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How to resign from your job (and leave on good terms)

Resigning from a job is a major life event for many people. Sometimes you can get so caught up in the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life that you may forget the importance of leaving your current employer on a professional note. Preparing a professional resignation letter is one of the best ways to make sure you properly close an existing chapter in your career. Below are ten tips for writing an effective resignation letter.

1) Don’t delay

It’s natural to be a bit anxious about handing in your resignation. But, it’s your responsibility to give your employer notice about your plans to resign. Prepare your resignation letter as soon as you’re certain you’re going to leave. You definitely don’t want your employer to find out about your resignation from someone else.

2) Resist the urge to resign by e-mail

While it may seem faster and easier to send a quick email to your boss about your resignation, this method of delivery should only be used if you’re unable to prepare a formal resignation to hand deliver to your boss.

3) Clearly state your last date of employment

Make sure there’s no doubt about your last day of work. Referencing days of the week without dates or random windows of time may lead to confusion.

4) Try to give your employer at least two weeks’ notice

Sometimes this may prove difficult, especially if you’re accepting a new position with a rapidly approaching start date. However, this measure will help you leave your current employer on a good note.

5) Provide a brief explanation of your reason for leaving

There’s no need to go into great detail about the reasons behind your departure. However, this information will be helpful to your employers as they fill your position and aim to improve their retention going forwards.

6) Convey a positive tone in your letter

Resist the urge to include negative comments in your resignation letter, even if your employment experience wasn’t the best. Convey a positive attitude by referencing one or two positive points about your employment experience.

7) Thank your employers for the opportunity to work for them

Make sure that you close your letter by thanking your employers for the opportunity to be a part of their organisation. If possible, reference times you’ve enjoyed working with them.

8) Make sure your letter contains a date and your signature

This measure may seem basic but it’s often overlooked, especially by employees who aren’t accustomed to writing formal letters. The date should be referenced in the top left-hand corner of your letter and your name should be signed with blue ink at the bottom of your letter.

9) Proofread your letter prior to submitting it to your manager

Even though you may already have one foot out of the door, make sure that your letter is professionally written and free of grammatical errors. If necessary, have a trusted friend review your letter to ensure that it includes all relevant information.

10) Schedule a meeting with your manager to hand in the letter

Request a short meeting with your manager as soon as you have prepared your letter. Bring a copy of your letter and let your manager know that you will be sure to organise all of your work for your replacement.

Remember, don’t get so caught up in your employment transition that you neglect your professional responsibilities as an employee. By following the tips above, you can help ensure that you leave your current job in good standing with your employer.