Top-left insert the name, title, organization and address of your line manager - not your foreman, team-leader, supervisor or shift supervisor, unless they are formally responsible for managing recruitment and resignations. Normally supervisory positions are not responsible for employment issues - your supervisor's boss is normally your formal line manager and the person to whom to address your resignation letter. It is important that your resignation letter is received by a manager who is officially responsible, otherwise disputes and confusion can arise as to whether you have actually resigned, and letters can 'go astray' if not sent to a responsible person in authority. If in any doubt as to whom to address your resignation letter (in small or disorganized companies sometimes these matters are not crystal clear) check with a senior manager, director, HR/Personnel Manager or even the CEO's p.a., any one of whom should be able to advise you.
Top-left below your manager's address insert the date you are writing the letter. Generally employers will deem the effective date of resignation to be the date shown on the resignation letter, but in other situations employers can regard notice of resignation effective from the date they receive the letter, so try to ensure that the date on the letter and the date of receipt are the same or very close. (It is not unknown for resignation letters to sit in a manager's in-tray for a week or more due to absence or holiday, leading to inevitable confusion as to the effective resignation and leaving dates, also impacting on termination pay and commencement of the person's new job.) Whatever, date your letter with due regard for its possible effect on your notice period and final leaving date.
Start your letter with Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss (surname), or Dear (first name), whatever you normally use when speaking to your boss - in all but the most traditional and formal organizations first name terms are quite acceptable.
Clarity and simplicity are important - just say what is relevant and no more. Do not take the opportunity to tell the employer all the things you'd do differently or would change about the organization given the chance. If they want to know how you feel they'll hold an exit interview, which is the place for feedback, not the resignation letter.
State the date that you regard to be your leaving date, calculated by adding your contractual notice period (normally a week or a month, or in senior positions anything from three months to more than a year. Stating your preparedness to work your full notice period is significant - asking to leave sooner will reduce your chances of receiving a settlement payment in lieu of notice if it is to be offered. This is when for certain jobs the employer stipulates an earlier leaving date than required by your contractual notice period, in which case the employer must pay you for the notice period, being your entitlement whether you work it or not. In certain jobs, particularly business sales and management positions, resigning employees are often not required to serve their notice period.
Letter of Resignation
Resignation letters are official documents to management confirming you are leaving the company. They should be polite, brief and succinct.
Resignation letters come in different styles and form depending on your circumstances. If you have not been in a position for very long, you might opt for a basic resignation letter. If you are moving to a new town, a relocation resignation letter can provide the explanation for your resignation. If you work for a large organisation that requires you to send a copy to the HR department, a more formal resignation letter may be more appropriate.
To write a very personalised resignation letter, you can use any of the samples provided and add your own message. Make sure you proofread your resignation letter as carefully as you would a resume or cover letter.
Sample Resignation Letter
18 Hillside Road | Sometown, MA 55555 | Phone: 555-555-5555 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept. 23, 2011
Ms. Joyce Michaels
Please accept this letter as notice of my resignation from my position as staff accountant. My last day of employment will be Oct. 7, 2011.
I received an offer to serve as senior accountant of another company, and after careful consideration, I realize that this opportunity is too exciting for me to decline.
It has been a pleasure working with you and your team over the last three years. One of the highlights of my career was collaborating with you to automate ABC Company’s accounting, financial and balance systems and setting up your accounting infrastructure. Your company is poised for continued growth and I wish you much success with your upcoming acquisition of XYZ Company.
I would like to help with the transition of my accounting duties so that systems continue to function smoothly after my departure. I am available to help recruit and train my replacement, and I will make certain that all reporting and records are updated before my last day of work.
Joyce, thank you again for the opportunity to work for ABC Company. I wish you and your staff all the best and I look forward to staying in touch with you. You can email me anytime at email@example.com or call me at 555-555-5555.