How to Write a Resignation Letter (with Examples)

9 min read
employee handing over his resignation letter to employer

People have different reasons why they need to resign from their positions. Perhaps you need to suddenly relocate, or you feel like there’s no more opportunity for growth at your current company. In some case, you might be planning to shift to a career in another industry. Regardless of your reason, writing a resignation letter is one of many things you need to consider before resigning.

What is a Resignation Letter?

A resignation letter is a written notice containing the details of the end of your employment. It’s not supposed to surprise your employer; it’s usually sent after discussing your resignation with your manager or superior beforehand, for formality and documentation purposes.

Why Is It Important to Write a Resignation Letter?

It’s important to write a resignation letter so that you and your employer have a written document containing your resignation details, such as your last day of work, unfinished projects, and outstanding dues. It may not seem important, but it protects you. Since you have written proof of when you plan to resign, your employer cannot claim that your date of resignation differs from when you planned it.

A resignation letter also serves as a final extension of goodwill toward your soon-to-be former employer so you part ways on good terms, which is helpful if you need their help (like employment or a recommendation) in the future.

How Do You Write a Resignation Letter?

If you intend to resign but have no experience writing a resignation letter, then this guide has you covered. We’ll explain its general parts and provide examples. We’ll also give you some tips to follow when writing your letter.

employee typing his resignation letter on his laptop

General Tips

Note that the sections of the letter we have outlined are not hard and fast rules. It’s possible to shuffle sections around depending on how you’ll be writing your letter.

Inform your employer of your intent to resign.

A resignation can be devastating to your company, so it’s best to inform your manager of your intent to resign before sending your resignation letter. Nonetheless, some circumstances can make this impossible. If you have a perfectly good reason for suddenly submitting your resignation letter—such as an emergency or immediate danger to yourself—then it’s more acceptable to do so. Even so, it’s still preferable for you to give your manager a quick heads up before sending in your resignation letter.

Consider delivering it in person.

It’s more professional to hand in a hard copy of your resignation letter, but it’s not necessary. If you’ll be printing it out, then follow business letter guidelines which include adding your contact information and the date you’ll be sending the letter.

If you intend to submit your letter through email, then you can forego adding those details. Do keep the subject line direct to the point, though; clearly state that your email is regarding your resignation.

Keep it positive or neutral.

This will be your last major correspondence with your employer, so let them remember you as a pleasant employee. Keep your tone as positive as you can to maintain goodwill between you and your employer. If you can’t bring it upon yourself to be positive, then remain neutral.

Your resignation letter is not written to vent your frustrations with the company. Not only is it unprofessional to vent; it’s also a surefire way to burn bridges you might need to cross in the future.

Keep it formal.

A resignation letter is a form of business correspondence, so it’s expected that you maintain formality all throughout your letter. While you and your team members or your manager may have a close relationship, a resignation letter is not the place to talk about it. Write personal notes or messages and send them out before you resign.

Keep it short.

At the end of the day, your resignation letter is an official work document. Restricting yourself to a short letter will lessen your chances of divulging details that you may regret saying later. Besides, both your manager and HR are busy people; they’ll appreciate your short and simple resignation letter.

The Introduction

Address your reader.

Start with a salutation and address your reader by name. The standard practice is to use a formal greeting like “Good day [Recipient’s Name],” but if you feel more comfortable using something a bit less formal, you can use “Dear [Recipient’s Name].”

State your notice of resignation.

After addressing your reader, you should immediately state what your letter is about: your resignation. Ideally, you have already discussed your intent to resign with your employer, so there’s no need to cushion the bad news. If this is not the case, however, consider leading with a positive statement before mentioning your resignation.

Keep it simple: Clearly state that you wrote this letter as a formal resignation from the company. The only details you must include are the position you’ll be resigning from and your last day of work (ideally two weeks from when you sent your letter).

Example:

Good day Thomas,

I am writing to inform you of my formal resignation as a Senior Writer with Klein ABC Inc., effective two weeks from today on Thursday, April 18th, 2021.

The Body

Express your gratitude.

To maintain goodwill with your employer, express your gratitude in your resignation letter. It’s good to mention that they’ve allowed you to gain knowledge or hone your skills. If you can’t muster up anything pleasant, then a simple “thank you” for your time at the company will suffice.

Optionally, explain your reasoning.

If you choose to explain why you’ll be resigning, then write it before expressing your gratitude. It can be as simple and vague as you like; you’re not obligated to divulge details that you don’t want to in your resignation letter.

Example:

I am regretfully resigning from my position due to sudden personal circumstances that conflict with my employment. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the best in the industry.

The Conclusion

Extend your help.

This is another extension of goodwill to your soon-to-be former employer. If you’re able to help with the transition, then include so in your letter. Include how long you’ll be able to help them. Remember: You want to stay on good terms with them when you leave the company.

This part of the letter is also where you detail any unfinished projects and what actions you’ll take so that the company can prepare accordingly.

Ask questions.

This can include questions about outstanding dues. You may also ask what you need to do before you resign.

Optionally, state that you want to stay in touch.

You may have your reasons for wanting to stay connected with your soon-to-be former manager. If you want to keep your manager in your network, then incentivize keeping in touch with you. These incentives include access to new insights from your new job.

End with a tasteful closing statement.

Close your letter with a cordial statement, and sign your name. A simple “thank you” will do.

Example:

I hope to finish the last set of articles you assigned to me by April 15th. If there are any tasks I need to finish before my resignation date, please inform me so I can accomplish them before I formally leave my post. I am also available to help ensure a smooth transition for the rest of April.

I would appreciate if we can keep in touch and share insights in the future. If you want to contact me, here is my personal e-mail address: [personal email address].

I wish you and the company the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you,
Yvette

employee carrying his belongings after resigning

Resignation Letter Examples

Below are examples of letters for different reasons of resignation. Remember, you’re not required to give out more information than needed.

Family Concerns

Dear Yvette,

Please accept this as my formal resignation from my role as a senior writer at Klein ABC Inc., effective Thursday, 18 April 2021, two weeks from now. We have recently welcomed another child into the world. I have decided to resign from my post to help raise her.

I am grateful for my time at the company. Please tell me how I can make this transition easier for everyone involved.

My best wishes go out to Klein ABC Inc.

Thank you for everything,

Thomas

Health Reasons

Dear Yvette,

I am regretfully announcing that I will be resigning from my position as a senior writer at Klein ABC Inc. due to my deteriorating health. I will be working until Thursday, April 18.

Having that said, I aim to finish the projects assigned to me by the 12th. I would like to coordinate with you about assigning any unfinished projects to my team members. Also, I am available to help ease the transition until the end of April.

I would like to thank you and the company for allowing me to hone my craft. Klein ABC Inc. is the best in the industry, and I have learned a lot from working with you.

Thank you for everything,

Thomas

Personal Concerns

Good Day Thomas,

I am writing to inform you of my formal resignation as senior writer with Klein ABC Inc. effective two weeks from today, Thursday, April 18th, 2021.

Due to sudden personal circumstances that conflict with my employment, it is with regret that I am resigning from my position. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with the best in the industry.

Nevertheless, I hope to finish the last set of articles you assigned to me by April 15th. If there are any tasks I need to finish before my resignation date, please inform me so I can accomplish them before I resign. I am also available to help ensure a smooth transition for the rest of April.

I would appreciate if we can keep in touch and share insights in the future. If you want to contact me, here is my personal email address: [personal email address].

I wish you and the company the best in your future endeavors.

Thank you,

Yvette

Relocation

If you’re resigning because you’re moving away, you should ask your manager how your last payment will be handled. If needed, provide the necessary details they might need to send your last pay.

Dear Yvette,

Please consider this my two weeks’ notice for my resignation from Klein ABC Inc. as a senior writer, as I am moving to Wyoming due to personal reasons. My last day is Thursday, April 18, 2021.

Unfortunately, I am unable to help with the transition in person after the 20th, but I will ensure all projects assigned to me will be finished beforehand. If I can assist the transition remotely, please inform me. As for my last paycheck, please forward it to [address].

Thank you for my time at the company. It was a pleasure working for Klein ABC Inc. I hope to find myself working with you again. Here is my personal email in case a position in Wyoming opens up: [personal email address].

All the best,

Thomas

Ill-Fitting Work (Environment, Tasks, etc.)

Be positive if you’ll be resigning due to this reason to maintain goodwill with your employer.

Good Day Yvette,

Klein ABC Inc. has offered me an opportunity to polish my skills as a writer, and I greatly appreciate the company for that. However, I feel unfulfilled with my work. I am regretfully resigning from my position as a writer, effective two weeks from now, on April 18.

Working with the company was one of my best career decisions. I have learned much during my two years of working here. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.

I will finish my projects before I resign. I am also available to assist with the transition until the end of April. Please inform me if there is anything else I can do to assist you.

I wish the company the best.

Sincerely,

Gina

receiving a dismissal letter

Forced Resignation

Sometimes the company offers you to resign instead of terminating you. There are many reasons why this could happen to you, but you’ll be able to explain your point of view in your letter. But like the above reason for resignation, remain objective. If you feel that your forced resignation was unfair, explain why you felt that way. On the other hand, if you felt that it was fair, use your letter to apologize.

Usually, employees forced to resign will end their employment immediately. Consult your manager to know when they expect you to resign.

Good Day Yvette,

I am resigning from my role as a writer with Klein ABC Inc., effective tomorrow, April 4. The company recommended that I resign as they find my work unsatisfactory. While I regret that it has come to this, I understand that the company has set high standards for their employees. I apologize for not meeting company standards.

Thank you for my time with the company, however short-lived it may be. I will continue to work on my skills with the head start Klein ABC Inc. has given me.

The writing team will distribute the projects I have left behind among them. They will also set up a plan to move forward after I have resigned.

I wish the company the best.

Sincerely,

John

Education

Dear Yvette,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position of senior writer at Klein ABC Inc., effective April 18, Thursday. I have recently been accepted into graduate school and will be working toward my master’s degree.

I am grateful for my time at the company as I have learned a lot. With all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained, I can say that I will carry them over into my studies and continue to refine them.

Also, rest assured that I will be completing all projects you have assigned to me by the 17th. Please inform me on how I can ease the transition; I would love to help. I’ll be available to assist with the transition until mid-May.

I wish the company all the best.

Sincerely,

Thomas

Changing Careers

Dear Yvette,

I am writing to inform you of my resignation as a writer for Klein ABC Inc., effective two weeks from now. My last day of work is April 18, Thursday.

I have recently accepted a position at a [industry] company. As I look forward to this new career path, I will definitely miss working for Klein ABC Inc.


Working with the industry’s best at Klein equipped me with invaluable experience, for which I am deeply grateful. I wish you nothing but the best.

If I can assist the transition in any way, please inform me. I would love to help.

Thank you for everything,

Thomas

employee packing his belongings after resigning

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