So, your days at the company you’re working are going to be finally over.
You’ve decided to move on to a new job, a new place or simply a new phase in life.
And, you need to stop working in the company.
Here comes the resignation letter.
So, how can you end your tenure gracefully?
There are many reasons that you may need to change your job. You’ve got some better opportunity. There are some family problems or personal crisis. There may be health issues; or simply your life was living hell here and you need to breathe out. No matter what be the reason, you’ll need to write a resignation letter in an appropriate manner.
This is your final good bye to the company and you should do it in a professional manner no matter what your grievances be, which they are going to be in most of the cases.
Also, remember that your previous employee is going to be your reference for further job options, so you do not want to mess with them.
Moreover, the resignation letter is mostly filed for future references. Therefore, you don’t want a rogue resignation letter to be seen by your prospective employer.
The importance of appropriate resignation letter
You are finally leaving your job with just one task pending.
And, that is submitting a resignation letter.
Generally, before handing over the resignation letter, you’ve a face-to-face talk with your employer or supervisor. You are then asked to submit your resignation letter.
A resignation letter is a way of saying a final Good Bye and thence should be done gracefully.
You have to mention the fact that you are resigning in clear-cut words.
Yes, people do mistakes in that too.
I’ve seen many people failing to convey this simple message. Their letter is so vague that it is not possible to judge that the person intends to leave the place.
So, use clear words like ‘I hereby resign officially..’ or ‘This letter is to notify you about my resignation..’ or ‘Accept my resignation..’.
These examples give a clear message that the person is resigning.
Always follow this with the date that the resignation will be effective.
Generally, it is expected of people to give a two weeks’ notice period or what your company policy says.
During this period, you hand over your duties to nest person in charge.
Then, you can offer your assistance to help during the transition period.
This, though not necessary, is expected as a general and polite behaviour.
You can also mention the great time or opportunities that you had at the workplace if you feel like it.
Just remember that you are ending your relations with the company. You can either abuse or shout and stomp out or just be graceful and be as helpful as you can and leave that final lasting impression.
And, a proper resignation letter is a good way of saying good-bye without any ill feelings.
What not to mention in your resignation letter
So, you’ve finally decided to move on.
You were fed up here and were looking for an opportunity to get out from this hellhole.
Or maybe you got selected at a very bigger and better place.
There are certain repressed emotions that you want to vent out before the final good bye.
However, before you let your feelings loose, do read out this list of don’ts.
Do not just rush into the office and throw your resignation at your boss’s face, show him the middle finger and shout at the top of your lungs, ‘I QUIT‘.
Yes, it may sound too tempting but no, you don’t behave that way.
You need your boss for your future reference.
You may be sure that he is not going to give a positive reference any way.
Still, this is not a professional manner to behave.
You may even be tempted to write your feelings about how this place sucks and how you are more than happy to get out of here.
However, again you don’t want to end things on a bitter note.
Whatever you feel for the place, you are leaving it. So, why bother with all this drama. Just remember, a hundred good deeds and nobody cares. And one misdemeanour and it will be written on stone.
Do not go on and on bragging about your new job or the incompetency of the current one.
A resignation letter is not a place for that.
A resignation letter is a one-page letter at the most.
Never go beyond that.
There are a certain points that you must include in the letter but apart from that, never convey your feelings in more than a few sentences.
You don’t want to submit a mini thesis as your resignation letter.
Do not write a resignation that is effective immediately unless it is absolutely mandatory.
Give a two week’s notice or whatever period it is mentioned in your company’s policy.
The notice period helps you to hand over your duties and projects to the person taking over.
Resignation letter and the notice period
It goes without saying that a notice period always is a part of your resignation letter.
You hand over your resignation letter and continue working until your notice period ends. This notice period is the period when you help the company in transition.
A new person will be filling up your shoes and you need to explain your duties to him.
Even if you are sure that your boss is going to relieve you immediately, do mention your notice period in the resignation.
Be clear and fully supportive from your side.
A notice period though expected in majority of cases can be laid off in any of the following scenarios.
- If your employer is abusive or has sexually harassed you, you can resign immediately. You can also seek legal help.
- If there are certain family issues that need your immediate attention, you may be unable to give a notice period.
- In case of medical emergencies, pregnancy issues and other such complications, a notice period becomes impossible.
- If your new job requires your immediate reporting, then you have to leave without completing the notice period. In such cases, if you wish, you can offer to support and be available for any doubts for a certain period of time to make the transition easy for the company. Such efforts are really appreciated by the employers and it may be useful to you in future as a positive reference.
So, these are the cases where you can simply let go of notice period and resign immediately.
Apart from this, it is expected from you to give a notice period to the company.
Also, note that in most of the states in US or maybe throughout the world, nobody can prevent you from leaving immediately.
It just leaves a bad note and you may be deprived of the benefits that company offers to candidate that leave the company according to the rules.
Also remember, that if your leaving the job causes a breach of contract or unfulfilled bonding period, you may be subject to penalty from the company.
Of course, it ultimately depends on what your reason for leaving is and how understanding your company is.
How to write the resignation letter
Now, let’s finally move to the proper method of a resignation letter. I’ll go through step-by-step explanation and example of the resignation letter.
A resignation letter should always start with your name, address and contact information.
This is followed by current date and then the person whom you are addressing the letter.
Generally, you’ve to address the letter to your immediate supervisor or the HR department. In both the cases, the letter will then be forwarded to the upper officials.
33-XYZ Street, Washington
Date: today’s date
The opening lines
Depending on the person you are addressing and your relation with them, you can either address the person by his first name or the name preceded by salutation.
Always start your resignation letter stating that you are resigning from the given post and when your resignation is due.
These lines should be stated clearly because this is the very reason that you are writing the resignation letter.
I hereby resign officially from the post of Python programmer effective (date after two weeks or the notice period).
Dear Ms Janice
Please accept my resignation from the post of Python programmer effective immediately.
Time for reliving the memories
This part although not necessary, it is good practice to mention some of the happy times that you’ve had in the company and also if there were any developmental milestones that you achieved during your tenure at the company.
No matter how your feelings are, do not end your job with a bitter tone.
I would like to thank you for such wonderful guidance and it was great working here. I have developed and obtained many skills while working here and they are going to help me wherever I go.
I would like to say that you’ve been a friend and a guide to me. The colleagues were also great. Thanks for the great support and opportunity.
Offer help during transition
This part again is optional.
You are leaving a void in the company and someone has to fill that gap.
It will be really helpful if you help the new person understand your responsibilities and duties.
You may also be working on some projects.
In that case, you need to hand the relevant files and give a brief explanation to the oncoming person.
Of course, this applies only if you are giving a notice period.
In case that you need to leave immediately, at least offer to be available for any help through call or mail (whatever’s suitable and possible) to help through transition.
Do let me know what I can do to ease the process of transition.
I would be happy to help understand and hand over my projects and files to a co-worker.
Although I am leaving immediately, I would like to help and clarify any doubts. I would try to reply immediately to your mails and messages for next two weeks to help with the transition.
End your letter with your name and handwritten signature.
Yours sincerely/ Sincerely
The resignation email
There are cases when you may not be able to hand in your resignation letter in person.
In such cases, you may write a resignation email.
Everything discussed above applies a resignation email too with a few minor changes.
You address the person directly in the mail body.
You can CC the HR department along with your supervisor.
When writing your name at the end of the Email, include your email and phone number.
Just make sure that you do write a resignation email if you are not able to deliver your resignation letter in person.
Revisiting the key points
So, let’s just summarise the key points on how to effectively write an impressive resignation letter.
- Address the resignation letter to the appropriate person.
- Do not ever mention any negative remarks in the resignation letter.
- Clearly mention that you are resigning and, also the date when you are going to leave.
- Try to give a notice period if possible and offer help for transition.
- Give your contact details in the resignation letter.
- Keep the length of your resignation letter to one page.
After giving your resignation, do discuss the benefits like gratuity funds or other investments that you did through the company with your supervisor or the responsible person.
Now, you see writing a good resignation letter is a piece of cake.
You just have to keep your feelings in check and be that perfect candidate that you once were when they selected you.