How to write a resignation letter

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Are you thinking of quitting your job and going out in search of greener pastures? If so, you will want to carefully craft a resignation letter to let your boss know that you will be leaving.

Sure, you could just want into their office and announce your plans but that is really not the best way to handle things for two reasons.

  1. You don’t want to burn bridges.
  2. You want to make sure there is written record of you putting in your notice in case they tell you to pack your things on the spot. With written notice of a time period until your departure they will still have to pay you for the time you specified if they fire you on the spot.

You may think that they would never fire you – but people can get spiteful when you turn in a resignation letter. Once I was quitting a job and I put in a resignation letter saying that I was giving my two weeks notice. The next day I got called into the office and was told that they were aware that I had put in my notice for two weeks but that I could leave effective immediately but would still be paid for the two weeks in accordance with the law. What law – I don’t really know but I like it. I was not expecting to get asked to leave early. And I did get paid for those two weeks.

When you quit your job and give notice, the standard notice time (at least here in the US) is two weeks. You may or may not want to give them longer time. If you do not want to burn bridges, the longer notice you can give then the better that looks. And a lot of times when employers do reference checks at your old job they will ask how much notice you gave before you left.

Remember to keep your resignation letter professional. Do not tell them about all of the things that the company does wrong. Do not tell them how you do not like them or your co-workers or anything else. Think of it like when you are ending a romantic relationship – the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse works wonders for leaving jobs.

When writing the resignation letter you do not need to make it a long letter. It needs to be simple. The important thing is that it says that you are leaving the company and when that will happen. But if you are feeling punchy about your new job, you can give them some additional info. Just remember that less is more in this case.

Here is an example of a short and to the point resignation letter:

Dear (insert name of your boss here),

Please accept this letter as my resignation from my position as (insert job title here).

My last day will be on (insert date), two weeks from today(or however long it is).

Regards,

(your name)

Now, you could also do something a little longer too. I like to think of this one as the “please give me a good reference” letter:

Dear (insert name of your boss here),

Please accept this letter as my resignation from (company name) effective Thursday, November 15th, 2007 (or the correct date).

Working for (insert company name) has been a wonderful experience. I could not ask for a better group of colleagues. I have grown in many ways here and will always treasure the opportunities provided for me by (insert company name).

I will be accepting a position as (position) with (company name). While I will miss my friends here at (company name), I feel that it is time for a new challenge and experience.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Best Wishes,

(your name)

There are also many other examples of resignation letters online. So, if you are not sure what to write, just do a search for some examples.

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