how to write a resignation letter

How to Write a Resignation Letter

Throughout this post we will go over how to write a resignation letter. We will start with relevant information about what voluntary resignation is and what it is for. The importance of respecting the days of advance notice established by the law in accordance with the different laws.

The steps to follow and the different elements that should not be missing in our letter. We will also see who should be delivered, how to do it and if it is necessary to make one or several copies.

To begin, we will go over how to write a resignation letter, who and where to send it and more.

What is voluntary resignation?
What is the voluntary resignation? Well, it’s just a simple bureaucratic process, to leave a job, resign, or quit a job. It is understood that all resignations are voluntary, that no one can be forced to continue working in a place where they do not want to be. But it is not justified, that we can leave our job at any time and in any way without proper notice.

Leaving a job may seem like a simple decision, but it can cause a lot of stress no doubt. It is difficult to measure and weigh the different options that are considered, but it always helps to have a better offer with better conditions than in the current situation.

There are many risks that you can face. Surely, if your work is horrible, poorly paid and with a lousy work environment, it is not difficult to take the step and leave the ship as soon as possible, but if you are one of the people who have established themselves in their position, creating good relations, with a good reputation, maybe you can lose all that image and work invested for years in a day or two, if you don’t know how to manage your exit well.

The business world is a handkerchief, and therefore, it is not uncommon, that throughout a working life, we coincide again with one of the people with whom we have worked in the past. If our departure is not entirely correct, we may be closing doors to better offers that may come in the future. This is where writing a resignation letter can help the process.

When we have in mind to write a resignation letter, our main purpose should always be to leave an open door because we never know if in the near future we would like to opt again for a selection process in the same company in which we now quit working.

In addition, we do not know exactly the true characteristics of the new job until we have been there for several months, and many people make the mistake of deceiving themselves thinking that they are improving their working conditions or status, when in fact it is the opposite. It is a real risk, which exists and must be taken into account, so it is not convenient to close the door through which we are going, unless we have to return one day.

Using the metaphor of changing clothes with changing jobs, arguing that you always have to leave your pants for the end, since in an emergency, you can touch us running away in underpants. What comes to mean, that we must carefully take care of each of our movements while we are changing, to minimize possible collateral damage, such as:

Leave when there is more work or when they need us most.

  • Do not respect the notice period leaving a vacancy unfilled.
  • Descortesía in the way of leaving. Without saying goodbye.
  • Get to think that you steal customers or information for the competition.

Therefore, integrity and dignity will be more important, rather than revenge, knowing how to act in the best way. We recommend visiting the following link to know some tips on how to voluntarily resign, to maintain a good image make the change in the best possible way.

Notice How many days in advance?
Generally, most countries in the world establish labor legislation that takes into account the different factors that, in case of resignation or dismissal, may affect both the worker and the employer.

When there are sufficiently justified reasons, such as harassment, insults, abuse, etc. It is not necessary for the worker to indicate his resignation with any kind of anticipation, and he is also entitled to denounce the company and obtain compensation.

But without a cause that justifies it, in general, there are, depending on the country, a few days indicated by law (the so-called advance notice) to deliver the resignation letter.

In this way, the employer is defended, of the possible damages or damages caused by the empty job, until it is possible to find and train the person who occupies the vacant place again.

Normally, many employees are unaware of the consequences of quitting their job. Many people believe that if you quit your job, you not only lose the right to receive settlement of your social benefits but you may also have to pay a certain fine or compensation to the contracted company.

In case of not fulfilling the notice established by the labor laws, the company can deduct the proportional part of the settlement, and even, in the worst case, it can denounce the worker to try to obtain compensation for the damages caused.

How to write the resignation letter and steps to follow
As we have seen in the previous section, labor laws sometimes indicate the amount of days with which the notice must be made, but they do not indicate how to proceed.

The worker may simply communicate it orally, face to face, by phone, or in writing by means of a simple note, email, or voluntary resignation letter.

Our recommendation is that the notice is always made in writing, by writing a letter of voluntary resignation. In this way, possible misunderstandings, or possible problems, are avoided in case the employer decides to open a legal dispute and request some type of compensation.

We recommend having a clear awareness of the distribution in which the information should be placed. Know in advance what to say, how to say it and the proper order and practice with a dirty sheet, before doing it clean.

Formatting Your Resignation Letter Correctly

When it comes to writing a resignation letter correctly, follow a simple formula and you can’t go wrong.

1 – Letterhead:

It is the personal data of the worker. The name and surnames must appear. Then, as optional and recommended information, the position in the company would be included, and the data to be contacted, such as address, telephone, email if available.

The letterhead can be placed at the top of the sheet. Well in the left part or in the central part.

2 – Date:

The date of the letter is doubly important in cases of resignation, since it not only serves to date the letter itself, but also, it will be used as evidence if there is any challenge on the days of notice.

The city in which the letter is written is usually placed, followed by the date, with the day, month and year. The place indicated is under the letterhead, but justified on the right, as in the following example:

In Bogotá, February 5, 2019

In most cases, if the letterhead already indicates the city of residence of the worker, and coincides with the city of the workplace, it would not be necessary to repeat it, being able to have a shorter date, only with the day, month no longer.

3 – Recipient:

Third, under the date, on the right side, the data of the person who will receive our letter should appear. Later, we will explain, who should be the recipients of a resignation letter. Again, it is necessary to add all possible data on the identity of said recipient. Name, surname, position within the company, company address, zip code, City and Country. Usually, each line of information ends with a comma “,” although it is also equally valid if it does not appear.

Surely the resignation letter never leaves your office, but just in case there is some kind of judicial or legal problem, it is always appropriate to correctly identify each of the parties involved in the work resignation.

For example:

Dr. Miguel López,

Chief Surgeon,

Los Cedros Hospital,

23 Lontananza Street,

89355 Caracas

4 – Greeting:

It is a small short sentence of few words, which ends with two points “:” and that serves to break the ice and address the other person in a polite and formal way.

For example:

Doctor Miguel López:

When addressing another person, you should consider choosing the right treatment. In most cases, it will be a direct boss or superior, so the treatment of “Dr.” or “Mr.” is more than enough. But special cases must be taken care of, in the case of high-ranking personalities, such as “Illustrious” for presidents of communities, deputies, senators… or “honorable Member”, to refer to a judge.

Although it may be understood, we want to highlight the clear obligation to use “You” as the best respect treatment. Always important when addressing senior people, bosses or people with a high position within the company.

Although it is common in different types of letters to see abbreviations of words like Mr. “Mr.” or as a doctor as “Dr.”, because it is a greeting, and it appears in a single sentence, it is convenient to avoid abbreviations and leave each word in its entirety.

5 – Resignation body:

After the initial greeting, we can go into the matter, and express the reasons why we are writing the letter. We can do it briefly, or extend if necessary, but always forming one or two paragraphs at most. So that the first sight, does not appear overloaded with information.

It also falls within the rules of courtesy, not wasting our superiors with too extensive letters, or with information that is not relevant to our main purpose.

The important data that the body of our letter must contain are the following:

Inform about our desire to quit the job
Indicate the exact date on which our resignation will begin.
It is convenient to write down the article or decree of Law, corresponding to each country, and that we can see by visiting the links of the previous section. In this way, we are supporting our resignation purpose, in accordance with current labor legislation.
We may also include a request for the exemption of pending days. If the company has no problem, and determines that it can do without our services, it is not necessary that we have to wait for the days stipulated by the notice. We could terminate the employment relationship, at the same time they accepted said exemption.
It is not necessary to indicate the reasons or the reasons why we quit our job. Here it is free for each person to choose whether or not they want to indicate it, but it would not be necessary to do so. The law does not require it, nor should any employer require it from the worker.
Optionally, we can offer ourselves as an assistant to the person who comes to fill our vacancy.
Also as an option, we can finalize the body of the letter by thanking you for the opportunity given, or for the time we have spent working in the company.

6 – Farewell:

In line with the greeting and in accordance with the rest of the letter, we will maintain a cordial and polite tone for the farewell. Again, it is a short phrase, of few words, and whose most common and current formulas, we find the following:




A cordial greeting,

He says goodbye carefully,

 7 – The signature:

Again we emphasize the importance of this type of documents to prevent possible legal problems. It is probably never necessary, but just in case, we always recommend that the signature be similar or similar to the one in the identification document.

Usually, what is called “antefirma” is usually written, indicating the position, name and surname of the person who draws the document.

Below, the signature will appear.

It is convenient that both the signature and the pre-signature be located either in the lower left, or in the lower right. This recommendation is made in order to leave a wide gap for the recipient to express their own signature, thus indicating that the letter has been received and read.

How and where to deliver the resignation letter?

When the law indicates that the worker must notify an employer certain days in advance, it means that the worker must deliver his resignation letter to his boss, or to the person who holds a higher position within the hierarchy of the company itself.

In general, workers usually deliver the resignation letter to the same person from whom they have received orders throughout their work period. It is also possible to deliver it to the human resources department, since this department will be in charge of selecting and finding a new candidate for the vacant position.

To prevent possible legal actions, after the delivery of the resignation letter, it is convenient to request an acknowledgment of receipt in which it appears and it is demonstrated that the letter has been delivered, on the date indicated. Another option is to make two copies of the letter, and that the chief or superior signs them, so that a copy is arranged for each party.

In this way we protect our interests against possible fraud. If the employer or employer decides to break the letter and denounce us for breach of notice, we can always prove otherwise if we keep one of the copies.

For cases in which the exemption from the notice period is requested, it will also be necessary to request a written text in which said exemption appears, signed by the company. Some countries, such as Peru, already have in their labor laws, that if there is no written rejection by the employer, it indicates that the exemption must be considered accepted.

In some countries such as Chile, it is necessary to ratify the letter through a minister of faith, either by going to a notary, a civil registration officer, or the company’s own union president. For which, it will be necessary to go with 3 copies of the resignation letter.

Waiver for harassment
Sometimes we want to quit work to end an unsustainable situation that does not make us happy. Once outside the company, it is when people usually realize that they were suffering from workplace harassment. While inside, we come to think that bad words, screams, ill-treatment and unfair tasks may seem normal in the context of such a competitive and demanding work world, but when we move away and take a certain distance, it is when we can best Realize the reality.

As soon as the person notices the first symptoms of harassment, whether with inappropriate or offensive comments, hears criticism about his person, on personal matters, or questions about his professionalism, some tasks must be carried out such as collecting the facts , with discretion and without notoriety. They can be telephone recordings, photographs, photocopies of communications documents, or papers that report changes in the workplace, mandatory resignation of an office, changes in tasks … etc.

Subsequently, we can go to a hierarchical superior or the person in charge of personnel to take the appropriate measures. This is the best way to act, rather than take the easy way out and write the resignation letter.

That you don’t mind if your classmates see you cry or have a bad time. Many can help you in case witnesses are needed. Unfortunately, in many cases of workplace harassment, the victim’s classmates and family members do not usually know what is happening until it is too late.

Do not react to provocations or insults, as you may be giving reasons to justify your offenses.

Be cautious when telling your problems to other people. We could be giving inside information that can then be used against us.

Before sending in your resignation letter, it is better to process a medical leave. Save all unsubscribe parts and medical reports

If it is a small company and there is no superior to whom to turn, it is possible to report the situation by other means. You should ask for legal advice from a lawyer.

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