Imagine a moment of clarity where you decide to turn over a new leaf, start fresh, and pursue new opportunities. It’s a new day and you sit down in your cubicle with this tough decision in your mind, trying to weigh the pros and cons again like you did before, almost a hundredth time now. You finally move on to drafting a resignation letter, once submitted this document would move on to shape your professional future.
A lot would depend on how you prepare your resignation letter as it would affect your impression and relations with your current company and your future image in your work field. Therefore, a well-drafted resignation letter becomes the need of the hour which could help portray professionalism and sustain positive relations in one’s professional network. But how exactly do you define a good resignation letter and how do you write an effective one?
What is a Professional Resignation Letter?
To begin with, a professional resignation letter is a formal document that informs your employer that you are quitting your job. It consists of the details of your resignation from the employment including the reason and your end date. You can submit your resignation via email or in a hard copy document version. It is always good to send your resignation letter two weeks before your end date (three weeks before if your role is hard to fill) to make it easier for the employer to manage your work while arranging for a replacement. Furthermore, a two-week prior notice also allows you to support onboarding the new employee and fill them in on their roles and responsibilities.
The Necessity of Writing a Letter of Resignation
Generally, it leaves a good impression if you write a resignation letter. However, in many jobs, authorities appreciate if you inform your employer face to face or on a video call that you are resigning, which doesn’t require a resignation letter. In some jobs to maintain formal records they encourage their employees to give a formal resignation letter via mail or a hard copy document.
Moreover, the terms of your job decide the resignation letter necessity; for instance, legally an at-will employee is not required to give a notice before resigning. However, it is advisable for an employee to either read an employee contract or approach a senior to know the terms and process of resignation.
Additionally, sending in a resignation letter gives your boss a chance to respond and to retain you in the organization by proposing a great counteroffer. Here you could also thank your employer for the opportunity and the work position that they provided you with. This portrays your appreciation and respect for them and creates a positive relationship with your employer which could help you when you need a reference from them in the future.
Ultimately, the resignation letter could be held as a formal document of your resignation and would come in handy for future reference in case of disputes, misunderstandings, or mere information retrieval.
Process of Handing in a Professional Resignation Letter
The ideal and efficient way to resign is to inform your boss or manager in person. However, in some cases, it is not possible therefore one can convey this message through a resignation letter.
Nevertheless, you need to inform your employer first (in detail if you wish), following which you can hand in the resignation letter which could include a brief explanation of the why, when, and how of your resignation. This leaves a professional and respectful impact on your employer while giving them some alone time to process the news.
Lastly, after sending in the resignation letter, you also need to let your team members know about your quitting and your plans while also thanking them for their help and support throughout your time in the organization. This could be helpful given that you are in the same social circle or might see them in the future.
Now you know the necessity and the process of handing in a resignation letter, but how do you write a resignation letter?
Format of a Professional Resignation Letter (how to write one)
The format is quite simple and consists of five important components: the reason, the date of resignation, appreciation for the opportunity, the offer to help with the transition and the signature.
Moving on, the structure of the resignation letter includes these components in the order
1. Date and Salutation
It is usually mandatory to write the date in formal letters or documents to keep a record of when it was submitted.
The date should then be followed by a formal salutation which could either be addressed to the HR department or your employer (as in your manager who you work under). However, the letter could also be addressed either to your team or the organization as a whole (it depends on whom your organization’s terms and policy tell you to address it to). General salutations like ‘dear’ or ‘respected’ with the individual first and last name should be used or if you are closer to the individual you can also just use their first name.
2. Statement of Resignation and Reasoning
One needs to immediately follow the salutation with a statement of resignation that starts with the fact that they are resigning. Here you need to mention what is your current position that you are resigning from along with the resignation date, the advisable time is to resign two weeks after sending in your resignation letter. However, your resignation date can differ depending on your situation and urgency.
Lastly, the statement of resignation also includes a brief explanation of why you are resigning (remember to not make it feel as if you are ranting!).
That being said, a lot of resignation letters do not have the reason for resignation (as they may have already discussed it with their employer in detail before as mentioned above or they do not wish to reveal it unless the employer asks for a reason). Thus, you don’t necessarily need to mention a reason for resignation unless you are asked to do so.
Expressing gratitude towards the organization can help create a positive image for you in the employer’s mind. Mentioning what you are grateful for always makes an impression and helps maintain good bonds. You could include projects that you were excited about or the accomplishments that you made on the way with their support as they contributed to your career growth throughout your journey with them.
4. Offer to Help with the Transition
In this paragraph, you can offer to help with the transition stating that you would be happy to help in making the transition easier for the organization as well. This assistance could include contributing to the recruiting or training of the replacement. It is not necessary to specify your actions (do not promise anything), just an assistance offer is fine. This could help in the closure between you and the organization ending the job relation with a sense of amiability and respect from both sides.
Finally, close your resignation letter with closing remarks like “I wish the organization sustained prosperity” and am looking forward to staying in contact. Subsequently, use a formal sign-off like “sincerely XYZ” and add your signature below with a mode to contact you (email or phone number).
Below is a template that contains a standard format for a resignation letter and could be used as a prototype to help write resignation letters:
Dear [Organization name/ HR department/ Supervisor first and last name],
Please accept my resignation from the ABC organization through this formal letter of resignation. I am resigning from the position of [job title] effective from [your last working day – two weeks from the day you hand in the resignation]. The reason for my resignation is [whatever the reason (optional)].
I truly appreciate the opportunity and position that was provided to me by this organization and the time I spent here. This job undoubtedly contributed to my career growth in the past [the number of years you spent in the organization]. I have learned a lot of important lessons that I will carry forward in the future throughout my professional life.
I would be happy to help in ensuring a smooth transition through training and explaining the roles and responsibilities to my replacement. Concurrently, I will wrap up my responsibilities and assignments before I quit. Please let me know if there’s any help I could provide for a seamless transition.
I wish the organization sustained prosperity and am looking forward to staying in contact.
Contact details – [your email and/or phone number]
What to Avoid in a Resignation Letter
Resignation letters need to be formal and to the point. As they are put on the permanent record by the organization you need to make sure that whatever you write in it is sensible and does not include content that could cause misunderstandings and issues in the future causing casualties and impacting the relations between you and the organization. Hence, below are some of the actions that you need to avoid while writing a resignation letter –
1. Avoid Errors
First and the most basic rule is to proofread your letter thoroughly before you send it in and avoid any errors as they could cause a bad impression on your side. Make sure to use a neutral or formal tone. One practice that you could follow is understanding the letter from another person’s point of view. This means that you could ask someone from your friends or family to as sometimes you can oversee the mistakes that someone else might prominently notice
2. Avoid Complaining or Ranting
As mentioned several times before, do not treat your resignation letter as a medium for complaining or whistle-blowing. This document would be on record and if it would ever be used for future reference or viewing it would set a bad impression on your side making it difficult to maintain harmonious interactions. Also, do not make the mistake of writing how happy you are about leaving the organization even if you had a negative experience if you want to maintain ties with them and use them for future referrals. So you need to avoid criticizing or providing feedback to improve the organization’s shortcomings. You could provide them during exit interviews (refer to the first question of people also ask section)
3. Avoid Preaching
The resignation letter is not the right medium for giving the organization instructions on how to perform your job responsibilities in your absence. Firstly, they might already have a rough idea of how to do it since they may have taught you and told you about the same when you were a new employee. Secondly, if your role is a bit difficult to understand you can cover this while offering to help during the transition as mentioned above in the standard template.
4. Avoid Lengthy Resignation Letters
Nobody would have the time to read a lengthy and detailed resignation letter. They just need to know the details in brief and add them to the record. Therefore, avoid stretching your explanation as to why you have decided to leave your job. You only have to explain in detail if the organization specifically asks for it (or if you want it during a face-to-face conversation with your employer).
Examples of Professional Resignation Letters
While numerous resignation letter samples can be found on the internet, we have created a selection of resignation letter examples that encompass many of the aforementioned points. Here are a few of them:
Sample Resignation Letter and Request for Experience Certificate
Dear Ms. Natasha Carter
I kindly request you to accept my resignation letter as a formal document for my resignation from Red Room Private Limited as I am resigning from the position of Social Media Managing Intern effective from 27 September 2023. I have served at this Organization from 27 August 2021 and will serve till my last working day.
The reason for my departure is my further studies because I am planning to pursue my Masters in Mass Media.
I had an amazing and knowledgeable journey at this organization. I truly appreciate you for presenting me with this opportunity and contributing to my career growth by providing resources and training.
Before I leave I would be happy to help with assisting the replacement to ensure a smooth transition. I will also complete all my pending assignments and responsibilities before quitting.
Additionally, I am also writing this letter to acquire my experience certificate. I would request you for the same as it would immensely help me with professional advancement.
I wish the organization prolonged success and would love to stay in contact.
Professional Resignation Letter with Immediate Effect
Dear Xe Wade Lokison,
I would request you to accept my resignation from Xaviers incorporated through this resignation letter as I am resigning from the role of security head effective from 6 March 2023. The reason for my resignation from this post with such short notice is due to some chronic mental health issues. I deeply apologize for such inconvenience caused, however, I hope that you understand my condition and urgency.
I am very grateful for the opportunities that this company provided me within the past 5 years. It has truly been a very knowledgeable journey where I learned something new from every person in this organization. Surely, I hope to use these lessons in my later life if I am ever able to.
I would be obliged if you could consider the same and I would be willing to help as much as I could to assist in the transition avoid any hassles and complete any formalities online.
I wish Xaviers Incorporated continued progress and prosperity and hope to stay in contact. Thank you for your time and once again apologies for the lack of notice period.
A Very Brief Resignation Letter
Dear Mr. Bruce Barton
Please accept my resignation letter from Gamma Enterprises as a formal document of resignation as I am resigning from the post of associate sales manager effective 26 April 2019.
I deeply appreciate working at Gamma as it contributed to my career growth over the past 3 years. Additionally, I am grateful to this organization for providing me with opportunities and resources to grow. I would like to show my gratitude towards the organization by assisting to ensure a smooth transition after I wrap up my assignments and responsibilities before I quit.
I wish the organization continued prosperity while looking forward to staying in contact.
Resignation letters are not just a formal document to maintain on the record. They are a medium for closure between the sender and the organization and a medium to ensure staying in contact and maintaining positive relationships. Remembering these key aspects while drafting a resignation letter will help you make you seem more professional, reflect your gratitude, and help you gain more future opportunities ultimately ensuring persistent prosperity.
People Also Ask
Q) Are resignation letters confidential?
Answer – Remember that the resignation letter might not necessarily be confidential. It could be put on a permanent record for later review and reference. Therefore, you need to make sure to write the resignation letter as an official document formally. Avoid adding complaints (unless it is one of the reasons for your resignation, then you can add it but remember to make it short so it doesn’t look like ranting), whistle-blowing, or making it overly detailed as you may need them to give you a reference in future as mentioned before. To do the above activities you can request an exit interview from HR.
Q) Is it professional to email a resignation letter?
Answer – It is very professional to email a resignation letter and it also is a good idea since a soft copy of the resignation could be quickly and easily retrievable as compared to the hard copy or the document form. In some organizations, it is required for the employee to mail the resignation letters for documentation purposes. Therefore, it is advisable to check the mode of submission required by the company before drafting the resignation letter.
Q) What is the quiet resignation trend?
Answer – Quiet resignation also known as quiet quitting is when the employees do the bare minimum to keep their jobs and have a silent departure from their jobs as they do not feel satisfied doing so but continue doing so for financial reasons. This trend saw a surge during the pandemic era as it became a wake-up call (or a trigger point) for people who were working even with a lack of job satisfaction, low pay grades, and less respect at their workplace.
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