Top Tips When Writing a Resignation Letter in 2020 and 2021

Offer to assist with the transition

Always offer the employer or manager assistance with transitioning the job duties and responsibilities to another colleague or a new hire. Place this question within the resignation letter's second or third paragraph. And include an offer to help with the transition inside the resignation email.

Ask a friend to read the letter

To prevent potential miscommunication, ask a friend or mentor to read the resignation letter before sending it. Having a friend read the letter can assist with word use, grammar, punctuation, or other potential mishaps.

Provide two weeks' notice

In most jobs, aside from executive positions and academic positions, two weeks' notice is customary. It provides the employer with ample time to replace the team's job function and ensures that projects are being completed on time. Be sure to include the two weeks' notice request in the resignation email.

Refer to the company handbook

Vital information is contained in the human resource manual provided to employees during training. One portion each employee should examine is whether or not they are considered an "at-will" employee. An "at-will" employee can be terminated, without cause, for any reason. Meaning, if the employee submits their resignation letter, with two weeks' notice attached, the employer has the potential to terminate the employee that day, especially if they are going to work for a competitor.

Avoid a two-page letter

A common mistake from entry-level workers writing their first resignation letter is to write a two-page letter. While it may seem heartfelt to share such an in-depth story, this isn't a best practice. Keep the letter to one page and use the "goodbye email" sent to colleagues on the final day of employment as the place to be heartfelt.

Deliver the letter in person

After writing the resignation letter, ask to meet with the manager and deliver the letter in person. During this meeting, the details of the resignation should be discussed. The details should include the desired last day of employment, transition period, reason for resigning, and transition period goals.

Resignation Letters

Below are resignation letters and free templates.

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