It may be tempting to leave your job with a simple "I quit!" Even so, a formal resignation letter is the only way to go. It will demonstrate your commitment to professionalism, which is important because your current employer may be contacted when you're applying for future positions.
No one wants to hire someone who quit their job without any notice and/or in a rude manner. Below, we'll not only answer how to write a resignation letter, but also include some resignation letter templates you can use as jumping off points.
Although these types of letters seem like a beast of burden, a short resignation letter is truly the best way to go. Here's how to write yours:
List the company's full name and address (including your manager's name or department).
Date the letter.
Use a formal greeting to address your manager, such as, "Dear Mrs. Selleck:"
Draft clear, concise body paragraphs that exhibit gratitude for the experience.
Indicate your last day of work, which should be at least two weeks after the date of the letter.
Enclose your contact information in case your manager has any questions during the transition period.
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.
Reiterate your gratitude for the opportunity and everything you've learned.
Invite your manager to stay in touch for future business opportunities.
With this general formula in mind, let's review a few final tips before we take a look at some examples:
Including a reason for leaving can be tricky. If you're resigning because you're unhappy or don't get along well with your coworkers, it would be best to leave this information out.
If you're resigning for personal reasons or have accepted a new job that is a promotion, you may choose to include this information.
In most cases, your letter should be printed and signed. However, an email can be appropriate in a less formal office environment. If you opt to send an email resignation, send it to your direct supervisor/manager and carbon copy (cc:) the human resources department.
The body of your letter can be simple and to the point. Some examples of appropriate wording include expressing thanks for the professional development you've gained from your time with 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.
Similarly, you might talk about the valuable experience you've had working there:
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].
Choosing to thank the company for the opportunities is also appropriate:
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.
Or, put even more simply, you might state that you enjoyed working for the company:
Please accept my resignation from my position as [position title], effective [date]. Thank you for the opportunities you have provided me during 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.
In your resignation letter, you can turn the attention to your coworkers as well:
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.
As circumstances may dictate, the reason you're leaving the job could relate to a family crisis.
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.
If you're moving on with your career with another organization, you may choose to include this information in your letter:
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].
Let's expand some of the sentiments above to craft a fully-formatted sample resignation letter. Note that, when compared to other forms of letters, it's completely acceptable to keep resignation letters short and sweet:
123 Home Street
Austin, TX 34611
September 6, 2019
Current Company, Inc.
478 Purchase Avenue
Austin, TX 34587
Dear Mr. Ryan 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, 2019 will be my last day. Please let me know how I can assist during this time of transition. I will do everything possible to make it as smooth as possible. Until then, I will bring all my current projects to completion.
Thank you for your understanding! Please feel free to reach out to me at (212) 458-1392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Sheila Young
Now download our editable PDF sample below and use it to create your own letter.
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 and recommendations that can assist you in further career development.
If you're resigning from your current position without a firm job offer in hand, YourDictionary's selection of sample cover letters and best tips for a professional resume can help you impress future employers.