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How to write a resignation letter
Sunder Ramachandran
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February 14, 2007

A change in job is an important time in one's career. While you may have written a great acceptance letter to your future employer stating your intent to join, it's equally important to leave your current employer on a positive note.

Writing a professional resignation letter would ensure that people remember you when you leave and the employers keep their gates open, in case you decide to come back in the future.

Here are some things to keep in mind when composing a resignation letter.

State your intention clearly

There is no need for lengthy explanations, you can simply state that you are resigning from your position to pursue other interests or opportunities. Keep it brief, but respectful, and mark the letter to your direct supervisor with a copy to the Human Resource manager.

Mention things that you would want to negotiate

Your resignation letter should provide a structure for your meeting with your boss. You can politely state what you deserve, such as a payout that was pending, vacation time, or any bonuses that were supposed to come your way.

Don't be overtly demanding, as you still have an exit interview to state your needs. 

List down your current projects and completion dates

Your boss may not know the details of all the projects you are currently working on. It is your responsibility to remind him of the same. Provide a list of projects and their expected dates of completion, if there are any tasks that may not get completed within your notice period, explain the backup plan that you have in mind. As far as possible, finish the job and don't leave projects half completed.

Offer to train your replacement

You could also recommend colleagues who can take up your responsibilities, to your boss.

Share resumes of qualified candidates or recommend a valued co-worker for your position.

Also, mention your willingness to put in a few extra hours to train your replacement. Proofread your letter for errors and save a copy for your reference before sending it out.

Farewell e-mails

By the time you finish serving your notice period, the word about your resignation would have spread around. So there is no need for sending out a sobbing e-mail, or one which boasts of your accomplishment.

Just 'thank everyone' for their support and provide your contact details (personal e-mail ID and phone number).

A sample letter:

Dear Mr Sharma,

I would like to resign from my job with immediate effect. I have taken this decision to pursue another opportunity that would act as a catalyst in my career.

I would be serving a one month notice starting tomorrow and would like to be relieved of my responsibilities by February 15, 2007. I would like to thank you for your support and insights that made my stint a great learning experience.

I am currently working on the following projects:

I would like to discuss the following when we meet:

I would like to recommend a few team members for my position and would be happy to train and support my replacement.

Please let me know of a convenient time to meet and discuss the same.

Yours sincerely,
Amit Sharma
Designation & department

So, when you realise that it's time to say goodbye, do it in style and make a positive exit!

-- The author is a Managing Partner at W.C.H Solutions, a Training solutions organisation. He can be reached at

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