Mastering the Art of Goodbyes: Crafting a Positive Resignation Letter
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Ever stared at a blank screen, unsure how to say 'I quit' without burning bridges? Writing a resignation letter isn’t easy, even though on average 3.5 million Americans quit their job every month.
Having worked both as an employer and employee in content marketing and project management, I've learned why a solid resignation letter matters. It's about keeping your reputation shiny and making life easier for everyone. A professional goodbye keeps doors open for future jobs and helps your team sail through the transition without hitting rough waters. Trust me, I've been there!
In this guide, I’ll break down the steps for how to write your resignation letter. I’ll tell you how to structure your letter and what to include, so you can exit like a pro.
What to include in a resignation letter
A well-crafted resignation letter should include several key elements for clarity, professionalism, and a positive tone. Let’s look at which items to include.
Make sure to include essential information before you start writing your resignation letter.
A professional resignation letter should include:
- Your contact information: Your full name, address, email address, and phone number at the top of the letter.
- Date: Add the date when you are writing the letter.
- Recipient's information: Include the recipient's name (usually your boss), title, and the company's address.
- Salutation: Begin the letter with a formal salutation, such as "Dear [Recipient's Name]."
Statement of resignation
Clearly state that you are resigning from your position and include the effective date of your resignation. The standard notice period is usually two weeks to a month, but check your contract to be sure. Your statement of resignation should also mention both your position and the company name.
I am writing to formally resign from my position as Senior Marketing Coordinator at BrightWise Solutions.
My last working day will be November 30, 2023, providing the standard two weeks' notice as per company policy.
Expression of gratitude
Express gratitude for the opportunities, experiences, and professional development you've gained during your time at the company. This is a great place to highlight any particular projects or tasks you’ve enjoyed. Consider including how you feel this has impacted your professional career.
I am sincerely grateful for the opportunities, experiences, and professional growth I've had during my tenure at XYZ Corporation.
The chance to spearhead the rebranding campaign and lead the team in launching our innovative digital marketing strategy has been incredibly rewarding and has significantly contributed to my professional development.
Reason for resignation (optional)
While not always necessary, you may choose to provide a brief and positive explanation for your decision to resign. Although it can be tempting to use this space to air out any grievances, try to avoid this. Often, it’s not well received and can lead to receiving a bad reference for any future positions.
Here are some phrases you can use to state your reason for leaving (positively):
- Pursuing new career opportunities that align with my long-term goals.
- Exploring a different industry that better utilizes my skills and expertise.
- Relocating to a different city or country due to personal/family reasons.
- Returning to school to further my education and professional development.
- Seeking a better work-life balance to focus on personal well-being and family commitments.
- Transitioning to a remote work environment to accommodate personal circumstances.
- Embracing a new challenge that allows for greater creativity and innovation.
- Exploring entrepreneurial endeavors or starting my own business.
- Taking a sabbatical to recharge and explore personal interests and passions.
- Looking for a role that offers more opportunities for leadership and growth.
Commitment to transition
Express your commitment to ensuring a smooth transition and offer assistance during your notice period. Mention your willingness to train a replacement or provide necessary documentation. This highlights your professionalism and ability to finish a role well.
During my remaining time here, I am fully committed to ensuring a seamless transition. I am more than willing to assist in training my successor and have already started documenting the current strategies and client interactions to facilitate a smooth handover.
Additionally, I am available to provide guidance or answer any questions that may arise after my departure to ensure continuity in the ongoing projects, especially regarding the integration of our new CRM system.
Maintain a positive and professional tone throughout the letter. Avoid expressing grievances or negativity. Let’s take a look at two examples: one negative, and one positive.
I regret to inform you that I am resigning from my position at Acme Innovations Inc., effective immediately.
This decision comes as a result of the toxic work environment and the lack of support from the management. I have been consistently overlooked for promotions and have faced continuous challenges that have not been addressed despite my efforts to raise them.I no longer find any satisfaction in working for this company and feel that my talents and contributions have been undervalued and disregarded.
This resignation serves as a reflection of the disappointment and frustration I have endured during my time here.I have cleared my belongings and will not be available for any further discussions or assistance.
I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from my position at Acme Innovations Inc., effective 1st January 2024.
This was not an easy decision, as I have valued my time and experiences working here. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities for growth and learning that the company has provided me. I've had the chance to collaborate with remarkable colleagues and contribute to exciting projects, which have contributed to my professional development. However, after careful consideration, I have decided to pursue new opportunities that align more closely with my long-term career goals.
I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition during my notice period and am willing to assist in any way possible to support the team and facilitate a seamless handover of responsibilities. I want to express my gratitude for the support and guidance I've received from you and the entire team during my time here.
I sincerely appreciate the relationships I've built and the experiences that have enriched my professional journey. Thank you for the opportunities and the trust you've placed in me. I wish Acme Innovations Inc. continued success in its endeavors.
The positive tone in the second letter maintains professionalism, expresses gratitude, and focuses on the appreciation of experiences gained. On the other hand, the first letter conveys dissatisfaction and a lack of willingness to assist in the transition, which can leave a negative impression.
Note that the second letter isn’t over the top — it still states that it has been a difficult decision and offers a truthful reason for leaving (“pursue new opportunities that align more closely with my long-term career goals”).
Conclude the letter with positive closing remarks, such as expressing gratitude again and wishing the company continued success.
For example, the letter above can be concluded like this:
I want to express my gratitude for the support and guidance I've received from you and the entire team during my time here. I sincerely appreciate the relationships I've built and the experiences that have enriched my professional journey.
Thank you for the opportunities and the trust you've placed in me. I wish Acme Innovations Inc. continued success in its endeavors.
The writer thanks the company and recipient for their time, as well as the professional development they’ve received while employed. They also wish the company further success, leaving the closing statement on a positive note.
Sample resignation letter
Use this sample resignation letter and fill in your personal details. Remember to tailor the letter to your specific circumstances and company culture. It's essential to keep the tone positive and professional, as this document may become a part of your employment record.
Edit your letter before sending it off to make sure it’s free of any errors!
When crafting your resignation letter, remember: positivity pays off. It's not just about saying goodbye — it's about leaving a lasting impression.
A well-written resignation letter sets the tone for future connections and ensures a smooth transition for all. For a head start, grab our sample template — a blueprint that will help you bid farewell with grace.
Now that you know how to say goodbye, maybe it’s time to write your cover letter for your next job? Cheers to new beginnings!
What is a resignation letter?
A resignation letter is a formal document that notifies an employer of an employee's decision to leave their position within a company or organization.
What should I not include in a resignation letter?
Don’t include specific details about future career moves, distasteful language, emotional attachments, criticism of coworkers or management, or negative opinions in your resignation letter.