6 Tips For Writing a Professional Resignation Letter

One of the most often overlooked parts of leaving any job is the resignation letter, but it can often have a large effect on how you are remembered.

When you are transitioning from one job to another it’s natural to focus most of your time on your next opportunity, but taking care of unfinished business at your current employer is just as important. One of the most important aspects of this is the resignation letter.

The resignation letter serves as notice that you will be leaving the company and more importantly as a way to leave a good impression. A resignation letter goes into your employee file and is often an important part of your legacy at the company. How you are remembered at your old job can affect your future success in more ways than you may think.

So what should you include in a resignation letter? Remember that the letter is a written reminder that will be around long after you are gone; make sure it’s professional and accurately reflects your appreciation for the opportunity you’ve had. Here’s what you’ll want to include in it:

  • Explain very briefly why you are leaving, and do so in a positive way. Emphasize how your new opportunity is a better fit for you because of location, compensation, or other reasons that are out of your current employer’s control.
  • Include the date that you will be leaving. This is the simplest part of any resignation letter but is often missed by employees.
  • Thank your employer for the opportunity he or she has given you. Regardless of the reasons that you are leaving, it’s important to show appreciation to the person or people who hired you, managed you, and ideally helped you grow. Save this for the end of the letter so you can finish on a positive note.

The most important thing about a resignation letter isn’t always what you include in it, but instead what you leave out. Here are 3 things you should never include in your resignation letter:

1. Do not describe aspects of the current position that you did not enjoy. The goal of a resignation letter is to leave a good memory with your employer, not to pick a fight or have the last word.

2. Do not lie about the reasons that you are leaving. Focus on the benefits of your new opportunity as the reason behind your decision-making, but do not make anything up; any lies may come back to bite you down the road.

3. Do not make it generic. If you are not genuine in your letter it will not be remembered, and this is an ideal chance to leave a good impression. Make the letter specific to yourself, your new opportunity, and your employer.

These are some basic tips for writing a resignation letter however every situation is unique. If you’ve worked in your current role for at least a year you should have a good feel for how your boss thinks, and how the company culture operates – use that to your advantage. And just remember – you should leave a job the same way you started it; respectfully, professionally, and with appreciation.


Letter Writing Guide

Job Seekers Advice

About.com Job Search


Scroll to Top