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Writing a Resignation Letter

Writing a resignation letter is not always easy. You want to be sure that you leave your current company on positive terms, regardless of what the real story might be.

Your letter should be addressed to your boss, and should be polite, positive and to the point. You want to indicate that you're being drawn to something, rather than having your letter suggest that you're running from a bad situation. Again, regardless of the real situation.

Points to Include

First and foremost, you want to include a "thank you" message to your boss and the organization for the opportunity afforded to you to learn, develop, and grow in your current role.

For example:

After much consideration, I have accepted a position as SVP, Sales with the XYZ Widget Company, and will be leaving ABC Manufacturing on ______.

I appreciate the opportunities ABC has given me to sharpen my managerial skills and the trust placed in me to grow the Trinket Division over the past 3 years. I also want to thank you for the support you've provided to me as we've worked to achieve our objectives. Your advice and counsel along the way have greatly contributed to my success.

Be definite about the role you are accepting. Leave no room for a counter offer. If you're tempted, or even hoping for a counter offer, review the information we provide here on things you might consider.

For example:

The role at XYZ is a significant step up for me. One that I believe I'm ready for. The increased responsibility in terms of both the size of my team and the business I'll be managing represent an exciting next step in my career.

Include reassurance on a smooth transition of your responsibilities.

For example:

I am happy to work with you and my team to ensure a smooth transition. I will provide you with a complete status report on the status of all open projects, as well as my thoughts regarding next steps.

Close your resignation letter graciously.

It has been a pleasure to work with you and ABC. Your continued support as I take this next step is appreciated.

A couple of quick reminders...

  • Do not use your resignation letter to vent. Venting is not professional as you're on your way out the door!
  • Keep your reasons for leaving positive - you're going to something, not running from something. Your letter should reflect this.
  • Don't "burn the bridge". You don't know where you might connect with your former boss or others from your organization! Keep it positive!

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