How to Write a Resignation Letter

You’ve finally had it, or maybe you’re just ready to move on. No matter what the reasons for leaving a job, it can be a draining experience. By the time notice is given, most of us are already checked out mentally from the job. For some positions, a letter of resignation is simply a formality. But, don’t let that keep you from taking this process seriously, even if you’re jumping for joy at the thought of getting out of your past 9-5.

Not sure how to write a letter of resignation? Here are six tips to keep in mind as you're drafting your letter.

Be specific

Make sure to let your employer know the last day you intend to work. That way, they can work backwards and realistically see what you can achieve in your time left. Traditionally, it’s two week notice, but go with your gut. If you know earlier than that and things are hectic in the office, it’s worth giving your employer more time to adjust.

Make sure to include specifics in your letter. I’ve attached outline or plans that detailed what I’m going to complete before leaving. This kept me engaged and off track, and kept my old boss from worrying.

Don’t offer your services unless you mean it

If you think you can help interview for a new employee go for it. Don’t promise things you can’t fulfill. Leaving a job with projects or tasks uncompleted will leave a bad impression on your past employer.

Be honest, but diplomatic

Giving a reason for leaving can be incredibly helpful for your employer. If you can convey your reason for leaving in a tactful way that will benefit the company you’re leaving, do it.

However, giving a reason for leaving is optional. Save dramatic proclamations and complaints for home--or the exit interview. Remember, with your feedback are you helping to grow the company you’re leaving, or just complaining?

Don’t surprise anyone

Throwing down your letter and walking out of your office might sound satisfying, but that’s no way to leave a job. Remember to give enough notice, and try to get a face to face with HR or your supervisor to deliver the news.

While your are leaving this job, remember to maintain a good relationship with coworkers. You never know when you might need a letter of recommendation in the future.

Be yourself

A simple Google search yields hundreds of sample resignation letters, but you know your office best. Some offices require a formal letter, some simply use the letter for their records. You know the tone that’s most appropriate for your office. Going off  formal template when your office is informal could come off as cold or writing something too casual in a formal office could come off as careless.

Accept that you won’t be able to find the perfect online letter of resignation template. Trust that you will be the best judge of what tone is appropriate.

Don’t feel the need to write a novel

Going from advice above, you are the best judge of what you need to include in the letter of resignation. Experiencing writer’s block? Remember you’re not writing the Constitution. At it’s bare minimum, the letter needs to include final date of employment. That’s it.

If you’re still feeling stressed, consider that this doesn’t have to be the final word. The letter doesn’t need to be the last thing you leave the company with. If you want to thank a mentor or supervisor, you can leave them with parting words or a note.