How to write a resignation letter
Congratulations, you have been offered and accepted a new opportunity that will take you onto the next stage of your career! WELL DONE!
Whatever the circumstances of your departure, it’s important to resign from your current post in the right way, and for that, it’s time to put pen to paper. (or fingers to the keyboard – you know what I mean)
So, the first rule –. The sooner the better. Once you’ve made up your mind it’s important to take action quickly; it’s likely that your new employer is keen to get you started so the sooner you get that letter handed in, the sooner you can firm up your start date. Equally, your current employer will recognise and appreciate your integrity in not holding back this valuable information. They’ll want to take the time to find your replacement so help them out and give them notice.
What’s paramount in this situation is to maintain a positive and graceful exit. You should address your manager formally and aim to keep it short and concise.
A letter of resignation should include:
- A date; it’s important that you document the date that you officially hand in your notice in writing
- Thanking the employer for the opportunities provided throughout your employment
- A thank you for experiences gained at the company
- If appropriate, detail of your willingness to help recruit and train your replacement and/or create a handover document
- Your intentions for a final date of employment
- Your request for a reference
- Being typed and delivered in an envelope addressed to your line manager
Resignation letters should NOT include:
- Complaints or critiques of the employer or co-workers – specific feedback should be shared in an exit interview
Here’re some choice phrases that may help you get started:
- “Although this has been a difficult decision to make, I have been offered an opportunity that I believe will help me reach my long-term career goals. I hope you will understand my reasons for moving on.”
- “If there are any areas in particular that you would like me to focus on during my notice period, please let me know.”
- “I have enjoyed being a part of the team and I am thankful for the opportunities you have given me during my time here. I owe a great deal to the company and wish you all the best in any future endeavours.”
- “As per the terms of my employment contract, I will continue to work for the company for the next <insert notice period length>, completing my employment on <insert last day you intend to work>.
So there it is, it’s that simple! Keep it brief, keep it factual and make it swift. Chances are, you’ll get invited exit interview before your departure. This is where your current employer can find out in a little more detail why you’re leaving and explore your experience of working for the company.
To be quite honest, you’re entitled to say as little or as much as you like but I would encourage you to be fair and honest at this stage as your feedback could be key to them making organisational changes to improve their employee journey.
Feedback should be constructive and encouraging, try not to be too negative – this is an opportunity for your employer to learn: what they’re doing right, where they can improve and resolve any issues you may have – in a friendly and constructive manner.
Now then, it’s time to take the next step in your career – it’s a time to be excited about what the future has to bring!