The Resignation Letter: Advice, Best Practices and Examples

While you are not required to provide a letter of resignation when you leave a job, it’s always good form to do so. It’s a respectful way to inform your employer that you’re leaving, and presenting your boss with a written letter explaining your departure is a good way to demonstrate your professionalism and to leave on a good note.

Resignation letters should be short and to the point, while also presenting certain information that might be helpful to the human resources department. In this article, we’ll outline the various elements that should be part of your letter, and provide you with a model letter from which you can develop your own.

The Essentials

  • Your resignation letter should not be longer than one page (single-sided.) As we already mentioned, the resignation letter is a formality, and shouldn’t contain long-winded justifications of your decision to leave. Avoid putting in too many details; if you have some things that you want to share with your employer in more detail before you leave, you can do it verbally when you deliver your letter to your superior, or during your exit interview with human resources.
  • It’s important that you leave your resignation letter with your superior in person. Don’t leave it on your boss’ desk in the hopes they will notice it, and especially don’t send it by email before you’ve delivered a copy by hand. You can always send an email afterwards.
  • Take the time to thank your employer for the opportunity they provided you by offering you the job.
  • Make it known that for the rest of your time at the company (usually, employees provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice when resigning), you will do your best to facilitate the transition of your responsibilities, and will be fully cooperative throughout the process.
  • Whether you’re leaving on good or bad terms, don’t blame or mention any of your colleagues for your departure in your letter of resignation. This would leave a very bad impression of you as an employee, and is simply not constructive.
  • It’s recommended that you mention why you are leaving the company in your resignation letter. Typically, an employee resigns because they have found a job with another company. If you are leaving because of particular conflicts at work or any other sensitive reason, you have to be careful with your language and be diplomatic in your explanation. For example, you could say that you are taking some time to reflect on your career and on possibilities for the future.

Also:

  • Have someone else read your letter to make sure you haven’t made any grammatical errors.
  • Always remember that the employer you are leaving will be a reference for future employers for a very long time. Knowing this, it’s important to stay positive, professional and to leave the best impression you can.

The Structure of the Letter: What to Include

  • The company logo (if you can include the colors of the company, that’s a plus)
  • Date
  • Your address
  • Name and address of the employer
  • Title (Letter of Resignation)
  • Content:
    • Scenario
    • Reason for leaving
    • Thank you
    • Transition and cooperation
  • Date of your departure
  • Date of delivery of letter and signature.

Click here to view an example of a resignation letter.

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Francis Roussin

Francis Roussin is a marketing specialist and digital nomad. Having discovered the HR universe during college, he’s particularly interested in all that concerns the matters of remote work, labor rights and employee retention. After completing a Management Certificate, Francis has specialised in the field of e-commerce.

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