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There is a right and a wrong way to resign: Resignation letters 101


There is a right and a wrong way to resign: Resignation letters 101

Resigning from your job can be met with a series of mixed emotions.

On one hand you may be excited because you have new and exciting job opportunities that you are moving towards.

You may also be nervous about that same new job, or maybe even relieved knowing you are leaving your current job.

You may also be sad to leave and unsure of what the future holds.

Regardless of what is true for you, there is a right and a wrong way to resign and set the process in motion.

Here’s how to do it the right way:


Back to basics

One of the most important things when it comes to writing your resignation letter is to remember that it should not be the first time that your boss hears of you leaving.

The purpose of the letter isn’t to announce your resignation as much as it is to formalize the announcement you have already made.

You need to speak to your boss in advance of delivering the letter, letting him or her know you are leaving and explaining the circumstances surrounding your departure.

From there, when you draft your letter, it just needs to contain the basic information, including the position you are vacating, and the date it is effective.

Say your thank yous

While you will (hopefully) thank your boss in person, the letter is also a suitable time to do so.

In the letter, thank your boss for the opportunity to work with him/her, indicating some of the things you have learned, and why you are grateful for this opportunity to work together.

Also, express your gratitude for their assistance in helping you be able to have a streamline and hassle-free termination of your position.

Even if the resignation has come with some hurdles, painting this positive picture will contribute to making it easier.

It will also increase the chances of making sure you leave the company on good terms, with a good reference.

Exit strategy

It is a common courtesy to your current employer to indicate how you are going to execute your exit strategy from the company.

In the letter, indicate to your boss what you plan to do to finish up your role in the position and to set things up for the new incoming staff.

Not only is this good advice for you in helping to try to keep things as amicable as possible around the office, but it is also important for fostering healthy long-term relationships with your colleagues and is helpful for the incoming hire.


Once you have spoken to your boss about your plans to move on to a new job opportunity, it’s time to get serious and draft a successful resignation letter using the pointers above. 

While the formalities are beneficial and important, don’t forget to take the opportunity to truly appreciate your last few days at work, what it means to you, and what you have learned from your time with the company.