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How To Write A Resignation Letter

Workin’ Girl

In my life, I have had my fair share of shitty jobs and bosses. If you are like the average working woman or man, I'm sure you have had a few of your own that you absolutely hate. Even though you may despise them, when you leave, you have to resign with a certain level of class and professionalism.


As tempting as it may be, you shouldn't quit by cursing your boss out nor should you give him or her your favorite finger on your way out the door.

Even though you hate your job or your boss, you never know when you may need one or the other. Besides giving your employer a considerate two weeks notice, it is important to also send in a written resignation letter that is professional and not tacky.

When you leave your job on a good note with a well-written and proper resignation letter, you are keeping yourself open to obtaining references, connections, and other opportunities. Also, if you ever wanted to go back to the job that you quit, you will have a better chance at being rehired if you left on a good note and submitted a professional and poised resignation letter. Keep in mind, the resignation letter that you submit will be sent to HR and it will set the tone of your last two weeks on the job.

Here are 6 simple steps in writing a resignation letter to a job that you hate:

1. Keep it short and sweet.

Just like writing a cover letter when you are applying for a job, your resignation letter should be a quick read and straight to the point. At all times, your resignation letter should not exceed one page. Honestly, it shouldn't even exceed a few paragraphs. Although it may be a million and one reasons why you are quitting, do not write a full five-page paper on why you hate your job and how it was such a waste of time.

2. Don't be an asshole.

In your letter, use words that exude positivity and don't use the moment in your letter to rant about co-workers that you hated. Keep in mind nobody likes pettiness, so being petty in your letter and placing blame on others will not make anyone miss you or wanting you back on the team. (Remember, you always want to leave on a good note because you never know when you may need someone.)

3. Be humble and gracious.

Saying thank you goes a long way and when you are genuine to someone, it has its perks. When you are pleasant, people are more inclined to do nice things for you and say even nicer things about you. Depending on your career industry, a lot of the high-level managers and HR pros hang in the same crowd, so you should want to always leave a good impression and make it known that you are thankful for the opportunity that you were given. Although you may hate your job, you did learn something out of that experience. Maybe you learned how to be a better supervisor if your manager sucked, or you learned what you don't want out of your next job or company.

4. Offer your help.

Once you submit your two-week notice, it doesn't mean that you are free to do whatever you want to do except for work. During your last two weeks, continue to work hard and also take time out to train other people on your job. In your letter, let your boss know that you will help out in anyway that you can so that you exit does not negatively affect the team.

5. State your last day.

It is the standard to give a two weeks notice, but depending on your job industry, it may be normal to give more than a two weeks notice. No matter what the standard is, be sure to give your employer a specific last day of employment. Doing so, there will not be any confusion on when your last day of work is and it will give your manager a better idea of how soon they should be looking for your replacement.

6. Deliver the news in person.

If you are able and if your job allows it, always deliver the resignation letter in person. If you work from home, be sure to email your resignation letter and never quit via phone or text message (and especially not word of mouth).

Here is an example of a resignation letter:

Have some tips to add? Share them below!

Featured image by Shutterstock

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