How to write a letter of resignation when it’s time to leave the job

Sorry, this isn’t going to be like the movies where you slam your letter of resignation down and walk out the door with wind swept hair. Whether you’re leaving to pursue your studies, passions, or to work for another company, a letter of resignation is something you’ll definitely have to write at some point in life.

Yes, your new gig is calling your name, but resigning requires a bit of thought. Usually, leaving a job involves planning, not just for the resignation process but also your plans for after. If you’ve rationalised why leaving the job is a good idea, the next step of action is to give prior notice to your current employer through a letter of resignation. To give you a little push, we’ve come up with steps on how to write a sleek letter of resignation.

So…you’re done

And you’re off to a new frontier! However, resigning comes with a number of steps, even before you submit your letter of resignation.

Firstly, it’s only courtesy to set up a meeting with your boss. Although many do approach HR first in order to avoid blinsiding your company, it is a better option to notify your boss yourself. Setting up a ‘check-in’ meeting or simply knocking on the door of your manager are ways that you could approach the topic.

Secondly, keep your composure. Of course, the job you’re leaving might either be an amazing one, or the #worstjobever. But you do want to leave the company with youreputation and relationships intact.

Lastly, do give a two weeks notice. This is the standard practice to follow when resigning from a job. Some jobs might require an earlier notification, so we advice checking up on your contract before embarking on your resignation process. This two weeks notice gives enough time for you, and your colleagues to tie up loose ends on any reports, presentations or projects you have in the pipeline.

Now, the letter of resignation

how to write your letter of resignation

A polite and gracious letter of resignation cements your reputation with your past colleagues, especially if you’re going into the same industry. Your letter of resignation should be not more than a page, and is usually delivered in hardcopy. So let’s jump right in!

Step 1. The basics

The first paragraph would need to constitute who you are, and your date of termination. This includes stating your name, your position, the company you’re working for, the date of your last day. It might seem a little redundant to do, especially if your boss knows who you are. But since it’s an official document, it is still a good idea to do so. Including the date for your last day is essential to every letter of resignation. Having it written plainly also helps your company to take note of the dates they might have to get a replacement by.

Step 2. The thank yous

This is where you take some time to reflect on your journey! What were the highs and lows? How have you grown as an employee and in what aspect? Do try to be as specific as possible, for example including anecdotes about certain opportunities the company has given you, or the culture of your workplace. Remember to thank your employer for the opportunities given to you, and how he or she has helped you throughout your stint with the company. Keeping a warm and friendly tone is important, as you do want to keep these colleagues as connections throughout your career.

You could also include one or two sentences on where you’re headed to next, especially if you’re off to pursue your passions or taking some time off. However, do exercise discretion if you’re switching sides (if you know what i mean).

Step 3. Stretch out a helping hand

We know you might be looking to just drop and go, but that’s a no-no.  In this paragraph, offer to help out with the transition period. You don’t have to get into the specifics, but expressing your willingness to ensure the smoothness of the transition is always a good place to start. If you have certain projects you’ll currently in-charge of, explaining how you’ll assist in wrapping those up is a great way to reassure your boss. Writing this paragraph also shows your current employer that you’re a team-player, and responsible till the end.

Step 4: The end

Optional: you could talk about the work you’re leaving behind. Laying out all the work you’ll be surrendering helps your managers have a clearer idea of where they’ll have to pick up from. On top of this, do leave your contact information in case your previous employer might want to contact you. They might want to keep in touch for future collaborations , and you’d most definitely want to keep in touch, especially if your previous company could possibly provide resources for future projects. Don’t forget to end off with a salutation!

On to greener pastures!

Phew, now that that’s done, you can finally head off into the sunset—or rather your new job. Writing a letter of resignation doesn’t have to be a dreaded activity. Take it as the beginning of an end! You know what they say, when one door closes, another opens.  Honestly, depending on your company, you might even be able to inject a little humour into your letter of resignation. So even though you’re leaving, it ain’t all doom and gloom!

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Link to Glints Singapore website

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