what not to write

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“Leaving bad memories with your employer can damage your reputation and your career, but on top of that, you may want to come back to that employer in ten years. »Sophie Aubard, co-founder of the Institut du Salarié, summarizes why your resignation letter must remain neutral regardless of the circumstances of your departure.

“As the decision to leave is taken, the employee decides to express himself a little too freely.”

Keep personal information to yourself

Many employees choose to start their resignation letter with a formula such as “due to a move”, “following the birth of my child”, or even “having found a better proposal in company X” because they feel compelled to justify themselves. However, Stéphane Béal, associate director of Fidal, a business law firm, recalls that “legally, a resignation does not have to be justified. ” While it is not prohibited to display your reasons in the letter, it is also not recommended. : they only concern you.

Avoid insults

It may seem obvious, yet sometimes the mistake is made, especially if you have developed a very strong emotional bond with your work and feel your departure as a personal failure. But Stéphane Béal warns: “to call your employer all names will not help matters! Words like “imbecile”, “tyrant” or worse have no place in an official document.

Don't criticize the company

“It happens that the resigning wants to explain his departure because he believes that there are dysfunctions in the company and, as he leaves it, he does not risk anything by underlining them, in particular if the relations are not strained. It is even helping the employer, believes Stéphane Béal, because he can then improve the situation based on these remarks. “But if some decide to take advantage of the resignation letter to expose these problems, this solution is not recommended, because, as Sophie Aubard explains, “The letter is simply there to announce or confirm a decision, not to serve as a plea. »You will have the opportunity to develop your constructive oral criticism, especially since it is not uncommon for the employer to informally ask the employee to explain the reasons for his choice.

Do not sneak

“Pierre spends more time chatting than working”, “Romain belittles his collaborators”, “Aurélie makes others do the work and reap the benefits” … so many reproaches to colleagues and superiors that some are tempted to lay down on the paper while they have nothing to do in the resignation letter. “You can see it quite often: as the decision to leave is taken, the employee decides to express himself a little too freely. Frankly, that underlines a lack of courage, reproaches Sophie Aubard. If we have something to say, we had to do it first! ”

But then what should we write?

Stick to the mandatory information, which is, in the end, relatively few: your first and last names, the name of the company, the subject of the letter, the date on which your resignation will be effective, the length of your notice and possibly your will to reduce it. If you have accumulated DIF (Individual Right to Training) hours and want to use them, you can also mention it

Typical example of a resignation letter
Registered letter AR
And / or duplicate letter delivered by hand
including an original for each part.


I inform you that I have made the decision to resign. My notice for a period of xxxx months will begin upon receipt of this letter.

Eventually :

  • I would be grateful if you could excuse me from carrying out my notice from ……… ..
  • I inform that I wish to benefit from the hours acquired under the DIF to follow the following training ……… given from …… to …… ..

Please accept, Madam, Sir, my best regards



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