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Resigning Gracefully

When you leave your current employer, you'll need to write a letter of resignation.  Put time and thought into it.  Be sure to be polite, discreet, and mature in your resignation.  You never know when advice, a recommendation, or even a job might be needed from your current employer.  You also never know where people from your current place of employment may end up working in five or ten years' time.

Be sure to construct a brief, concise note.  Here are a few tips:

  • Write your letter directly to your current supervisor, not to the Human Resources area.
  • Get right to the point in your resignation letter.  You need not mention your reason for leaving or the name of your new employer.  Be sure to avoid expressing any negative feelings.  If you think it's important to express your negative experiences, do it face to face, not in writing.
  • If you decide to state a reason for leaving, you could mention the position is a better fit with your personal preference or career goals.
  • Be sure to indicate your last date of employment.  Two weeks' notice is a common courtesy.  Cooperate fully in handing over files, documents, projects, and clients you are working with prior to leaving.
  • The job resignation letter should also contain thanks to your employer for training and other opportunities.  Thank your colleagues for what you have learned from them.  Accentuate the positives—find something good to say.

Sample letter of resignation

Date (Important)

Dear (Direct Supervisor):

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation as (title) for (company) to become effective as of (your last day of employment).

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and efforts in my training and advancement during the past (timeframe).  The support and concern shown by you and the rest of the management team has been deeply appreciated.

I leave (company) with no animosity or ill will, and wish you and your company continued success.

My decision is irrevocable and any counteroffers extended by you and / or (company) will be rejected.


(Your Name)

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