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Maybe someone from your network offered you a job at a new company. Perhaps you’re simply fed up with your current job and you’re ready to start searching job boards like ZipRecruiter for something new. Sometimes, starting a new job can be the exact best thing for your career.
But when it comes to quitting your current job, make sure you’re doing everything to remain professional and leave on a high note. A resignation letter may feel like a formality, but it serves multiple purposes outside of being the right thing to do — no matter your motive for leaving.
The main reason to submit a resignation letter is to officially inform your current employer you are leaving. You don’t need to include a lengthy explanation for your departure. Still, the letter should have key information like when your last day of employment will be, potential next steps, and an offer to outline your transition for someone to take over your role.
Following professional etiquette is paramount when quitting a job. Consider these five tips when submitting a resignation letter to ensure you leave our company on a high note. (If after reading these you still need some inspiration, ZipRecruiter has some sample letters to consider.)
1. Deliver the letter in person.
Your direct manager will typically be the first person you inform that you’re leaving the company. Schedule a meeting to tell him or her that you are resigning from your role.
You can either come to the meeting with your resignation letter in hand or, if you’re meeting virtually, email the letter immediately after to get it on the record. Your manager will walk you through next steps and determine the best course of action for your remaining days at the company.
2. Provide your last date of employment.
Giving the proper amount of advance notice for leaving a company is essential. The standard in the U.S. is two weeks from the day you inform your organization of your departure, so be sure to date the resignation letter for HR’s record.
That said, you should still plan for immediate departure. Your company may have your last day be in less than two weeks from submitting your resignation letter, so try to communicate that with your new employer and prepare for this financially.
3. Show gratitude.
It’s important to remain positive and professional in a resignation letter. Use this platform to thank your employer for the opportunities they’ve given you. Professionalism plays a huge role in this tip because even if you can’t wait to leave, showing gratitude in your letter is still courteous and helps you leave your company gracefully.
4. Offer to help.
When you quit a job, one or more of your team members will likely absorb your responsibilities as a backfill until your replacement is hired. Your colleagues will greatly appreciate any effort you display to make the transition easier on them.
Not only is this a positive gesture, but you also never know when you will see these people again, so leaving them with a good impression can be a smart move.
5. Share your reason for leaving.
This tip is optional, especially if you really don’t want to share the reason. However, it would help if you’re prepared for HR to ask for this information in your exit interview — even though you still don’t need to answer the question then. This is more of an opportunity to provide your former company with feedback. It’s perfectly acceptable to keep your reasoning vague, like “this new role is the right career move for me at the moment” or “I chose to pursue a new opportunity.” You are under no obligation to disclose where you’ll be working next. Use your discretion when discussing your next role.
If you’re still looking for that perfect next step to advance your career, consider taking your job hunt to a free job search site like ZipRecruiter. A favorite among hiring managers and job seekers, ZipRecruiter leverages powerful matching technology to get your resume in front of top companies, improving the likelihood of finding the right fit. ZipRecruiter is rated the #1 job site in the U.S.1 and offers a convenient mobile app and one-tap apply, so you can apply to jobs wherever you are with confidence.
Feeling emotions when submitting a resignation letter is completely normal. Keep in mind that this next step is in your career’s best interest, and by following these tips, you are professionally leaving your current role.
1 Based on G2 satisfaction ratings as of December 31, 2020