A lot of thought should go into writing a resignation letter. It is not one of those things that you should aim at doing in your five minute coffee break. Regardless of how, why and on what terms you depart, there are certain unsaid rules about how to write a resignation letter.
In the subsequent sections, we will have a look at a few guidelines which will help us understand the concept of an ideal resignation letter.
Writing a resignation letter is slightly different from conventional letter writing. Though it is somewhat similar to business writing, there are in fact, certain writing skills involved in writing a proper letter addressing your resignation. You should keep in mind the following set of guidelines:
- Address your letter to the person to whom you will be physically handing over your letter. If you need to submit multiple copies to different departments, you can either mention the names of the concerned people in that single letter, or else you can draft separate copies which are addressed individually to the concerned people.
- Since this is a formal letter, you need to mention the subject of the letter before you begin with the actual content.
- Regarding the letter content, be precise and to the point. Don't beat around the bush. You have made a decision to leave the organization. The purpose of the resignation letter is to formally convey your decision to your immediate boss or manager.
- So, what should you state as your reason for resigning? Should you be truthful or not? Usually, this is the part that confuses most people. The wise thing to do would be to be polite in everything that you write.
It could be possible that you have decided to leave the organization because you have a horrible boss, a thankless job, a meager salary, or may be all of these. However, the resignation letter is not the place where you should express your discontent and let out steam.
- The reason is, this could potentially damage the chances of your boss giving you a positive reference or letter of recommendation. This could land you in a rather difficult position, since a testimonial or a positive recommendation from your previous employer would always work to your advantage whenever you attend a job interview in the future.
- At the same time, you cannot rule out the possibility of coming face to face with your boss sometime in the future through professional circles.
It could happen that a few years down the line, you could be handling a senior managerial position that requires you to meet clients personally and discuss business deals with them. If one fine day your 'client' turns out to be your old boss whom you had blasted at the time of resignation, there goes your chance of clinching that deal.
- If your organization has a definite notice period with respect to resignation, keep that in mind while you are writing. If for some reason, you cannot serve the notice period, mention it clearly in the letter. If you have a genuine reason for doing so, discussing this issue openly with your employer may certainly help in coming to an amicable solution.
- Thank your employer for having provided you with an opportunity to work with that organization. Regardless of the amount of anger built up inside you, try to separate on peaceful and cordial terms. A cordial separation could help you in the future just as a hostile one could harm you.
It would be wise to keep in mind the earlier guidelines when thinking of writing a resignation letter. It will only benefit your career and your future career prospects.