What is a Resignation Letter?
Whether you are departing a company on good terms or can’t run fast enough out the door, it may be wise to write a letter of resignation. This type of document formalizes your intention to leave the company and the reasons for your departure. Following these writing tips will smooth out the process of leaving.
Why Should You Write One?
A resignation letter is an efficient way to send the same document to numerous departments keeping all relevant parties well-informed of your departure.
If the document is polite and straightforward, your manager will be impressed with the gesture and thankful for this information. So long as it is constructive, it may even bring intangible benefits to your career down the road, such as potential letters of recommendation, positive appraisals via word of mouth, and may even help you return to the company.
When Should You Write One — Months in Advance or Two Weeks’ Notice?
If you are certain you will be leaving your company, let them know at most two months in advance and at least two weeks. Remember to write out “two weeks’ notice,” not “2 weeks’ notice.”
How Should You Submit Your Letter?
You can have a private meeting with your manager where you share your plans, followed by a formal letter to make it official. In the end, do what you feel comfortable with.
Building a Resignation Letter
We recommend that you write a civil, succinct letter that contains the following:
1. Letter Date
Include the date when you submit the letter on the top left line above the address.
The address should follow a formal business letter template. Use the company name on the first line, followed by the street address, city, and ZIP code.
The addressee is usually your manager — you can use their first name. If the situation calls for it, you can address a larger audience such as unit, team, department, or the whole company.
4. Resignation Declaration
You must make it clear that you are resigning from the first sentence.
5. Date of Departure
A clear departure date is necessary as it lets your manager strategize the path forward.
6. Reasons for Leaving (Optional)
In this section, employ your diplomatic chops and provide a reason for your departure. Acceptable reasons can range from general health concerns, spending more time with family, relocation, career change, and much more.
Keep in mind that this document is usually not the best method to express dissatisfaction with your company. You can metaphorically nail 95 grievances to your boss’s desk by detailing areas of urgent reform but think hard about the pros and cons of delivering such a letter.
7. Thank You Section
Make sure to end the letter by thanking your manager and if you feel grateful, acknowledge the opportunity they gave you.
If you submit a hard copy of the letter, sign above your typed name. A typed name suffices as an online resignation letter.