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How to write a good resignation letter?

How to write a good resignation letter?

Make a resignation formal with a letter

To quit your job properly, you will need to put it in writing. If you have just been offered a new job, then do this sooner rather than later so that you can set a start date.

Stick to the following advice on how to use a resignation letter template:

  1. Keep it short – There is no need to add lengthy explanations; if you need to get something off your chest, albeit in a professional manner, you can do so in a private conversation with your manager.
  2. Adapt it to your contract – Showing that you have considered the terms in your contract shows that your decision is thought through and it avoids any nasty surprises.
  3. Keep a professional tone – While you might be on friendly terms with your manager, remember that a resignation is to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Address your manager formally.

Download the relevant template and simply fill in your personal details to get the ball rolling in the next step of your career.

What Should I Include in my Resignation Letter?

Whether you can't wait to escape the clutches of your current employer, or will genuinely be sad to leave, writing a resignation letter is a key career tool. Get it wrong and you could leave with bad feelings – you never know when your paths may cross again. Even if you verbally hand in your notice, you must formalise it with a letter.

Resignation letter format

Begin as you would any other formal letter, suitably addressed and dated.

Date on a letter

It is important to include the date on the resignation letter in the top left line above the address. The date is important as it shows when the letter was originally written. The date format in the UK is day-month-year: 1 July 2018

Address on letter

The address should be in the same format as a traditional business letter template. The company name on the first line, followed by the street address, city and post code.

Addressing a letter

The addressee will usually be your line manager – you should use their first name. If you think it is necessary, you can address a larger audience such as unit, team, department, or the whole company. But we wouldn’t suggest this as best practice.

Reason for resignation

Explain your intention to resign along with a brief explanation of your reasons for leaving. People leave their jobs for different reasons so get to the point at the beginning of your letter. This is a great opportunity for you to maintain a positive relationship with your soon-to-be ex-employer, and explain your reasons in a clear and rational way.

It's best to keep this to the one main reason – you're employer doesn't want to read through a long list of why you hated your job so much. If it's a combination of factors, try and stick to whichever is most poignant.

Resignation date

State the date that you believe will be your official leaving date which can be calculated by looking at the notice period stated in your contract. Typically it will be a month but could be much longer for senior positions.

Notice of resignation

Also state your willingness to work your full notice period. It's not your decision whether you will have the luxury of ‘greenlining leave' or not and any negotiation on leaving earlier than your official notice should be done verbally.

Thanking your boss

If you are leaving in good circumstances then it is a good idea to thank your boss for the opportunities that they presented to you or for the experience gained whilst working for the company. After all, you may need to get a reference from them.

 Even if you are leaving under a cloud, resist the temptation to bad mouth and let off steam. Remember the old adage, ‘don't burn your bridges'.

Handle your resignation letter like you would any business document – professionally. Make sure you leave behind a lasting positive impression of yourself. Unless you want to undo everything that you have accomplished since you first started in this job, your departure must be as deliberate as your arrival.

Closing and signature

The closing is how you end your resignation letter: it should be short and polite. You should start your closing two lines below your final body paragraph. Popular closings include Best regardsSincerely, and Yours truly.

Resignation letter templates

If you are still unsure about what to include in your resignation letter, use one of the templates below. Each is designed to be the ideal tool no matter what sort of job you happen to be resigning from.

– This template provides you the right guidance for writing a simple resignation letter. It gets the job done positively and is suited to organisations which require you to inform both your line manager and Human Resources departments at the same time. It is also suited to people who have been working in their job for a long time and would like to go into detail about their reasons for leaving, perhaps providing feedback.

– This template covers the essentials, but nothing else. It is most suited to people who are unhappy but who do not wish to say anything that might harm getting a good reference.

– This template helps you to request a reduced or shorter notice period than your contract allows for. It is useful if you want to start your new job as soon as possible.

 – This template is ideal for people who have decided to retire and who are not moving on to another job in their career.

It is usually a good idea to obtain an acknowledgement of receipt for a letter of resignation - whether by hand or by email. This should ensure there are no later disputes about when notice was formally given.


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