How To Write A Resignation Letter

resignation-letterFor many of us, writing a great resignation letter is far more difficult than writing a great resume.

A resignation letter symbolizes the end of a professional relationship — one was probably accompanied by valued friendships and mutual respect.

And you certainly don’t want to burn any bridges, because your previous jobs and previous bosses will continue to play a role in your career path somewhere along the way.

Whether they simply write reference letters for you or if you manage to use your earlier experiences as a way to step up the career ladder, your prior business relationships are just as important as your futures ones.

That said, there is proper etiquette to writing a resignation letter these days…


Face-To-Face Resignation

Although a formal resignation letter is a great way to say goodbye to an old job, it’s better if you resign in person first.

In a face-to-face meeting, you can explain that you will no longer be working for the company in a much more personal way than a letter can convey.

Using a resignation letter alone to leave a job can seem cold or indifferent, and this could have a negative impact on your future relationship with this employer.

In case you’re wondering if you could get away with emailing your letter of resignation, there are 2 schools of thought on this:


How To Write A Resignation Letter

There are several steps to writing a good resignation letter.

Here are 3 key requirements:


#1  Determine the exact date that your job will end.

When you plan to leave your job is often more important than why you plan to leave your job.

The departure date is important because it gives your employer an opportunity to develop time management deadlines for handling the vacant position.

A resignation date also serves as a way for both you and your employer to receive true closure and move forward with future plans.


#2  Express your appreciation for the job.

Even if you hated your employer, coworkers, and the job itself, it’s best not to express those feelings in your resignation letter.

Instead, mention only the positive things and the good things about the company that you will remember.

That doesn’t mean your resignation letter has to be composed of lies. But it should stick to the positive ways in which working for the company has benefited you and the company.

Even if you feel as if you have not benefited at all from this job, keep in mind that every job opportunity helps you to develop personally. This can always be expressed in the letter.

TIP: If you’re resigning from this job due to positive circumstances (maybe you’re moving due to your husband’s job, going back to school, or simply advancing in your chosen field), then it’s fine to include the reason in your resignation letter. However, if you’re resigning due to negative circumstances (because you don’t like the job, don’t get along with co-workers, etc.) then there’s no need to mention the reason.


#3  Keep it short and to the point.

Your resignation letter doesn’t have to be long and cover every little detail. In fact, the shorter the better.

A straightforward and succinct resignation letter simply gives the company a record of your intention to part ways from an employer.

It should be short, sweet, respectful, and to the point.

Most professional resignation letters are no longer than one page. If you feel that you can’t express yourself in a 1-page letter, then you may want to schedule a meeting with your employer to explain your departure in greater depth.



If you are gracious when resigning from your job, then you are far more likely to get a reference from your boss in the future.

Of course, you should also ask your boss and colleagues if they would be willing to provide a reference for you in written form. References will come in handy for future employment opportunities.


More Tips Before You Leave Your Job

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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