FAQ: Do You Really Need To Write a Resignation Letter?

Updated June 9, 2023

When thinking about leaving a job, you could consider writing a resignation letter. In some cases, you may not need to write a resignation letter, but it's important to carefully consider your unique situation. Determining if you need to write a resignation letter and how to write one can ensure you leave your job in a professional and positive way. In this article, we explore whether you need to write a resignation letter and how you can create one if needed.

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is an official document that details your intention to leave your position at an organization. Your employer may request a resignation letter to keep for their records. You can also present one along with a verbal notice of resignation. Try to send it as soon as you decide to leave to allow your employer to make preparations before you go. You can check your employee handbook to see if there are any company-specific notice requirements. Consider sending your letter at least two weeks before your last day at work.

Related: How To Write a Resignation Letter (With Samples and Tips)

Do you really need to write a resignation letter?

Most companies don't require official written notice before resigning from a position. You can check your employment contract or employee handbook to determine requirements at your specific workplace. Even if a formal letter isn't a part of your organization's official resignation process, you may still consider writing a letter of resignation because of the multiple benefits it can offer.

What are the benefits of a resignation letter?

There are several benefits to sending a resignation letter including that it:

Provides information

Employers can use the information in resignation letters to prepare for when you leave your position. It can give them time to shift project responsibilities to other people, train people to take over your duties or hire someone else. Resignation letters may also let them know why you're leaving the company, which can give employers an opportunity to respond. For example, if you're resigning because you received a better job offer, your employer may offer you a raise to keep you.

Functions as a record

A resignation letter is an official document that you and your employer can use to record the day you gave notice. This can help you keep track of when you informed your employer about your intention to leave. Consider keeping a copy of your resignation letter for your own records.

Maintains positive relationships

Another benefit of writing a resignation letter is that it allows you to show respect to your employer. Giving them a formal announcement of your resignation demonstrates that you care about how your leaving may affect the company. This can allow you to resign while keeping a positive relationship with your employer. You can use this relationship in the future, such as if you want to ask for a recommendation or referral.

Read more: How To Resign Gracefully (With Tips)

What do you include in a resignation letter?

Most resignation letters are fairly short, usually ranging from two paragraphs to about a page. When writing your own letter of resignation, try to keep it as brief as possible. Consider using direct language and only including information relevant to your resignation. Here are some things you can include in your resignation letter:

  • Your personal information, such as name and phone number

  • The name of the company you're leaving

  • Your position at the company

  • The date that you write the letter

  • The last day you plan on working

  • Your reason for leaving

  • A thank you to the employer

  • Plans for making the transition easier before you leave

Who do you send your resignation letter to?

Who you send your resignation letter to can vary depending on your workplace or company policies. Most companies ask you to deliver your resignation letter to your direct supervisor. You may also write to a letter to someone else, such as a more senior manager or member of human resources. Your employee handbook may have information about whom to address when sending a resignation letter.

Do you need to make a handwritten resignation letter?

Most companies accept all types of resignation letters, including printed letters and emails. However, giving your supervisor your letter in person can feel more personal and may improve your relations with that employer. Consider typing your letter, printing it and giving it to the recipient personally.

Related: How To Hand in a Resignation Letter (With Tips and Example)

Can you use a template while writing a resignation letter?

Using a template for your resignation letter can help you remember the information to include while writing. It may also help you sound more professional. You can find resignation letter templates for different jobs and situations on career development websites.

Example of a resignation letter

Here's an example of a resignation letter:

Archibald Greene
(545) 553-1323

Dear Tina Polanski,

I'm writing to inform you that I am leaving my position as senior software developer at Very Best Technology. My final day will be October 29th, and I hope you accept this as a formal notice of resignation.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, but due to a family emergency, I need to move away and can no longer fulfill my position. Thank you for the opportunity to work at this company and improve my programming and collaboration skills. If you wish, I can help train one of the junior developers for some of my duties to help make this transition easier.

Again, thank you for accepting me as part of the Very Best Technology family. Please contact me if you have any questions.


Archibald Greene

Related: Great Resignation Letter Examples

What else should you do when resigning?

In addition to your resignation letter, you can give your supervisor verbal notice in advance. You may also send copies of your letter to your HR department or other supervisors. Consider notifying your team members and making preparations before you leave, such as finishing important projects or helping to train your successor. It's best to tell your coworkers after meeting with your supervisor to show your respect and professionalism.


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