The basic details
A resignation letter is much like a cover letter, in that you need to mention the basic details. You should include the date, your name, the position you’re resigning from, as well as the reason for leaving and a signature. To address the letter to the right person, find out who this is, be it your line manager or HR director, and always proof-read the final draft. If you work through these key things, you can’t go wrong.
This is one of the most important things to get right, as it will affect when you start in your new position. Always date the letter to the day that you hand it in and work out what your final day will be based on this (in accordance with your notice period). Once you’ve completed your letter, make the effort to deliver it in person. You’ll find that it gives a better impression, and also makes it easier to communicate – there won’t be any ambiguity surrounding the date that it was received, and as a result, your leaving day.
Say thank you
Whatever your experience at your current workplace, including your reasons for leaving, it’s important to be gracious. A tactful approach will go a long way. An ability to recognise the opportunity you’ve been given, and how this has been a stepping stone to your next job, will help you to leave your current Employer on good terms. Why not mention an example of what you’ve enjoyed in the role? Or what you’ve learnt since starting? If you’re not sure what to say, why not include a general line to wish the company every success for the future?
A professional tone
Your resignation letter is not the place to address issues you may have had within the company. Now that you’ve decided to leave, it’s important to leave any concerns you have at the door. If you’d like to address these before your final day, it’s best to do this in your exit interview. Try to be polite, but also genuine. After all, if you have clashed with someone in your team, an overly positive tone may come across as sarcastic. Remember that your current Employer will be acting as a reference, so it’s best to keep them onside.
Tie up any loose ends
Before you leave, you’ll need to sort out your holiday accrual – in order to collect unused holiday pay – and tie up loose ends relating to any company benefits, and your pension. Of course, to keep things short and simple, it’s best to leave specific details out of your resignation letter. However, there’s no harm in mentioning that you’d like to sit down with someone to sort this before the end of your contract. Additionally, if you’re working on an important project, consider mentioning that you will leave a handover and asking if there’s anything your company would like you to focus on before your final day.
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