Making the decision to leave your position can be a very stressful time for many employees. To lessen the stress and to leave professionally, a resignation letter is often written and submitted. Not only can resignation letters solidify your decision to leave by providing more clarity about your reasons for leaving, but may also provide valuable information to your soon-to-be ex-employer. A well-written resignation should only be submitted after a few factors have been considered and possibly included in your letter.
Before you sit down and start writing your resignation letter, understand that your letter is not only serving the purpose of telling your employer that you are leaving but can also be used as a valuable learning tool for your employer.
Most every employer is very focused on retaining good talent. Losing an employee is not only expensive for an employer but should be viewed by them as an opportunity to learn "why" employees leave. If you provide constructive feedback in your letter, your employer may be better able to retain good talent by making course directions.
Remember, submitting a resignation letter that is professionally written serves many purposes; including leaving on a good note and not burning bridges with employers.
Writing a resignation letter in a charge emotional state is seldom a good idea. This is especially true if you are leaving due to serious issues you have experienced with your current employer. It is very likely that if you write your resignation letter in an emotional state, you may either include harsh comments or not provide enough valid, non-emotionally driven reasons for your decision.
If you don't feel absolutely confident that you can write a professional resignation letter, refer to samples and use pieces of a few that convey your reasons without being too emotionally charged. A simple Internet search will provide you numerous resignation letter samples for your consideration.
The truth is that most employers don't initially read a submitted resignation letter and instead either walk you out of the office, try to convince you to stay or do something in between. If you submit a long, wordy letter, expect that most of your content will not be read.
Be concise, professional and, as stated above, provide positive feedback, but write it with the understanding that it will be read. Maybe not right away, but your resignation will not only be read, but will more than likely be shared with other members of your past employer's leadership team.
Be smart about what you put down on that letter.
If you are leaving your employer to go work for a direct competitor, you may wonder if you should include that juicy bit of information in your resignation letter. In fact, many sales professionals who leave an employer to work for a competitor don't submit a resignation letter at all. The thinking is that their current employer will most likely be a bit angry about the employee's decision and won't pay much attention to anything contained in a resignation letter.
Submitting a resignation letter to your employer when leaving for a competitor, despite how your employer may respond to your decision, is still a way to at least try to fully convey your reasons to leave and gives you an opportunity to at least mitigate the damage caused by your decision and may prevent that bridge from burning entirely to the ground.
To leave on a professional note while providing clarity to your employer regarding your decision, a few factors need to be considered and possibly included in your resignation letter.
Lastly, be sure that you thank your employer for the opportunity provided to you. Regardless of whether you enjoyed or despised your time with your employer, you certainly learned something of value to you. Expressing your gratitude with an honest approach, will help you leave on a good note and may allow you to use your employer as a reference in the future.