When circumstances come up that make it necessary to leave a job, it is important to leave the company as professionally as possible. Whether the resignation is because of relocating, changing professions or simply leaving a bad situation, the resignation letter should be positive and professional. Since it will likely become a permanent fixture in the employee file, there are many things that need to be left out of the letter.
The first thing that should never be included in a resignation letter is any threatening messages to the boss, company or any other employee. Some people leave their employer feeling hurt and angry. While those feelings may be very real, never threaten the boss or any employees that are left behind. Future employers generally will contact past employers and leaving a job with a threatening message could hurt any chance of obtaining a job in the future.
Never include complaints about the boss or any co-workers in a letter. Even if a certain co-worker or boss was a back-stabber and made the job impossible to cope with, the letter is not the time to discuss such issues. Talking to the boss in person about issues that interfere with the ability to get the job done is the way to handle such situations. Waiting until walking out the door and including a list of reasons in a letter is not the way to get anything resolved.
Stating the many things wrong with the company and listing how it could have been run better is also not something that should not be included. Suggestions on how to make the company run more efficiently or effectively should be discussed in person. Bringing them up at the time of departure just makes one seem like a disgruntle employee. The same goes for bringing up how terrible the job was. Talk about issues that are uncomfortable with the job. Adding them to the letter is not the answer.
Though it seems like no-brainer, never add a sentence that asks to be contacted in the future if another position becomes available. Obviously if someone is resigning from a company, there are specific reasons they are leaving. Asking for future employment while walking away from a company will simply not make sense to the boss or anyone in the company. However, leaving on good terms may leave the door open for future employment opportunities.
The bottom line is that a resignation letter is not the time to air any dirty laundry. It is important to leave a position on the best terms possible. It is uncertain what the future will hold, and being nasty and pointing fingers will not help anything. Instead of being angry in a letter, keep it simple. The letter should simply inform the employer when the date of departure will be. Keep it short and as positive as possible. That will help keep the door open for future opportunities and enable an employer to have no reason to give a bad reference.
By Andre Bradley