How to Write a Resignation Letter the Right Way (Template Included)

If you've decided to leave your job, you'll need to know how to write a resignation letter. Most companies require employees to provide this type of letter, which serves as documentation that you are choosing to voluntarily leave your employment. Discover tips on how to write a resignation letter along with a sample professional resignation letter template.

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Step-by-Step: How to Write a Resignation Letter

The idea of writing a resignation letter can feel daunting, but it's really not a difficult task. Keep your letter short and simple, using a professional tone throughout. You don't need to go into detail about why you're quitting your job or what you'll be doing next. Just professionally and politely convey that you have decided to resign.

  1. sender's address - Specify your name and mailing address at the top of the letter.
  2. date - Date the letter, leaving a blank line before and after the date.
  3. company address - List the company's full name and address, including the name and department of the person to whom the letter is addressed (usually your manager)
  4. greeting - Use a formal greeting to address your manager, such as, "Dear Mrs. Selleck:"
  5. body - Draft a few clear, concise body paragraphs that clearly state your intention to leave.
    1. State clearly that the purpose of the letter is to resign your employment with the organization.
    2. Express appreciation for the experience you gained with the company.
    3. Indicate your last day of work, which should be at least two weeks after the date of the letter (or later if your company requires more notice).
    4. Outline what you're willing to do to assist in the transition, such as recommending junior employees for a promotion or helping to review resumes of external candidates.
    5. Reiterate your gratitude for the opportunity and everything you've learned.
  6. closing - Bring the letter to a close with a formal conclusion. Invite your manager to stay in touch for future business opportunities and include your contact information so your manager can get in touch with you with any questions that arise after your last day.
  7. proofread - Review the letter to find and eliminate any errors. Verify that the tone of the document is professional, adjusting as needed.
  8. finalize - Print and sign the letter.
  9. submit - Deliver it to its intended recipient. If you are in the same worksite as the recipient, the customary practice is to hand-deliver a resignation letter. Otherwise, you can mail it, ship it or send it via email.

Be sure to keep a copy of the resignation letter for your records, just in case you may need it at a later time.

Adapting a Resignation Letter for Email

Wondering how to write a resignation email? It's basically the same as writing a resignation letter. If you are going to submit your letter of resignation in email format, you may need to adjust your approach slightly.

  • If you are attaching the full letter to the body of an email, it should be in the same format you would use for a printed letter. Save the document as a PDF so that it will appear the way you intended regardless of what type of computer or software the recipient has.
  • If you're putting the letter in the body of an email, you can omit the heading information at the top (your name and address, the date and the recipient's name and address). In this case, the addresses are unnecessary, the date will automatically be added and so will your name and that of the recipient.
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Key Considerations and Tips for Resignation Letters

You can include additional information beyond what is mentioned above in a resignation letter if you wish, but be sure that your letter is professional and positive. Keep the following tips in mind.

  • Do not air grievances about the organization in your resignation letter. If you feel that you need to provide feedback, do so in your exit interview.
  • If you want to include the reason you are leaving, you can. However, you are not required to do so. The decision on whether to share this information is yours.
  • Keep in mind that your resignation letter will become part of your personnel file. This means that what you put in it could be shared with prospective future employers who contact the company about you.

Simple Resignation Letter Sample

The simple resignation letter below incorporates the steps specified above. When compared to other types of business letters, resignation letters tend to be much shorter.

Sheila Young
123 Home Street
Austin, TX 34611

September 6, 2021

Mr. Ryan Anderson
Current Company, Inc
478 Purchase Avenue
Austin, TX 34587

Mr. Anderson:

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation. Although I have tremendously enjoyed my time at Current Company, Inc., I have decided to accept a new role as Marketing Manager with Next Company, Corp. I could not have advanced to such heights without your guidance and support.

Friday, September 20, 2021 will be my last day. Please let me know how I can assist during this time of transition. I will do everything I can to make it as smooth as possible. During my remaining time with the comapny, I will work toward bringing all my current projects to completion and assisting with the transition in any way I can.

Thank you for your understanding. Again, I appreciate the time I spent with Current Company, Inc. I hope we can continue to stay in touch. Please feel free to reach out to me at (212) 458-1392 or syoung@email.com if I can be of assistance in the future.

With gratitude,

[Signature here]

Sheila Young
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Sample Resignation Letter Template

For your convenience, the sample letter is in the form of a customizable template that you can edit, save and print. It's a great starting point for writing a resignation letter, so consider printing it or saving it to your computer for future reference if you're not ready to go ahead and draft a resignation letter of your own right now.

resignation letter template

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More Ideas for Wording a Resignation Letter

The body of a resignation letter should always be simple and to the point. The text used in the sample letter above isn't the only option. For more ideas, review some additional examples of appropriate wording for a resignation letter. Feel free to use these as-is, or as inspiration for unique wording.

Professional Development

One way to express gratitude in your letter of resignation is to show appreciation for the professional development you were able to participate in as an employee of the company.

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am leaving [name of company] on [date]. Thank you for the professional development that this company has provided me. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance during this transition period.

Valuable Experience

Similarly, you might talk about the valuable experience you've had working for the company in your letter.

I am writing to inform you that I will be leaving [name of company] as of [date]. I want to thank you for the valuable experience that I have gained while working at this company. These skills have taught me to [insert what has been learned].

Appreciation for Opportunities

Choosing to thank the company for the opportunities is also an appropriate route.

Effective two weeks from the date of this letter, I will be resigning from [name of company]. Thank you for the opportunities you have offered me as [position title]. I wish you and [company name] success in the future.

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Enjoyment of Job

You might also want to simply state that you enjoyed the time you spend with the organization.

Please accept my resignation from my position as [position title], effective [date]. Thank you for the leadership you have provided me over the last [length of time at employer]. I have enjoyed working for [company name] and appreciate the support during my tenure. If I can be of any assistance during this transition, please do not hesitate to ask.

Recognition for Colleagues

Can't think of anything nice to say about the company or your coworkers? Consider shining a spotlight on the wonderful colleagues or customers you worked with at the company.

I am writing to officially tender my resignation from [company] as [position title]. My last day of employment will be [date]. During my time at [company], I have worked with excellent colleagues and had many opportunities to develop my professional skills. I wish all of you the very best.

Difficult Circumstances

If you're leaving your job due to a family crisis or other emergency, you might want to share that in your letter. Of course, you do not have to. However, letting the company know that you're not just leaving for more money or because you're dissatisfied could help keep the door open for potential reemployment opportunities.

Although I have enjoyed working as [position title] for [company], a recent family crisis requires that I vacate my position. My final day will be [date]. I have several junior employees in mind who I feel would be strong candidates for a promotion to my position, but I would also be happy to assist with the process of interviewing qualified external replacements. I hope we can stay in touch as business colleagues, and I look forward to working with you again if the opportunity should ever present itself.

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Acceptance of Another Job

If you're moving on with your career with another organization, you may choose to include this information in your letter. Remember, though, you are under no obligation to share this information if you would rather not.

I am writing to formally notify you of my resignation from my position as [position title] with [company name]. I have been offered a new role as a [new position] with [new employer's name] and have decided to take their offer. My last day of employment with [company name] will be [date]. I appreciate your support and understanding. In the future, I can be reached at [email] or [phone number].

Visual Guide to Formatting Formal Letters

Even though resignation letters are short, they are still formal business communication letters. Use the visual guide below to help you properly set up a resignation letter, as well as any other formal correspondence you need to create.

formal letter format infographic

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Planning for the Future

No matter what industry you're in, a formal resignation letter or email is the most professional way to leave your current position. With a brief yet polite correspondence, you'll preserve the relationships built during your tenure with the company and help ensure that you're likely to receive a positive reference in the future. If you're resigning from your current position without a firm job offer in hand, take some time to explore sample cover letters. In case your resume needs an overhaul, you may also want to review some tips for creating a professional resume.