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Leave on a Positive Note

Leave on a Positive Note

How to Write a Letter of Resignation

Whether you're on your way to a great new position or unhappily leaving your employer for personal or career-related reasons, you need to write a resignation letter.

The main goal of your letter is to inform your employer about the details of your resignation, but the underlying benefit is a chance for you to strengthen your relationship with your supervisor/colleagues and leave on a positive note. Approach the letter as if you're writing a thank-you note, and you'll be on the right track. The following tips will help:

The Introduction

Your letter's introduction should indicate that you are resigning and should provide your last day of employment. For example: "Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as [job title]. My last day of employment will be [date] ."

The Body

The body of your letter should mention your reason for leaving and show your gratitude for the experience the job has given you. Here are a few ways to state that you are leaving, based on your situation:

  • Found a New Job: “I have accepted a position as [job title] in [location], which will give me the supervisory responsibilities I have been eager to assume." 
     
  • Starting School: “I regret having to leave [employer name], but I am strongly committed to earning my [degree type] and have been accepted to [school name] for the fall term." 
     
  • Medical Reasons: “I regret having to leave, but I am currently experiencing medical issues that prevent me from continuing in this position." 
     
  • Partner Relocation: “My wife/husband has been offered an excellent job opportunity in [location], and we have decided to move there so that she/he can accept it." 
     
  • Relocation Refusal: “The company's restructure has left many of my colleagues looking for new positions, so I am grateful for your offer of reassignment to the office. However, my family and I have decided that relocation is not feasible for us right now." 
     
  • Bad Experience: “My decision to leave is based on both personal and professional reasons, but please understand that I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with [company name]. I have learned a great deal from you, and I look forward to applying this knowledge in my next position."

You may also mention that you appreciate the opportunity to work with your supervisor and other team members. If you name-drop, be careful not to exclude anyone. Remember that your letter may make the office rounds. If appropriate, state your willingness to help with the transition; for example, you might offer to train your replacement.

The Closing

End your letter with an expression of kind wishes and interest in keeping in touch. For example: “I hope that we can continue our professional relationship and that we meet again in the future. Best wishes to you and to the rest of the staff.”

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