How to Write a Letter of Resignation

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How to Write a Letter of Resignation
You are ready to leave your job, but how do you let your boss and organization know? With a classy letter of resignation.

The decision to leave a job is never easy, and there are always many factors to consider. You may have received a
better offer, be taking time off for family, or feel dissatisfied with your employer. Whatever the reason, a formal letter of
resignation (in business letter format) is essential. While the requirements of such a letter are fairly simple, it is important
to put in the effort to make the letter cordial and professional, as it will stay within the company’s human resource
files for years to come.
A letter of resignation should always contain the following information:
1) A clear statement that you are leaving.
Clear, simple, and concise, this sentence (generally the opener) can be as straightforward as “I have decided to
tender my resignation” or “I hereby tender my resignation from Acme Nuts & Bolts, Inc.”
2) The date that your resignation takes effect.
Like the first statement, this information should be to the point: “My last day of work will be February 30,
2007.”
3) A thank you to your supervisor for the opportunity to work at the organization.
This can often be to the most difficult section to write, especially if you are leaving your job because you are unhappy
with your supervisor, another staff member, or the organization itself. The letter of resignation, however, is not the
appropriate place to mention these problems. A mild statement like “I appreciate having worked with you and I
wish you and Acme Nuts & Bolts continued success” will ensure that you maintain a level of professionalism,
whatever the circumstances.
If you are leaving a job for a reason other than dissatisfaction, it can be appropriate to include that reason in your letter of
resignation to put it on record. Situations like the relocation of a spouse or partner, entering a degree program, or
receiving an offer with increased responsibility are all appropriate to include, and can offer your supervisor and co-
workers clarity as to why you are leaving. You should incorporate these details in as positive a manner as possible. For
example: “I have been offered a position that offers me a supervisory role, and I am looking forward to using the
skills that I have learned at Acme in my new position.”
To close your letter, it is gracious to not only reiterate your thanks, but to also formally offer to aid in the transition of a
new person into your position. If you have a friendly, familiar relationship with your supervisor, you may want to thank
him/her more personally, but keep in mind that many people are going to read your letter, and mentioning anyone by
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name (or not mentioning anyone) could be dangerous.
Finally, hand-deliver your letter to your supervisor (or whoever was responsible for hiring and evaluating you) and copy
the company’s human resources department if there is one. Do not send a letter of resignation by email or fax as
the medium is too informal and your email could be lost or marked as spam. If you follow all of these steps, you will leave
your job with grace and professionalism.

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