7 Common Mistakes When Writing Your Letter of Resignation

Publié le 26 August 2020 Par

Leaving your job for a new opportunity is an exciting time in your professional life. Don’t let your official notice be derailed or complicated by making 7 common mistakes when writing your letter of resignation.

As you prepare to take on a brand new challenge in your professional career, you need to wrap up loose ends at your current job by writing a professional letter of resignation. This is the document that will officially end your time as an employee, and deserves to be treated seriously and with proper thought. With thousands of people giving their notice every month, however, there are bound to be a few mistakes and errors that can interfere with your desire to leave on a professional note.

7 Common Mistakes When Writing Your Letter of Resignation:

  • Don’t be ambiguous
  • Don’t mention your new job
  • Don’t criticize the company
  • Don’t bring up insurance, RRSPs or pensions
  • Don’t use unprofessional language
  • Don’t be too friendly
  • Don’t fail to write a resignation letter

Don’t Be Ambiguous

This is not the time to be non-specific, or to write vague and ambiguous sentences. Your letter of resignation is the official notice that you’re leaving your job and it needs to state this fact as simply as possible. Don’t write something like “I will be exploring new opportunities” or “I feel my time with the company is coming to a natural conclusion.” State that this is your resignation and include the date on which it will take effect. Not doing so will only result in confusion, and may not actually even qualify as the official notice that you are ending your employment based on the procedure specified in your employee contract.

Don’t Mention Your New Job

Mentioning your new job, position or salary is a major faux pas when writing your letter of resignation. There can be a natural pressure felt to explain and justify why you are leaving for a new opportunity. The reality, however, is that you do not owe your employer a reason for resigning from your role. Your new job offer, title and salary are none of their business, and it is unnecessary to offer this explanation in your letter of resignation, just as it is inappropriate for them to request it. You are under no obligation to tell your soon-to-be-former employer about your new job role, especially not in an official letter of resignation.

Don’t Criticize the Company

Not every person enjoys their time in every job. If you found this job role lacking, your letter of resignation is not the time to deliver a lengthy explanation detailing all the ways in which management and the company made errors and mistakes. If you have serious concerns about the way a company is being run and these are a strong motivation for you to leave, these should be brought up in either a separate message or an in-person meeting. This way you will ensure that your concerns are at least heard, while an email or letter could be easily dismissed. A letter of resignation is not the right place for your grievances, and will not be an effective way of seeing them addressed.In the event of illegal or inappropriate activities, these of course should be brought to light through the proper channels that will guarantee that they are addressed. 

Don’t Bring Up Insurance or Pensions

Leaving a job can actually involve a fair amount of organization and paperwork. Many full-time employees have benefits packages, insurance coverage, pension funds, RRSPs and more that ties them to their company, and HR managers often use these very same packages as a popular incentive during recruitment. While it is very important to sort these out before you leave your job, your letter of resignation is not the place to ask these questions. Instead, a much better method is to speak to your HR representative and discuss all your options. They should be able to help you understand when your benefits will officially end and what you can do with various funds that have been allocated on your behalf as part of your employment benefits package.

Don’t Use Unprofessional Language

As tempting as it may be to do so, don’t fill your letter of resignation with swears and other unprofessional language. This is still an official document that will go into company records, so it is important to choose your wording carefully and leave out any inappropriate 4-letter words. It will only make you look unprofessional, and may even negatively impact your reputation in your industry. A bad reputation can be a hard thing to shake, so don’t let your resignation letter be a reason that others may speak negatively of your character on the job.

Don’t Be Too Friendly

After working in one job for a number of years, strong bonds will undoubtedly form between colleagues and coworkers. Building friendships and caring about coworkers as individuals and not just another face at the office makes for a strong workplace community and a more positive work environment for everyone. Your letter of resignation, however, is not the time to reflect on these impactful personal relationships. Even if you have developed a strong working relationship with your manager and wish to express your gratitude to them on a personal level, there will be better opportunities to do so. If a manager has made a tremendous difference in your professional career, by all means let them know, just schedule time to do it face-to-face, instead of on your letter of resignation.

Don’t Fail to Write A Resignation Letter

The worst mistake you can make when writing a letter of resignation is not to write one at all. Believe it or not, the number of instances of workers ghosting their employers is actually on the rise. Simply walking off the job without any notice just because you have received another offer is extremely unprofessional. This will cause extra work and stress to fall onto your coworkers and colleagues, which is not fair to them. Imagine if someone from your office left without notifying anyone and you inherited all their work, you would very likely be upset. Even if you can’t give the full two weeks notice, you should still notify management of the situation through an official letter of resignation. It will ensure that your time as an employee of this company will end as professionally as possible, even if you depart on short notice.

A professional letter of resignation is the last step you need to complete before embarking on a new career opportunity. By avoiding common mistakes when writing your letter of resignation, you will be able to deliver an official notice that meets all requirements and help maintain a cordial relationship between your former colleagues and yourself.