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There are many reasons why a person would want to tender a resignation letter. With all the attractive jobs and remote opportunities out there, more people are looking to change jobs. Whether it is due to  major life changes, better job opportunities, or a career change, it is important that you resign professionally and gracefully.

When you've finally made your decision and are planning to quit your job, one of the first things you should do is prepare a proper notice.

what is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter serves as a formal notice to your employer, and it's critical that you make it simple and brief. The letter of resignation should include your intention to leave and your last working day. Your official notice can be in the form of a hand in letter or a resignation email message. You will likely be needed to provide a four-week notice before you leave the company (depending on your employment contract).

In this article, we discuss some of the common practices and tips on writing the best resignation letter, and what you should avoid. You can also use the example template for your notice.

things to include in your resignation letter
things to include in your resignation letter

4 elements in writing a good resignation letter

If you are wondering what to say in your resignation letter, it will be good to know the format of a resignation letter. Understanding these components will guide you on what you should include in your letter and how you can resign on good terms.

1. include your intent to resign

Your letter should start with the most crucial detail - your intention to resign. State the main point of your resignation and you don't need to give a specific reason. Be professional and do not leave any room for interpretation. Being ambiguous about the message may give your boss the wrong impression that you are not sure about your next move.

resignation letter format
resignation letter format

Your letter of resignation should never be used as a negotiation tool for better pay or career prospects. Not only would you come across as highly unprofessional, but you would also seem manipulative when you hold your employer ransom to your demands. Any negotiations that you are open to should be done in prior conversations or performance reviews with your manager, and not written in the resignation letter.

Furthermore, if you are resigning due to unmet salary expectations, it will be a good idea to do your research online to find out a reasonable salary range of your current skill sets. We recommend you to use the Randstad Salary Calculator to discover what your skills are truly worth, where you would be provided with a free personalised salary report that tells you where you stand in terms of pay, work responsibilities and talent demands in Singapore’s current job market.

It’s essential to be informed of the relevancy and worthiness of your skill sets, so that you know that you’re not being short-changed.

If you realised that you're being underpaid, you could always arrange a meeting with your boss to request for a pay raise. It is also no secret that salary negotiation is key to a higher lifetime earnings. If your request isn't granted, there is no shame in resigning for this reason. Reach out to us and we’ll help you find a job that meets your career and salary expectations.

2. state the date of your last day of employment

You would typically need to serve a period of notice that starts from the day you tender your resignation. The length of notice period typically ranges from one week to four weeks' notice. Your last working day should have already been agreed upon between you and your employer before you start writing the letter. The notice period should also take into account any annual leave balance that you are entitled to unless it is previously agreed between the employer and employee to encash it.

This key detail should not be missed as it provides greater clarity of your departure for your boss and colleagues. You are not the only one that needs to make plans and adjustments. Your boss and colleagues would appreciate a definitive timeline to manage or reallocate the additional workload as well as find your replacement.

3. express your appreciation

Even if you dislike the work, the people or your boss, you should always adopt an appreciative tone in the resignation letter. After all, you did benefit from the network, resources, support and learning and development opportunities during your time with the company. For a touch of nicety, add a couple of sentences to communicate how much you appreciate the opportunities you were given to grow professionally during your time with the firm. You can also mention some of your positive experiences or highlight a few colleagues who have made a positive impact in your work life.

Expressing your appreciation costs you nothing, and the last thing you want is to come across as an ungrateful individual. You may also need your boss to serve as a reference for you when finding your next job, and they are more likely to put in a good word for you if they feel appreciated.

4. offer to help with the transition

As a best practice in any job resignation, you can offer your help to your boss during your notice period. Your boss will surely appreciate your initiative to ensure a smooth transition plan for your team. One example of what you can do is to a list down clear and detailed information about your roles and responsibilities, as well as some of the outstanding work to ensure a proper handover. You may even help your boss in the search or training of your replacement.

resign letter
resign letter

Do not be that person who dropped everything and leave the cleaning up for others to do. If you do so, you may burn bridges with your ex-colleagues and bosses, whom you may meet in the future if you stay in the same industry. It will also affect your future job searches should your potential employer call your company as part of their vetting process.

For a smoother transition, offer assistance where possible without taking on more responsibilities during your notice period. This will be the best way for you to leave the company on a good note.

here is a resignation letter sample you can use

The following is a simple resignation letter sample that you can reference from. The format starts with the first body paragraph stating the 'purpose of the resignation letter', followed by the 'end date', gratitude' and the 'transition details'.

Dear [Manager’s name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from [current position title] at [company’s name].

As stated in the employment contract and previously agreed upon, my last working day after clearing my balance annual leave days is [dd/mm/yy]. 

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities the company has given me throughout the years. It’s been an amazing experience being part of a wonderful team and I truly appreciate all the valuable skills that I’ve acquired during my time here, all of which I will take with me throughout my career. 

During my notice period, I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and hand over my existing projects to my team members. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to ensure a smooth transition.

I wish the company continued success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your signature and name]

do you have to give a reason for resignation?

You are not contractually obligated to provide a reason about why you are quitting your job. You do not have to do so if you do not want to. However, if you're on good terms with your boss or colleagues, you could always tell them in person over a casual conversation. They may even try to offer you a counter offer to persuade you to stay.

Furthermore, your boss will probably want to know your reason for tendering your resignation too. If you are leaving for a better job or employer, a good boss should not hold you back from doing so.

Hence, you don't have to share details about your reasons in your resignation letter.

when is the best time of day to give resignation?

Ideally, the best time to resign is in the late afternoon. Turning your notice letters on a Monday or Tuesday will give your bosses and colleagues time to react and plan for your transition.

It is never a good idea to tender your resignation by leaving your letter on their desk. You should never blindside your boss this way and this will leave a negative impression of yourself. Employers need to understand your reasons for leaving and how much time they have to find someone to replace you to relieve the team of additional work. Therefore, it is wise to have a conversation with your direct manager about your plans to move on before you submit your formal resignation letter.

Take a deep breath and focus on the facts. You’re leaving your employer for another company that is able to meet your salary expectations, has great employee benefits and could offer you the development opportunities you desire.

how to tell your boss you're quitting
how to tell your boss you're quitting

how do you resign with a good relationship?

One thing to be mindful about is to not use your resignation letter as a channel to air your grievances. Although the resignation letter lets you open up about the reason for your departure, you should keep it professional. Try not to be negative and leave any personal feelings or money matters out. Even if you hate your current job or can’t stand the place any second longer, you should never list your complaints or vent your anger in the letter.

A nasty resignation letter speaks volumes about your negative personality traits. Not parting ways amicably could hinder potential job opportunities especially when your future employers or recruiters contact your employers directly for a reference check.

Keep in mind that you would need to maintain a good long-term professional connection with your ex-boss and ex-colleagues. Your ex-boss can prepare a letter of recommendation which will benefit you when finding a new job. As the old saying goes, “Don’t burn bridges because you might have to walk over it one day”.

It’s a small world, and you are bound to run into the same people again, especially if you work in the same industry or live in the same city. Therefore, it is important to resign with grace and be respectful of your colleagues in the process and leave on good terms.

what's your next step after tendering your resignation?

Moving on isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but sometimes you need to do just that to continue your career development and personal growth. By writing your resignation letter, you have already taken the first step.

However, it is safer to quit a job after you have already been hired elsewhere or at least be in the interview process with a few employers. If you haven't started your job search, reach out to us. Our specialist recruiters are always here to guide you to the next milestone in your career journey.

Start discovering other possibilities and explore other job opportunities. Browse our job listings and find out the latest roles in the market. Alternatively, tell us what you are looking for and when an opportunity comes by that matches your career needs, you’ll be the first to know.

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