By: Heather Hawkins
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If you are planning on leaving your current job, there's a good chance your employer will ask for a resignation letter. Many people find themselves caught off guard by this simple request, unsure of what to say in their resignation letter.
The first time I was asked to furnish a written resignation, I'd just given my verbal resignation. It wasn't pretty, and I'm sure the manager was laughing on the inside at the 19 year old, extremely nervous, self-conscious person who could barely get the point across without breaking down on some level. When she asked for a resignation letter, I completely intended to accommodate her request. When I sat down to type the letter, however, I realized that I had no clue what to say.
Several years later, I can confidently tell you that I can professionally write a resignation letter for anyone. Along the way, I've learned a few really valuable bits of information about resignation letters. Here, I'm going to share the things that your resignation should include. Before I commence, I'd like to share something that your resignation letter should never say: the words "I quit ". If you've ever been faced with the task of writing a resignation letter but found yourself drawing a complete, utter blank, then these tips are for you.
1. Be Professional
Now is no time to slouch on your professional language. Curb casual talk, and remain businesslike. Your resignation letter should also be professionally formatted. What does that mean? Your resignation letter, like any other professional correspondence between you and an employer, should include your contact information, the date, the employer's contact information, a formal salutation, the well-written content, a proper closing, and your signature.
2. Remain Positive
Your resignation letter should only bring out the positive points of your tenure. Speak highly of your employer while letting them know that you have chosen to move on. Let them know that leaving wasn't a decision made on a whim and that your departure was a difficult, mulled over decision. Your employer could serve as a reference in the future, and you never know when you might need to come back to work there. Don't burn bridges - remain positive!
3. Convey Graciousness
It's only polite to thank your employer for the opportunity. Let them know that you appreciated their willingness to employ you, and that you are truly grateful. Of course, this works hand-in-hand with remaining positive because you never know when an employer might step back into your professional life as a reference, acquaintance, or once-again employer.
4. Set the Date
Your resignation letter should clearly state the effective date of your resignation. Let your employer know which day will be your last. Not only does this officially state your last day, but this paves the way for the administration of benefits, vacation pay, sick pay, etc. It is ideal to give your employer a 2 week notice, although other action should be taken according to any policies your employer has.
By remaining professional, cordial, and positive, you actually cut out a lot of the "awkward" feeling that often accompanies resignation. Come from the perspective that your professional relationship with this employer is on the line, and then you can handle this situation with respect to all involved parties. If you are unsure about how to construct your resignation letter, let me know - I'm more than happy to help with this critical point in your career.
About the Author
Aside from being a professional writer, Heather Hawkins is a wife, mother of two, and a homemaker. She enjoys making homemade cupcakes, slow cooker creations and memories with her family. Connect with Heather on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Heather Hawkins
Heather Hawkins is a professional copywriter with 4 years of PR, marketing, and entrepreneurial experience.
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