How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter

While some people resign to pursue better career opportunities, others leave because of their dissatisfaction at the workplace. While one can be hasty or a bit careless in writing a resignation letter, it can have consequences for your future career prospects. Your resignation letter becomes a part of your professional file at your place of employment and acts as a part of your professional career. Therefore, you might want to make sure your resignation letter is professionally written. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to write a professional resignation letter.

Professional Resignation Letter

Three Steps of Writing a Resignation Letter

You can divide your resignation letter in the following three steps. Start with basic information, explain the  reason for your resignation and formally conclude the letter.

Start with the Basics

There are various formats for writing a resignation letter. Some people might mention the date, the name and designation to whom the letter is addressed (e.g. CEO or a Manager), and the name and address of the company. This can be followed by something like Dear Sir or Dear Mr. / Ms. (name of recipient) and the main body text of the letter.

Do’s

Keep a formal tone and avoid using intimidating or abusive language as it would go against you. You can start by stating that you would like to resign from your current position and mention a date by which you intend to leave. Mentioning the notice period can help clear out any ambiguity in the timeline of your exit from the organization.

Don’t’s

Even if you feel that you have been mistreated at the organization, it is not a good idea to spill it all out in your resignation letter, since it might hurt your job prospects in future. For example, many employers make enquiries from former employers when looking to hire job applicants. You don’t want to alienate your HR department or employer while leaving your job as it might go against you later on. Keeping a formal tone in your resignation letter is the best way to avoid any hassle in the future. You can use other channels like your exit interview to address your grievances. However, the thumb rule is the same as your resignation letter, i.e. avoid using anything type of language or insinuations which might go against you later on.

Explain the Reason for Resigning

This is a tricky one, however, keeping things rather generic can help you overcome this conundrum.

Do’s

You can always mention that you are resigning to pursue a better job opportunity or due to personal reasons. This will allow you to keep the content of your resignation letter rather generic and will look professional once it is added to your employee file.

Don’ts

It is not advised to mention details that are specific to your grievances or target any individual or the organization itself. While many times the reason for a resignation are associated with employee dissatisfaction, you should not allow that to ruin your reputation due to a document that can be used against you by people who might oppose you. Remember, there is no plausible deniability once you hand over a written statement. The manner in which even a valid grievance is mentioned can be easily misinterpreted. Therefore, it is best to keep things simple and generic.

Conclude the Letter on a Positive Note

Do’s

As hard as it might be for many employees who resign from jobs due to grievances, you might want to end on a positive note. Saying “thank you” or requesting an early reprieve in a mild manner can help you get a positive result from your employer. This might include a smooth exit, a relaxation in the notice period and positive feedback from the HR for your potential employers in the future. Also make sure that you offer to hand over the data and tasks during your notice period. Even if the employer is lax in receiving the necessary information or facilitating you in the transition, you would have a written document that supports your willingness to do the aforementioned, which would help you avoid any liabilities in future. Finally, mention your name at the end and sign the document before submitting it to your supervisor or the HR department. If you’re resigning via email, you can simply mention your name at the end.

Don’ts

A resignation letter that does conclude with a proper end would seem unprofessional and incomplete. In fact, you might even have to resubmit it after making necessary additions. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you mention your name at the end.

Resignation Letter Examples

To help you write a professional resignation letter, below are a few sample resignation letters.

Sample Letter of Resignation

Date

[Name of recipient]

[Designation of Recipient]

[Organization’s Name]

[Organization’s Address]

 

Dear [Name of Recipient],

This is to notify you that I am resigning from my position [your designation] at [organization’s name]. As per HR requirements I would like to serve a notice period of [mention time duration e.g. 1 month]. My last day of employment will be [mention the exact date].

I would like to facilitate [mention supervisor or subordinate to whom information is to be handed over] with the handing over of necessary organizational data and tasks assigned to me during my notice period.

I would like to thank [organization’s name] for all the opportunities granted to me during my tenure and wish [organization’s name] the very best for its future initiatives.

 

Sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

 

Download for Word (.docx) | Open in Google Docs

 

Sample Letter of Resignation Due to Retirement

Date

[Name of recipient]

[Designation of Recipient]

[Organization’s Name]

[Organization’s Address]

 

Dear [Name of Recipient],

It has been a wonderful journey over the past [mention years] at [organization’s name]. However, after many years in the [mention industry name or a detail about your job], I would like to retire from my position as [your designation]. My last day of employment will be [mention the exact date].

I would be happy to facilitate in the transition of my duties to my successor as per organizational requirements.

I would like to wish [organization’s name] for all the opportunities granted to me during my tenure and wish [organization’s name] the very best for its future initiatives.

 

Sincerely,

[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

 

Download for Word (.docx) | Download in Google Docs

Final Words

Whether you’re an employee, board member, or someone resigning from the membership of a formal network of professionals, the basics of a resignation letter are pretty much the same. You should try to be courteous, keep the content generic and respectful. This would positively reflect upon your sense of professionalism and provide you with the necessary help that you might need in a recommendation in your professional career.

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About Farshad

Farshad is a Tech Blogger from Pakistan who has worked for numerous international Technology Blogs. He is a former systems engineer and has been associated with the IT industry for the past 8 years, rendering professional services related to desktop administration, networking, SEO and Blogging.

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