There’s a number of reasons why you might be leaving your current engineering or teachnical role. Whether it’s because you have received a better offer, need a new challenge or the role simply isn’t for you, the process of writing a resignation letter is almost always the same.
Understanding the resignation letter
Let’s break it down and consider what the purpose of a resignation letter is and what we want to get out of it. Yes, handing in a formal notice is something that we are contractually obliged to do, but what else do we want to get out of it?
Ultimately, it’s important to recognise that the letter of resignation isn’t the end of your relationship with this employer - just the beginning of your final few weeks in this role. It’s important to leave the company with a positive lasting impression, you may need a reference or happen to work with some of these people again in the future.
With that in mind, you should act accordingly and aim to carry out these last few weeks with as much gusto as the first few.
Writing your letter
Aside from the general greetings and sign-offs expected in a formal letter the main content should fit into three concise paragraphs:
1) The statement
State that you are leaving the company and that you will be leaving on a specific date in line with your notice period (usually 4 weeks).
Dear [Boss’ Name],
I am writing to inform you of my resignation from the position of [job title] with [Company Name]. As in accordance with my notice period my last day will be [date at the end of your notice period].
2) Professional Courtesies
Thank your employer for giving you the opportunity, outline some of the most important things you’ve learned in the role and be as genuine as possible. Remember to stay professional at all times and leave a positive lasting impression - avoid venting and complaining despite how you may be feeling.
I would like to take this time to thank you for the opportunity this last [amount of time]. I have learned a lot and significantly developed my professional skill set. This was not an easy decision and I truly value your support throughout my employment. It has been a pleasure working with you and the rest of the team.
3) The hand-off
Finally, recognise that there will be a transitional period whilst the company looks for a replacement to fill your role. Note the inconvenience caused for the business and offer to help in ensuring a smooth transition and potentially training your replacement.
Aim to keep the letter between 150 and 250 words.
Throughout the next few weeks before my leaving, I will do everything needed to continue my duties. If there is anything I can do to make the transition easier please do not hesitate to ask.
I wish you and the company continued success in the future.
After writing it ensure that you proofread it to guarantee the correct punctuation, spelling and grammar. You can do this by asking an eagle-eyed friend to go over it or simply by uploading a copy to online platforms such as Grammarly.
Handing in your resignation letter
To avoid leaving a sour taste in your employer’s mouth consider that this is a difficult moment for both yourself and your company. Being the one to initiate the process you should anticipate that it may come as a shock to your manager and handle the situation with care. If they are busy, book a time in their diary so you can have enough time to explain your situation.
By handing the letter over in person you are extending a professional courtesy and can, therefore, expect your employer to do the same. Be prepared to flesh out any points that are left unsaid in the letter. Feel free to tell your employer your reason for leaving but bear in mind that they may not take the news well if you are going to a direct competitor.
By completing these three steps and acting with dignity throughout the process, will mean you leave your existing employer with pride and knowing that you carried a good job until your last day.
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