Chief Executive Officer
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Ready to quit your job?
It’s a small world, and every little detail — from how you break the news to what you put in your resignation letter — will either help or hurt your professional reputation.
The purpose of a resignation letter is to provide an official document telling your employer that you’re either terminating your employment immediately or on a specific day. Once it’s sent to your supervisor, he or she will forward it to HR to keep in your file.
Here’s my basic philosophy on resignation letters: Less is more.
Unfortunately, the majority of letters I’ve seen can be summed up in one word: Eyesores. That’s because many of them usually fall into one of three categories:
To give you a clear example of where to begin, here’s the most impressive resignation letter I ever received based on my 20 years of working in corporate leadership and HR.
As we discussed in our meeting today, I'm resigning my position as [xxx] at [xxx]. My last day will be [xxx].
Thank you for teaching me how to thrive in situations with tight deadlines and fast-moving parameters. I really enjoyed my time here and am so grateful for your support. During this time of transition, I will continue to screen candidates for my replacement and send you a memo reiterating everything we discussed about who will be taking over my existing projects.
Please let me know if there's anything I can do to make the transition as smooth as possible. I wish you and the team continued success!
The letter was clear, concise and included everything on my checklist:
I should also note that the way in which the employee resigned was flawless. Prior to sending the letter, she told me the news in private; we discussed the specifics of her departure such as who would be taking over her accounts and how she planned to help with the search for a replacement.
On her last day, she said goodbye to me in person. There was no raiding of the supply closet; she left the tape dispenser, stapler and Post-Its. No 1,000-word 2 p.m. email blast to hundreds of employees saying, “Goodbye friends and colleagues...”
Believe it or not, all these things matter a great deal.
A version of this article appears on cnbc.com.