What is a resignation letter
A resignation letter is a formal statement advising an employer that you are leaving your job. Even when oral notification of your intentions has been given it is still advisable to put it in writing.
A good resignation letter can serve to keep bridges from being burned between you and your company. It's a very small world out there, meaning you should resist the temptation to give your employer a piece of your mind. Remember that you may need a employment reference from them in the future, so your letter should always be professional and polite. Your letter will almost certainly be archived and included in your employment file, and could possibly be shown to potential future employers - it could therefore come back to haunt you.
How to resign
The usual way to proceed is to first resign verbally and in person, and to then follow that up with a formal letter. The letter is commonly handed in at least two weeks prior to a leaving date, this time period allows the employer to make arrangements for your departure. Although you should note that some companies have different policies and may release an employee immediately, its therefore advisable to check the terms of your employment to see if there are any special clauses.
Tips when writing a resignations letter
- Check your company's termination policy, as some employers require a minimum of 4 weeks' notice for employee resignations.
- Bear in mind that the minute you submit your resignation letter, you could be told to pack your stuff and leave by the end of the day.
- Try to give your employer as much notice as possible, so they can have a reasonable amount of time in finding a replacement for you.
- Try to soften the blow of your departure by including positive points in your letter.
- Avoid discussing in detail your resignation plans with your work colleagues.
A resignation letter should be
- Simple and brief
- To the point
What to include in a resignation letter
- State that you are resigning.
- Mention the role you are resigning from.
- Give the current date.
- Mention the date you intend to leave.
- Give an appreciation of the time you spent with the company.
- Thank them for the opportunities they gave you during your employment.
- It is usually best to refer to the notice period in your contract as well.
- Contact information so that they can contact you if they have to.
- Criticize your employer or job. Negative statements should be avoided at all costs, as many companies will keep a resignation letter on file, and you may find yourself a few years down the line applying for a job with the very same company.
- Include any disparaging remarks about individual managers, co-workers, or subordinates.
- Give lengthy explanations about why you are resigning i.e. you were offered more money elsewhere. If you do feel the need to give your reasons then make them very brief.
- Use emotional or controversial language.
- Use slang or foul language.
When to give a reason for resigning
If you are leaving for positive reasons i.e. you are relocating or going back to education then it is fine to give these reasons. However if you are leaving because of a grievance then it's almost always wise never to mention the details.
Avoid criticising previous employers
Once you have made the decision to move on, it serves little purpose to criticise your employer or your job.
Addressing a resignation letter
As it is a personal document, and you will probably know your bosses first name you can start it off with a something like 'Dear Richard'.
Saying goodbye to co-workers
After handing in your notice it's polite to let your close work colleagues know that you are leaving. If you want to stay in touch with some of them then take their contact details or give yours to them. Its also advisable to not boast about any new job you are taking up.
Things to do before you leave your workplace
- Clean up your desk and computer.
- Delete all personal computer files and emails.
- Take the contact details of any colleagues you want to stay in touch with.
- You may want to consider asking for a reference from your employers before you leave.
- Make sure you tie up any loose ends and do not leave any important tasks or duties unfinished.
- Say goodbye to your close work colleagues personally or via an email.
Offering to help your employer during the 'transition period' of you leaving.
- Offer to train a fellow worker in your job role,
- Assist in helping them to find someone to replace you.
- Suggest a fellow member of staff who you think could do your job well.
Remember that even if your offer of assistance isn't accepted it will still be appreciated.
Reasons why people leave their jobs
- Found a better job.
- Relocation – moving away to a different area.
- Going back to into education.
- Career change.
- Pregnancy .
- Extreme dislike of their daily work duties.
- Bullying by managers, supervisors or co-workers.
- Salary is too low.
- Few or no opportunities for career advancement.
- Fear of being laid off in the near future.
- Having to commute long distances.
- A job role has changed from what it originally was.
- Bored with the work they have to do.
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