How to Write a Perfect Resignation Letter

We’ve all had that dreaded moment when we realize we need to tell our supervisor that we’re moving to either a new job or a new duty station. Depending on whether or not you like your boss, it may seem like an unimportant conversation. However, it’s important to make sure that your personal opinion of your supervisor doesn’t get the best of you.

There IS a proper way to resign from your current job when you’re a military spouse.

If you aren’t conscientious about your methodology, the benefits that you hope to reap from your hard work can disappear in an instant.

How to write a resignation letter when you're a military spouse.

As a military spouse, you likely will resign more often than the average person. Marrying into the military leads to frequent moves, which consequently requires you to change jobs a lot. Being considered for a new job is sometimes difficult for military spouses, because our resumes are full of numerous jobs that we’ve held for short periods of time.

What makes up for the inconsistency in our resumes are fantastic letters of recommendation. And what gives us fantastic letters of recommendation are perfect resignation letters.

How to Write the Perfect Resignation Letter MilSpouse Style

Addressing Your Employer. Even if you have built a casual relationship with your boss, it is best to keep your letter of resignation strictly professional. This helps remind them that you were a dedicated employee that worked hard for them. A perfect way to open up a resignation letter looks like this:

To Whom It May Concern,

The reason why this is best is because a resignation letter goes to a bunch of different places/departments (including human resources), not just to your boss. “To Whom It May Concern” is generally a good go-to when addressing an uncertain amount of people.

Tone of Voice. As I mentioned previously, this letter is not just going to your boss. It is also going to be floating around to HR and probably various other places. Use a professional tone. Instead of saying “It was awesome working for you” write “I appreciate all of the opportunities I had while working for ___________ company. Thank you for an unforgettable experience.” Your tone can exemplify your professionalism, your gratitude and whatever else you want to highlight. Your employer will have a refreshed perspective on your character after reading your resignation letter and will use that perspective to write your letter of recommendation.

Clarity. In your letter of resignation, be specific when mentioning what you learned and how you grew in that particular position. If I was leaving a job where I had learned how to stock product, I would write something like this: “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of product management. Because of the great instruction I received, I easily learned how to stock product efficiently and quickly.”

This is killing 2 birds with 1 stone. While complimenting your employer on the effectiveness of their instruction, you are reminding them that you are a quick learner with a broadened skill set. This too will be fresh in their mind when they write your letter of recommendation.

Gratitude. This might be the most important part of a resignation letter. If you don’t properly convey your gratitude for the opportunities that you received, you probably won’t be given the time of day when it comes to a letter of recommendation. Let them know how grateful you are for all that you were taught. Your employer spent time and money on you to make you a great employee. Make sure they know it wasn’t for nothing. Tell them how you will take your new skill set on to your future jobs and how you credit them with helping you build it.

Request a Letter of Recommendation at Another Time. Your letter of resignation has 1 main purpose: to resign from your position. It is not to ask your employer for a letter of recommendation. Focus on the steps above for your resignation letter. A few days later, email your employer to ask for a letter of recommendation. Let your resignation settle in their mind for a few days. Let them process. Once they’ve done so, the likelihood of a great recommendation letter coming your way is very high.

I personally have used these steps when resigning from employment. Most recently, I moved to my wife’s duty station in Bremerton, Wash. from Vancouver, Wash. My employers from the school district I worked for in Vancouver gave me such good letters of recommendation that my current employer felt extremely confident hiring me. It definitely pays off to resign well.

Do you have any stories about resigning gone wrong? Do you need advice on a specific situation? Comment below and I’ll be happy to answer your questions as best I can!

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks so much for your post. Welcome to Kitsap County. We have been here for almost 9 years.

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