‘Searches For How To Send A Resignation Email Rose 3,450% on Google in the Past 3 Months’


"Searches for 'how to send a resignation email' rose 3,450% on Google in the past 3 months" [before November 10 2021].


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In a November 10 2021 tweet, data reporter Rani Molla claimed that Google searches for “how to send a resignation email” had spiked dramatically in the preceding 90 days:

The tweet did not include a source, and it read:

Searches for “how to send a resignation email” rose 3,450% on Google in the past 3 months

Screenshots of the tweet were shared twice to the subreddit r/antiwork, once on November 10 2021, and one the following day:

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People are really reaching their limits from antiwork

Of the two Reddit threads, the first was significantly more popular. Discourse on the post largely considered the claim through the “Great Resignation” lens — the broader notion that Americans were less willing to endure overbearing employers than they had been before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic:

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On the Twitter thread, Molla replied to her tweet with a second, this one describing sentiments among Americans regarding unions. That tweet included a link:

Nothing in the tweet indicated it was intended to be hyperbolic or otherwise not sincere, but one Reddit commenter noted:

I’m guessing this tweet was not meant to be taken seriously… because no, it hasn’t …

Typically, information about patterns in Google searches over a period of time was derived from Google Trends, making the claim easy to check. We searched “how to send a resignation email” (both in quotes and without quotes) on Google Trends, setting the parameters to “90 days,” the three-month period referenced in the tweet.

Neither search query indicated a spike of 3,450% in the 90 days before November 10 2021:

how to send a resignation email up 3450%

Typically, an increase in search interest appears in the “Related queries” field in the bottom right-hand corner of Google Trends’ interface. Both searches demonstrated no measurable increase in that search or related terms:

how to send a resignation email searches up 3450

We plugged “resignation email” (in quotes) into Google Trends for the preceding 90 days, and that indicated a 180 percent increase in a related search (“resignation email example”):

3450 how to write a resignation email google

Of the two “Related queries,” “resignation email to coworkers” indicated “Breakout” interest. But clicking through to it with the same three-month date range applied demonstrated a single spike on August 31 2021, with no additional date spikes and no related queries.

A viral November 10 2021 tweet claiming “searches for ‘how to send a resignation email’ rose 3,450% on Google in the past 3 months” spread to Reddit’s r/antiwork (twice), and was viewed as further evidence of the labor force’s “Great Resignation.” However, Google Trends data for “how to send a resignation email” (with and without quotes), “resignation email,” “resignation email to coworkers,” and “resignation email example” did not demonstrate a 3,450% increase for any or all of the terms. The highest displayed percentage interest for the three months ending November 12 2021 was the latter term, with a 180 percent increase in searches. The “Breakout” search for “resignation email to coworkers” spiked once on August 31 2021, and no interest was measured at any other time in the ninety-day range.