How to Write a Resignation Letter (Plus 5 Examples)

How to Write a Resignation Letter (Plus 5 Examples)

The decision to resign from a job is never easy. Neither is giving formal notice.

As eager as you may be to turn the page, you’ll want to take care to handle the situation the right way. You never know when you may run into former colleagues again or want them to serve as references for you.

You want to leave your company on a good note. Writing a formal notice of resignation can help you do just that by articulating important information about your exit and demonstrating your professionalism.

Drafting a professional resignation letter can seem intimidating. Don’t worry! The following tips and information can help make the process easier. Let’s explore some common letter elements and examples so that you can start to draft your own.

Below you can quickly jump to different sections depending on what you want to know.

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is an official document that lets your employer know you are leaving your job and provides a date for your final day. Ideally, you want to submit a formal resignation letter after you have already notified your supervisor about your intent to leave so they’re not caught off guard. This letter is usually sent to your HR department, with your boss on copy.

Note that nowadays, a resignation letter is typically sent as an email.

How to write a resignation letter

As you prepare to write your resignation letter, you will want to make sure you include the following items. We’ll walk you through each element and offer resignation letter examples to help you write one that fits your situation.

State the position you are resigning from and your last day of work

Start by listing the title of the job you are officially resigning from, as well as your last day of work. The date should be the exact date you settle on with your manager before you submit your letter. The company will usually base your final paycheck and expiration of any benefits, as well as other important considerations, off of this date. So you want to make sure it is accurate.

The beginning of your resignation letter should look something like this:

Dear [Name],

I am writing to submit my formal resignation as a copy editor at [Company]. My last day in this position will be July 31, 2021.

Offer to assist with the transition process

Continue your resignation letter by offering to help your current employer with the transition process. Some tasks you can offer to help with include:

  • Creating a list of responsibilities for your job with instructions on how to complete each one
  • Helping to find a replacement and train them if they start before your final day
  • Handing off important documents and information
  • Concluding as many existing projects as possible and noting where you are in the projects that are still ongoing

Your offer to help might look something like this:

I would be happy to assist in the process of finding and/or training a new hire to take my place.

Or

I plan on wrapping up as many projects as possible throughout this transitional period. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist in making this change as smooth as possible.

Express your appreciation

In this part of the letter, you want to express your gratitude for your current employer. For example, say thank you for any opportunities you’ve had to grow as a professional. You could highlight new skills you learned or specific mentors who offered you career advice throughout your time with the company.

The goal is to let your employer know that you appreciate the time you spent at the organization. Even if you’re leaving under less-than-ideal circumstances, it’s good form to say something nice about your experience.

For example, you might write something like:

I appreciate the confidence you showed in me from my first day on the job. You have helped me mature into a better sales professional.

Encourage continued communication

If you’re open to it, consider keeping the lines of communication open with your former employer. Building a strong network of people with whom you share a professional relationship can help you in the future. These are people you may want to turn to for references, recommendations, or job leads at some point.

As you wrap up your resignation letter, mention if you would like to remain in contact. You can also include your contact information and offer to help during the transition.

In your letter, this might look like this:

If you have any questions, I would be happy to help during the transition period. You can call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email@example.com.

Best practices when you write your resignation letter

As you draft a resignation letter, you will want to keep a few things in mind to help you create a favorable letter that will be well received:

  • Keep it somewhat formal: Consider taking a slightly more formal tone. For example, you may want to start with “Dear” and then the name of your supervisor. But you want your letter to align with the tone of your company, so keep your company culture in mind. Similarly, you will want to conclude your letter with the more formal, “Sincerely” before your name and signature.
  • Avoid any typos or errors: It’s not a bad idea to carefully proofread your resignation before submitting it to ensure it’s free of spelling or grammar mistakes. Doing so will simply serve as a good reflection on you in your final days with the firm.
  • Keep it positive: Your resignation letter is not the place to complain, voice grievances, or highlight what you didn’t like about your job. Instead, focus on the good aspects of the position, like the positive experiences and the opportunities you were given.
  • Review the employee policy: As you create your resignation letter, you also want to make sure you abide by any policies or regulations set out in your employment contract. You want to verify that you have obeyed any applicable regulations to avoid any issues with the transition process.

What to avoid when writing your resignation letter

Now that we have covered a few important points you want to keep in mind as you create your resignation letter, there are also a few things you want to make sure you avoid. Keeping these points in mind can help you remain professional as you draft this important document.

  • Avoid a lengthy resignation letter: Your resignation letter doesn’t have to be long. Fight the urge to add more than is absolutely necessary. A short-and-sweet resignation letter is perfectly fine.
  • Don’t be overly emotional: Save sentimental goodbyes for personal notes to those you are particularly close to. Avoid being overly emotional or sentimental in your resignation letter. Remain clear, concise, and professional.
  • Skip the negative comments: It bears repeating: Your resignation letter is not the place to complain about the company or people you’ve worked with. Chances are you’ll have time to offer feedback about management and other issues during an exit interview. Choosing the right time and place to voice your grievances can help you leave on a positive note.

5 resignation letter examples, each with a unique reason

Now that you understand some of the important elements involved in writing a thorough and effective resignation letter, let's explore some sample resignation letters to help you write your own.

Note that with each of these examples, the phone number and email address you provide at the end of the letter is your professional phone number and professional  email address.

Basic resignation letter example

This template outlines what to include in a basic resignation letter.

Dear [Name],

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as a project assistant for [Company], effective [Date].

I have enjoyed working with this company over the past six years and appreciate the opportunities I have been offered.

I am working on finishing as many of my open projects as I can before my last day. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in any other way during this transition.

Best,

[Name]

‘New opportunity’ resignation letter example

If you are leaving your job because you found a new opportunity, a resignation letter template will help you. Keep in mind that you do not have to include a lot of detail if you write this type of resignation letter. You can share as much or as little about your new role as you are comfortable providing.

Dear [Name],

After four years at [Company], I wanted to let you know that I will be resigning from my position as a sales representative. My last day will be [Date].

I appreciate [Company]’s confidence in me to start my sales career with their team. I was recently offered a position as a sales manager at another firm, and after carefully considering my options, I decided that it is time for me to take this next step in my career.

I appreciate all the opportunities afforded me here and would love to help as much as I can during my last two weeks.

Sincerely,

[Name]


‘After maternity/paternity leave’ resignation letter example

If you’ve been on maternal or paternal leave and have decided to step away from full-time work for a bit, you will need to submit a letter of resignation to your employer. Remember that you will likely not be in the office when you send in this letter, and that will impact how you structure the message.

Dear [Name],

As you know, I have been on maternity leave for the past eight weeks after the birth of my child. Although it wasn’t an easy decision, I have decided that I will not be returning to my position as a product manager. My last day will be [Date].

I have enjoyed working for [Company]—specifically for you. I have learned so much both personally and professionally.

Whether you need help finding my replacement or training someone new, I am here to help in whatever way possible.

Regards,

[Name]

‘Relocation’ resignation letter example

If circumstances have dictated the need to relocate for personal reasons or a new job, this will impact how you structure your letter of resignation. If it’s for personal reasons (like your partner getting a job elsewhere), you might want to note that so the employer knows you’re leaving despite enjoying working there.

Dear [Name],

My partner was offered a new position in Seattle, and our family plans to join them at the end of September 2021. This letter serves as my resignation and to say that my last day as a graphic designer for [Company] will be September 30, 2021.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative freedom offered to me over the past eight years, and I will miss working with such an innovative team.

Over these next two weeks, I plan to finish any outstanding projects and outline my daily responsibilities to make the transition easier. If there is anything else I can do to help ease this process, please let me know.

Sincerely,

[Name]

‘Family reasons’ resignation letter example

If you have to resign because of a family situation, you can also offer some of this information in your resignation letter. You don’t have to go into too much detail, but acknowledging that it is family-related can be helpful.

Dear [Name],

Over the past 10 years, I have enjoyed working as a marketing consultant for [Company]. However, a family emergency has arisen and I need to take some personal time to help. Therefore, this is my letter of resignation. My last day will be [Date].

I want to thank you for all the opportunities I have had over the past few years. This was not an easy decision, but it is what’s best for my family.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions. I plan to make this transition as easy as possible with whatever you might need.

Best,

[Name]


Leaving on good terms can help you maintain quality professional connections and can be beneficial when conducting a job search. Constructing a quality resignation letter is a great way to leave a good lasting impression. A positive reputation can help you build your list of potential references and connections that might one day lead to future projects and positions.

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How to Write a Resignation Letter (Plus 5 Examples)
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