Resignation Letter – How to Write a Resignation Letter

If you’re thinking of quitting your job then you’ll probably be expected to provide a resignation letter. You may have very legitimate reasons for handing in your notice, but however true it may be you can’t simply say, “I can get more money somewhere else and my boss is an idiot!” Don’t forget you may rely on these people to provide you with references either now or in the future (or realise your new job is worse and beg for your current one back!)

Read on to find out how to write a professional resignation letter so you don’t ruin your future career prospects. Here is an example of a situation when working out your notice and providing a good resignation letter is essential.

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Imagine you’re in a job that you hate, your boss gives you all the rubbish jobs that no one else is prepared to do, and the pay is not competitive. You start your job search to find a new more favourable post and after a couple of interviews you are offered an excellent position.

You don’t care about the job you’ve been in so you leave without saying anything to anyone and without handing in a resignation letter.

At the time it’s great, although you don’t receive your final pay cheque, it wasn’t much so you don’t miss it for long. A few years later you have been promoted and moved higher up. You’re feeling pretty good about your decisions. You are asked to attend a meeting for a new contract which could mean a bonus in your pay packet. As you enter the meeting you come face to face with your old boss who is now in charge of a new company and is not prepared to work with someone he considers unreliable – you. Oops.

As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” And as the motto suggests it is the personal relationships that you build up and how you interact with people which gets you ahead of the competition. By handing in your resignation letter and working out your notice you can help to protect your future prospects, not least ensuring you will receive a reasonable reference.

So how do you write a good resignation letter?

This can be difficult if you are handing in your notice for a personal reason for example if you don’t enjoy your job or get on with your colleagues, or even if you have been offered a better vacancy.

Where possible you should be honest, but of course you don’t want to make your boss angry. It is likely that your resignation letter will be forwarded to HR and higher management so they can understand staff turn-over.

When writing your resignation letter your aim is therefore to produce something where your boss can be absolved of any blame… unless of course you want the higher management to take an interest in their working practices and review it.

What to include in your letter of resignation:

  • Thank your employer for your time and opportunities in the post.
  • Explain briefly why you are leaving (if this is going to cause distress to your boss then make something believable up – not just that you’re fleeing the country if you might bump into someone)
  • If you really can’t think of any other reason, then use the all-time favourite that you’ve been offered a better package.

Example of a resignation letter

Dear Boss,

I am writing to advise you that I intend to terminate my contract of employment and my final working day will be 2nd August. I have accepted a post which is closer to my current home and suits my family commitments better.

Thank you for the opportunity I have had to work within this company. I have enjoyed many aspects and am grateful that I have been able to extend my knowledge within the engineering field.

I will work out my notice in full and of course will ensure that my accounts are dealt with and passed on to colleagues or new employees. My new job is due to commence on 10th August and I therefore have a short period of time which I could extend my notice period if required for training etc.

Thank you again for all your support and I wish you and the company every success in the future.

Yours sincerely,

photo by: carolyn

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