Although you have worked hard to apply for the job that you have now, there will be instances when you will have to leave the company. In this case, you should leave the company on a positive note. You have to explain your reason behind resigning through a well-written resignation letter. The resignation letter you submit to your employer will help keep the professional relationship you have established.
Read on for more information about resignation letters.
Elements of a Resignation Letter
Your resignation letter will help you cordially communicate your wish to leave your post in the company. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the letter has all the information needed before it is submitted. Before you start drafting your resignation letter, here is a quick review of the essential elements a resignation letter should have:
- Professional tone: Regardless of the reason why you decided to resign, it is important to maintain a cordial and professional tone in your letter. In the corporate world, connections are important and you don’t want to burn bridges you have already built because of a badly written resignation letter.
- Pertinent information: Your resignation letter will deliver your message to your employer and that message should include information about why you decided to resign, when you plan to leave, and so on. Although you have already discussed the subject with your employer, it is important to reiterate it in the letter for formality and for recording.
- Expression of gratitude: Although you have had quite a tough time in the company, it is only right to say your thanks to your employer for the opportunities that have been afforded to you. You have to let your employer know you have appreciated what you learned and what you have experienced while being in the company.
- Specific date: In your resignation letter, it is important to include a specific date as your last day in the company. Including a specific date means the company can adjust some things that may become affected with your resignation. This will allow the company to prepare and plan out how to handle things or projects you will be leaving behind.
- A plan/solution: In case your resignation is immediate or sudden, it is important to offer a solution or a plan on how to easily and efficiently tend to your unfinished tasks. Offering a plan will greatly help your department or company with the transition of tasks and responsibilities since you best know what is needed to be done.
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Steps in Writing an Effective Resignation Letter
As mentioned, your resignation letter holds a big responsibility in making sure you leave the company as cordial as when you entered. Thus, it is important that you know how to properly and effectively write it so that you can convey the necessary information clearly. To help you out, here is a short and easy guide on how you can write an effective resignation letter:
- Indicate necessary addresses and date: Since this is a formal letter, make sure you indicate the return address or your address and contact information, the inside address or the address and contact information of the receiver, and the date when the letter was written. This is justified to the left side of the paper.
- Include salutation: The salutation of your letter serves as your first formal greeting. It is a sign of courtesy you extend to your reader especially since a resignation letter is formal and professional in nature. The salutation of your letter includes the word Dear + Sir/Madam + his/her last name; for example: Dear Sir Smith. Remember that in formal letters, a colon (:) is used after the last name instead of a comma (,).
- Immediately discuss the purpose: On the first paragraph of your letter, immediately discuss why there was a need to write it. Explain the purpose of the letter briefly; in this case, discuss your resignation. In this paragraph you also need to mention the exact date when you wish your resignation to take effect, that way your employer can make adjustments.
- Support introductory paragraph: In the second paragraph include supporting information about your decision to resign from your post. This is where you explain the reason behind your resignation. In addition to that, you can include a brief thank-you to your employer and/or apology for such a rush decision. The third paragraph of your letter should be where you extend a hand to help with the transition brought about by your resignation including necessary contact information; this will serve as your conclusion.
- Add complimentary close and signature line: The complimentary close should be aligned to your salutation. It is important to use a formal complimentary close like Respectfully, Cordially, Sincerely, Truly Yours, etc. The signature line should be two spaces below the complimentary close and should include your full name and position in the company.
Tips in Writing a Resignation Letter
To help make sure you write a resignation letter that cordially explains your reasons for resigning, here are some tips you can refer to while writing:
- Keep the letter short and concise.
- Avoid including unnecessary information.
- Be direct and straight to the point.
- Avoid going overboard in presenting your reasons.
- Clearly state you intention to resign from your current position.
- Specify the date you wish to formally exit the company.
- Avoid being overemotional.
- Follow a business, formal, or professional format in writing your letter.
- Use and maintain a professional language and tone.
- Show respect and professionalism through your letter.
- Make a draft before finalizing your letter.
- Proofread and edit errors.
What not to include in your resignation letter:
- Name of the company you’re going to work for next
- Thoughts about the previous job and the management
- Details around insurance continuation, your schedule or priorities during your notice period or any other work-related matters
- Suggestion for people to replace you
- Comments, suggestions, or complaints for the previous job
- Questions or requests regarding your pay and benefits
- Any type of request for your manager
- Giving or stating promises
- Any type of criticism toward your work responsibilities and coworkers
- Other personal disclosures
Types of Resignation Letters
Submitting a resignation letter is a standard for any company before you can truly leave your post. It is a must to write in letter your reason/s behind your decision to resign and the exact date you wish to leave. In this case, there are basically just two types of resignation letter. These types will be discussed further below:
- Resignation Letter with Notice: It is ideal to have some sort of a notice before you submit your resignation letter, either you submit a formal notice or a have a one-on-one talk about your employer prior to your resignation. It is standard to give a notice at least a two weeks prior. The resignation letter will serve as a follow-up to the notice you have given beforehand.
- Immediate Resignation Letter: In certain circumstances, there might be no time left for a notice to be given weeks before your resignation. In this case, an immediate resignation letter takes immediate effectivity since the reason is valid, e.g. health reasons, sudden transferal, moving to another state, etc.
Resignation Letter Sizes
Since a resignation letter is a formal or professional letter, it needs be written and printed on the standard required paper size. In this case, the paper size should be 8.5” × 11”. There is no exception for the size of any formal letters.
Resignation Letter FAQs
Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about resignation letters:
1. Is it important to include a return address in a resignation letter?
In any formal letter, it is important to include a return address; the same goes for a resignation letter. The return address will indicate who the letter is from before even the reader gets to the signature line part of the letter. In addition, it ensures that a name, address, and contact information is available should the company send a reply mail.
2. How to professionally resign/quit a job?
It is important that you talk and sort things out with your current employer beforehand; this will serve as your resignation notice. Then, write and submit your resignation letter indicating the effectivity or when your last day in the office will be. Make sure that you instruct or train someone from your team to continue your ongoing tasks/projects. Remember to leave a positive remark; make sure you maintain a cordial attitude upon your exit.
3. Can you resign by email?
Although it is ideal to resign in person and send a follow-up resignation letter, there will be circumstances when you can only send a formal email as your resignation letter, and that is acceptable. Just make sure that you comply with other resignation protocols your company has in place in order to avoid having additional problems.