How to Write a Good Letter of Resignation

When you make the decision to leave your job, the workplace protocol includes writing a letter of resignation. In the best of circumstances, you will be leaving on good terms to pursue a better position, or a different career path. There are certain conditions that make it impossible for you to continue to work in an incompatible environment.

Whatever the reason for your resignation, your letter of resignation should be positive, focused and professional. Even if you have spoken to your supervisor in person, a written resignation letter is expected and appreciated. Here are some guidelines for you to consider when you write your letter.

General Information

A resignation letter should contain your employer’s contact information, as well as your own. Contact information includes name, title, company name, phone numbers, and email contact information. The date you are writing the letter should also be included. A letter is always better than an email when writing a letter of resignation.

Get to the Point

The next step is the actual statement of resignation. State your intention to leave the company and the date you will be leaving. Most companies expect a two-week notice. Your position in the company may require a longer notice. Try to follow company policy to assure a good reference if you need one.

Optional Information

You may want to include why you are leaving. Remember to be positive and professional. If you are leaving because you are angry or disgruntled, do not include that information in your letter. Focus on the future, not the past.

Offer to Help With the Transition

If you can be available to train your replacement, or make the transition easier, offer to do so. Your generosity in offering assistance will be appreciated.

Express Thanks and Appreciation

If your employment with the company has been pleasant and enjoyable, you can thank your supervisor. You may want to add a few details about your work experience. If you have had the benefit of outside training at the company’s expense, express your appreciation for the opportunity to enhance your skills. This is also a good time to ask your manager for a letter of reference or recommendation.

Wrap it Up

Your last sentences can reinforce your appreciation for the time you’ve spent with the company, and your willingness to assist in any way you can before your departure date. Close your letter with the usual sign-off, followed by your hand written signature.

Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "How to Write a Good Letter of Resignation," in PsychologyDictionary.org, January 26, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/article/how-to-write-a-good-letter-of-resignation/ (accessed December 10, 2018).
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