Ready to quit your job?
It's a small world, and every little detail — from how you break the news to what you put in your resignation letter — will either help or hurt your professional reputation.
The purpose of a resignation letter is to provide an official document telling your employer that you're either terminating your employment immediately or on a specific day. Once it's sent to your supervisor, he or she will forward it to HR to keep in your file.
Here's my basic philosophy on resignation letters: Less is more.
Unfortunately, the majority of letters I've seen can be summed up in one word: Eyesores. That's because many of them usually fall into one of three categories:
To give you a clear example of where to begin, here's the most impressive resignation letter I ever received based on my 20 years of working in corporate leadership and HR (click here to enlarge):
The letter was clear, concise and included everything on my checklist:
I should also note that the way in which the employee resigned was flawless. Prior to sending the letter, she told me the news in private; we discussed the specifics of her departure such as who would be taking over her accounts and how she planned to help with the search for a replacement.
On her last day, she said goodbye to me in person. There was no raiding of the supply closet; she left the tape dispenser, stapler and Post-Its. No 1,000-word 2 p.m. email blast to hundreds of employees saying, "Goodbye friends and colleagues..."
Believe it or not, all these things matter a great deal.
Gary Burnison is the CEO of Korn Ferry, a global consulting firm that helps companies select and hire the best talent. His latest book, a New York Times best-seller, "Lose the Resume, Land the Job," shares the kind of straight talk that no one will tell you. Follow him on LinkedIn here.
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