You’ve decided to leave your job and want to go out on a high note. This begins with giving notice and professionally informing people. So, do you have to send a resignation letter? If so, to whom do you send it? And what do you think?
Is it Necessary to Write a Resignation Letter?
Clark advises giving your supervisor at least two weeks’ notice if you’re moving on to the next level in your career “face-to-face or via video chat.” In most cases, resigning does not necessitate a formal resignation letter. However, there are some occasions when you should write one, especially when, as Claman points out, submitting a resignation letter usually does no harm and is relatively simple.
Why Should You Write a Resignation Letter?
Reason #1: It creates a paper trail.
Some managers or human resources officials will request that you submit a letter for record-keeping purposes. Even if no one asks for one, you can submit one so that there is evidence of your notice and departure date, which may aid in the paperwork around your final paycheck and transition of responsibilities.
Reason #2: It’s standard practice in your business or firm.
Depending on where you work, you may be required to submit a resignation letter. You’ll need to inquire about it because it depends on your region, industry, and organisation. You may check with someone who has left your company to see if they submitted a letter, or you could ask someone in HR (who you trust) how these things are typically handled.
Reason #3: You believe it will assist you in managing the conversation.
According to Clark, telling your supervisor you’re leaving might be embarrassing, and it can be challenging to break the news face to face. You might begin the dialogue by emailing your resignation letter just before your appointment with them. That way, they’ll know what you’re going to talk about and have a few moments to digest the news before you plunge in.
Reason #4: You want complete control over the message regarding your departure.
Writing a letter lets you be specific about when and why you’re leaving. If you’re concerned that your boss may try to spin your departure in a way that benefits them (but isn’t the whole story), write the letter to them and copy HR or your boss’s supervisor. According to Claman, this allows you to “influence how people think about you and if they’ll write a future reference.”
Also Read: Work Experience in Resume
How to Write a Resignation Letter
What to say
To begin with, keep it brief. “This is largely a transactional letter,” Claman explains, “and you don’t want to go on and on.”
Address the letter to your employer or HR, depending on who you want to send the information.
Explain briefly and clearly when you are going and what you intend to do next. If you don’t have a new job lined up, make it ambiguous; “I’m leaving to pursue the next chapter of my career”, or anything similar would serve.
It’s also a good idea to express thankfulness if you have something to be grateful for. “It has to be nice and true,” Claman recommends.
Consider giving details you were excited to work on or other achievements you’re pleased with.
Finish by discussing the following steps, such as the timing of your leave and your commitment to seamlessly turning over your duties and responsibilities. “This is an offer for what you can do to aid in the transition,” Claman explains.
What to avoid
Clark and Claman agree that you should avoid providing feedback or criticism in your letter. “Don’t go into a blow-by-blow assessment of the company’s flaws,” Clark advises.
That doesn’t mean you have to keep your problems to yourself; reserve them for the exit interview, which is usually a better place to voice grievances. If you’re leaving due to abuse or another major issue, “you’ll presumably be making a report or complaint to HR,” Clark adds. “That needs to be addressed, but the resignation letter is not the appropriate venue.” [A rare exception to this rule is given below.]
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