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How to Write a Resignation Letter

Yay!  You found a new job!  Congratulations!  This is an exciting time of new beginnings for you.  However, there are a few tasks that you need to complete in order to manage this transition.  The first of those is writing your resignation letter.  Here are some tips that will help you write a resignation letter with professionalism and grace.

Be formal.  Your resignation letter is a formal document that may be forwarded around and that will be put into your employee file.  Keep in concise (1 page) and use a standard business letter format.  Save the friendly goodbyes for your last day.  

Provide adequate notice.    It is common practice to provide at least two weeks' notice when you are leaving a job.  This allows the employer adequate time to find someone to cover your tasks.  It is extremely important that you pay your employer the courtesy of giving them this notice.  Most new employers are willing to put off your start date for two weeks as it demonstrates that you are a considerate employee.

Be clear.  Make it clear that you are resigning from your job and when your last day of work will be.  You can provide a reason if you like but don't say anything negative about anyone. 

Be nice.  Even if this was the worst job that you have ever had, thank the employer for the opportunity and keep the letter positive.  No matter what, it is important that you exit gracefully.

Do it in person.  If it is at all possible, have this conversation in person.  Most managers would prefer to receive this news face-to-face.  However if timing is an issue, send the email and follow up with a telephone call or a visit. 

Your reputation can have a significant impact on your career.  The way that you leave your job will be the last impression that you make on your coworkers and your managers.  If you handle the situation professionally, it could open doors for you in the future.


(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of jk1991 at