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When Do you Need to Write the Resignation Letter?
Before you know what to write in the resignation letter, it is just as important to understand when to write it. Now, you may have decided for retirement, and whether you are in your late 50s, or 20s, as a professional courtesy it is recommended to give a one month's notice prior.
This can give your company enough time to find a replacement, and it can matter even more if they were not expecting your retirement. So, if you do have any plans to resign, then make sure that you give prior notice so you can exit from your work life according to the time you had set in your mind.
It is also worth noting that for goodwill, you can offer your assistance to the company during the transition period so their work operations are not impacted.
What to Include in a Resignation Letter
Now moving on to the most important thing, what you should include in a resignation letter? What are the main components that can leave a good impression? Let's see.
This should not come as a surprise as it is one of the most basic requirements for any letter. When writing a letter, the first thing you need to make sure of is that you mention the date at the top, the name of the recipient, and most importantly - the company address and name.
Once you are done with the heading, the next step is the greetings to address the recipient directly. Now, what you need to include in the salutation may heavily depend on the connection you have with the recipient. If you believe that you know them at a personal level, then you may use their first name, such as "Dear Walter". Although if you aim to keep the letter as formal as possible, then it would be recommended to address them with their last name, such as "Dear Mr. White".
Now moving on to the main part, and this is normally where people feel confused and start wondering what and what not to include. How long should the length be, etc? Although there is not a specific requirement for the number of paragraphs, you should go for a minimum of one and a maximum of five total paragraphs in the body.
Your first paragraph should directly cut to the point. Let the recipient know that you are retiring and mention the date. Once that is done, move to the second paragraph where you can be a bit more casual. You could let them know your plans after retirement, or the skills you developed while working with them.
If you want to keep the letter as formal and professional as possible, then consider writing about what you learned throughout your tenure with them. Mention the experience you had with the company, and then proceed to thank the employer for the opportunity they provided to you.
If you do not have any urgent plans, then you may also include that you would assist them with the transition process, however, that may not really be necessary.
Once you are done writing the body of the letter, think of a good closing such as - "Yours Truly", "Best Regards", or anything that matches your style and preference.
Important Tips to Follow
Now that you are well-versed with the main components of a resignation letter, here are a couple of tips you should consider keeping in mind while writing one:
Quality holds great significance when you are writing a resignation letter. Although you do not have to show any extensive vocabulary, it would be recommended to be careful with your choice of words. Make sure that once you are done writing, you proofread it to find if there are any errors. Keep it as concise as possible, while ensuring that you are still able to deliver everything that you wanted to. The reason quality matters so much when writing resignation letters is due to how it directly represents your work relationship.
The more thought-out your resignation letter is, the better connections you are going to establish with the company. If you are looking for a second opinion, then you may ask one of your close colleagues to review it as well. It would provide you with a great heads up about whether it looks fine, and also help in catching some errors that you may have missed.
Your writing/speaking tone has the power to make a major impact in any work environment and the same applies when writing a resignation letter as well. Whether you should go for a casual or an informal tone heavily depends on the type of relations you have at your workplace along with the atmosphere.
This is why first carefully evaluate the type of tone you would like to use. Assess your work experience and the position you are resigning from may also matter when writing your resignation letter.
So now that you have finished writing your letter, who you should deliver it to? Well, start by delivering it to your Team Lead/Manager. Once you deliver it to your manager, it is recommended to send a copy to the Human Resources department as well, so they cannot only process the letter but also other benefits such as your provident fund.
4) Method of Delivery
If you were thinking about sending the letter via a courier company, then that is certainly not recommended. This is one thing that you do not want to risk, as no matter how reliable the courier company may be there is always the chance of misplacement. The best option for you would be to simply go directly to your workplace and meet your manager in person to hand them the letter. However, if you are not able to give it in person due to any given reason, then you can consider writing a resignation email instead of by following the same pattern.
Things You Should Not Include in Your Resignation Letter
You are almost ready to write one of the best resignation letters in the history-however, there is one thing that remains, which is to know what you should not include in the resignation letter.
1) Avoid Vagueness
Far too many people make the mistake and are not clear with why they are resigning. Make sure that if you are resigning for retirement, then you particularly mention that to avoid any confusion. If you are unsure about your retirement, then you may just write a letter and keep it for the time being until you fully make up your mind. Changing your mind after sending a retirement letter seems unprofessional and may even leave a sore taste in the mouths of the recipients.
2) Notice Period
We may have mentioned this before, but it cannot be emphasized enough how important a notice period is before your resignation. If you are unsure how long the notice period should be, then you may refer to your contact. Most of the time you are going to find all the information you need in your contract and what you should do before retirement.
3) Negative Writing
No matter how horrible of an experience you had working for the company, or how incompetent you think your boss was-a resignation letter is not the right place to critic that. It is important to leave things on professional terms so if you do not want to sing fake praises, then avoid any sort of negative writing as well.
You may be retiring, but disparaging the company is only going to make things more problematic for the employees who would come after you. There is a chance that your boss may refine the selection process and give other employees a hard time.
4) Avoid Sarcasm
Coming in line with our previous point, as tempting as it may be, do not sound sarcastic in your resignation letter. Stating that "I had a wonderful experience working under one of the most competent and visionary managers in the world" is uncalled for.
Sample Resignation Letter
If you are still feeling unconfident in writing a resignation letter, then the example below is going to help you fully clear things up:
Name of Recipient
Name of Company
Dear Mr/Mrs (Last Name):
I would like to bring into your knowledge that I am retiring from (Company Name), effective (Date).
Thank you for all the opportunities you have provided me with over the years for both my personal and professional growth. I gained a wealth of knowledge working with you and had the pleasure of polishing my skills beyond my capacity.
I enjoyed working for the company and feel truly fond of the support provided to me throughout my tenure. While I look forward to moving towards my life of retirement, I will miss working for the company. If you require my assistance during the transition, then do not hesitate in letting me know.
Now that you have the sample letter in front of you, we hope that all the confusion you had is now cleared. Of course, you can adjust this letter according to your style, and the company's culture but it should be enough to give you a general idea of what to write. Even if it is buried deep under the other letters at the HR department for an eternity, you at least know that you played your part. Not only did you make sure your letter sounds as professional as possible, but also, you maintained your connections with the company.
There are times when people change their minds even after retirement. You may not have any plans for that as of now, but there is no harm in always having a backup plan. After all, many people do not find retirement life as exciting after some time and decide to return to their work lives. This is especially the case for people who require at a young age. Therefore, it is always best to keep a window open for future relations with your company.
The resignation letter is one of the final impressions you are going to leave on your company for which you have possibly spent a great portion of your life with. It is only natural that it should sound as professional as possible, and that is what we aimed for through this detailed article.
Even if you ever come across your company (you never know), they are always going to remember you for how professional your resignation was and you will leave a lasting impression on them. So, have a happy life of retirement ahead and now it is time that you finally get the rest that you deserve!