How to write a resignation letter

by Heat Recruitment

When you feel it’s coming to the end of your time at a company, a resignation letter may be the resource you need to finalise your contract. It can be a nerve-wracking process. After all, you don’t want to offend anybody, and you have to get some important information across.

It’s not a legal obligation to write a resignation letter, however it is a polite, informative and decisive way to let your manager know that you have decided to move on. With that in mind, it’s important to get the written content right. So, how can you?

Target it

As mentioned, it’s likely it’s your manager you are going to write it to. No matter what your relationship is like with them, the letter still needs to be professionally addressed in a clear and concise manner. The last thing you want is it landing on the wrong desk.

Format

Keeping to a clean layout will not only make the letter easier to read, but easier to write as well. The standard order of format is as follows:

  • Date
  • Managers name
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Body of text
  • Sign off
  • Printed name

Get your tone right

For whatever reason you are leaving, it is of the utmost importance to be both considerate and courteous. The perfect tone is the ideal blend between professional and gracious in order to keep to mirror the style of the document. Overkill on the professional tone however can make it sound impersonal. This is why it’s important to include a short paragraph outlining why you are grateful for the opportunity to work with the company. You can also add what you have learned and how you have developed whilst working there.

Be sure to leave humour, snarky comments or insults at the door with this one.

Justify your decision

Of course, you’re not required at all to justify why your leaving, but you can absolutely mention the next opportunity you are taking up. Be sure to explain why, personally, this is an important move for you, how it will develop your skills and what you aim to get from this. Receiving a resignation letter is the perfect opportunity for your manager to give you a counter-offer if they really want to keep you. Mentioning your next endeavour could help to communicate what it is you want from your career. If a counter-offer isn’t up for discussion, at least you are reassuring the employer on your choice.

Proof check

It goes without saying that you should proof check any written content that goes over to your manager. But this is a personal one. It’s your last chance to make an impact with your manager. Ensure that it is accurately laid out, that the language used is precise and accurate and that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes on the page.

Finally seal in an envelope and preferably hand deliver it to your manager. You can always email, but the personal touch may go a long way!

If all this talk of resignation has got you reaching for the pen, make sure you take a look at our helpful online template for writing your resignation letter.

Resignation Letter Templates

By Chris Birtle