What Should You Include in Your Resignation Letter?

Woman writing letter at table
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You've decided it's time to move on to a new job. After going through several interviews, you finally have an offer for a new tech job in your hands that you've accepted. The next step is to quit your current position.

While some people may feel that a verbal conversation may be enough to inform their current manager of the change in employment, it's always better to write a short letter of resignation to formalize things.

What should your resignation letter include?

Your resignation letter doesn't have to be very long at all - a few paragraphs will suffice. You should, at the very least, include the following elements in your letter:

When you're leaving:

You'd be surprised how many people neglect to include this detail in their letter, or in their verbal conversation with their supervisor. Ideally, you should check your company's policies on resignation to find out what they require in terms of notice, but there are instances when you may have to give the employer less notice than what is typically expected, or even ​resign with no notice.

You should state in your letter that you intend to work until your resignation is effective. Keep in mind that even if you give your employer adequate notice, there is a chance that you may be asked to leave right away, and, in some instances, escorted out of the building without being given the chance to gather your things – especially if your job is information-sensitive.

Your best bet is to prepare for this beforehand by gradually taking some of your personal items home in advance (without being too obvious about it).

A short explanation of why you are resigning: 

You probably don't want to provide too many details; you could keep it as simple and general as saying that you have "accepted a new position" and leave it at that.

If you provide any more details, make sure that any reasons you give for leaving are positive. No matter how bad your work environment may be and how much that may have driven you to find another job, make sure you communicate that you're moving on to something good, rather than escaping a bad situation.

Some words of appreciation:

You will want to thank your current employer for the opportunities you were provided while working there. Make sure that you acknowledge the fact that you learned something there or that your current position helped you further your career.

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