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Resignation Letter: What Notice Period Is Reasonable?

When you decide to leave your job, you probably want to do it as soon as possible. Sometimes reasons are subjective, like, for example, conflicts or misunderstandings with colleagues. Sometimes, you may be forced to quit your job due to your family issues or other critical circumstances. Though your employer may agree to meet you halfway and let you go pretty quickly, remember that he/she has to find someone to replace you.

This is what a notice period is used for. It’s a period between your announcement of resignation and the last working day in this company. Typically, a notice period is equal to two weeks, but often it can vary. Some contractors may require a month of work from you – to have enough time for finding a replacement. Especially if your position is high, finding a new worker might be a challenge.

Two Weeks: Why Do I Have to Wait for So Long?

When the HR department accepts your resignation letter, there are several stages of recruiting a new person. First, the Human Resource managers create a new job description for it may have changed since you were hired. Then they need to get the budget for the payroll and various job board services approved. Once this is done, they need to create a long list of candidates and arrange interviews with each of them. Later they will need to deliver a shortlist of candidates and then arrange interviews with managers. 

If this is a middle or high-level position, then closing it will require more time. That’s the employer’s perspective. And often state regulates the notice period. No matter how hard your situation is, it’s always better to say goodbye to each other in a positive way. If you need to leave as soon as possible, discuss the options with your manager or director. Once you both want to do your best, the issue is solvable.

What Your Notice Period Depend On

There may be many factors that influence your notice period. However, we shall give you some ideas that will help you estimate this period for you before you know it officially.

  1. Look at your contract. If you signed a contract, there must be a paragraph or section about your notice period. Often it is stated in the clause named ‘Termination,’ and there, you may find different terms for different situations. For example, if you initiate termination, the employer may require a month to find a replacement. If your manager decides to stop cooperation, he/she may give you only two weeks. However, standard practice is to make these periods equal.
  2. Are you on probation period? Your probation period may not be over yet if you have worked for less than three or six months. This sometimes means that you can leave the company the same day, but it needs to be checked with your manager.
  3. Leaving after vacation. Consider telling your employer about your decision before your holiday starts, as he/she may use it as an additional time to manoeuvre. Moreover, if it’s a vacation period, your colleagues can also have their two weeks off, which may cause further issues to your company. Also, try to avoid leaving the company during the vacation period or if someone is taking parental leave, for example.
  4. Try to finish your projects. If your work is project-based, then completing your current project may even be more important than working the obligatory term. If you have another week or two, try to discuss with your project manager what plan will be better for him/her. The last thing you would love to do is to shift deadlines for your contractor. 
  5. Avoid resigning at the year-end. This is equally true for the calendar year and the fiscal year, for sometimes, these dates differ, especially if you work as an accountant or closely related to the financial department. Every year-end is quite a tense time for your finance department and CFO, so losing a pair of hands at this period can be crucial. 
  6. Consider a break. If you decided to leave not because of another job you already contracted, consider a little break for yourself. Yes, this totally depends on your situation, but sometimes having rest will bring better results than facing new responsibilities.

How Should I Inform My Boss About My Resignation?

You should communicate your decision to resign personally with your direct manager. You should never try to talk to someone behind his/her back. Don’t discuss your intention with your colleagues as then your boss or even CEO can hear the rumours before you actually notify him/her. Even if you are in a good relationship with your direct manager, you need to ask for a brief meeting and bring a paper copy of your resignation letter. This way, you both will be able to document the intent, and it would not sound like a spontaneous decision.

Be persistent and don’t let the manager change your mind if your decision is final and your resignation is inevitable. And you need to know that your team lead will definitely try to persuade you to stay. Do not mention any negative reasons for your leaving, and thank your employer for the experience you gained in this position.

Ask for a written confirmation that your letter is accepted and negotiate your last working day. Be open to offer your cooperation in training a newcomer, but limit it to the agreed period. You might not be happy to receive calls from your successor when completing your new employer’s tasks or sitting in a cafe during a week-off. 

To Sum It Up

Check official employment documents how long your notice period will be. Then ask your manager to meet you and prepare the letter of resignation. Discuss possible options concerning the transition period and training process. Try to think from your employer’s perspective and stay optimistic about his/her requests to make the process as smooth as possible.

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Professional Background in Your CV: How to Write About It Informatively

Your professional background is the most critical information for your potential employer. It will prove your skills and qualifications and demonstrate how you can apply them in your professional tasks. Since recruiters can receive many resumes for popular and well-paid positions, they cannot read them very carefully at the early stages.

That is why you need to adapt your CV so that that essential details can be detectable. On the one hand, you have to tell the reader how you applied specific skills, but on the other hand, you have to write memoirs. Though, you definitely have something to remember.

In this article, we shall help you structure the description of your past roles and responsibilities to be impressive, short, and informative. You will understand which achievements need to be highlighted and which features are significant to make you look good for the potential employer. 

How to Keep a Record of Your Success 

Though we usually add a line in the resume after we finish our job, there is a little tip for you. Make a file where you will keep a record of all your achievements in detail. You may spend 10-20 minutes on it every month, but when you need to write about your past professional experience: here it is. You will not forget important details, will have a pool of ideas to write about, and have them at hand.

Also, write down answers to one of the most popular questions recruiters ask – the reason for leaving your previous job. But do not hurry to tell them about the conflicts with your colleagues or managers. Here you will have to look further. Maybe this was a lack of career growth or too much control. Sometimes it’s okay to state professionally neutral reasons like location or family issues. Well, you got it –- get ready with answers.

What Should I Tell About My Previous Jobs?

The structure of every CV is more or less the same. Though creative personalities make their resume look like a piece of art, but do not make their mistakes. Keep your CV in simple formats like Word and PDF. Remember that nowadays, recruiters also automate their routine work and upload the data from your CV in the HR systems. If your document is full of drawings and pictures, the software will hardly read it, and your HR will have to input the missing details manually. Yes, you will be noticed, but rather in a negative context. And, if there are a lot of candidates, your creativity may take your application to the bin.

Usually, you start to mention your previous working experience starting with the recent (current) job. Typically, you need to state the company’s name, position, and dates of work. Below you mention your responsibilities and achievements. If you were a team lead, say how many people you monitored and whom you reported to. 

Always update your CV to the requirements of the position you are applying for. If this is a managerial role, stress what principles you used in heading your team. If you are going to work in a team, describe how important it is to give your colleagues a helping hand. If you know this position will require working after business hours, note that you are ready for it. If it is necessary to go on business trips and stay connected even at weekends, don’t forget to mention this before you are asked this personally.

Write a Summary Before Your Professional Experience

Suppose your professional career is impressive and you have worked for more than ten years. In that case, you should better write a summary of your skills and achievements before your job titles’ chronological sequence. Such an approach will help your recruiter understand if you are eligible for the pre-screen interview for less than a minute. You can mention the leading technologies you worked with, popular software solutions you implemented, and the payment systems you successfully used.

Try to avoid general and abstract phrases like ‘worked with many online banking systems.’ Instead, add details like ‘realized payments through Bank of America, 53 Bank, and HSBC Bank’. Such information will be equally understandable for specialists and, for example, your HR, who often has the general understanding of the specifics.

Create a Professional Social Media Account

Today our life passes on social networks, and the business environment is not an exception. Every serious business person literally should have a LinkedIn account to stay noticed and look for new opportunities. Many modern companies will not even ask you for a CV but will require a LinkedIn link. There they will find not only your resume and proven experience but recommendations from former colleagues, managers, partners, and clients. 

LinkedIn is a great job board. You can get notified about every job posting from your favourite company, industry leaders, or local companies that look for professionals like you. An application can happen as quickly as clicking an ‘Apply’ button. 

On your professional experience page, you can write as many details as you think will work best. Ask people to confirm your skills and do the same in return. Join various groups to communicate to professionals, and probably one day, and you will use those connections. It often happens that you receive job proposals from better companies once your skills are adequately mentioned. Social media works as a promotional platform for hundreds of professionals.

To Sum It Up

Mention your primary professional skills and achievements at the top of your CV. All experience records should start from the current (or recent) one and end with your education. Write specific tools or environments you worked with instead of general and not too informative phrases. Mention your responsibilities, tasks completed, and goals achieved. Create your professional account on social media and keep it active. Follow the managers and employers that you want to work with or exchange experience with, and keep your background info updated.

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Got a Recommendation Letter? Here’s How to Say “Thank You” for It!

If this is your first job application, you can ask your college teacher for a letter of recommendation. In this case, your professor can only describe your academic success and your personal qualities. If you left your last job in a friendly manner, and your former boss was satisfied with your performance, you can ask him/her for a recommendation letter too. But why are these letters so important, and how do they work?

Your potential employer may ask you to show a recommendation letter either before the interview or after it –– to consider taking you to the next hiring stage. Of course, some recruiters can request such a letter right during the interview, so you should better take care of it beforehand. 

A letter of recommendation is an effective way to help the candidate stand out from other job applicants. It describes the talents and skills of the candidate you recommend. But a good recommendation letter does not simply state the strengths of the person. It would be more valuable to provide examples when your former employee (or student) demonstrated those features at work (when studying). So, this kind of writing requires a more sophisticated approach.

Why a “Thank You” Note Is Necessary

Since writing a recommendation letter requires time and effort, and your former manager will not be paid for it, you should thank that person with a note. This note also serves as a confirmation of your professional relationship, for you’ll never know if you would need to communicate with this person again. Always try to keep a positive relationship with any business contact.

If we look at this from another point of view –- assuming that your former manager or teacher writes many recommendation letters – your reply can make you stand out. That referrer will most probably remember you and will help again once you ask for another letter of reference.

Writing and Sending a “Thank You” Letter

Email or Paper?

Though today paper letters are not widespread, there still are people who would like to receive such a “Thank You” letter by mail. In some cases, you can even send a card to thank a person for his/her efforts in handwriting.

Find out which format is preferable for your recipient. But with a paper option, make sure it will arrive and be read promptly. Otherwise, just send an email or even do both. 

Letter Structure 

Though there is no standard format for your “Thank You” letter, some sections are pretty common. Let’s take a brief look at every part.

  1. Greeting. You can refer to the person by name and surname or state Ms., or Mr. The latter option is preferable, and don’t forget to put a colon after the greeting. For example: ‘Dear Mr. Smith:.’
  2. Gratitude statement. You can start with appreciating the time spent and efforts of your referrer. Don’t write more than 3-4 sentences so that this part may look like this: 

‘I would like to thank you for your kind assistance with my recommendation letter. It helped me support my application significantly, and I appreciate the time and effort you spent preparing my letter of recommendation.’

  1. Application status. It would be polite to let your referrer know how his recommendations helped you to succeed. Don’t write too many details about each interview stage and questions. Instead, give a couple of facts about the current status of your application process. 

Your text here could look like this: ‘It helped me pass to the next level of interviews at ABC Inc. Due to your strong support, my chances to join ABC Inc. as a Junior Sales Manager are high. I have the next interview this Wednesday –- with the Head of Recruiting. If I succeed, the last stage will be a meeting with my direct manager –- Head of Sales.”

  1. Closing phrase. This is usually a word ‘Sincerely’ written on a new line and followed by a comma. And on the following line, write your full name and surname. 

So, the letter is finished. What’s next? Put it away for a couple of hours and then proofread it. Double-check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Verify if you spell correctly the name of your referrer, the company’s name (if you mention it), addresses, etc. Good command of English is another proof of your professionalism, so don’t neglect it. If you can ask a friend to read through the letter, do it. Another pair of eyes can notice more details. 

When to Send a “Thank You” Letter

Send your “Thank You” letter as soon as you receive your recommendation letter. The quicker your referrer will get your note, the more professional you will look. In business, including correspondence, being fast means a lot. So, if you decided to send your “Thank You” letter by mail, do it the same day you receive the reference letter. 

Since emails are delivered immediately, you can send the words of appreciation the next day, but do not wait for too long. And if you are lucky to be hired, you should also notify your former employer or professor about your hiring progress. 

Sample of a “Thank You” Email

Here we would like to show you one of your “Thank You” email examples in reply to receiving a recommendation letter.

Subject Line: Letter of Recommendation – Jason Smith

Dear Mr. Hopkins:

I would like to thank you for the recommendation letter you kindly sent me the other day. I used it for applying to the Sales Manager role in ABC, Inc.  It really was strong and helped me to move to the next stage of the recruiting process.

I hope that my experience in your company will support my application and let me cope with the following test tasks. 

I once again appreciate your kind assistance and spent time and effort preparing the letter of recommendation for me. Your input in my success is valuable, and I will keep you updated about my results.

Best regards,

Jason Smith

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Second Shift: What Are My Working Hours?

Don’t get the second shift wrong –- this has nothing to do with your overtime hours. Shifts refer to businesses with non-stop operations like healthcare, grocery, security, hospitality, and many others. Such companies and organizations have to secure 24/7 coverage and require employees to work in shifts.

Probably, you will be given an option to choose between the shifts sometimes; most often, your employer will require you to work for eight hours of the day. Let’s see in more detail what shift work is and which benefits and disadvantages it has.

Types of Shifts 

Day (First) Shift

This shift starts in the morning and finishes in the afternoon. Normally, you begin between 8 am, and 9 am and finish between 5 pm and 6 pm. The day shift typically lasts eight hours, with one hour allowed for lunch.

Afternoon (Second) Shift

The second shift starts late in the afternoon and finishes late at night. It usually begins between 4 pm and 5 pm and lasts until midnight or 1 am. This shift works better for those people who prefer staying awake in the night but like to sleep until late in the mornings. The afternoon shift will also be great if you have other commitments in the morning or in the daytime. 

However, you should always plan for your sleep if you have personal issues in the daytime and work in the late afternoon. It may only seem beneficial, for example, to study in your ‘first shift’ and work in the second. But in reality, you may get exhausted very quickly and, with time, experience health issues.

Night (Third) Shift 

Usually, the night shift starts at midnight and lasts until the day shift starts. So, typical hours are between 12 am, and 8 am on the same day. You need to remember that for a human organism, it is not natural to stay up at night so that you will feel slightly disoriented, and your reactions might be delayed. You will need more time to recover after a sleepless night compared to the second shift. So make sure to properly arrange your schedule for your rest.

Split Shift 

Split shift assumes that you work in two separate time blocks during one day. For example, you work half of the shift from 8 am till 12 pm, and the second half may last from 5 pm to 9 pm. 

Rotating Shift 

Working in a rotating shift means that today you can work in the first shift, tomorrow in the second shift, and on the third day in the night shift. Then one, two, or even more days off usually follow, and the rotation starts again.

Fixed Shift

Or, your employer can offer rotation every several days or weeks. Like, one week you work in day shifts, the next week you take only the night ones. This is usually done to spread the load evenly between all the workers, and such unchanging shifts are called fixed.

Weekend Shifts

If you need extra money, you can try to work over the weekend. This way, you will not have to work that hard as when you incorporate your second job in your working week. But on the other hand, the precious weekend time when families tend to spend time together will be missed. In this case, you need to consider all the pros and cons.

Why Is Second Shift Beneficial?

So, why would you agree to work until late afternoon? What good points about it can you name? Let’s take a look at the benefits of working in the second shift.

  • You are free during business hours. This is good not only in terms of buying groceries without standing in a queue. Shopping centres are not so crowded in the daytime, so you can buy all you need much quicker. If you take your children to various activities, you can let them join earlier classes, so they can already be free by the end of the day.
  • You can see a doctor when needed. And do it without asking for permission and worrying if the visit lasts longer than expected. Especially when you have kids, you can always take care of them, and this is precious. You can plan for some activities with free daytime or even do some side job like walking with someone’s dog or babysitting. 
  • You can save money on daycare. If your husband or wife works regular hours and you work in the second shift, this is a great way to save on your child or several kids’ daycare costs. Yes, staying with kids at home sometimes can be even more challenging work than your job. But this is a chance for you to spend more time with your children and see them grow. When your spouse comes home, you leave, so this schedule looks acceptable.
  • You can drive in less traffic. Rush hours are challenging. You have to add another hour or two for getting to your office, and then another two for going back. Those people who live in big cities are used to spending their lives in traffic jams. But isn’t it advantageous to stay on the other part of the road and enjoy the saved time? Spend that hour for a walk, or shopping, or cooking dinner instead of waiting in your car or a bus. 

To Sum It Up

When you consider working until late, you should think of all the pluses and minuses of such life. If your health is good and you are young, working in the second shift might not harm you. Ask your employer about the long-term schedule if you can change it once the circumstances change. Ask if there will be urgent requests to come to work if another employee gets ill or faces some personal issues.

Once you know which type of schedule you have (rotating or fixed) and when your employer can notify you of your shift change, you can plan your time accordingly.

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A Letter of Transmittal

What This Is

Are you sharing some corporate documentation like technical or financial reports, especially with someone outside your organization? Think of enclosing a letter of transmittal. This way, you will ensure that the sensitive data is treated accordingly, and the person is not confused with the volume of the document he or she receives.

Imagine that you get a pack of 50 pages. You probably know the purpose of this document but will still need to spend time figuring out what exactly the sender expects from you. What will be the first thing you do? The chances are that you will just put it aside to return to it soon –– when you feel more ‘prepared.’ Well, many people would do that. But as a sender, you can minimize the possible delay with one page. And its name is Letter of Transmittal.

When You Need a Letter of Transmittal

A Letter of Transmittal is just a cover letter. Once a recipient reads this letter, he/she gets an understanding of why it was sent and what he/she should do with it. Also, you can stress the importance and urgency of the feedback, so your colleague or partner would know how to plan their time and resources. If the document you send needs a brief explanation, write a short letter, but once you need to add more elements or instructions, add them too. Here are just a few examples when we recommend using a cover letter:

  • When you ask for review or approval of some drafts
  • When you want to stress some points of the report
  • When you explain the difference between the planned numbers and the actual ones
  • When there are factors that shift the deadlines of your project
  • When you want to share the principles or approaches to the data in the document.

Usually, transmittal letters are enclosed to documents that contain sensitive data, like financial or security reports, audit recommendations, or detailed information about projects or proposals. Scientific research and technical analysis can also require ‘assistance’ of a cover letter. These are the most common cases when a Letter of Transmittal helps. Now let’s see the structure of a typical Letter of Transmittal.

Format of a Transmittal Letter

You will not find any specific requirements for a Letter of Transmittal. But since this is a type of business letter, we will take its structure as a base.

Heading

You should use the official letterhead of your company. Usually, this section is placed in the header and/or footer of your electronic document. Apart from the logo and your company’s name, you state your address, registration and tax numbers, website, telephone, and fax in the header. 

In the footer, businesses can mention their payment details and invoice settlement terms. This is because often, a corporate letterhead is also used for invoicing purposes. Don’t be confused with that extra information.

Under the header, in the left corner of your letter, put the date. Skip one line and state the name, title, organization, and recipient address in the right corner. 

Greeting

Even though you may know your recipient for years, avoid informal greetings. Better use:

  • Dear John
  • Hi Margaret
  • Hello Melissa

When you know the first name and last name, use one of these options:

  • Dear Mr. John Mitchell
  • Dear Mr. Mitchell
  • Dear Margaret Petric

The last version is also appropriate in case you are not sure about the gender. If you don’t know the name, you can start your letter with ‘Dear Sales Manager.’ However, personal greetings sound much better, so try to spend ten minutes to find your recipient’s name on LinkedIn. Put a colon after the salutation and always double-check the spelling not to make a poor impression. 

Body

It’s time to move to the central part of your letter. Usually, the body includes four sections:

  1. Purpose. Tell the reader what the document contains and why you are sending it. For example: ‘Enclosed, you will find the 2020 Financial Statements of Drill Inc. for your review.’
  2. Details. Here you can highlight some points of the document before the person starts reading it. For example: ‘Please be advised that the actual profit is 10% lower than the budgeted amount. However, this gap was covered in 1Q of 2021’.
  3. Request. Tell the reader what you expect him/her to do and set the deadline, if appropriate. For example: ‘Please review and kindly return your comments before the 30th April 2021.’
  4. Contact. Don’t forget to leave your contact details, so the person could communicate with you if he/she has any questions or remarks. 

Closing 

The last paragraph of your Transmittal Letter usually comprises two elements: the intent to discuss the issue (or get the reply) and a closing salutation. You can end your letter with this phrase: ‘I look forward to discussing the report with you.’ 

And the salutation may look like this:

  • Sincerely, Leo Chapman
  • Regards, Mark Hudson

Check Yourself Once Again

Before you send the Letter of Transmittal, check our tips below. These recommendations will help your letter be clear and sound conversational.

  • Use simple language. Though this is a formal letter, don’t overload it with clichés and wordy phrases. Keep your sentences short (10-15 words) and your paragraphs small (3-4 sentences). Don’t use complicated terms and be precise — stress actions where necessary. 
  • Be specific. Tell the person all the information that he/she might need to make a decision and do it in a straightforward manner. Never exceed the one-page size of your letter. On the other hand, try to sound friendly and not robot-like.
  • Check spelling and grammar. If you can ask someone to take a look at your transmittal letter, it would even be better as we may not notice our errors. This approach is also good in terms of text structure and understandability. 
  • Make a copy. Sometime after, you may forget what exactly you asked for. Then having a copy of your letter would just be excellent –– to stay on the same page.