5 Reasons Why You Should Always Write a Resignation Letter: Planning for a Professional Exit

By Will Capper

No matter the circumstances surrounding your resignation, it is almost always a good idea to provide your employer with a written letter of resignation at the same time you give them your notice to quit.  There are many reasons why a resignation letter should form part of your leaving process, below we list our top 5, but in essence, a well written resignation letter is a reflection of your professionalism and a reflection on your past, present and future career aspirations. 

Read on to discover our top 5 reasons for writing a resignation letter:

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1. Demonstrate your professionalism

Above all else, a resignation letter highlights your commitment to professionalism. It shows that you care about your career, your employer, your colleagues and the way you present yourself to the wider world.  Taking the time to write a resignation shows you have given consideration to your departure and also enables you to express your gratitude for the time you have spent in your role.  A well written resignation letter will always be appreciated by a decent employer and will stand you in good stead for any future endeavours.

2. Succession planning

This point is, on paper, the least immediately beneficial to you, however it will certainly reflect positively on you after your departure.  Put simply, a resignation letter provides your employer with a fair amount of time to plan for your departure work towards creating a smooth transition for your exit. This is especially important if your role involves critical responsibilities or projects. Highlighting your willingness to collaborate during the transition phase reflects your commitment to the organization's success beyond your own tenure.

3. An official record of your intention to leave

A resignation letter also serves as a note on file as your intention to depart your current employer and a record of the date your notice period should start from.  Although thankfully unusual, employers can sometimes be difficult when an employee hands in their notice, with some cases even ending up in court!  Therefore having a written, dated record of your resignation can prove very useful at a later date.  As well as a printed copy of your letter, it is also worth sending an electronic copy of your resignation letter via email to HR, your line manager or even another colleague and also cc’ing / b’ccing your personal email address so you have evidence that the letter was sent, preventing potential disputes down the line.

Resignation Letter Examples: What To Write and Also, What Not To!

4. Leave a positive, lasting impression

Your resignation letter is a final communication with your current employer. Leaving on a positive note can create a lasting impression that might be beneficial in the future. You never know when you will need to seek a reference and your former employer is going to better remember / be influenced by your last interactions, including your resignation, when deciding on what to write as a reference. A graceful exit can help to make sure that reference is a cut above the rest!

5. Networking

Leaving a positive impression brings us nicely onto the potential for future networking.  As you move forward in your career, the relationships you've cultivated can be invaluable. A respectful resignation process can preserve these connections and possibly open doors to future opportunities. The individuals you work with today might be your colleagues, clients, or collaborators tomorrow. By demonstrating professionalism during your exit, you contribute to an enduring network of contacts who can vouch for your skills and character.

In conclusion, the act of writing a resignation letter is more than a perfunctory task. It represents your professionalism, consideration for others, and your own commitment to a successful career journey. By crafting a thoughtful and respectful resignation letter, you contribute to a legacy of professionalism, maintain positive connections, and pave the way for future opportunities. So, the next time you're faced with the prospect of resigning from a job, remember that a well-composed resignation letter is an investment in your own future success.