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Brianna Higgins Jul 15

When writing a resignation letter, use an official letter format. In the letter, clearly state your intention to resign and your last day of work, express gratitude for the opportunity the company gave you and a willingness to assist in the handover, and then sign off appropriately.

Say you’ve been on the job hunt for the past couple of months. You have finally found your dream job and are very excited to get started. But before you move onto this new job, you need to resign from your current one.

A great resignation letter officially informs your current boss that you are leaving and ensures that you leave on good terms. So how do you write a resignation letter? Read on as we explain how to write a resignation letter that ensures you leave on good terms.

Why it is important to write a Resignation Letter

When you are in a job and find another, writing a resignation letter is essential because of the following reasons:

  • It serves as formal documentation. The resignation letter lets you officially inform your boss of your intention to leave your current job.
  • It helps you communicate the details of your exit. The resignation letter allows you to communicate your intended last day at work so that your departure is clear to your current employer.
  • It ensures compliance. Most organisations require that employees give them some weeks (usually two) notice when moving on. The resignation letter provides evidence of your compliance with such requirements.
  • It helps you leave on a good note. The resignation letter could be the difference between leaving on good terms or not. It is an opportunity to officially thank your employer and the organisation for the opportunity to work with them. You may also show that the organisation has impacted you professionally or personally by sharing something you learned while with them.

How Much Notice Do I Need to Give?

In Australia, how much notice you need to give when resigning depends on whether or not you have an employment contract and what your employment contract states.

  • No employment contract. According to the Fair Work Act, if an award or agreement does not cover your employment, you are not legally required to give any notice when resigning.
  • An employment contract exists, and it has clear terms. If you are an employee covered by an award or agreement, you need to give notice in accordance with the terms of the award/ agreement.
  • An employment contract exists, but it is silent on notice. Where the agreement is silent about the length of notice, you may give “reasonable” notice. Interestingly, career experts have posited that two (2) weeks is reasonable notice. So, two weeks has become the standard. 

 

How to Write a Resignation Letter

Recently, a unique resignation letter broke the internet. It read “Bye bye, Sir.” Not surprisingly, this is not the way to write a resignation letter if you want to leave on a good note and maintain professional contacts. 

So, how do you write a resignation letter? Surely, you should not copy the three-worded resignation letter, but you also shouldn’t give excessive details either. Importantly, the language should be official, and the tone should be respectable.

Your resignation letter should include the following information:

what to include in resignation letter

 

Date, Name, and Contact Details

Like every formal letter, your resignation letter should start with the date. This should be followed by your name and contact details (phone number and email address). 

Recipient’s name and organisational position

You should address the resignation letter to the right person. Depending on your organisation, that would be your current line manager or the head of the human resource department. State the recipient’s name and title, followed by the company's name.

You should follow the recipient's details with an official greeting, such as “Dear, [the recipient’s first name].”

Subject line

The subject line is a feature of formal letters. It lets the recipient know what the letter is about. Thus, your subject line should clearly state that you are resigning (e.g. “Letter of Resignation”).

State Intention

The opening statement of your letter should clearly state that you are resigning. You mustn't go into formalities. 

Outline Dates

After concisely stating that you want to resign, outline the key dates relating to your resignation, namely the last day you’ll be at work. If your contract requires a particular notice period, ensure that you comply with this.

Show Gratitude

Thank your employer for the opportunity to have worked in your position. Mention one or two special moments you are grateful for in the organisation. Share how the organisation has positively impacted you personally and professionally.  

Express your willingness to help in the handover

State that you are willing to help in any way required so that systems continue to operate smoothly.

Sign Off Appropriately

An official and respectful sign-off is “Sincerely,” followed by your signature and name.

Resignation Letter Template

Below is a template that you can use when writing your resignation letter.

 

Date

Name 

Contact Details

 

Dear [recipient’s first name],

Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my role as [your job title] at [the organisation’s name]. I hereby give you [notice period] notice of my departure, as my last day of employment will be [your intended date of stopping work].

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you over the last [your duration in the company] years. One of the highlights of my career is [a successful company project]. I wish you success in the upcoming [a current company project].

I am eager to make this transition smooth, so please let me know if there is anything I can do during this time.

Thank you again for the opportunity to work for [company’s name]. I wish you all the best in the coming years.

Sincerely,

[your signature]

[your full name]

 

 

 

What Not to Include In A Resignation Letter

You should not include some things in your resignation letter because including them may come back to bite you. You may need a reference letter from your current employers, or you may be in a field where key players are well-connected. 

That said, some of the things you should not include in a resignation letter are:

  • A detailed explanation of why you’re leaving
  • Negative comments about your boss or the company
  • Reasons you hated your job 
  • Criticism of your colleagues 
  • Your future plans (such as your career plans)
  • Personal emotional sentiments
  • Inappropriate language
  • Threats of retribution

FAQs/ Resources 

Here are the most frequently asked questions about writing a resignation letter:

Should I say where I am going when I resign?

What to include in a resignation letter does not include your future plans. Thus, you do not have to tell your current employer where you are going.

The only exception is when you have signed a non-compete agreement that prevents you from moving from the company to a direct competitor.

How can I resign gracefully? 

You can resign gracefully from your work by doing the following:

  • Write and submit an official letter of resignation. You may use the resignation letter template above.
  • Be positive. Leave grievances (or negative reasons for wanting to leave) out of the resignation letter.
  • Give your best during the notice period. Don’t switch off mentally because you are leaving. Instead, work as you have always done in your notice period and ensure you complete assignments and reports.

Important Read: Career Advice You Need To Hear

 

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