Writing a resignation letter isn’t fun, especially if you have truly weighed the pros and cons about leaving. Regardless of the reasons behind the letter, there’s not that much to it. In its simplest form, you just date your letter of resignation, say when and from what position you are resigning, sign it, hand it over, and that’s it. Five minutes, and you’re done.

Unless you plan to use your soon-to-be ex-employer as a reference (now or in the future), you don’t need to explain why you are resigning. For one thing, it’s really nobody’s business but your own.

Avoid including:

That you’ve found a more challenging career opportunity as this implies that your current job is boring.

Mention of any family or health problems. Doing so documents that you might be a risky hire. Avoiding this is important, especially if a potential employer contacts your former employer as references.

In other words, keep it simple. Try not to leave anything up to the reader’s interpretation (or misinterpretation).

Keep your letter neutral regardless of your reason for resignation. It is a business decision, not an emotional decision. The main goal of your letter is to inform your employer about the details of your resignation and to leave on a positive note. You can also strengthen your relationship with your supervisor or colleagues as well. Approach the letter as if you’re writing a thank-you note and you’ll be on the right track.

There are numerous examples of resignation letters online but the following tips will also help:

Keep it Professional:

Don’t write a personal essay or a note. Stick to the facts in your business letter. Resist the temptation to give details of your reasons for leaving.

Keep it Positive:

Avoid using your resignation letter to vent or to settle scores. Remain professional and polite. Even if you didn’t enjoy your time there and are glad to be moving on, you never know when you’ll find yourself working with a former co-worker or supervisor down the road.

By remaining positive and professional, you can ensure a smooth transition to the next step in your career.

You’ve decided it’s time to move on and whether your departure is reluctantly or joyously, there are a few things you should remember.

Leave the Bridge Alone!

If you’re like the average person, you’ll change jobs six or seven times in your career. The way you handle those departures is important. Here are a few simple tips to avoid burning bridges and your interactions remain positive:

Be Prepared! Think about your current projects. Document the status of any ongoing work and leave written instructions where necessary. If you feel that your supervisor will ask you to leave immediately and provide pay-in-lieu, have this information prepared to assist those who will be taking over your responsibilities.

Consideration of your employer goes a long way. Provide the required notice period. Check your company’s policy and the provincial labour standards requirements if necessary.

Before you tell your co-workers, deliver the news to your manager or supervisor in person. Provide your letter of resignation at that time.

Stick Around. Your last few weeks on the job aren’t the time to use up all of your vacation days.

Leave your workspace in good order. Clean your office, tidy up your e-mail and files, make sure any important files or project work is easy to locate and pack up any personal items.

Stay Positive. You’ve made your decision to leave, there is no reason for negativity about your job, your supervisor, or your employer. Staying on good terms also helps with reference letters, networking, and business relationships.

Leave a positive impression outside of work. Delay the message to friends, family and social media. Ensure the announcement is stated only positively and professionally. If you have to vent, hire a career coach.

Take your family with you. Keep your significant others in the loop. This is both a business and family-related decision that will have a lasting impact. Win-win.

Be Considerate:

Depending on your circumstances for leaving and the type of job environment, you can also offer to help in the hiring and training of your replacement. This may go a long way towards alleviating some stress your supervisor is likely feeling.

Try to complete any projects you have before you leave or at least make it easy for someone who will be taking your place by having all your work and files organized.

Continue to work hard even though you are leaving. While you are still employed you are expected to perform for your employer. Don’t blow a chance to get a great letter of reference or a great recommendation.

Read more on How to Resign in a Professional Manner

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