Once your career is in full swing, progress within your field through promotions and new job prospects are to be expected by both you and your current manager. Whether it is through advancing within the company you work in or by applying for jobs elsewhere that fit your qualifications better, career development is expected. In the event that you find another position that offers you better prospects and thus wish to leave your job, writing and submitting a formal resignation letter is very important. The more professional and grateful your resignation letter is, the easier it will be to maintain a good relationship with your previous employer. You never know when a job reference may be required!
Your resignation letter is a formal document that becomes part of your employment file at the company where you have been working. So no matter how much you hate working there, no matter how much your boss undermines you, you must maintain a level of professionalism. That letter could come back to haunt you one day after all.
What to Include
- Reason why you are leaving
- When your last day is
- Reference to your contracted notice period
- Number of holidays you have accrued and how you would like to take them
- Thanks for the opportunity and experience you have gained from working there
How to write your resignation letter…
- Keep it professional. Do not share any negative opinions you have (at this point, anyway)
- Keep it brief. Give the necessary information but do not delve too deep, you could end up landing yourself in it so to speak.
- Keep it positive. Talk about your gratitude for the opportunity they gave you to work there and be thankful. Say you would like to keep in touch for example. The more positive you are, the harder it will be for your manager to make your life a living hell during your notice period.
As stated, the first rule of writing a resignation letter is to keep it as brief and to the point as possible. Many people are worried about writing one and so they babble on far too long than needed.
Try and keep the tone of the letter positive too. By writing a professional yet positive sounding letter, it is easier to ensure that you terminate your employment on good terms with your employer.
Depending on your terms of employment, there will be a specific period of notice that you will be expected to consider. This could be anything from 2 to 6 weeks long, or more depending on how long you have worked at the company for. This transition period is important, as it will allow the company to find a replacement. Don’t be alarmed if they ask you to train the new recruit either. You may in fact spend your notice period working with your replacement.
Overall,as it is a professional document, avoid being offensive in any way. Certainly never write down that you are leaving the company because ‘I hate working here and you are all a bunch of a************’. Remember, these are people who are going to give you a reference for the next job. Even if they were the most vile people on earth, be polite and get a good reference under your belt first. Don’t do yourself any damage here.