What is a resignation letter?
A resignation letter is an official document that records the end of your employment with an organisation that should come after you’ve indicated your decision to leave in person or via email.
It is always best to speak directly with your manager before sending a resignation letter to give them as much time as possible to prepare. If you work remote or do not see your manager in person, ask if you can have a conversation by video chat or on the phone.
Typically a resignation letter includes the following information:
- Statement of resignation from company
- Date of last day of work
- Statement of gratitude
- Next steps or important information
Why are resignation letters important?
If you decide to leave your job, it is a matter of professional courtesy to submit a resignation letter. Resignation letters are also important for HR departments to keep on hand as a record of your time at the company for things like payroll and to reference in the future if necessary.
They are also important because they contain important operational information for your direct manager like your last day and what is needed as you plan your departure from the company.
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, you should 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, you should include the following information in this order:
Record the time and date. In a standard business letter, the time, date and a few other details are typically included to keep record of timestamps. In an email, this information is not necessary as it is included digitally. If you are planning to type a letter, you should include this information at the top of the page.
Start with an address line. Next, address the recipient by name. You can use introductions like “Dear,” “Hello,” or simply “Mr./Ms. [supervisor’s last name],”.
Include a statement of resignation. Next, state clearly that you are writing to submit your formal resignation from the company. If you’d like, you can include your position title as well.
List 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.
Include a statement of gratitude. It is always a good career decision to keep your 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.
List next steps or important information. Next, 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. If you’re not sure, simply adding that you are happy to do whatever you can to make the transition as smooth as possible will be appreciated.
Close with your signature. Lastly, finish the letter by signing your name after a closing statement like “Sincerely,” or “Thank you,”.
Resignation letter template
Below is a sample resignation letter template and suggestions for customising it based on your circumstances.
Dear Mr./Ms. [your supervisor’s last name],
Please accept this as my formal resignation from [insert company name]. My last day will be [insert your final day of work], [insert the number of weeks] 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. I wish you all the best.
Best wishes, and thank you for everything,
[insert your name]
This template provides you with the basic information when resigning from any company. However, if you want to customise your resignation letter, here are suggestions for making it more personal:
Include your personal email address and add language that encourages your manager to continue a professional relationship after you leave the company.
Mention why you’re leaving, including personal details about family issues, relocation, a change in careers, returning to school, etc.
Resignation letter examples
Here are a few sample paragraphs that can explain your departure in more detail:
Resignation due to 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 [insert company name]. My last day will be [insert number of weeks] 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 to grow and learn during my time here.”
Resignation due to relocation
“Please accept this as my formal resignation from [insert company name]. My last day will be [insert your final day of work], [insert number of weeks] weeks from today. I will be relocating to [insert city name] 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.”
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 [insert company name]. 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.”
Resignation due to a change in career
“Please accept my resignation effective [insert your final day of work]. I have accepted a position at a [insert your next company industry] and look forward to the new direction of my career, even though I will miss working with you.
Thank you for the support and the opportunities over [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. You do not need to include the name of your future employer in your resignation letter. In fact, it is better to leave that information out.
Resignation due to further study
“Please accept my resignation effective [insert your final day of work]. Next month, I will be enrolling in a master’s degree and will need to resign from my role at [insert company name].
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 [insert company name] have laid the ideal foundation for this new stage in my life.
Please let me know if you need any assistance during this [insert number of weeks] 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.”
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 you’re resigning, 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. Use a subject line that’s clear and direct, such as: Resignation – [Your Name].
If necessary, keep it brief. If you are leaving your company for sensitive reasons and prefer not to provide optional details, simple 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 that you have a period of time in which you are not being paid. 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.
Read more: The Essential Job Search Guide
Resignation letters are one of the best ways to formally exit a company with a positive tone and to reinforce your relationship with the company and your coworkers in the future. When written simply and with polish, a well-crafted resignation letter is one of the most solid stepping stones in your professional career.