When you are leaving a job or workplace, it’s hard to remember all the formal things you need to do, and a simple resignation letter is one of them.
Having moved around a few jobs, I’ve handed in a fair number of resignation letters. I’m well practiced when it comes to putting the letter on your boss’ desk at 5.30pm and legging it out the door.
Some things to remember
A resignation letter is a formal letter that advises your employer you are leaving. Make sure you address your boss formally and sign it formally. Even if you are pally with your superiors, you still need to keep it professional.
Your letter of resignation is not the place to air your grievances with the company or your manager. If you have any feedback to give (positive or negative) this should be done in a separate meeting. The purpose of your letter is to inform.
Now is not the time to witter on about how unfairly you were treated amongst other employees.
Having a conversation with your manager does not count as resignation. There needs to be proof in the form of a document. Even if you have had a meeting with your boss where you stated you would be leaving, you still need to follow up with a letter.
The best resignation letters are short, simple and formal. So, let’s talk about how to write a letter of resignation. These are my top tips: date it, state it, and relate it.
Something as simple as dating your resignation letter can easily be overlooked. This means putting a physical date on it. If you are sending your resignation letter in an email, the time and date of sending are visible, but if you are handing over a physical letter of resignation make sure you put the date on it.
Then, there can be no quibbles about the date you resigned. I know this sounds obvious, but we hardly ever write letters anymore, and it’s easy to forget what usually goes in a letter.
State your intentions and state all the facts. Make sure you include the following in your letter:
• Job title
• Company name
• Notice period
• Last day of work
If you mention all these things, you and your boss both know where you stand. It’s best not to have any gray areas when you are leaving a job. Otherwise, you can find yourself working an extra 2 weeks on top of your notice period because you weren’t clear.
Working an extra 2 weeks on top of your notice period would make you very disgruntled, and you don’t want to be that person that’s difficult during their last week of work.
You also don’t want to be the guy that spends their last week Googling ‘resume writing services’ on the work computer, much to the annoyance of the team.
Finally, relate it. Keep it relevant and keep it in line with your contact. Show that you are aware of your notice period and your terms of the contract.
This is also a great place to say a quick word of thanks. Be grateful for the experiences you have had at your workplace and be positive; there’s sure to be some!