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For a little background, I work for a company of roughly 250 employees, 15 people in IT, and the company is a subsidiary of a publicly traded company.

I am self taught, have no formal training, and finally managed to get an interview at this company. Many places in the area do not interview without a degree.

Now, I've accepted a job offer at another company, talked it over with my supervisor, and he offered his sincere congratulations in the new opportunity.

My question is, Is it appropriate to put personal feeling/messages in a resignation letter?

Something along the lines of,

I really want to thank you for taking a chance on an entry level programmer without a degree when nobody else would.

14

Its up to you, but I don't think this will hurt at you at all and is certainly not unprofessional. Its good to leave on a good note as you are. On the contrary, it would be a bad idea to be sentimental and offer very sharp criticism of the company when you are leaving.

  • 2
    I agree, this. It's obvious OP was worth his/her salt so no worries – Adel Oct 8 '15 at 16:19
  • The OPs remark sounds like a sincere appreciation of company policy/behaviour - nothing wrong in acknowledging that, so that the people involved now that their actions are/were appreciated. – Jan Doggen Oct 9 '15 at 7:16
  • @JanDoggen it is, i like working here. But its a subsidiary of major company, they know they underpay, and my managers hands are tied as far as raises. So i mean...it's no hard feelings, i just have to do what i have to do. Thanks for the advice. – DidIReallyWriteThat Oct 9 '15 at 12:49
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I think it would be a nice gesture to write a letter thanking the manager/company for identifying your knowledge, rather than blindly rejecting due to an unsatisfied degree.

Something like this would be nice:

Dear XXX,

I am really thankful for the wonderful opportunity you have given me by identifying my knowledge and passion over my education.

I hope I lived up to your expectations and proved your decision right.

< Some more line, maybe about work/manager, etc >

regards,

XYZ

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The best advice I was ever given, was to make a resignation letter short and sweet. Start with the fact you're resigning, then take a sentence or two to say something positive, and finish off with any important details. Even if you left in bad spirits, leaving saying positive things keeps potential future options open for you. Sounds like you're going for this approach.

To respond to your specific example:

I really want to thank you for taking a chance on an entry level programmer without a degree when nobody else would.

That specific sentence loses some of its weight because it sounds overly emotional and hyperbolic. Would "nobody else" really hire an entry level programmer? Of course not, just nobody else that you applied to. It would give more weight if you play up the potential risk to the company and make it more personal, or even leave the last bit out. Such as:

I really want to thank you for taking a chance on an entry level programmer during an economically strained time.

Or

I really want to thank you for taking a chance when you hired me, an entry level programmer without a degree.

Hope that helps.

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    I think you're reading that too literally. Since the resignation letter is really intended only for your manager, anything that will give them the warm fuzzies is OK in my book, and I'd go for the warm touch of hyperbole over the factually accurate but deathly boring "during an economically strained time". – jpatokal Oct 9 '15 at 6:25
  • @S.Grey I actually had that at first, with the taking a risk. But thought it might sound to strange to upper management, or maybe make them think i didn't know enough to be hired. – DidIReallyWriteThat Oct 9 '15 at 12:51
  • @jpatokal Good point, I'll leave it in, but I agree with you that first suggestion could be interpreted as a bit dry. Thank you. – S. Grey Oct 10 '15 at 4:49
  • @DidIReallyWriteThat Upper management is all about measuring risks, especially in technology fields, in my experience. I would counter with the argument, which sounds more negative about your skills: "Nobody but you would hire me," vs "you will take the risk considering my skills?" I don't care about the specific words, but the key is you want to phrase it so you talk positively about the employer, rather than negatively about yourself. – S. Grey Oct 10 '15 at 4:53

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