How to Write Resignation Letter

In the business world, a letter of resignation can be a tricky document to write due to its sensitive nature. It is a necessary step in any employee’s career advancement but can also be a time of self-doubt and reflection. When it comes to writing a letter of resignation, you want to be sure that you handle it correctly so as not to offend anyone, but still provide the courtesy needed.

Without a doubt, how to write resignation letter can be a difficult task. In this article, we offer you some tips and tricks as well as a sample template for different scenarios. Find out how to write an effective letter of resignation and use these tips to make sure your resignation is accepted your company!

If you are leaving your job, you’re not alone.

In April 2021 alone, around 4 million people quit their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. That number is the highest recorded since the bureau started recording such rates.

Even though millions quit their jobs every month, we understand that telling your boss that you’re leaving the company is never an easy conversation. A respectful resignation letter can mean the difference between an awkward goodbye and a chance for a long-term professional connection.

Ideally, you’ll provide a resignation letter two weeks before you leave the company. A resignation letter lets you officially announce your termination at the company and also offers essential housekeeping information, like your last day and other details about your departure.

An effective one helps you ensure a positive conversation with your boss and a smooth transition to your next journey.

But how do you write a good resignation letter? What should you include and exclude?

Table of Contents

What Is a Resignation Letter ?

A resignation letter is an official letter sent by an employee to their employer giving notice they will no longer be working at the company. In other words, it’s an official form of quitting. The goal of a letter of resignation is to create an official record of notice, provide details about the employee’s last day, outline any next steps, and maintain a positive relationship with the employer.

Should You Write a Resignation Letter?

You should write a resignation letter because it’s the professional thing to do, whether you work at a hospital or a coffee shop. A resignation letter officially gives notice to your boss that you’re leaving the job and someone else will need to be hired to replace you and take on your responsibilities. Simply put, don’t resign without one.

What Is a Two Weeks’ Notice Letter?

A two weeks’ notice letter is essentially the same thing as a resignation letter. (It’s more professional-sounding than “quit letter” and “job leaving letter,” don’t you think?) This letter announces your intent to resign from the company and says you will remain in your position for another two weeks before leaving. Two weeks is the standard amount of time from when you announce you’re leaving to your last day at your job.

Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter

The general consensus on letters of resignation is, the shorter the better.  There is no need to provide a long-winded explanation of why you are quitting.  Instead, it’s best to be direct, professional, and outline any important information about the termination process.

Here are some helpful tips for writing your resignation letter:

  • Be direct and to the point – mention that you are quitting in the first paragraph (or even the first sentence)
  • Be professional – do not use it as an opportunity to complain, insult, or criticize the company or other employees
  • Give notice of your last day – provide the specific date you are agreeing to work until
  • Provide information about the transition – you may offer to help find your replacement, or agree to finish certain projects and tasks before your last day
  • Proofread and spell check – be sure to thoroughly proofread the letter before submitting to make sure all information is accurate and there are no typos
  • Seek legal advice – depending on the nature of your position, you may wish to seek professional legal advice about your resignation process

How to Write Letter of Resignation

Writing a professional resignation letter starts with understanding each of its components:

1. Statement of Resignation and End Date

Begin your letter by stating your position at the company. This might seem redundant if you work at a small company and your boss knows you well, but it’s essential to include it since the letter is your official termination. Along with this information should be a simple statement of your resignation. 

Also, providing an end date in the first body paragraph is helpful since that’s one of the first questions your employer is going to have.

Here’s what this first paragraph may look like in practice:

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as [Position Name] for [Company Name], effective [Date].

2. Gratitude

Take the time to consider how you’ve grown or what you’ve appreciated most about your time at the company. Be as specific as possible — perhaps the company provided professional development opportunities, or maybe you’ve enjoyed the climate the company fostered and the supportive atmosphere.

It’s also nice for your employer to receive a thank you for the time and resources they’ve used in supporting your career growth. Here’s an example of what this may look like:

I appreciate the opportunities for professional development that you have provided me over the past two years. I have enjoyed my tenure at [Company Name] and particularly feel honored to have been part of such a supportive team.

If you’d like, you can include where you’re headed next, too. For example, if you’re switching industries to pursue a passion or going to graduate school, it might be appropriate to include that. For example:

I accepted a position as a [New Job Title], and I’m looking forward to [pursuing my passion in X or continuing my work with a focus on Y].

However, if you’re leaving the company for a competitor, it’s better to omit such information.

3. Transition Details

In the third paragraph, mention your willingness to make the transition easier. For example:

If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know. I am available to help train my replacement and ensure that all my reports are updated before my last day of work.

This sentence might look different for you. But regardless of what you write, it’s good practice to include specific details regarding how you’ll help.

As an optional follow-up paragraph, briefly review the work you’ll be surrendering when you officially leave the company. Although it’s technically your manager’s responsibility to pick this work up and determine how it will continue, it’s helpful to list all the projects and tasks you’ve been in charge of to make the transition even easier on the company in the interim.

If you didn’t serve in a managerial capacity or collaborate with other departments, you could skip this part.

4. Personal Contact Information

This last paragraph is optional and doesn’t need to be included all the time, particularly if you have no desire or need to use your former employer as a reference. However, many candidates choose to maintain their professional networks, so such a closing may look like this:

Thank you again for the opportunity to work at [Company Name]. I wish you all the best and look forward to staying in touch. You can email me at [Email Address].

Resignation Letter Template

Copy and paste the below text into a Word document or an email as the starting point for own letter.

[Your Name]

[Your Street Address]

[Your City, State/Province, Country]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Email Address]

[Today’s Date]

[Employer Contact Name]

[Employer Title]

[Employer Company Name]

Dear [Employer Contact Name],

[First paragraph: I am writing to provide you with my formal notice of resignation from The Company.  My last day will be January 19, 2018, two weeks from today.]

[Second paragraph: This was not an easy decision to make, and I appreciate your support over the course of my employment at The Company.  I truly value the experience, training, and knowledge I gained over the past 5 years. It has been a pleasure working with you and the team.

[Third paragraph: Please let me know how I can help during this transition. I wish you all the best as the company continues to grow.]

Sincerely,

[Image of Signature]

[Your Name]

Resignation Letter Best Practices

When you deliver your resignation letter to your boss it’s important to remember what you should and shouldn’t do.  Here are the most important points and best practices to remember.

Be sure to:

  • Deliver both a printed copy with your signature and an email copy
  • Discuss the final details of your employment (the last few days on the job)
  • Offer to help transition the role to someone else at the company
  • Provide the required amount of notice (the number of days will be listed in your original employment agreement)
  • Organize your desk and personal affairs in the event the company asks you to leave immediately

Try to avoid:

  • Criticizing the company or any people that work there
  • Refusing to come in and work for the duration of your notice period (unless you are asked not to come back)
  • Bragging about some amazing new opportunity of a job you found
  • Avoiding your boss and refusing to talk about transition planning
  • Convincing co-workers that they should resign too
  • Spreading rumors or misinformation

Conclusion

Resignation letters are usually not an easy task. It leaves us with mixed feelings and emotions. Resigning is good, so we can move on to other opportunities. But it also means leaving our current employment behind which somehow makes us feel sad.

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