In case you’re wondering, resignation letters are still very much in vogue. And, not only is your “I quit” letter relevant, it also plays an impactful role in your career overall too. It’s not just a vessel to expalin to your boss you’re quitting (without having to have a dreaded 1:1 sitdown) it’s a stamp in time. A piece of your professional history. And, it can come in handy down the line. So, before you skip off to write your “Dear Boss: I quit!” note, consider these elements!
Focus On The Three P’s
Enact the three P’s; polished poised and professional. And, there’s no better time to remember the three P’s than when you’re quitting your job. Here’s why.
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When you resign, your resignation letter will stay in your employee file at most organizations. This document will outlive any professional successes you’ve had at a company. And, it provides supporting documentation that you left on good terms.
Reading this you may be thinking, “Why should I care about my employee file from an old job?” The simple answer, references and future career opportunities.
Employeers no longer spill the beans when giving a reference. Instead, reference calls are often handled through HR. Here’s how it works. A call comes in from a third party background check firm. An HR representative from your past employer pulls your employee file. They see your start date, your end date and any exit interview or resignation letter left. Then they see elibile for rehire or not eleigible for rehire. And that’s how HR decides to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down when providing a reference.
How you exit a job impacts this last check mark, eligible for rehire. So, make your life simple, leave on good terms and write a professional note when you do.
Remember, a resignation letter isn’t just a professional formality. When well written, a resignation letter is an impactful career resource. It’s a tool that allows you to leave a job on a high note while protecting your professional interests.
Be Brief. Be Bright. Be Gone
A resignation letter shouldn’t read like a lecture. It should be a well-formatted document, designed to set expectations for both parties, as you wind down your employment. It should be smart, polished and well structured, not rambling and confusing.
The goal of a resignation letter isn’t to air out grievances. Or bait a counteroffer. The goal is to quit in a professional fashion and your letter should follow that tone.
Define Important Elements
Build a strategy to include timelines and deliverables before you box up your office.
A well-crafted resignation letter should not only define your last day of employment, but also any outstanding issues such as when you’ll return a company car, phone or laptop. Your resignation letter should also cover any monies you believe are due for payment upon leaving.
Get it in writing so details aren’t confused or brushed under the rug after your employment ends.
As mentioned previously, a resignation letter isn’t an “I hate my boss” letter. Instead of complaining, focus on thanking your boss, and employer, for the effort and time they’ve invested in your career.
Even if you’re full of glee to quit your job, the truth is, if you didn’t have the opportunity to work for your current boss and employer, you may not have been ready to step into the new role you just accepted.
Sometimes it’s difficult to admit a boss helped your career advancement, especially if a relationship was rocky. But, if you’re honest you know they did. Be professional, thank them.
And the end of the day, be true to yourself but keep in mind your resignation letter is one of many strategies you’ll employ in your professional journey. It may feel good to write a scathing note to HR, but that action won’t get you what you want. So be smart and take the high road. Traffic is lighter there and you’ll be able to get to your farewell party much faster.