Resigning from a job is an action often accompanied by a mixture of emotions. It doesn't matter if you are leaving because you've found a better position to advance your career or if you've been miserable in your current job; a resignation letter is always in order. Keep the letter as friendly and positive as possible as it may be read by future employers. It is always best to avoid burning bridges, especially since you never know when you may need a reference or to use the former employer as a business contact.
Address your letter to your manager or the person you directly report to. Refer to that person by name, avoiding impersonal greetings such as "To Whom It May Concern."
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Begin the introduction of your letter by notifying your manager or employer that you are resigning from your current position.
For example, your first paragraph could read: "This letter is to serve as official resignation from my current position at [company name]. My last day of work will be [date of last day]. "
Note your ending date very clearly so that your employer can easily identify your last day of work. Check your company's policy to determine how much notice you are required to give. Many jobs require a two-week notice while other companies many require a four- to six-week notice. In the interest of remaining professional and courteous, always give the required notice when resigning.
Highlight briefly the positive experiences you had in your current position.
For example, you could state, "I have enjoyed my time here and have learned so much that I will be able to use for years to come."
List your reason for resignation if you feel inclined to do so, though it is not required. If you choose to explain the reason for your resignation, keep it short and sweet. For example, if you are leaving due to medical problems, write "Due to recent medical issues, I am unable to continue my current employment with this company."
If your resignation is due to a spouse needing to relocate for a new job, consider stating "My spouse has accepted a new position in [insert city] and we will be moving to begin this new opportunity."
Sometimes companies offer to relocate employees to other offices when layoffs are iminent. If you choose to decline the relocation offer: "While I greatly appreciate the offer to relocate to [insert city], it isn't feasible for me at this time."
If you've been unhappy with your job, a statement such as "I have decided to pursue other options for personal reasons" is sufficient.
Avoid any statements, negative or otherwise, that could be used against you at a later date.
Thank your employer for the opportunity you had to work for him and close the letter by signing your name.
As an ending that is both personal and upbeat, consider a statement such as "I wish you and everyone at [company name] only the best and I hope to keep in touch."
Follow a few basic formatting rules when composing your letter. Begin your letter by listing the date in the upper left-hand corner. After skipping two lines, list the name and address of the person the letter is addressed to. Skip one line and begin your letter with your desired salutation, followed by a colon. Skip one line and begin your letter, inserting one line between each paragraph. At the conclusion of the letter, skip two lines and type your closing, such as "Sincerely." Skip four lines and type your name, then sign your name using a black pen in the space above.
Things You'll Need
Pen and paper, or computer and printer
Offer letter from new job, if applicable
Whenever possible, delay submitting your resignation letter until you have a job offer in writing for a new position.