How to Write a Letter of Resignation

A well written letter can get you far in life, be it a love letter, a thank you letter or a letter of resignation. I believe you want your resignation letter to help maintain a good relationship with that employer whilst paving the path into your future. It’s a pivotal moment in your career that does not come lightly. Here are a few pointers on how to write a good resignation letter.

Always give your letter a time and date

so it acts as an official record of when you are handing your notice in.

Address your letter to your direct manager

You may also then email a copy to HR following your conversation. Always have that conversation.

Provide an anticipated end date

Your last day of work. Your contract of employment will state how long your notice period is. This can vary company to company but tends to be between 1 week for temporary positions to 1 month for permanent, and up to 3 months for business critical positions. Negotiations can be made; holidays accrued taken into account, hence the word anticipated.

Include a reason for leaving

Please don’t use it as an opportunity to vent about what you think is wrong about the company, role or boss as that is not what this is about. Think about what is pulling you onward rather than pushing you. You will have an exit interview to share any insights into areas for improvement in due course (don’t forget to share what they are doing well and what you’ve enjoyed too). Think about needing a reference in the future. I would also like to plant the seed that the scientific industry is a small world and you just don’t know who you will work with again. People are no longer expecting to be in a job for life.

Include an element of gratitude

It is an opportunity to express what you are thankful for, praise who has helped you. Be thankful for the opportunity, what you have learnt and achieved. Leave with a positive impression and exit with grace.

Keep it short

Short and to-the-point and close with a warm ending.

So there we have it – my top 6 tips on writing your letter of resignation. A thank you letter. I will keep this letter to you short and to-the-point too.


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