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There is at least one upside to every letter of resignation you write, you won't be getting fired for a poorly written letter. In a perfect world, you're resigning from your position based on the fact that you are moving on to greener pastures. On the other side of that coin, you are Joe Smith, and you're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. While in most states, it's illegal for a potential employer to contact a past employer for much more than a confirmation of employment dates. But that said, why risk an acrimonious exit? If you have a chance for a sparkling letter of recommendation get your resignation right. It will be one of the last memories that employer has of you, show the same professionalism you always have.

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Rein In The Negative Emotions

Unless you genuinely fear something in the way of potential legal problems down the line, keep it positive or neutral at worst. This should be expounded on a bit. If you are resigning having just found out about illegal activity of which you were unaware, send your resignation by email where you will have a permanent record. Beyond that, while you might feel better, you're better off simply resigning. Yes, you live on a planet with over seven billion others but it's still a small world.

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Write Two Resignation Letters

Call it venting, call it whatever you want to but get it done in the first letter. While the first tip suggested that you banish your anger and simply resign, sometimes it's not that easy. If resigning on your terms, people often have a tendency to get a little bit snarky. Avoid this temptation. You simply don't know that a former co-worker of yours won't start his own business, or refer you to his/her new employer down the road. If, having written your second, and it still sounds inappropriate, write a third.

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Use A Familiar Level Of Familiarity

This just makes sense. If you've ever gone out to drinks with your boss whom you call "Fred", there is no sense in calling him Mr. Smith now. There is a good chance that your (planned) resignation is already common knowledge. Workplaces are smaller than you might think. There is little to no sense in making this bigger than it is, you're leaving and there isn't much more to say.

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Make Your Resignation Clear From The Beginning

You're resigning, so while employing the proper level of formality make that clear immediately. Unless this is a forced resignation, the ball is in your court and there exists absolutely no reason for ambiguity. Hopefully, you are leaving amicably and all will wish you well. What you don't need is the recipient of your resignation letter to try to talk you into staying. Make it clear and easy to stick by your decision.  

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Give Notice, They Gave You A Job

There is no sense in writing a letter that does not include your last day of work clearly spelled out for your employer. Hopefully, all reading this will be leaving their job on a good footing and with the sharing of mutual smiles. There are certainly cases, when departures are forced but you don't need to create one of these situations. Surely, if you've been with an employer for years you have relationships worth keeping. Sure, they will change when you don't see the same people each day, but there is no need to blindly sever personal relationships over spite.  

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Give Them A Reason For Your Departure

The resignation letter's true purpose is to resign. Announce the day you will be leaving and leave. However, especially if offered a better position elsewhere, why not share it with your employer? Perhaps you were underpaid? Perhaps you were treated poorly? But, in most cases, you're simply throwing your hat into a new ring. Feel free to share this information with your employers. You don't have to expound on your reasoning beyond a sentence or two, but make it clear.

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Offer Your Help Filling Your Position

Quitting McDonald's needn't be much more than a simple "I'm leaving in two weeks, this is my notice." You surely don't need to write a letter of resignation or feel obligated to help fill your position. However, if you're writing a letter of resignation, chances are you are a bit more valuable to your company. Unless you are hamstrung by beginning a new job immediately, offer to train/recruit your replacement. Your employer may or may not take you up on your offer, but you offered.

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Thank Your Employer

Chances are your employer invested both time and money in you over your stint with them. Sure, you may take home less money by paying the maximum into your 401k program, but don't forget that your employer was also invested in that decision. Whether a bad or good experience, you still gained experience. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If for no other reason, thank your employer for the valuable experience. Experience is experience whether it was good or bad.

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Close Nicely

Just as the host or hostess at a restaurant is the last thing you see (or don't) before exiting, your closing is the last thing read. Be nice. You can be angry and happier or angry and angry later. It's not going to kill you to be friendly in one of your last actions with your employer. "All the Best", "Best of Luck" or "Thank you for everything" all work quite well in closing.

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Speak To The Letter of Recommendation

On most occasions that you take the time to write a letter of resignation, you're expecting a letter of recommendation. Whether you were with your employer for a six months or 20 years, it never hurts to have one. Following the other tips in this piece, should give you an opportunity to help craft this letter with your employer. There is no reason to bring hostility to the end of your stay with this company.

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