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Refining Resigning: Resignation Letter Do’s and Don’ts

Choosing to leave a job, no matter the reason, should be done right- with a letter of resignation that resonates with professionalism and accuracy.

Don’t let your emotions color your language. Now, if you’re leaving a job with a lot of negative emotion, those feelings can leak over into your letter. You may even be tempted to forgo the letter and tender your resignation in the form of an angry text message. Don’t do that. When resigning from a position, even one that you loathe with every fiber of your being, you need to take the high road. Keep it polite and professional!

The devil’s in the details. Even if you’ve been at that company in the same position since the doors were opened, list the company’s name and your job title. Also, be sure to list your exact last day of employment. You want to make sure everything is clear in black-and-white so that no one is left with logistical questions after you deliver the news.

Be considerate, but don’t overshare. Give notice in advance! Two weeks is standard, but employers appreciate as much time as you can give to find a replacement. If you can, offer to train your replacement or state that you’ll try to have all your affairs in order for the new person. However, don’t make promises you can’t keep. You also don’t need to share why you are leaving in detail, especially if the reasons would lead to any badmouthing of a coworker or the company itself.

Keep it simple and gracious, but not syrupy sweet. Always thank your employer for the opportunity to work with them! A simple line, such as “I greatly appreciate the opportunity ABC Company has given me and I will always value the skills and experience I have gained throughout my time here” will suffice. Don’t go overboard and gush about how awesome everything was or you’ll just end up sounding insincere.

Proofread! This letter will be the last word you leave in your company portfolio. Make sure it’s formatted nicely and there are no silly mistakes. The goal is to leave a position with closure and positive impacts- not head shaking and laughter.

Leaving a job is not always the easiest decision, but it’s important to do it right. Word gets around in corporate circles, so make sure that you always put your best foot forward- even when that foot is heading out the door!

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