Letter of Resignation
How to Write it, Why and When. Samples included

So you have finally decided to take up a new adventure professionally speaking. You found a new job, you accepted their offer. Only one thing remains to be solved: to resign from the current position.

Contents:

What is the resignation letter?

The resignation letter is the short formal letter written by an employee advising the employer about their intent to leave their current job. It is customary to write such an official document after you have announced your decision in person or by email (an informal one).


Why should you write a resignation letter?

The main goal is to inform your managers, human resources and co-workers about your intent to leave your position.

Then, you should see it as an opportunity to preserve a positive relationship with your former employer, by creating a good or great final impression.

It is considerate to send the resignation letter well in advance (as required by your employment contract and your employee handbook, to give your manager time to prepare to replace you.

Important: It is generally accepted that the minimum of notice you should give is 2 weeks. A letter of resignation can be considered as evidence or record as to the date or time of the resignation.

Last, but not least, you should take the time to write a professional resignation letter, because you might need a reference from the former employer, sometime in the future. A positive approach in the letter will leave a good impression and the employer will be willing to cooperate if you need it. You should plan ahead who you will ask to give you a reference and get their contact information.


How to write a resignation letter?

You probably think this letter is awfully hard to write, especially since you’re only dreaming about your new job. No way. We will provide you the parts you need to include, to prepare a letter like a pro. Additionally, we will also provide samples of resignation letters.

Part 1 - The basics

Don’t feel the need to over explain your personal reasons for leaving or to sugarcoat the situation. Just indicate your intent to leave, the position you’re resigning from and the actual date of resignation. You may add other requests, if necessary and a short mention of the motive for leaving (like moving away with your family, medical reasons, change of career path, etc) The opening of the letter should be friendly, but formal.

Part 2 - The thank you

A graceful resignation letter will always contain a friendly thank you - to the employer. We are talking about gratitude for the opportunities provided, for the gained knowledge, skills and experience within the company. A nice touch would be to mention why did you enjoy your time working there. Maybe go the extra mile and point out a funny occasion you shared with your co-workers/superiors.

Part 3 - The offer to help with the hand-off

It is also gracious to offer your assistance during the transition period: either with the recruitment of your replacement or with the training. This proposal will be perceived by the employer as a sign of respect. But don’t make promises you can’t deliver: one or two lines stating you want to be of help until the last day of work will indicate you were always and you are dedicated to the company even after resigning.

This is our advice on how to write the resignation letter, but please feel free to slightly adjust it, depending on your company’s culture and your experience.

To sum up, when writing a resignation letter, you should not leave out: 

  • Statement of resignation from the company and your exact position;
  • Last day of work;
  • A short “thank you” moment;
  • Next steps;
  • Date and signature.

If you have checked all the boxes, the last thing to do is to submit it, by paper or by email, as required by your company’s procedures.


Tips for writing the perfect resignation letter

There are a few ideas that you should keep in mind when you decide to quit:

  • Know your procedures. Check the employment agreement and the employee handbook regarding how much notice are you required to give.
  • Avoid criticism. Don’t include in the letter any complaint you may have of the employer as an entity or managers, co-workers, etc. Avoid personal attacks. This is not the place for criticism.
  • Be brief. Keep it short and simple. You don’t need to write an essay on why are you leaving. Don’t assign any blames. This is a formal work-related letter.
  • Make sure to use a proper business letter format.
  • Maintain a positive tone throughout the whole letter. Avoid using the word “quit” and phrases like: “Here’s the problem with this company” or “I’ve hated your vision and procedures regarding ...”
  • Review the resignation letter. Read it carefully before you send it. Editing the letter to fit your case is important. You should be pleased with the general impression given by the document.
  • Inform all stakeholders, including your manager, and HR about your departure.

Resignation Letter Samples

Resignation letters are one of the best methods to formally leave a company with a constructive tone and to boost your relationship with the company and your coworkers in the future.


Resignation Letter Template 1


This is a template of a resignation letter. This word sample is compatible with Google Docs and Word Online and is available for free, right here.

Download the resignation letter

Find more resignation letters samples below:


Resignation Letter Template 2 - Sample resignation letter due to relocation

Andrew Johnson
139 Main Street
South town, CA 12378
555-212-7002
andrewj@email.com

March 1, 2019

Judith Smith
Manager
Mary’s Flower Shop
500 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321


Dear Ms. Smith,
I would like to notify you that I am resigning from my position as Office Executive for Mary’s
Flower Shop effective March 1st. My last day is March 15th. The reason for leaving the
company is that I will be relocating to Chicago in the near future.

Thank you very much for the opportunity you’ve given me to learn all about store management
and also about customer service. I really believe my time here and the gained experience was
the stepping stone for my career.

Please let me know if I can be of assistance during the transition. You can reach me at the above address if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,
Handwritten Signature (hard copy letter)
Andrew Johnson

Download the resignation letter due to relocation in word format


Resignation Letter Template 2 - Resignation letter due to family reasons

Andrew Johnson
139 Main Street
South town, CA 12378
555-212-7002
andrewj@email.com

March 1, 2019

Judith Smith
Manager
Mary's Flower Shop
500 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321


Dear Ms. Smith,
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Office Executive for Mary's Flower Shop effective March 1st. My last day is March the 15th. Sadly, family circumstances at this time require my full attention and I really believe this is the only way for me to take care of all the issues.


I am very sorry if I am causing any inconvenience.


Thank you very much for understanding. I have had a great opportunity to learn all about store management and also about customer service. I really believe my time here and the gained experience was the stepping stone for my career.


Please let me know if I can be of assistance during the transition. You can reach me at the above address if you have any further questions.


Sincerely,
Handwritten Signature (hard copy letter)
Andrew Johnson

Download the resignation letter due to family reasons in word format


Resignation Letter Template 3 - Resignation letter due to a better opportunity

Andrew Johnson
139 Main Street
South town, CA 12378
555-212-7002
andrewj@email.com

March 1, 2019

Judith Smith
Manager
Mary's Flower Shop
500 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321


Dear Ms. Smith,
I am writing to inform you that I have accepted a job at a company that I feel is a better choice for my career moving forward.


Please accept this note as my formal resignation from my position as Office Executive for Mary's Flower Shop effective March 1st. My last day is March the 15th.

I am very grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to learn all about store management and also about customer service. I really believe my time here and the gained experience was the stepping stone for my career.


Please let me know if I can be of assistance during the transition. You can reach me at the above address if you have any further questions and if you need help for the recruitment of a new Office Executive.

Sincerely,
Handwritten Signature (hard copy letter)
Andrew Johnson

Download the resignation letter due to better opportunity in word format


Resignation Email Message

Email Subject Line: John Milles Resignation

Dear Mr./Ms. Ford,

I write to inform you that I am resigning from my position here as Senior Editor. My last day will be May 7.

Thank you so much for all the opportunities this company has offered me. I have learned so much these past two years. My colleagues were all great people.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to make this transition easier. You can always contact me at john.m@gmail.com or 555-555-5555.

Thank you again for your years of support and encouragement.

Sincerely yours,

Your Name


What are the 10 steps to quit your job gracefully?

Even if you are eager to quit your current job, to meet your new colleagues and embrace new opportunities, it’s always a good idea to do it gracefully and on a positive note.

So let’s check out the 10 steps you should consider in the process of resigning:

  1. Go over resignation Pros and Cons — it may sound cheesy, but you can make a list. It can be of great help in making the right decision.
  2. Contemplate on your options — if you have a new job lined up, compare the benefits of the new place, the work environment, opportunities for promotion, etc. If you are still looking for a new employer, make sure you are quitting for the right reasons.
  3. Give proper notice — the standard notice of resignation time is two weeks. But if your employment contract says otherwise, you must follow it.
  4. You have no obligation to stay longer than 2 weeks — you are not obligated to stay longer than the two weeks, even if your former employer asks this from you.
  5. Quitting gracefully — There are 2 main aspects to consider: telling your supervisor in person about your intention and writing a resignation letter.
  6. Submit a resignation letter — it’s always a must. Regardless of your reasons to resign, you should always write a letter of resignation.
  7. How to discuss the subject with your boss — Highlight the positives, talk about the good experiences you had there. Don’t spend too much time on explaining why did you decide to leave.
  8. Ask for a reference — before leaving, ask your manager to write you a letter of recommendation. You’ll need it for sure, along with your LinkedIn profile.
  9. Don’t forget about possible benefits you are entitled to — Check out the employee handbook. You may be entitled to some amounts of money before leaving.
  10. Return company property — everything belonging to the company should be returned: documents, computers, ID cards, keys etc.

If you follow these simple steps, the resignation process will go smoothly for both you and your employer.


In conclusion

We really encourage you to write a proper resignation letter and to deliver it in a professional style. By doing so, you are leaving the door open for references. You’ll need those, for sure.
Writing a resignation letter may seem discouraging, but it shouldn’t be.

Mix our tips on how to write the perfect resignation letter with one of our custom-made templates and here it is the resignation that will bring you a positive reference.

All the tips and letter examples offered here are meant to be considered as advice. The provided information does not ensure legality or accuracy. The letters should be edited to match your personal needs and circumstances.