve gained, opportunities you’ve been given and anything else positive that leaps out about your employment. Even if you’re over the moon to be leaving, don’t make that obvious in your resignation letter. After all, there’s a good chance you’ll need your boss or someone from the company to provide you with a reference further down the line.
So aim for something like:
The final step is to finish with a positive sign off and highlight that you’re willing to help out with the transition to ensure it’s as smooth as possible. Depending on the situation, you may need to train someone so they are in a position to do your role after you’ve left. Or it might be the case that you just need to show your boss some of the stuff you do and they can pass the information on at some point in the future.
Here’s an example sign off:
And here’s all three steps put together with some example information:
So as you can see, writing a resignation letter needn’t be that daunting or difficult. Just remember to be polite, say thank you for the opportunities and sign off in a positive way.