How to Format a Resignation Letter (With Tips and Examples)
Updated 26 May 2023
A resignation letter is an official document that you submit to your employer to give notice that you will not be working at their company any longer. Its main objectives are to outline your next move, create an official record of notice, maintain a positive relationship with your employer and provide details about your last day of work. So, if you have already accepted a job with a new organisation, it is time to submit your resignation letter.
In this article, we discuss best practices and tips to consider when writing a resignation letter, explain the steps you should take, and give a template and example to use as a guide.
Why is it important to follow the right resignation letter format?
It is always a good idea to write a resignation letter when leaving a company because it allows you to formalise your intention to resign in a professional and respectful way. If your resignation letter is straightforward and polite, the gesture may impress your manager, who will likely be thankful for the information. Keep the document constructive, and it may lead to numerous intangible benefits, such as positive appraisals by word-of-mouth and potential letters of recommendation.
Best practices for a resignation letter
Before writing a resignation letter to your employer, it's essential to know what you should and shouldn't do. Here are the best practices and essential points to keep in mind.
Always be sure to:
Organise your desk and personal affairs just in case your employer asks you to leave immediately.
Observe the recommended amount of notice. Most companies tend to list the terms of resignation notice in the original employment agreement.
Offer to assist in the transitioning of your role to another employee within the company.
Discuss the last details of your employment at the company.
Deliver both an emailed copy and a printed copy of your resignation letter. The printed copy must have your signature.
As you plan to write a resignation letter, it's important to be positive and respectful, so try to avoid:
Spreading misinformation and rumours about the company
Convincing other people that they should resign too
Refusing to talk about transition planning and avoiding your employer
Bragging and being overly excited about your new job opportunity
Declining to report to the company and work for the duration of your resignation notice period
Criticising the people who work at the company and the company itself
Resignation letter writing tips
The consensus on resignation letters is that shorter is always better. You do not have to provide a long-winded explanation of why you are leaving the company. The letter is best to be professional and direct. It should outline any vital information concerning the process of termination.
Here are some essential tips to consider when writing a resignation letter:
Spellcheck and edit your resignation letter appropriately. Ensure that you thoroughly proofread, spellcheck and edit your letter before submitting it. This will ensure that your information is accurate and your letter is devoid of typos.
Provide appropriate information about transition procedures. You might agree to complete specific tasks and projects or offer to help train your replacement before leaving.
Notify the company about your last day of work. Be sure to inform your boss about the last day you will be at work. This will give them sufficient time to secure your replacement.
Stay professional. Avoid using the resignation letter as an opportunity to criticise, insult or complain about the company or its employees.
Be precise and direct. Make it clear that you are quitting the company in the first paragraph of your letter.
How to write a resignation letter
When writing a resignation letter, you should keep in mind that the document needs to be as brief as possible. Be sure to only include helpful and relevant information. Take time to appreciate the company you are leaving rather than focusing on the advantages of your next role.
Here are the steps you should take when writing a professional resignation letter:
Reflect on the positives
Offer transition assistance
Outline your workload
Provide your contact information
1. Identify yourself
At the beginning of your letter, state your position and the name of the company. Although this might seem a little redundant, especially to those working in a small company where the boss knows them very well, it is still necessary to include such details since the letter is an official document. It is also helpful to provide an end date in the letter's first paragraph. It answers the first question your boss will have.
2. Reflect on the positives
Take some time and consider what you have appreciated the most or how you have grown during your time with the company. In doing so, try to be specific. If you enjoyed a supportive atmosphere, appreciated the climate fostered by the company or enjoyed some professional development opportunities within the company, be sure to mention them in the second paragraph of your letter. It is important to thank your employer for the resources and time they invested in your career growth.
If you find it appropriate, you can include information about where you are headed after leaving the company. For example, you could let them know if you are going to graduate school or if you are changing careers to pursue your passion. However, it is better to omit such details if you are leaving the company for a competitor.
3. Offer transition assistance
The third paragraph should capture your willingness to ease the transition. You should make it known to your employer that you are readily available and willing to help train your replacement, and you should tell them that all of your reports are up to date. Whatever you write, you should try to include the specific details outlining how you will help in the transition phase.
4. Outline your workload
Paragraph four serves as a follow-up paragraph. In this optional section, you can include a brief review of the work you will be surrendering when you officially quit the company. Technically, it is your manager's responsibility to identify the work and strategise its continuation. However, it can be very helpful to list all of the tasks and projects that you have been in charge of up to this point. This will make the transition much easier for the company in the interim.
5. Provide your contact information
The last paragraph of your resignation letter should incorporate your current personal contact information. Although this is optional, it enables your old employer to keep in touch with you in the future.
Resignation letter template
Here is a template that you can consider when writing your resignation letter:
[Current job title]
[City and state]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname],
This letter serves to notify you of my resignation from the position as [job title] from [company], effective [last day of employment].
I am highly appreciative of the great professional development opportunities that your company has provided me over the past [amount of time]. I enjoyed my tenure at [company] immensely. In particular, I feel greatly honoured to have been part of such a friendly and supportive team.
I am very much available and willing to help train my replacement. If I can be of any further help during this transition period, kindly let me know. I will also do my best to ensure that all of my reports are up to date before my last day of work.
Thanks once again for the opportunity to work at [company]. I wish you and your entire workforce all the best, and I look forward to staying in touch. You can reach out to me via my email: [your email address].
[Your signature in case of a hard copy letter]
[Type your name]
Sample resignation letter
Here is a sample resignation letter that you can refer to when writing your own:
Hamartia Holdings Limited
45 Ocean Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
15 May 2000
Dear Mr. Cohen,
Kindly accept this letter as a formal notification of resignation from my position as a sales executive with Hamartia Holdings Limited. My last day will be on 31 May.
I recently received a job offer to serve as an assistant CEO at a local media house. After careful consideration, I feel excited to explore this new opportunity in my career path.
I am very grateful for the opportunity you afforded me to work with the sales team over the past five years. I have much appreciated and enjoyed every opportunity I have had to grow the sales and marketing team. I am also appreciative of the fact that you saw it best to have me as part of the team creating exceptional products. During this time, I worked closely with members of my team and gained a wealth of knowledge about the digital media space and marketing sector, which I am sure to take with me throughout my career.
Kindly let me know if I can be of any assistance during the transition. I am willing to do everything possible to ensure my reports are up to date and even to train my replacement over the next three weeks.
Thank you for your guidance, and I wish the entire company workforce continued success. I look forward to staying in touch in the future.
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