Wondering how to write a resignation letter. Not a fun thing, but sometimes it’s all you can do to leave your current job with dignity and move on to the next chapter in your life. And while it’s tempting to quit your job and skip out on the stipulated two weeks’ notice, you certainly don’t want to burn bridges with professionals who could influence your future career opportunities.
A resignation letter is a written communication informing your employer of your intention to leave the company. You can submit it handwritten or typed. And while there are no hard and fast rules for this sort of correspondence, a polite and professional tone is advised.
But the last thing you want to do is spend all weekend writing something you probably won’t send. So here’s a simple guide on writing a letter of resignation with as little stress as possible. Included are four examples for your utmost convenience.
Let’s get started with the importance of a professional resignation letter.
Why is a Resignation Letter Important?
What’s most tricky on how to write a resignation email/letter is that you must be honest about your reasons for leaving. These reasons are often about us and our personal growth. Sometimes, though, it has to do with the workplace—for example, when your efforts go unappreciated or you feel like the company is treating you unfairly.
A well-written resignation letter is an opportunity to leave a positive impression that might help you in the future. It will be an enduring record after you leave. After all, you never know when a referral or letter of recommendation might come in handy.
When drafting your letter, take care not to breach your employment contract. Reading through any literature provided on your first day of work might reveal critical details that, when ignored, might compromise your next steps.
Before submitting a resignation letter, we recommend talking with your current line manager in person, on the phone, or by video chat. That demonstrates respect and professional courtesy and goes a long way to reflect positively on you. Keep calm and professional throughout the conversation and desist from airing personal issues.
What Should You Include in a Resignation Letter?
Make sure to include the following details in your resignation letter:
- Your intention to leave the company
- Your leaving date
- The will to complete a handover
- Statement of gratitude
- Your signature
Your resignation letter should communicate your decision politely and positively. Show appreciation for the opportunity, taking care not to include any complaints. A face-to-face meeting with a director or HR manager will suffice if you must provide specific reasons for terminating your employment.
You should take time before accepting a counteroffer (whether a promotion or pay rise). Consider the reason for quitting, what drew you to the new role, and whether the counter-offer will change the circumstances that made you resign.
How to Write a Resignation Email/Letter
Take the following steps to craft a professional and confident resignation letter:
- Get to the point
- Include a statement of gratitude
- Offer to help with the transition
1. Get to the point
When writing a resignation letter, be brief and to the point. Remember: it’s not the time to criticize your coworkers or job.
Make sure to include the following elements:
- A line stating your intent to leave your current position
- A sentence highlighting your last day of work
It could be something like:
“Please accept this letter as formal notice that I’m resigning from my current position as (your current job title) from the (your current department). My last day of work at work will be (your estimated last day).”
Your employment contract likely stipulates the length of notice. Use the clause to estimate your last day of employment so your current employer can effectively plan for the transition period.
2. Include a statement of gratitude
It’s good resignation etiquette to express gratitude for the opportunities you enjoyed while working for the organization. What moments, experiences, or projects have helped you secure your new position? If any, communicate to your current employer how beneficial the opportunities have been to your career.
Remember that your resignation letter becomes part of your personnel file, and you may need your current employer for future reference. That means anything you tell your employer or include in your resignation letter could haunt you when finding a new job. So, strive to leave things on a good note for a lasting positive impression.
Here’s an example of a statement of gratitude.
“During my time with (company name), I enjoyed the atmosphere with your team, and I will miss the moments. I greatly appreciated the opportunities I’ve had to (mention some of your tasks), and I have learned (mention new skills acquired on the job), all of which are fundamental to my career growth.”
3. Offer to help with the transition
It’s a good idea to express your willingness to help your current company with the transition. That goes a long way in obtaining closure and leaving a positive impression, which may be helpful if you need a reference for a future career opportunity.
The transition period may comprise detailed handovers and project completion. You can also coach a new hire or familiarize a colleague with your role and responsibilities. Most importantly, only promise what you can deliver.
It could be something like:
“Before I leave, I will do anything possible to assist you with the handover. I can train a respective team member over the next 14 days or help my department source for a replacement, whom I will be glad to acquaint. Please let me know if there is any other way I can help you in the transition period.”
Resignation Letter Examples for Different Situations
1. An email resignation letter due to a change in career
Subject: Resignation- (Your Name)
Kindly consider this letter as an official notification of my resignation from my position as (job title) for (company name) effective (last day of work). I have accepted a role at (your next company) and look forward to the new career path.
It was a great honor working with you. Thank you for the opportunities and positive experiences I enjoyed with this organization.
I will complete all the pending projects by the end of my resignation notice. Please let me know if I can be of help during the handover.
2. Example of resignation letter due to a health issue
Dear Mr. Arnold,
With great regret, I inform you of my resignation from my current position as (your job title) effective (your last day of work). Due to a recent diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I understand that my condition will require lengthy treatment and recovery, and I’m uncertain that my capacity to perform my duties will return.
I have so much enjoyed working at HighFlier Holdings. I sincerely thank you for your mentorship over the past three and a half years, and I will not forget the incredible friends and colleagues I have made along the journey.
Please let me know if you need assistance transitioning my responsibilities to a teammate.
I appreciate your understanding and wish you and the HighFlier Holdings fraternity all the best.
3. Resignation letter due to relocation
Dear Mr. Grayson,
With regret and utmost reluctance, I tender this letter of resignation to notify you I will resign from HighFlier Holdings effective October 15, 2021. My pending relocation to Wales has necessitated the decision.
I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to work at HighFlier Holdings. I enjoyed my tenure with my colleagues, and I greatly appreciate the learning experience.
Could you require my intervention about my replacement? Count on me! I can help you find the right hire and impact them with the skills to get started.
4. Email letter of resignation example due to company changes
Dear Mr. Grayson,
Kindly consider this letter an official notification of my resignation from my position as (title) for (company name). I shall officially resign on September 26, 2022, which marks my last day of work at Henry & Sons.
While I’ve always enjoyed my work at Henry & Sons, I no longer feel I am a good fit after recent organizational changes.
Indeed, I’m genuinely grateful for the fantastic opportunity you gave me to build my career, and I shall live to cherish the incredible moments I had with my coworkers.
Kindly let me know if I can help train and acquaint my replacement. Thank you.