Have you decided to move on from your current job? While giving two weeks’ notice is important, it isn’t the final step in leaving your position. Submitting a formal resignation letter is also important, whether you’re leaving for a new position, to focus on family, or for another reason. A resignation letter is an important professional step that helps ensure you leave on a good note. This could be beneficial to you in the future if you decide to seek employment elsewhere or hope to return to the same company.
Do you remember how much effort you put into your cover letter and resume when you originally applied for your current position? You should put just as much effort into your resignation letter. A poorly written letter is tacky and gives the impression that you don’t care about the company or how your leaving affects it. Luckily, you can study these etiquette tips and resignation letter templates and model your own document after them to create a well-written, high-quality letter.
Resignation Letter Templates
Formal Resignation Letter With Notice Period
Do you know you need to leave your position on a certain date? Perhaps you’re moving out of state for a spouse’s job, or maybe you want to focus on being with your children. Such a situation requires a formal resignation letter that provides as much notice as possible to your supervisor. Check out our resignation letter templates for ideas.
Immediate Resignation Letter
You should make every effort to provide notice, but circumstances don’t always allow for it. You may need to resign immediately if you’ve had a personal crisis that renders you unable to work for the foreseeable future. If this has happened to you, our immediate resignation letter templates are a good place to start.
Letter of Resignation for New Job
When a promotional opportunity prompts you to accept a new job, you’ll need a letter of resignation to let your current supervisor know you’re moving on. Present your letter a minimum of two weeks before you leave, providing the specific date you plan to leave. Use our resignation letter templates for guidance in resigning with class and style.
Director Resignation Letter
As a director, it’s critical for you to resign professionally, regardless of whether you’ve decided to retire or are simply stepping down to focus on other endeavors. Your resignation letter should express gratitude for the honor of serving and, if possible, name your successor. Our resignation letter templates can assist you in producing a polished, dignified missive of your own.
Resignation Letter Writing Etiquette
1. Get straight to the point
Don’t be too creative when writing your resignation letter. You don’t need a fancy lead-in, and you don’t need to provide a lot of detail about why you’re resigning. Simply begin your letter by stating your name, the position you’re resigning from, and the date your resignation takes effect. It is also crucial to avoid grandiose language that might make you seem pretentious or rude.
2. Be appreciative
Regardless of the reason you are leaving your existing position, it is important to be appreciative of your time with the company. Avoid providing an empty “thank you” with nothing more to say. You can show that your appreciation is heartfelt by listing two or three things you learned or enjoyed about your position or your time with the employer. Leaving on a positive note makes it more likely you will get a good reference if you need one in the future.
3. Be professional
Some companies take pride in fostering a relaxed work environment, where supervisors and subordinates interact more like peers. However, a resignation letter is not the time to take advantage of a company’s casual atmosphere. Always keep your letter as professional as the resignation letter templates provided. Address the document to your supervisor using his or her full name and title, and employ respectful, courteous verbiage throughout. Even the most casual office wants to see that you take things seriously when resigning, especially if you will be doing so immediately and leaving your department in a bind.
4. Include your reason for leaving
It is polite to let your supervisor and the human resources department know why you are resigning your position. You can simply state that you have a medical issue, a new job offer, or whatever other rationale fits your situation. If the reason you’re leaving is salary, you might even receive an offer of increased compensation from your existing employer and end up rethinking your resignation. Avoid going into too much detail, however, especially if you are leaving to take care of your children or to deal with a medical condition. These reasons may come up during future employment reference checks and could prompt a new company to decide against hiring you out of fear that you might need to resign again.
5. Don’t criticize
Even if the reason you are resigning is that you have had a negative experience with the company, such as contentious interactions with a supervisor or a co-worker, avoid pointing out or criticizing such circumstances in your resignation letter. Doing so makes you seem dramatic and unprofessional, and the company may mention this if another potential employer calls about you in the future.
6. Offer your help
Unless your resignation is effective immediately, it is always a good idea to offer to help find and train the employee who will replace you. Remember that your employer likely won’t benefit from your resignation and may even suffer a downturn in productivity if your replacement isn’t ready to work independently by the time you leave. By offering some of your time to find and train a replacement, you show your supervisor that you care about the company and still want it to succeed, even after you are gone. If you are a director or upper-level manager and already know who will succeed you, you can provide his or her name in your resignation letter.
7. Keep quiet until you present your letter
If you are resigning to chase a better career opportunity, it can be tempting to tell your peers at work that you are moving on to greener pastures. However, never do this before presenting a formal resignation letter to your supervisor and the human resources department. If management personnel find out that you are leaving from another source, they will likely look unfavorably upon you and might even decide to let you go before you can formally resign.
8. Present the letter in person
Typical office etiquette indicates that you should resign in person at the time that you present your letter. If you can, sit down with your supervisor to explain the situation face-to-face, tell him or her when you will be leaving, and offer to help with the transition period. Only skip this step if company policy dictates it, or if you have no other choice due to a fast and unexpected departure.
9. Follow company procedure
Even though many companies have the same basic expectations, always check with your employer’s human resources department to ensure you are following the proper procedures for resigning. In addition to an in-person meeting and a formal letter of resignation, HR may require other specific documents to make your resignation official. Follow company procedure carefully to ensure that you leave on good terms. If you skip steps, the company may brand you as an employee who quit with no notice rather than one who resigned.
10. Don’t brag about your new job
If you are leaving your current position for one closer to home or one that has higher pay or better benefits, don’t brag about it, whether in your resignation letter or in the office. Doing so is ill-mannered and makes you look insincere about appreciating your time with your employer and being willing to train your replacement. All you need to say is that a new opportunity came up that you decided to take advantage of.