A resignation letter is important, because whether or not the employee despises the job, it shows that the employee has respect for the company. Furthermore, gracefully bowing out with a resignation letter as opposed to an "I quit!" will leave a better taste in the employer's mouth. This resonance is extremely important, because the employer may very well be used as a reference for future positions. No one will want to hire an individual who left on the spot without any notice, and/or in a rude manner.
As with any sort of formal letter, a proper heading is absolutely necessary. It ensures that the letter is of a formal nature, and shows respect for whomever the letter is addressed to. The heading format should be:
Your city, state, zip code
Your phone number
Name of recipient
City, State, Zip Code
The greeting should always be "Dear Mr./Ms./etc." as that is both formal and appropriate. Furthermore, it acknowledges the actual person without being too comfortable.
Presumably, the person has been at the company long enough to know to whom he or she is writing. If he or she does not know, the name should be found out before the letter is sent.
In the case of female recipients, the proper salutation should be chosen. "Miss" should usually be avoided, since that is generally reserved for women under the age of 18. However, exceptions apply in every case. "Mrs." is used for a married woman, while "Ms." is often used for an unmarried person. Some women use "Ms." whether they are married or not. Therefore, the salutation is not just an insigificant part of the letter. The individual must correctly address the employer.
The body of letter should be simple and to the point. Writing a rambling letter about everything that the employee did not like about the company will not look very good. Furthermore, doing so will only incite a sense of awkwardness.
Some samples of appropriate wording include:
The closing is just as important as the rest of the letter, in order to ensure formality throughout. A proper letter should end with "Sincerely." After that, hit the "Enter" or "Return" key on the computer four times. Of course, print the letter, and in that four line space, sign your first and last names.
There are a few additional considerations:
A letter of resignation is generally the proper way to leave a job. However, there are extreme circumstances and exceptions to every rule. If there is a problem with abuse or harrassment, different measures will need to be taken. Every situation elicits a different response.
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