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How to Write a Resignation Letter

resignation letter

Here’s what to say — and what to leave out.

Should you write a resignation letter? In most cases, quitting a job doesn’t require one. However, there are some situations in which you want to write one, the author explains in this piece. She outlines what those reasons are and offers advice for how to actually write one, including tips on what not  to say. The article also includes a template you can use with sample language.

You’ve made the decision to quit your job and you want to leave on a positive note. This starts with giving notice and letting people know in a professional way. So, do you need to send a resignation letter? If so, who do you send it to? And what do you say?

resignation letter

  • Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, cohost of the Women at Work podcast , and the author of two books: Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People) and the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict . She writes and speaks about workplace dynamics. Watch her TEDx talk on conflict and follow her on LinkedIn . amyegallo

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  • Leaving a Job

Sample Resignation Letter for Quitting Your Job

resignation letter

Tips for Writing a Resignation Letter

Resignation letter template, sample resignation letter, resignation email example, sending an email resignation message, more resignation letter examples.

Adrian Mangel / The Balance

Key Takeaways

  • Always send a letter of resignation when you quit your job. It’s protocol to inform your employer in writing. Plus, sending a letter will provide a written record.
  • Know when to send an email resignation. In certain situations—working remotely, for example—an email resignation is appropriate.
  • Include all the details in your resignation letter. Note your last day of work, convey your thanks, and offer to help with the transition.
  • Be professional and polite. Review sample resignation letters before composing your own, proofread your letter, and be gracious to your employer.

When you are quitting your job, it's proper protocol to provide your employer with a formal resignation letter for your employee file. A letter is a way to officially announce your resignation, even if you have already discussed your resignation with your boss or Human Resources. It also confirms your end date of employment.

Writing a letter is also a courtesy that can help you maintain a positive relationship with your employer, which is essential if you hope to use them as a reference and keep them as a networking contact.

You should send this letter to your manager, as well as Human Resources, so that they have the letter on file.

Here's information on what to include in your resignation letter or email, tips for writing a professional resignation, how to send an email resignation, samples, and a template to download.

  • Give appropriate notice .   It's best to give your boss  two weeks' notice  if you are resigning. If possible, write the letter at least two weeks before resigning from your job. The most important information to include in a resignation letter is the date you plan to leave the company. This helps ease the transition for the employer, as well as for you. State this date very early in the letter.

If you're unable to provide two weeks' notice, you can write a resignation letter giving short notice or even no notice .

  • Say thank you .   You should also let the employer know you appreciate your time with the company. If you were not particularly happy at the company, or if your relationship with your supervisor or colleagues was contentious, you can keep this expression of thanks brief. It's enough to simply say, "I've enjoyed my time at ABC company." or "My two years at ABC company have been a pleasure."
  • Offer to help .   If possible, offer the employer assistance as they look for a replacement. This help could come in the form of recruiting or training a new employee. You can also offer to prepare transitional documents or share your personal email for questions after you've left the company. It's up to you how generous you want to be.
  • Ask questions .   If you have any questions, including where to leave work supplies or questions about your benefits, you might include these in your letter as well.
  • Don't vent or complain .   A resignation letter is not the time to share frustrations about co-workers, managers, or the company. Keep in mind that you may someday need a reference from people who will see this letter, so it is best to be polite.
  • Keep your letter short .   A resignation letter should be simple, brief, focused, and to the point. There is  no need to elaborate on your reason for leaving —keep the letter professional rather than delving into the personal.
  • Use business letter format . Make sure to follow business letter format in your letter. Include a header with the employer’s name and address, the date, and your name and address.
  • Proofread and double-check before you send .   You should also thoroughly proofread the letter before sending it. Again, you may need to ask for a recommendation from your employer, and you want all your work to be polished.

You can  download the resignation letter template  (compatible with Google Docs and Word) to use as a starting point for your own letter.

Use the sample resignation letter below as a template for your own letter, but just be sure to rewrite the letter to fit your particular employment situation.

Caroline Maxwell 363 Suncoast Drive Seminole, FL 33701 604-323-5566

caroline.maxwell@email.com

July 15, 2022

Jameis Hitchcock Manager Smith Agency 1616 Florida Road Tampa, FL 33802

Dear Mr. Hitchcock,

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Account Executive for the Smith Agency, effective July 29.

Thank you very much for the opportunities for professional and personal development that you have provided me during the last five years. I have enjoyed working for the agency and appreciate the support provided me during my tenure with the company.

If I can be of any help during this transition, please let me know.

Signature (hard copy letter)

Caroline Maxwell

Here's an example of a resignation email. Be sure to use a clear subject line, so the message gets opened and read.

Subject Line: Resignation – John Taggart

Dear Ms. Caldwell,

I’m writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as administrative assistant for Acme Corporation, effective November 1.

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from you and the team. Thank you for your support, mentorship, and guidance over the past two years.

If I can be of any assistance during the transition, please let me know.

Best regards,

John Taggart

john.taggart@email.com 617-212-3543

Thinking of sending an email message in order to resign from your job ? The content of your message will be similar, but there are a few things to keep in mind, to be professional and keep from burning bridges with your soon-to-be former employer.

  • Talk to your manager or HR, if possible . Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to resign via email out of the blue. While email can be an acceptable substitute for a hard-copy letter, it’s not the equivalent of a face-to-face conversation with the boss .

A few exceptions: if you work remotely on a full-time basis or feel unsafe resigning in person, email may be your best option.

Include all necessary information . That means providing a clear subject line (e.g., Resignation – Your Name) and your effective resignation date, contact information, and offer to help with the transition, if possible. You should also tell the company where to send your final paycheck if you don’t have direct deposit, as well as ask any questions you might have about benefits and paid time off.

Proofread and test your message. The last thing you want is to send your resignation email only to discover that it was filled with typos or formatting issues that you would have caught during a simple test. Send the message to yourself first, and consider having an eagle-eyed friend review it for errors before you send it on to your boss.

Review more resignation letter and email samples for a variety of circumstances and download free templates you can use to write your own letter.

SHRM. " Exit Right: How You Leave Your Job Matters ."

SHRM. " How to Resign Without Burning a Bridge ."

IMAGES

  1. Resignation Letter Format, Samples

    resignation letter

  2. Free Printable Letter of Resignation Form (GENERIC)

    resignation letter

  3. How to Write a Great Resignation Letter

    resignation letter

  4. Simple Resignation Letter

    resignation letter

  5. Employee Resignation Letter

    resignation letter

  6. Official Resignation Letter Examples

    resignation letter

COMMENTS

  1. How To Write a Resignation Letter (With Samples)

    A resignation letter is a formal document notifying an employer that you are leaving your job. A resignation letter includes notice that you’re resigning, your end date of employment, and your contact information. You can include additional details, but they are not required.

  2. How to Write a Resignation Letter

    Amy Gallo. Summary. Should you write a resignation letter? In most cases, quitting a job doesn’t require one. However, there are some situations in which you want to write one, the author ...

  3. Sample Resignation Letter for Quitting Your Job

    Know when to send an email resignation. In certain situations—working remotely, for example—an email resignation is appropriate. Include all the details in your resignation letter. Note your last day of work, convey your thanks, and offer to help with the transition. Be professional and polite.