20 Free Resignation Letter Samples

20 Free Resignation Letter Samples and Templates

We are frequently asked by our readers if we have any resignation letter samples that we can recommend, so we’ve decided to add 20 of them in this post.  We’ll show you how to write a resignation and give you some templates that you can use to write your resignation letter.

People resign from work for different reasons. Some resign because they found better career opportunities elsewhere. Others have had enough of their contemptuous relationship with management. And there are those who simply could not handle the stress of the job anymore.

Regardless of the reasons or circumstances, resignation will always be a turning point because it represents a change in our lives. The act involves managing outcomes when relationships forged through shared periods of triumphs and failures are about to end.

Free Resignation Letter Samples

Standard Format of a Resignation Letter Sample

Date
Name
Title
Company Name
Address

Dear Mr. / Ms.,

In the opening paragraph, state right away your intention to resign from the company. It is not required to indicate your reason(s) for resigning as these can be discussed in detail in the Exit Interview. If you feel that you must, keep it short and avoid any emotional overtones or negative connotations in the content. The standard introduction usually begins with “I am writing to inform you” but if you feel more comfortable with your own introduction, go ahead and use it.

In the second paragraph, indicate details regarding your transition. These include your last day at the office; pending work that needs to be turned over, period for obtaining clearance and your contact details should the company seek clarification on other matters.

In the final paragraph, express regret for any inconvenience your resignation may have caused management and the company. Most importantly, declare your appreciation for the time spent with the company and to wish them well in the years ahead. Closing your resignation on a positive note will extinguish any ill will and helps both parties set out on a fresh start.

Yours sincerely,
Your name

Use the pagination below to go to the next resignation letter samples and templates.

Basic Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I wish to inform you of my decision to resign as IT Manager.

As per my employment contract, I am giving the company two (2) weeks’ notice. My last day of work shall be on 30 August 2015.

I regret any inconvenience my resignation may cause the company. I would like to extend my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the experience and time spent working with you, management and the rest of the team.  

I wish XYZ Company continued success in the years ahead.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Appreciative Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Kindly accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation as IT Manager from your company. I have been offered a wonderful opportunity with another company which I could not simply pass up

With respect to my employment contract, my last day of work shall be on 30 August 2015. During the interim 2-week period I shall remain steadfast in fulfilling pending work and provide as much assistance as needed by the company to bring my replacement up-to-speed.

Working with you, management and the rest of the team was a great and fulfilling experience. I learned much during my employment and I only wish the greatest success for everyone at XYZ Company.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Personalized Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Noah,

Please accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation as IT Manager. As indicated in my employment contract, I shall give 2 weeks’ notice to the company. My final day at work shall be on 30 August 2015.

My experience working at XYZ Company, management, the team, especially with you; has been nothing short of wonderful. I regret any inconvenience my decision to resign may have caused you but I feel this new opportunity is not just a step in the right direction for my career but for the well-being of my family.

I assure you of my commitment to finish all outstanding work to the best of my ability and for the smooth turnover of duties to the incoming employee.

Thank you very much for the time spent with the company and most of all, for your friendship.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Detailed and Appreciative Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Kindly accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation as IT Manager for XYZ Corporation. As indicated in my employment contract, I shall give 2 weeks’ notice to the company which means my final day at work shall be on 30 August 2015.

I have completed all of my major responsibilities to date and over the course of the remaining 2 weeks I will focus on finishing up pending work which are minor in scope and coverage.  

My experience working at XYZ Company, management and the team has been great. The project we completed for ABC Company in Dubai last year was memorable. It was one of the most challenging accounts I’ve handled and I was fortunate to have you and the team to carry us through. If there was a turning point or milestone in my career, that project may have been it.

On a personal note, your friendship and mentorship have been invaluable and I regret any inconvenience my decision to resign may have caused you. Even as I embark on my new career, I will always pay tribute to the lessons I learned from you.

Thank you and I wish XYZ Company great success in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Regret Leaving Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I regret to inform you of my decision to resign as IT Manager for the company.

With reference to my employment contract, I shall be giving the company two (2) weeks’ notice which means my final day at work shall be on 30 August 2015.

Most of my primary responsibilities on current projects have been completed. I assure you of my commitment to complete all pending work before the aforesaid effective date of my resignation.

Thank you and I wish XYZ Company continued success in 2015 and beyond.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Career Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Noah,

I am writing you to let you know of my decision to resign as IT Manager of XYZ Company to pursue new career opportunities.

Based on my employment contract, my final day at work will be on 30 August 2015. I will continue to work with you and the team in those two weeks.

It was not an easy decision to make because I sincerely enjoyed my time with you and the rest of the team. Please feel free to reach out anytime you need my assistance.

Kind regards,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter Giving Employer Suitable Time to Find Replacement 

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Kindly accept this letter as formal notification of my decision to resign as IT Manager of XYZ Company.

Based on my employment contract, my final day at work will be on 30 August 2015. I will continue to work with you and the team in those two weeks. I am hopeful that during the interim, you would be able to find a qualified replacement to fill my position. If you wish, I would be more than willing to assist the company in training and orienting my replacement in his assumption of my former duties and responsibilities.

This was not an easy decision to make because I sincerely enjoyed my time with you and the rest of the team.

Thank you the experience. I am confident XYZ Company will continue its success in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter due to Incident Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

It is with much regret that I am submitting this letter as my formal notification of my decision to resign as IT Manager of XYZ Company.

Although I was exonerated from any involvement with regards to the incident with our client, ABC Company, I believe the allegations that were leveled against me, while baseless and proven untrue, have put our noble efforts into question. I do not wish our good intentions to be hindered by my presence or given any political color. Thus, I have made this extremely difficult decision to resign from the company.

Based on my employment contract, my final day at work will be on 30 August 2015. I will continue to work with you and the team in those two weeks.

Despite the circumstances, I have nothing but high praise and well-wishes for the management and staff of XYZ Company.

Thank you the experience. I am confident you will continue to find success in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter to Join another Company Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I wish to inform you that I am resigning from my position as IT Manager to accept an offer from another company.

Prior to considering the offer from the new company, I took the time to thoroughly review my employment contract to ensure I would not be in violation of its provisions. Just to inform you, the new position is for a different industry; far removed from the main enterprise of XYZ Company. To this regard, I could shed more light to the new nature of my employment during my exit interview.

Based on my employment contract, my final day at work will be on 30 August 2015. I will continue to work with you and the team in those two weeks.

In closing, I wish to extend my sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the company for the experience and most of all, the valuable friendships gained during my tenure.

I wish your company continued success in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

After Maternity Leave Resignation Letter Sample

12 August 2015
Ms. Olivia Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation

(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I wish to inform you that I am resigning from my position as IT Manager effective 30 August 2015.

As you know, I had my second child in July and I have made the decision to fulfill my duties and responsibilities as a full-time mother to my children.

Based on my contract, I have two weeks before my resignation takes effect.  I shall remain available to assist you in the transition process and I will ensure that all pending work shall be taken care of.

I wish your company continued success in the years ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Olivia Smith

Resignation Letter due to Better Salary and Benefits Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from the company to accept an offer from another company which offered better salary and benefits.

While I have cherished the experience, my financial situation dictates that I cannot afford to pass up a great opportunity to improve my income and realize better benefits including health care for me and my family. I do hope you understand my decision and I wish to assure you that I bear no ill-will or grudge toward the company. I fully respect the company’s decision to stay within their operating budget.

The provision on resignation requires a two week notice. Therefore, my resignation shall take effect on 30 August 2015. I shall stay onboard to complete all pending work and to assist you in whatever way I can during the turnover process.

Thank you for the time and the experience.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter due to Changes in the Company Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Please accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation as IT Manager of the company.

This has been a difficult decision for me as I have greatly enjoyed and benefited during my tenure. But recent changes in the organizational structure and process flows have made it difficult for me to perform to the best of my abilities.

Based on my employment contract, the effective date of my resignation shall be on 30 August 2015. In the interim, I shall stay on-board and perform my usual duties and tasks. If needed, I shall gladly assist you in training my replacement.

I wish you and the rest of the team all the best in the years ahead.

Thank you for the time and the opportunity.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter to a Client Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Bernhard Palmer
Operations Manager
SG Limited Pty.
(address)

Dear Mr. Palmer,

I am writing to advise you that effective 30 August 2015, I would no longer be connected with XYZ Company.

I wish to assure you that my leaving will have no affect on the management of your campaign. The person who will take over is Mr. Michael Anderson who has been with XYZ Company for 20 years and brings with him a highly distinguished record in managing accounts.

As part of the turnover process, I would like to schedule a conference call between you, me and Michael as a way of formal introduction. I am confident you will find Michael a capable and responsible Account Manager.

Kindly advise if 14 August 2015, 10:00 am would be convenient for you. I shall send you the WebEx conference call invite at 9:50am.

As per my employment contract, I shall still be on board for two weeks until my resignation takes effect on 30 August 2015.

It was a privilege and honor to work with you the last few years. I wish your company continued success in the coming years.

Thank you for the time and the opportunity.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter Due to Family Reasons Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to advise you that I am resigning from my position as IT Manager.

As you well know, the past few weeks have been very difficult for me due to pressing concerns involving my family. These issues remain unresolved and until they are, I will remain distracted and disconnected from the requirements of my job. It will not be fair to you and the company if I cannot perform to the best of my ability.

I do not wish to become a crutch to the team and at the same time, I feel now is the best time to address the issues that continue to affect my family. Thus, my resignation would be to the best interest of all parties concerned.

As per my employment contract, I shall still be on board for two weeks until my resignation takes effect on 30 August 2015. In the remaining two weeks, I shall devote my time and energy in finishing all remaining tasks and responsibilities.

I wish your company continued success in the coming years.

Thank you for the time and the opportunity.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter Due to Family Relocating Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to advise you that I am resigning from my position as IT Manager.

This decision has weighed on me for some time now. But eventually I had to make a decision that is in the best interest of those whom I work for; my family. My wife was appointed Vice-President of a leading company in Florida and I could not take that opportunity from her. As a family we decided to uproot the family and relocate to Florida.  A big factor in our decision was her company’s offer for us to stay in the staff house.

I will remain on-board for two weeks with respect to my employment contract. I assure you I will complete all pending work before my resignation takes effect on 30 August 2015.

I wish your company continued success in the coming years.

Thank you for the time and the opportunity.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter from a Job you Just Started Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Kindly accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation as IT Manager for your company.

I understand that I was hired only last month and I had just completed my first month of training. But unfortunately, a dreadful family situation came up which made me relinquish this generous position.

I have reviewed my contract and consulted with Human Resources. They concurred that due to my tenure, I am technically still on training mode or probationary status. They have agreed to allow my resignation to take effect immediately.

For your reference, I have attached the formal opinion of Ms. Harriett Robinson, HR Manager.

I wish to extend my heartfelt apology for my protracted tenure.

I remain confident your company shall continue to find success in the forthcoming years.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter Due to Health Reasons Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Please accept this letter as my formal notification of resignation as IT Manager.

My health issues have been well-documented and as you know, I have missed several days due to illness. Over the weekend, the results of my latest medical check-up came out and I was diagnosed with Auto-Immune Disorder. Doctors are still in the process of figuring out the cause of my condition despite having a comprehensive file on my medical history. As a result, I am frequently subjected to more tests.

What is clear is that my liver is failing; it is no longer functioning efficiently. Doctors estimate that it is only functioning at 40% at best. This is the main reason why I have been feeling intermittently weak.

For your reference, I have attached a copy of the latest medical report from my doctor. He has advised me to stay rested until such time that they have determined the cause and can prescribe treatment. I have reviewed my contract and have advised Ms. Harriett Robinson of HR of having my resignation take effect immediately. She agreed and has issued me all the necessary papers to secure clearance.

While it is an unfortunate episode, I feel blessed in having the opportunity to work with you and the great people of XYZ Company.

I remain confident your company shall continue to find success in the forthcoming years.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter due to plans to return to school sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am writing to formally notify you of my decision to resign as IT Manager.

I have decided to go back to school and pursue advanced studies in Computer Engineering. While I have learned from my experience with the company, I feel that my technical and fundamental competencies remain seriously challenged. I wish to pursue further education to enhance my productivity in an organization and open better career opportunities in the future.

As per my employment contract, I shall continue to be on-board for two weeks. I will complete all pending work and turnover all the confidential documents on the effective date of my resignation which will be on 30 August 2015.

Thank you for the opportunity and I appeal to your understanding of my decision. I wish your company great success in the coming years.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

Resignation Letter for Retirement Reasons Sample

12 August 2015
Mr. Oliver Smith
(Address)

Mr. Noah Jones
Department Manager
XYZ Corporation
(address)

Dear Mr. Jones,

Please accept this letter as my formal notification of resignation as IT Manager.

Over the last few months I have gone back and forth on my decision to retire. Upon final consultation with my family, I have decided to take myself out of this career path and toward the unchartered road of life.

I am no longer a young man but I am not too old to pursue other interests and opportunities that will allow me to spend more time with my family.

It has been a great 25 years with the company and yes, I am fully aware of the two-week grace period prior to resignation. Therefore, I shall stay on board and complete my remaining projects until 30 August 2015.

Thank you the great experiences and the wonderful friendships built throughout a quarter of a century.

I wish you all the best.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Smith

How to Write a Resignation Letter

A Letter of Resignation is no different than any other type of business letter in terms of structure. It has an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

But as in all forms of written communication, the challenge lies in the content.

The difficulty in crafting a resignation letter is that the act is initiated by powerful emotions; some of which have accumulated over a period of time and attained critical mass.

Given the emotional weight carried by these letters, it would be wise for you to be mindful of these three (3) simple reminders before plotting pen to paper or fingers on your keyboard:

Keep the tone of your letter positive

The resignation letter should not be used as a medium to vent your misgivings about your former employer because it will serve no other purpose except to feed your ego. There is a saying in business that you should “never burn your bridges”. There may come a point in time when you will need your former employer’s assistance.

Content must be focused and brief

The resignation letter is not a journal, a diary or a report. Its purpose is clear-cut; you are willfully terminating your tenure from the company. There is no need to ramble on endlessly otherwise, the content will get lost. Formally state your decision to resign and wish your former employer well

A simple resignation letter works best

You can never go wrong with simplicity because it doesn’t open you up to controversy. Leave out issues that have nothing to do with your resignation. The details regarding your resignation will have their proper venue in the Exit Interview.

I have included resignation letter samples that you can review and use as a template. However, if during the course of crafting your letter of resignation you find emotions overcoming the content of the resignation letter template take the time to breathe, relax and review what you have written so far. If the content reads too emotional, discard it and start all over again.

Sometimes emotion can get the best of us and overrule sound judgment.  Remember, once you have tendered your resignation letter, you can never take it back.

The resignation letter examples included here are basic and can be applied to every circumstance. Generally, a resignation letter should cover the following:

  • The addressee of the letter; usually your direct manager or supervisor with a copy furnished to Human Resources.
  • If required, include the provision in your employment contract that validates your decision to resign.
  • The specific date your resignation will take effect.
  • A brief but official statement on your decision to resign.

Lastly, an important but oftentimes difficult component for most resigning employees to include in their letter is a section which expresses appreciation to management and the company during the time of employment.

This section is important because it exudes your level of professionalism, maintains the positive nature of the content and is a great way to put closure on your tenure.

Once you have reviewed your resignation letter and have signed both the original and receiving copy now comes the time to officially tender it in your office.

Although most companies have set guidelines on the process of resignation, there are other issues which concern a number of resigning employees. Here are a few of them:

When should I tender my resignation?

It would be advisable to resign on a Friday because the work week has come to an end and management is more compassionate approaching the weekend.

Should I talk to my immediate supervisor first?

While it is not mandatory, in terms of proper work etiquette, yes, you should talk to your immediate supervisor first. It shows a sign of respect and appreciation for the camaraderie shared during your term of employment.

Should I e-mail my resignation letter?

No. As a matter of professional courtesy, always hand-carry your resignation letter. Give your manager the benefit of a formal audience and a handshake. It would also be a opportune time to receive honest; quite possibly, candid feedback from your superior.

After you’ve processed these ideas on conducting your resignation, you may now proceed to view the free resignation samples we’ve included for your reference and guidance.

10 Best Ways To Resign With Professionalism – Infographic

10 Best Ways To Resign With Professionalism

Resignation is significant because it marks a turning point in your career. Whatever the circumstances were which led to this decision will change your life over the next 15-30 days. Thus, resignation is never easy. Regardless, you must always make it a point to end your tenure with dignity, honor and utmost professionalism.

Here’s an infographic with the 10 best ways to resign with professionalism. If you find this infographic useful, feel free to embed it on your website or share it on your social media accounts.

10 ways to resign professionally infographic

1. Resign on a Friday

Believe it or not, choosing the day you tender your resignation needs some thought and purpose.

It appears that Friday is the preferred day for submitting resignations for a number of reasons:

  • The ensuing weekend gives everyone involved time to regroup and prepare for the transition period which begins the following week.
  • Work activity is winding down; everyone is less stressed and chances are, your superiors are more condescending.
  • Strategically, if you have health insurance with your employer and you resign within the first two Fridays, it could already be paid up for the month.

2. Be prepared

Before you finalize your plans to resign, take some time to review your work contract and other employee documents which you signed.

You may have overlooked key provisions in your contract that may inhibit your resignation at least for a specified period of time. These include non-competing or exclusivity clauses which may have impact your future employment with another company.

Make sure you have all company-issued materials available and ready for turnover. These include ID’s, office keys, training materials and other confidential documents.

3. Be polite

Regardless of your relationship with your direct manager and the company, always remember conduct yourself in a professional manner up to your final day at work.

Set aside all your differences and realize that your resignation is the start of your new career. Moving forward, everything that had transpired between you and your employer will have no bearing on your future. Do not use your resignation as a medium to air your grievances. Remember, your future employer will most likely call your previous employer as part of their due diligence process.

4. Provide reasons

A resignation signifies a declaration that one party wants to end a relationship with the other party. If you put that in the same context as an intimate relationship, you should understand why it is important to give reasons for your resignation.

Contrary to popular belief, management teams are concerned when one of their people tenders a resignation. It triggers concerns on their culture and questions on their ability to manage the needs of their people. When management receives a notice of resignation they want feedback which is their way of addressing pending issues in the company which they may have not seen.

When you provide reasons, you are giving management an opportunity to make things right in the organization, if it agrees with your sentiment. Nevertheless, when indicate your grounds for leaving it is always taken as a sign of respect and a show of professionalism.

5. Give plenty of notice

Most employment contracts require a termination notice of 15 to 30 days. The reasons are to give your employer time to find a replacement and for you to turnover all pending work to the new employee.

Regardless, it is always advisable to give your employer more than enough time to make the necessary changes. The transition period to a new employee is very important as this covers recruitment, selection, training and orientation.

Management will view this as a sign of courtesy and consideration and may even reward you with a sterling recommendation to assist in your quest to find new employment.

6. Don’t slack off

One of the biggest mistakes resigning employees make is to take their foot off the pedal and turn in substandard work during their last few weeks in the office.

It is a poor depiction of character and it may get you back when your prospective employer decides to contact your direct supervisor.

Always perform to the best of your abilities even after you have tendered your resignation. It is not just about stamping your worth as an exceptional employee but it becomes genuine reflection of who you are as an individual.

7. Inform your direct supervisor first

It is always a good idea to inform your direct supervisor or manager first of your intention to resign simply because this pays respect to the organization hierarchy.

Your direct supervisor is also in charge of your team or department and advising him first will give him enough time to set up the contingency measures to accommodate your departure.

If over the years you have developed a great relationship with your direct supervisor, informing him first on your resignation is a strong sign of respect.

8. Proper endorsement of responsibilities

There are employees who leave remaining work pending once they have resigned because they feel it no longer concerns them.

Proper endorsement includes organizing all work-related materials and documents and reviewing these with the incoming employee and with the remaining members of your team or department. In most cases, the resigned employee works through these with the incoming employee as part of the training and orientation process.

The idea behind proper endorsement is to ensure continuity of work. You want to make sure that the person who will replace you is capable enough to take over your former set of responsibilities.

9. Thank your boss and co-workers

If there were tensions between you, your boss and co-workers, your resignation ensures these are already in the past. Move forward and beyond the animosity; become the bigger man and show your appreciation to them for the years, or months, spent working together.

The worst thing you can do is add more fuel to the fire by openly or blatantly showing your disdain for management and your former co-workers. The worst thing that can happen to you if you extend the courtesy of a “thank you” is a snub but that is a poor reflection on them and not on you.

10. Treat the exit interview as a formality not a therapy session

The purpose of the exit interview is to two-fold: to give the employee the opportunity to speak his mind and for management to solicit feedback.

It is a means of achieving closure and for both parties to move forward. It is not a venue for either party to point fingers, deflect blame and impose his will on the other.

Approach the exit interview as a formal way of tendering your resignation to management.

In certain respects, resignation symbolizes a re-birth in your career. Resigning with professionalism intact ensures your transition to a new career and a new life will be smooth and painless.

How To Write A Professional Resignation Letter

how-to-write-a-resignation-letter

Writing a resignation letter will often be a bittersweet process. No doubt if you are leaving your job, it will be for good reason. Perhaps you have found a better job prospect somewhere that will offer a better salary and be closer to what you always envisioned doing. Or maybe you’ve just had enough of working where you currently are and need to move on for your own sanity?

Either way, something must have motivated you to move on with your life. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t still have some kind of sentimental attachment to your old place of work. And nor does it mean that you should recklessly burn bridges and cut all ties.

For these reasons, writing a resignation letter is a delicate job and it’s crucial that you remain professional, follow the correct format and don’t allow your emotions to get the better of you. Read on and we’ll look at how to do just that and write a resignation letter that will get the point across in a way that is professional, courteous and effective.

Here’s a quick summary of what you can find in this article:

What To Say In A Resignation Letter

Remember when you write your resignation letter that this is not going to need to ‘stand alone’. In other words, it’s very likely that you will also be following up with a discussion, or that a discussion will have preceded the letter. This should not be a surprise for your employer dropped onto their desk out of the blue – make sure that there is some precedent or at least give them the opportunity to discuss the matter subsequently.

Note as well that a resignation letter is best delivered in print. Sending a resignation by e-mail is becoming more common but a printed letter is still more official, more polite and easier to keep for your and your employer’s records. If you must send this letter via e-mail, then ensure that you still write it as professionally as you would do any other letter.

The Key Facts For Writing A Resignation Letter

The first thing to do is to ensure that you include the key facts in your letter. This is first and foremost a practical consideration.

Make sure then that you:

  • Inform your employer that you are leaving
  • Indicate the date that your resignation will be effective from
  • Mention whether you will be working your notice and for how long

As mentioned, you should have discussed the details with your boss already – so there is no need to make this a long-winded letter. You have already had this conversation; the letter simply serves as the written record.

By extension, this also means that you don’t need to go into detail explaining why you’re leaving. Apart from the fact that it will read like an excuse/apology (when in fact you have nothing to apologize for), this also isn’t relevant and it won’t look very professional.

Additional Details To Include In A Resignation Letter

You should also include additional details with your resignation letter as you would do with any correspondence. Common and useful things to include are:

  • Your address – and your new address if you will be moving
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Date
  • Name
  • Organization name
  • Organization address
  • Name of employer

You should also make sure to include your job title/position and potentially the date from which you’ve been working.

What Not To Do And Write In Your Resignation Letter

When writing a resignation letter, it can sometimes be tempting to include some choice words and criticisms of your employers. This is especially true if you are leaving because of some kind of disagreement, or if you feel you have been strong-armed into doing so.

Tempting though it may be to go into detail about just how incompetent your boss is though, it’s crucial that you avoid doing so.

Why? For starters, it’s important to remember that you are going to be looking for a reference from this company in the near future. While they can’t legally criticize you directly in a reference, there are nevertheless plenty of ways they can make it clear that you weren’t their favorite employee.

What’s more, there’s always a chance you may want to come back to work for that same company again. It might not seem like it now but starting a new job is taking a big leap of faith and having an employer you’re familiar with who is potentially willing to take you back is a very useful safety net. Even if you don’t end up ‘crawling back’, you might still need to get in touch with your old workplace for other reasons and they may be useful contacts down the line. Don’t burn this bridge unnecessarily.

Finally, bear in mind that your resignation letter is going to go in your employment file. That means that it can actually be read by future employers. If it isn’t polite, professional and positive then, it could stand in the way of you landing your next job.

Try to see your resignation as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and to start on a positive note. Let bygones be bygones and leave with no hard feelings.

Writing and Grammar

When it comes to the writing, grammar and structure of your resignation letter, you need to try and remain professional, detached and objective. Again, leave all personal thoughts, motivations and explanations for any conversations you have in person. This letter should be written as though you have never met the person receiving it. After all, this isn’t just for the benefit of your boss and it will likely be seen by others in the future. This is also why you should include details such as your position and your name.

Writing formerly means avoiding abbreviations and colloquialisms (think ‘do not’ instead of ‘don’t’), it means writing in a formal manner (while remaining friendly) and it means using professional vocabulary.

Punctuation, grammar and spelling are also important here. While you shouldn’t stress too much over it; you should nevertheless remember that the letter could be seen by future employers and that you thus want to present yourself in a professional and competent manner. Even if no-one else does see the letter, taking the time to ensure that you’ve written it with correct spelling and punctuation shows that you’ve taken time over it and is thus more respectful.

Write your letter in MSWord and use the in-built spellcheck and grammar check to identify any potential typos. If you’re really not confident, then ask a friend or relative to look over the letter for you so that an extra pair of eyes have seen it. This is a good idea even if you are confident in your spelling and punctuation – often we can be ‘too close’ to our own writing and this can make it difficult to spot errors. That’s why even professional authors and journalists will always use an editor!

You should also make sure that you format your letter correctly. This means having your details at the top, followed by the company’s details, followed by the body of the letter.

Write A Basic Structure

When writing your letter, it may help to bear in mind the following structure which will work for the majority of letters:

  1. Purpose of letter (i.e. resignation)
  2. Details (date, notice, position)
  3. Invitation for further communication (‘I can be reached at…’)
  4. Thanks and best wishes
  5. Signature

The signature is important not only to make the letter official but also to add a personal touch. This is one reason why written letters are generally preferable to e-mails.

Note that if you are sending your resignation by e-mail, you can always use a digitizer pen in order to sign the screen. If you then save the file as a PDF (you can do this in Word), that will be the most professional way to handle an e-mail resignation.

Sample Resignation Letters

If you’re still fretting over the thought of writing your resignation letter, you can always try using sample resignation letters to guide the process. If you search online then you’ll find that there are plenty of sample letters out there that you can use and which are tailored to suit nearly every situation. All you have to do is read over a few, find one you like and then swap a few words – you don’t want your letter to be exactly the same as Billy’s from accounting who used the same site!

You can also see two examples of fairly basic resignations letters below which will suit the vast majority of situations:

 

Dear [EMPLOYER NAME],

I wish to inform you that I am resigning from my current position as [JOB TITLE] at [COMPANY NAME], effective [DATE]. This is includes my two week notice as outlined in my contract.

If you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance during this transition, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the details above.

Thank you for all your help and support over the last [DURATION] years and for all the opportunities you have afforded me. I wish you all the best in future.

Sincerely,

[NAME]

Alternative version:

 

Dear [EMPLOYER NAME],

This letter is my formal resignation, effective two weeks from today’s date. If you have any questions or require any assistance during my transition, please feel free to get in touch by phone or e-mail.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and [COMPANY] name for all the opportunities you have provided me with during my [DURATION] years of employment. This was not an easy decision to make and I have greatly enjoyed my time working here.

I wish you and [COMPANY] all the best for the future.

Yours truly,

[NAME]

 

Note that both these letters take a positive and optimistic tone without going into too much detail or being overly ‘personal’. If the letter feels overly formal, then remember that you can always include personal notes to your teammates and manager as well for their eyes only.

Everyone and every job is different

While everything we’ve gone over in this guide will apply to the majority of cases, it is important to remember that everyone is different and every situation is different.

If you are working for a start-up that you created yourself and you are moving on to more self-employed work for instance, then you may be able to resign with a less formal letter. Likewise, while you don’t normally need to go into detail regarding your reasons for leaving, some circumstances can benefit from this additional information. If you’ll be moving to a new area for instance, then this information may be relevant to help them reach you at a new address.

Follow these guidelines then but likewise make sure to be sensitive to the situation and to use a little intuition when deciding how best to approach your particular situation.

Recap

Just to recap then, here are the takeaway points to keep in mind when writing your resignation letter:

  • Be positive, polite and grateful
  • Write in a formal tone
  • Don’t necessarily feel the need to include your reasoning
  • Give your employer prior warning of your intent to resign
  • Include your personal and contact details
  • Include your job title
  • Include your signature
  • Double check spelling and grammar
  • Consider using templates
  • Keep it short
  • Remember, this will be read by other people!

Resignation Letter Writing Final Tips

Finally, before you send your resignation letter, consider the following tips.

Tip #1

Don’t act in haste. While things might seem bad, a resignation should not be an overnight decision. Consider alternatives, try speaking to your boss first and make a pros and cons list.

Tip #2

Keep a copy for your own records. Likewise, you can also send a follow up e-mail to confirm that the letter was delivered and received by your intended recipient. This way, you will have evidence that you have indeed formally resigned on X date.

Tip #3

Be open to negotiation. If you are very valuable to your organization they may offer you a raise or other incentives to stay on. This is another reason not to cut any ties as you might find what they’re offering is an even better deal than what you had in mind.

Tip #4

Be brave! Moving to a new job, starting a new business or just leaving your old one can be a scary and potential upsetting experience. Remember though that’ll be moving onto greener pastures and that you have every right to make this decision. Don’t put off handing in your resignation because you’re nervous of the circumstances – once you’ve made up your mind, it’s a little bit like ripping off a plaster. Do it quickly and don’t look back!

If you need to refresh your resume, our resume samples might be of help for you.