When you’re frustrated and ready to head out that door, it’s tempting to tell a less-than-praiseworthy boss where to go.
But experts say don’t even think about it.
“The last thing you want to do is express anger or rage,” says Roy Cohen, a career coach in New York City and author of “Wall Street Professional Survivors Guide” (FT Press, 2010)
According to Cohen, the goal of a resignation letter is to announce your decision to move on. Know that if you say anything critical in this day and age – particularly in an electronic format – “you’re leaving a digital fingerprint that will be around for a very long time.”
Candace Davies, president of Cando Career and Resume Writing in Alberta, Canada, says that even if you have dreamt of quitting for years and want to tell your supervisors how you feel, don’t do it in a resignation letter.
“Resignation letters should demonstrate diplomacy and professionalism, regardless of why you’re moving on,” she says.
Other resignation letter do’s and don’ts:
• Don’t explain why you are leaving the company. Say that you are resigning and provide a last day of work. Make sure to check the policy about how much notice you should offer.
• Do give thanks for the opportunity to work there and, if possible, give a quick example of something that you have learned or achieved.
• Don’t toot your own horn. This is not a time to remind anyone of your many accomplishments.
• Don’t insinuate or say anything negative in a letter. You should have addressed concerns before writing it.
• Do understand that you never know when you might bump into the people who have read the letter. Someone could be your boss at another job. It’s not worth burning bridges.
• Don’t write an unnecessarily long letter. Keep it short and concise.
• Do end the letter on a positive note, specifically by wishing the receiver and the company the best of luck.
• Don’t carbon copy everyone on the official resignation letter that should only go to your supervisors.
• Do ask someone else to read the letter before you send it if you have any concerns about it.
• Do think about writing more personalized notes to other people in the company to let them know you are leaving and that you have enjoyed working with them.
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