How to Write a Resignation Letter for a Job Promotion

The Art of Resigning Gracefully and Gratefully

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It happens often enough, particularly early in someone's career. You take your first entry-level job with the intention of working your way up the corporate ladder. This first job is certainly not a position in which you want to spend the rest of your life — that's understood.

Then, a year or so into the job, it happens. A new door opens — exactly what you've been waiting for and working toward. Congratulations! Now, of course, you're faced with resigning from your current job with integrity. After all, that job is going to be there on your resume as you continue to advance in your career. You don't want to burn any bridges.

Of course, it's possible that you've been promoted within your own company and this takes a lot of the awkwardness out of the situation. Otherwise, this example of a resignation letter example can help you notify your employer that you're resigning to pursue a job that is a promotion to a higher position.

Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter for a Promotion

  • Give appropriate notice. Generally, that means at least two weeks. This allows your employer to cover your projects and start the process of finding your replacement.
  • Use business letter format. Create your letter as you would any other business letter. This means setting it up professionally with the right information, in the right order. Don’t fall into the trap of being overly casual in your resignation letter, even if you’re on friendly terms with your soon-to-be former boss. While you don’t need to take a stilted, overly formal tone in your writing, you do need to get your message across clearly and graciously.
  • Include all relevant information. When will your last day be? Are you available to help with the transition? When and how will you follow up with details? These are the most important things to convey in your resignation letter.
  • Be grateful. It’s also essential to convey your thanks for the opportunity — even if the job didn’t work out the way you planned. Be sincere in your thanks: even the worst jobs have something to teach us. Perhaps you made connections that you hope to keep for a lifetime or learned some aspect of the business that will help you in your career going forward.
  • Avoid the negative. Now’s not the time to vent your frustrations about the job, your boss, or your coworkers. Emphasize the positive and move on.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread. As in all business correspondence, accuracy is important. Check and double-check for errors before you send.

Resignation Letter for a Promotion Example

Jane Smith
3 Main Street, Apartment 2R
Center City, Iowa 52240
555-123-4567
jane.smith@email.com

January 3, 2019

Ben Garcia
Senior Sales Manager
Noonan & Company
14 Office Park Way
Center City, Iowa 52240

Dear Ben:

I will be resigning from my job next month as Sales Manager at Noonan & Company in order to take on a new position. I was recently offered a position as V.P. of Sales for another company, and unfortunately, it's an offer that I cannot decline. The new job is the ideal next step in my professional development.

It has been a been a pleasure working with you, and I am deeply grateful for all your assistance during my time at Noonan & Company. I learned a lot and I appreciate the time and effort you spent orienting me to a new job at a new company.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there's anything at all I can do for you, either during the remainder of my time here or in the months after. I would be happy to assist you in hiring a replacement or in selecting another employee for a promotion to my position. I will be available this month to meet with you at any time, or you can contact me at either 555-123-4567 or jane.smith@email.com.

Thanks so much for your understanding, and I hope that we can remain in touch as professionals in the future.

Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Jane Smith

What Your Letter Accomplishes 

You've pointed out the obvious — advancement is or should be, every employee's goal and you're taking advantage of an opportunity and your current employer can't fault you for this. (Although they can, technically, let you go before the end of your notice, so be prepared.)

You've expressed your gratitude and offered your assistance. You've made it clear that it's not your intention to leave your current employer in the lurch. Perhaps most important, you've given a great deal of warning (roughly a month's time).

Finally, be sure to retain a copy so there's never any question about how you handled your exit from the company.