Resignation Strategies - "Clean" Letters of Resignation

You are about to leave a workplace that, until now, has been pretty important to you. Keep in mind that no one outside the confines of your company needs to know (or even cares) about why you are leaving a company. Don't let the drama of what led you to resign cause you to do something you might regret later.

No matter how bad things are or how justified you feel, don't write anything in your official letter of resignation that could come back to bite you. Why? you might ask.

  • You may need a recommendation from your previous company or a recruiter might call your old boss asking about what kind of employee you were when you worked for him or her.
  • Sometimes an employer will contact a previous employer to do an employment verification (even some time after you have been hired!). If some new clerk in HR accidentally sends information including your resignation letter, it could do great harm.

Here is something else to consider: Companies rarely (My guess would be practically never) take any advice from an unhappy employee who is resigning. They rationalize that you were probably not a good fit and someone else (your replacement) will likely do better without complaining about the very things that made you so mad.

Why are you wasting your energy writing a letter that gives unwanted advice on what your (soon to be former) employer should do? Most likely, the people who receive your letter don't share your point of view. What is the point? Ask yourself, why am I so invested?

How to Do A "Clean Break" Letter

Here is how to write and deliver a "clean" and "politic neutral" letter devoid of the anger and frustration you rightfully might feel.

Dear Bob Smith:

This is to inform you that I will be leaving my position with [company name] effective Friday, June 26. This constitutes my two-week notice.

We can meet and discuss the status of each of the projects I have been working on. I am also available to cross train [add the names of people in the department here] before I leave.

In case you need to get in touch with me after I am gone, my personal e-mail is:


Your Signature

cc Human Resources

"Clean" Letter Based on Lack of Teamwork/Bad Company Situation

Here is a second example of a letter I wrote for a client who was fed up with office politics and his very weak supervisor. He hated the company and I could not blame him for how he felt. He wanted a double barrel killer blast from my poison pen.

He was astonished when I gave him a letter that included none of the issues he had told me about. My intent in this very simple letter was to say, it isn't working and I am moving on. Goodbye.

Company Address

Dear (immediate supervisor's name):

After considerable thought, I have decided to tender my resignation and leave (company name) effective (enter the date two weeks from today).

Thank you for the experience. I wish everyone continued success.


Your Signature

cc Human Resources


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