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Career Advice

I Have a New Job! Now How Do I Write a Resignation Letter?

resignation letter

Searching for a new job can be a long and frustrating task, especially when you are already employed and working full-time. Whether you are taking a significant career change, or you are just trying to climb up a rung or two on your career ladder, leaving your current job need not be a dramatic affair like what is often seen depicted in the movies.

Whether you love or hate your present job, leaving for a better opportunity doesn’t necessarily mean closing the door on your past career for good. Resigning from your current position is a big step that needs to be handled correctly keeping in mind that nothing in life is certain, so you don’t want to permanently close any doors, and certainly not completely close them with bolts, chains and padlocks.

While we would all love to do a ‘Bridget Jones’ type resignation at least once in our life, in reality, no matter how unhappy you are with your current job, and how pleased you will be to leave it behind, there is no need to flounce out on a dramatic note. There is also no need to write a resignation letter that lists in great detail why you are leaving and what you hate about the job.

Send the right message with your resignation letter

Remember that it is wise not to burn bridges with your previous employer. If you plan on having a long career, you will never know who you may end up working with – or for – in the future. The last thing you want is for your best-laid plans for your career path being scuppered at some point by a disgruntled ex-employer who themselves have also moved to a new position at a company that you long to work for.

You also cannot know for sure what business connections your current employer may have established within your industry. They could spread negative information about you to other employers, which can see you earning a bad reputation even before you have applied for a job.

Bear these points in mind when you are formulating your resignation letter. It’s not an opportunity for you to have a rant.

What to include in your resignation letter

Once you have landed your new job, you will need to inform your manager that you are leaving. Usually, this involves having a meeting with them to let them know that you are resigning, which then should be followed up swiftly by a formal resignation letter.

Your letter of resignation will be kept on record, so it simply needs to state the facts of your departure, such as the date you are leaving, and that you are willing to help them to get a new employee settled in and up to speed with the duties required of them.

You should also sign off with a thank you line to say that you are grateful for the opportunity to be part of their organization, and for the experience you have gained.

Resist the opportunity to nit-pick or list all the faults or flaws you saw in the role. Your resignation letter is simply an official notification of your leaving. It is not a job critique or a place to vent about other staff members or managers.

Keep your resignation letter simple and to the point. This is what you should include:

  • The current date (this is the date you are submitting your letter)
  • Your formal resignation statement
  • A preferred leaving date (this will depend on what notice period you need to give)
  • A short line to thank the company for the job opportunity
  • Your signature

There isn’t any need to include any more information than this. While it is an excellent idea to express your thanks for your employment opportunity in the letter, you should never end the document on a negative note. Burning bridges isn’t good for the future.

When you sit down to create your resignation letter, do it at a time when you are relaxed, calm and in a positive frame of mind. Never write your letter when you are in a hurry to get somewhere, you are tired from work, or you are hungry or thirsty.

Bear in mind that you will probably need to draw references from your boss or manager, so make sure that you paint them in a good light. They, in turn, will be more happy to supply you with a reference in the future, should you ever need one.

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