How to Write a Resignation Letter

Resignation Letter - Basics, Tips & Mistakes

Resignation Letter So you want to resign, to do it right, you should draft up a letter of resignation to your direct boss and have a meeting with him/her to give them the letter. Keep your letter simple, brief, positive and straight forward.

Before you begin writing the resignation letter, you should think about the following:

Are you sure you want to resign?

Are you sure you want to resign? Your intention must be clear. Many times, I see people resign because of emotions. Something happened at the office; maybe they got ascolding from the boss for reasons beyond their control. So they get angry and decides to resign right there and then. A week or two after they resign, they regret it and want their old job back. See this actual request for help from one of my readers. I also gave some advice if you have done this and want your old job back.

Have you secured another job?

Related to the point above, have you secured another job? This is another common mistake when people resign. They are either too emotional or they think they can get a new job easily.

In this tough market, it is hard to get a job and if you resign before you have one, be ready to take a pay cut. The reason is simple, if you are out of a job; a potential employer has the upper hand. Most companies have their budget reduced and if they can get away with offering a lower pay, they will. If you have a job, they cannot offer anything less than what you are getting now. It may not be pretty, but that is just reality.

If you have a notice period, do not rely on it for job hunting. First of all, you may not get a job within that time, another reason; the company may just decide to let you go the same day you hand in your resignation letter.

Keep your mouth shut

Before you decide to resign, do not talk to your co-workers about it. Word gets around fast. And ifyou decided not to resign, your boss would have heard about it and many times, it affects your job evaluation and promotion. Even with the best evaluation system, the input is from people and as you well know, people are emotional. Even good bosses who strictly evaluate you based on your work will be impacted subconsciously. It is human nature.

Writing a resignation letter?

Make sure you follow the correct business letter format. There are two important points to note specifically for a resignation letter.

  1. The addresses: Do not use a company letterhead. This letter is from you to the company. The ‘from address’ should be your address and the ‘to address’ should be to your company’s address.
  2. Make sure you include carbon copies: The letter must be given to all relevant leadership within the company. The resignation letter is usually addressed to your manager, but you will also need to include copies to your manager’s manager and the head of human resources.

State that you are giving the required notice period based on your contract. For example, "As required by my contract of employment, I hereby give you 2 weeks' notice of my intention to leave my position as ...".

Normally, you are required to serve your notice period. However, there are times when you would want to leave earlier. In that case, make sure there is no penalty clause on you contract. If there is, are you willing to pay the penalty? If you are willing to pay the penalty, then state so in your letter.

If there is no penalty, all you have to do is ask for a shorter notice period. A little tip: talk to your manager first about your intention to leave earlier and work with him/her on how you could transfer your responsibilities and knowledge to your replacement. This will improve your chances of getting the shorter notice period. BUT be sure you are going to resign before you talk to your manager. Please see the tip number 3 above.

State in the resignation letter that you have elected to accept another offer of employment and will be leaving your current job. Your particular circumstances will dictate whether you wish to state the name of your new company. Be sure to mention that your time with the company has been rewarding and fruitful. You might make a comment about how proud you are to have worked with the firm and how enjoyable the years you spent with the firm were.

Do not give specific reasons for leaving. State that you have decided to move because of a career opportunity that is too good to pass up.

This letter will be kept on file in the human resources department. At some time in the future, this may be the only record of your resignation. Therefore, keep it positive and to the point.

Remember, the company and its employees could potentially play a role in your career or job search in the future. It is a very small world. Never burn bridges

Here is a sample resignation letter:

Your street address line 1
Your street address line 2
City, State Zip

<-- your address

Company Name
company address line 1
company address line 2
City, State Zip
<-- company address

Dear Mr. Quint:

Please accept my resignation as Senior Security Officer at Stark Enterprises. I plan to leave my job here on July 15th 2011, taking a few days of annual leave just prior to that effective date.

As you know, my core interest has always been in the superhero industry. Therefore, I’ve accepted a position with S.H.I.E.L.D., that should put me back in touch with my “first love.”

Although I’m eager to accept the challenges in this new position, I regret leaving the company. You and the organization as a whole have treated me very well over the past five years. I won’t forget the friendship and professional growth I’ve experienced as an employee here.

Best wishes to all of you for years of expansion here.


Bethany Cabe
c.c. Tony Stark, Sarah Jennings

Here is another Sample Resignation Letter

Get my old job back

This is an actual request for help from one of my readers. I feel sorry for him or her, but this mistake is so common I have to show it to you. Read my advice if you are in this situation as well.

I quit my old job 5 weeks ago, now I want it back.
Have you got any ideas?



The only advice I can give you is to check with your previous boss if the position is filled. If not, can you have the job back?

In my experience, your chances are very low. I'm sorry.

If you have a good record with the company, then you may ask if there are other positions available. If there is, then you may have a good chance if your qualifications fit the position.

Other than that, I would suggest you continue to look for other jobs.

Dax Cheng

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Hi I'm Dax...

I’m an entrepreneur, mentor, consultant and I was a global IT service manager for one of the largest multinational in the world.

I'm here to help you write better business letters.

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