Five Things You Need in a Resignation Letter

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No matter how you feel, keep your resignation letter professional.
No matter how you feel, keep your resignation letter professional. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A formal resignation letter serves a number of purposes. It informs your employer that you will be leaving, allows you to move on with an air of professionalism and gives you a sense of closure. A resignation letter can be simple, but should include at least five points.

Forwarding Information

Your resignation letter should include your name, current address, telephone number and email address. If you will be relocating, either give the company your new address or the address of a trusted friend or relative. This forwarding information will allow your company to send you a final check if it is owed and a W-2 at tax time. It is likely that the employer will keep this information in your employee file.

Appreciation

No matter why you're leaving, a resignation letter is not the forum for airing your grievances. Regardless of how you feel about your employer, leave them with an air of professionalism. You can think back on that letter with pride. Come up with at least one thing you appreciate about your time with the business. It may be as simple as, "I'm grateful for the computer skills I acquired while working for you."

Courtesy

Your letter should inform your employer of your last date of employment. Give a minimum of two weeks; more if you are able. Not only will this leave you in good stead, but it will also provide income while you're waiting to begin your new position.

Transition

Take the opportunity in your resignation letter to offer to aid in the transition, to help train your replacement. Even if you are no longer concerned with the success of the employer, remember that another person is going to be taking your position and will benefit from your knowledge of the job and its duties.

An Open Invitation

While your letter should not air your complaints, add a line telling your employer that you will be happy to accommodate the company with an exit interview, during which you will discuss your reasons for leaving if that is desired. If the company suspects that it has a problem in a particular department or with a specific member of management, it may take the opportunity to gain your insight before your departure. If it does not want to know the reason for your departure, you will always know you gave the company the opportunity.

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