Positive resignation letters required for unstable job market

Anny Chih photo

By Anny Chih, 24 hours Vancouver




Millennials are often considered unstable employees for their tendency to switch jobs every other year, but according to a long-term survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average baby boomer born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 5.5 jobs between the ages of 18 to 24; that’s about one new job every year.

With constant changes in employment across all demographics, there are a lot of opportunities to write resignation letters and it becomes important to end things on a positive note. After all, with everyone constantly changing jobs there’s a high likelihood that paths will cross again.

Before delivering a resignation letter, it’s equally important to resign in person with your manager as a sign of respect. Meeting in person also allows you to tailor your message based on their body language, and offer feedback on how the company can improve if you feel they are open to suggestions. Criticism alone serves only to hurt your chances of receiving a positive letter of recommendation, and should be left out of the conversation.

The resignation letter itself is more of a formality required by Human Resources, and a final thank you for your manager to remember you by. As such, it should be succinct, positive, and should not include any requests for information about post-employment benefits or compensation unless you foresee a potential legal issue that requires such written documentation.

Resignation letters typically follow a standard structure, which opens with a statement of intent to resign and indicates the last day of work. If you are leaving the company to accept a new job offer, the opening paragraph may mention this.

The following two paragraphs should express to the reader that resigning is not something you take lightly, and that you are appreciative of everything you have learned during your employment. In doing so, you reassure the reader that they made the right decision to hire you and that you are someone who can be recommended for future opportunities regardless of the duration of your employment.

To end the letter, always offer to help with the transition during your last weeks at the company so it is clear that you would like to remain on good terms.


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