Starting a New Job

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

May 26, 2021

If you’ve made the decision to leave your job you’ll want to notify your employer in a professional manner. There are many reasons for deciding to leave a job such as the need to spend time caring for family or accepting a position at another company. In this article, we cover what you need to know about resignation letters and how to write one, plus templates to help you make your own depending on your situation.

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is an official document that records the end of your employment with an organization. This document is usually required after you’ve indicated your decision to leave in person or via email.

Related: Top Tips for Stellar Resignation Letter Etiquette (Plus What to Include vs Exclude)

Resignation Letter Format
Image description

Resignation Letter Format

Resignation Letter Format
1. Date
2. Address line
3. Statement of resignation
4. Last day of work
5. Statement of gratitude
6. Next steps
7. Closing and signature

Resignation letter basics

It is best to speak directly with your manager before sending a resignation letter, whether it’s in person, by video chat or on the phone as a sign of respect. It’s also a matter of professional courtesy to submit a resignation letter after you’ve had this conversation to provide your company’s HR department with a record of your statement and your manager with operational information regarding your departure.

Typically a resignation letter includes the following information:

  • Statement of resignation from the company
  • Date of last day of work
  • Statement of gratitude
  • Next steps and other critical information
  • Signature

What not to include in your resignation letter

Regardless of your reasons for leaving your job, communicate your decision to your employer in a positive, respectful way. As a professional document, resignation letters should not include complaints about the company, your manager or coworkers. To keep it professional, only include the information listed above and use a positive or matter-of-fact tone throughout.

Related: 6 Musts for a Resignation Letter: What to Include in Your Resignation Letter (Plus Tips and Example)

How to write a resignation letter

Writing a resignation letter can be a simple process if you follow a few key steps. Before writing your letter, consult with your direct supervisor or HR manager to follow any processes your company has in place regarding resignations. For example, they might ask you to provide specific information or send your letter to certain people at the company.

To write a resignation letter, include the following information in this order:

1. Start with an introduction and notice of resignation

If you are submitting a hard copy of your letter, use a standard business letter format with the date and your contact information at the top of the page—if you’re emailing your letter, this information isn’t necessary. Introduce your letter with a formal salutation, address the recipient by name and, if you prefer, use a standard greeting such as “Dear\ [First name],” or “Hello [First name].”

Next, state clearly that you are writing to submit your formal resignation from your position with the company and include the date of your last day of work. While it is standard to provide two weeks’ notice, your company might have specific instruction around what your last date of work should be. After getting this information, list the date and weekday of your final day at the company.

Example:
Jane,

Please accept this as my formal resignation from my position as a senior graphic designer with XYZ Company. My last day will be Friday, June 28, two weeks from today.

2. Include a statement of gratitude

It is always a good career decision to keep your professional relationships positive. Writing one or two sentences explaining what you are thankful for about your time at the company will help foster a peaceful transition.

Example:
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from the best and grow as a designer. I will always cherish the experiences I had working with you and the team.

3. Finish with next steps and a conclusion

List any key information the recipient should be aware of regarding your transition. These details can be worked out with your manager ahead of time. However, if you’re not sure what your transition responsibilities should be, simply add that you are happy to do whatever you can to make the transition as smooth as possible. This kind of gesture is generally appreciated.

Close with a departing statement such as “Sincerely,” or “Thank you,” and your name.

Example:
In an effort to make this transition as smooth as possible, I intend to wrap up my final design project by June 20 and delegate all other responsibilities to the appropriate team members with your approval. I wish you, the team and the company all the best.

Thank you for everything,
John

Related: How to Write a Thank-You Letter to a Boss After Your Resignation (With Template and Examples)

Resignation letter template

Below is a sample resignation letter template with the basic information that’s necessary to include when resigning from any company. This template should be customized with your information and based on your circumstances.

[Your supervisor’s first name],

Please accept this as my formal resignation from [your job title] with [company name]. My last day will be [your final day of work], two weeks from today. I am grateful for all of your support during my time here and deeply appreciate all of the valuable experiences I have gained. It has been a sincere pleasure working with you and the team.

Please let me know how I can help during this transition and make it as smooth as possible.

Best wishes, and thank you for everything,
[Your name]

Related: Formatting a Resignation Letter: Tips and Examples

Resignation letter examples with a reason

While it’s not required to include why you are resigning from a company, you might prefer to explain the reason for your departure in more detail. Here are a few sample paragraphs that describe common reasons for resigning:

Resignation due to a better opportunity

“I am writing to inform you that I have accepted a position at a company that I feel is a better fit for my career moving forward. Please accept this note as my formal resignation from ABC company. My last day will be two weeks from today, [insert last day of work].

While I will be moving on to a new position, I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I had to grow and learn during my time here.”

Resignation due to relocation

“Please accept this as my formal resignation from XYZ Company. My last day will be [insert your final day of work], two weeks from today. I will be relocating to Chicago in the coming months to be closer to family.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow in the accounting department–I hope to find a new position with equally inspiring, helpful and kind colleagues. I wish the company success in the future.

Please let me know of the ways I can help make the transition as smooth as possible.”

Read more: How to Write a Resignation Letter When You're Moving Away

Resignation due to family reasons

“Please accept my resignation, effective [insert your final day of work]. As you know, my family welcomed our second child last month. After my parental leave ends, I would prefer to stay home with my children and focus on the needs of my family.

Thank you for understanding, and please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this time.”

If your reasons are not specific to having children, or you’d prefer to remain vague, try this version:

“I am writing to inform you that next month, I must resign from my role at Company XYZ. Family circumstances require my full attention at this time and leave me unable to continue in this role.

I will be available over the next month to assist with the transition.”

Read more: How to Write a Resignation Letter for Family Reasons (With Template and Example)

Resignation due to a change in career

“Please accept my resignation effective [your final day of work]. I have accepted a position at a [insert your next company type] and look forward to the new direction of my career, even though I will miss my work with you.

Thank you for the support and the opportunities over the past [insert time you were at the company].

Please let me know if you need any assistance during this transition and how I can help over the next few weeks.”

Note that this example includes mention of an industry, not a specific company. There is no need to include the name of your future employer in your resignation letter.

Read more: Resignation Letter Due to a Career Change: Tips and Examples

Resignation due to returning to school

“Please accept my resignation effective [insert your final day of work]. Next month, I will be enrolling in graduate school and will need to resign from my role at Company XYZ.

I would like to thank you for all of the great opportunities I have had while working on this team. The learning experiences and skills I have developed while at Company XYZ have laid the ideal foundation for this new stage in my life at graduate school.

Please let me know if you need any assistance during this two-week transition. Thank you again for all of the positive experiences over the past [insert time you were at the company], and I look forward to staying in touch.”

Related: Resignation Letter Examples

Resignation letter tips

Here are several tips you can use to make your resignation letter as effective as possible:

  • Keep it positive. Regardless of the reasons that led you to resign, the tone of this letter should be positive—aim to part on good terms and maintain your professional network. Above all, do not use your resignation letter to vent frustration.
  • Deliver your letter in person. If possible, you may want to deliver your resignation letter in-person to your manager. If you resign with a hard copy, be sure to include the date at the top of the letter. You may also send an email immediately after meeting with your manager. Use a subject line that’s clear and direct, such as: Resignation—[Your Name].
  • Consider networking opportunities. Include language that encourages your manager to continue a professional relationship after you leave the company. For example, “I’d greatly appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch to continue learning from you and to share any industry insights I’ve gained that you might find useful. In the future, please feel free to reach me at [your personal email address].”
  • If necessary, keep it brief. If you are leaving your company for sensitive reasons and prefer not to provide optional details, simply include your statement of resignation, last day at the company and a statement like “I wish the company success in its future endeavors.”
  • Plan for an immediate departure. In certain situations, your employer may ask you to leave on the day you resign. If you are leaving for a new job that does not begin for a few weeks, this may mean you won’t be paid for that period. If this situation could apply to you, pay attention to what happens when others resign and plan accordingly when you are determining your start date in a new job.
  • Follow your manager’s instructions for next steps. After you submit a formal resignation, your manager might ask you to put together a transition plan, finish up certain projects or write a goodbye note to your colleagues.

Additional resources for writing a resignation letter

There are many reasons why you may have to resign from a job. Here are some additional resources to help you craft a resignation based on your personal situation.

Resignation letter best practices

Here are a few basic best practices for having the initial conversation with your employer about your resignation and writing a simple or formal letter of resignation.

Resignation letter examples with a personal reason

Here are a few more examples of personal reasons that might be a factor in your decision to resign from a company:

Resignation letter examples for different professional situations

While it’s ideal to be able to plan your own resignation and give your employer sufficient notice, sometimes a resignation may come as a surprise and may not even be your decision. Here are a few examples that can help you navigate a resignation letter under different professional situations:

Resignation letter examples for different professions

You might choose to stick with a basic resignation letter template or you could tailor it to your specific industry or role using the examples below:

Resignation letters can help you exit a company with a positive tone and reinforce your relationship with the company and your coworkers in the future. When written simply and with polish, a well-crafted resignation letter can be a solid stepping stone in your professional career.

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