Ready to quit your job?
You could be super excited and cannot wait to decorate your new office on Monday…
…or sad about having to leave because of unexpected circumstances.
Whichever the case, there is one last thing you need to do before leaving – you need to formally resign through a letter of resignation.
Preparing your own surely sounds like a pain in the neck, but we won’t let you go through it alone. So make sure to follow all our tips and go through the templates.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Why a Letter of Resignation is Necessary
- The Detailed Structure of a Letter of Resignation
- 5+ Best Practices Before Handing In YOUR Letter of Resignation
- 3+ Detailed Letter of Resignation Templates for Different Scenarios
Why You Should Write a Letter of Resignation
Let’s start with the basics!
A letter of resignation is the official legal document you write to let your superiors know that you are quitting your job.
Generally, the best way to go about it is to give a 2-week notice, starting from the day when you hand in your letter of resignation.
The notice period heavily depends on the company you are working for, so make sure to consult your company’s policies before preparing your letter of resignation and handing it in.
There are 3 reasons why you should submit a letter of resignation and not just storm out of the office:
- Post-employment benefits. You are entitled to pensions, retirement benefits, or insurance after the completion of your employment. Benefits vary from company to company. Consult your employee handbook or the HR portal for your employer’s post-employment benefits scheme.
- Your responsibilities will be transferred to somebody else eventually. A 2-week notice will give your employers enough time to prepare a plan to substitute you. Also, that gives you time to prepare documentation that you can hand over to your substitute, to ensure no knowledge is lost in the process.
- Leaving on good terms can guarantee you a good future reference or a useful networking contact. After all, you don’t want to be remembered as the guy who quit after giving everyone the middle finger.
How to Write a Letter of Resignation
The structure of a letter of resignation is simple.
It should include 5 important things:
#1 – Contact information
On the top right corner of the letter include:
- your full name
- your position
- Company name
- your full address (street name, city, ZIP code)
Following your contact information, include your manager’s contact information to the left:
- Manager’s full name
- Manager’s position
- Company name
- Company address
New York, 12345
New York, 67890
#2 – Opening Greeting
Refer to your manager the way you’ve referred to them throughout your employment.
E.g. Dear Mr. Johnson or Dear Sarah
#3 – Opening paragraph
This paragraph should clearly state your intention of resigning and your last work date. Specify your position and the name of the company.
E.g. Please accept this as my formal resignation from X Position in Company Y. My last day will be on September 10th.
#4 – Thank You section
This is where you should thank your employer for the opportunity they gave you and for anything specific that you learned during your time with the company.
You can also offer to assist and facilitate the passing of your previous responsibilities in that short period of time.
E.g. I greatly appreciate the opportunity you have given me and all the responsibilities you have trusted me with. You’ve taught me so much on how to be a better listener, a better colleague, and a better salesman. I am happy to offer my assistance in the transfer of responsibilities. Please let me know how I can be of further assistance.
#5 – Your signature
It’s what personalizes and signs off your letter of resignation.
E.g. Sincerely, Hannah Brown.
5+ Best Practices Before Handing in a Letter of Resignation
No matter the circumstances, leaving your job can be nerve-wracking.
Make sure to follow these tips that will ensure you leave a good impression on your boss:
Tip #1: Inform your employer beforehand!
The best way to let your employer know that you are leaving the company is through a face-to-face talk, followed by the letter of resignation via email or paper copy.
A face-to-face discussion shows courtesy and respect.
Along with the details of your departure, you can also verbally thank them for your time at the company.
Tip #2: Stick to a paper copy, unless you don’t have a choice!
Generally, handing in a paper copy of your resignation letter is the best way to go.
It’s more personal and makes your resignation more formal.
However, an email can be just as sufficient:
- If you work remotely
- If your company policy requires it
- In case of an emergency
Here’s an example of an email letter of resignation:
“Email subject line: Resignation- Jane Jones
Dear Mr. Smith,
Please accept this email as my formal resignation from the Budget Analyst’s position effective Friday, June 15th.
I feel honored that I have worked for your company, and I thank you for the opportunity to grow and learn from the best in the field.
I promise to do my best and finish my remaining projects in time for my departure and I will make sure to prepare detailed documentation so no knowledge is lost during the transition to another employee.
Please feel to contact me for assistance at any time through my personal email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or my cell phone number, 123-456-7890.
I wish you success for the company in its future endeavors!
Tip #3: Keep it short and to-the-point!
We know how uncomfortable quitting your job can be.
Even if that is the case, make sure to go straight to the point.
You’ll want your resignation letter to be precise and clearly state your intentions of resigning.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to mention a reason for quitting in your letter of resignation. You can easily explain yourself in person if you feel there’s a need.
Tip #4: What happens when it’s super short notice?
Family emergencies, medical issues, and relocation issues are quite common.
So you might also have to leave your job at super short notice.
In that case, the first thing you need to do is let your employer know as soon as possible and inform them that there’s a family emergency or a personal matter to attend to.
This way, they will be less likely to think that you have malicious intentions. They will definitely appreciate the heads-up, whether it’s by handing in a letter of resignation, sending an email, or even a quick phone call or visit to the office.
Keep in mind that a short notice can also mean that you won’t be entitled to some of the company’s benefits. That’s due to the regulations requiring a 2-week prior notice or more to be eligible for said benefits. As always, check your company handbook for the specific regulations.
Tip #5: Remember to be professional!
One thing to keep in mind in a situation like this is to be professional and positive about it.
The last thing you want to do is brag about your next opportunity. You’ll come off as unprofessional and immature.
Instead, offer to help with the transition process and thank them for the opportunity they gave you and the trust they put in you.
That will leave a good impression on your boss and can guarantee you a good reference letter in the future.
3+ Letter of Resignation Templates
Still having trouble preparing your own letter of resignation?
You can always follow these templates. Just fill in the blanks!
Letter of Resignation to Supervisor
Please accept this letter as the formal announcement of my resignation as the ________, effective _____________.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for _________________________. I have learned ________ in my years here, and for that I am grateful.
I would like to do whatever I can to facilitate the transition process by___________. I also offer you my assistance with ____________ if needed.
Your Full Name
The city and ZIP code”
The template above is the go-to version of a letter of resignation which includes all the must-haves.
If you want to discuss your reasons for leaving, you can add:
“I have recently gotten an offer from __________, and after careful consideration, I have decided to accept it.”
“My family and I have decided it is best that we move to _______ because of the better opportunities for ________.”
Short Notice Letter of Resignation
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from the _______ position. My last day will be _________.
I sincerely apologize for the bad timing of this decision, however, due to _________ I have decided to leave my position here. This was a very difficult decision for me to make, especially because I loved working for _________. However, I hope you understand that this is due to unanticipated circumstances.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to _________, as I have greatly enjoyed working with your team. You have taught me __________ and _________, which is invaluable.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you need any assistance, and I will do my part to help wrap up __________ before my departure.
Your Full Name
The city and ZIP code”
Letter of Resignation to the Board
Board Chairman’s Name Their Position Their address
“Dear Mr./Ms. ________,
I am sending you this letter to inform you that I will be leaving my position as a Board Member of ____________. My decision will be effective __________.
It was a difficult decision to make, however, due to ___________________, and with _________ at hand, I would not be able to dedicate the right amount of time to the board and my responsibilities.
I appreciate the opportunity to be part of ________. Working with _________ has been great and I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together. I wish you and the board the best of luck moving forward and I hope the company continues to be just as successful in my absence.
Contrary to a letter of resignation for a job position, it is common practice to include a reason in your letter of resignation to a company’s board.
You can admit to having too many responsibilities at hand and not being able to efficiently manage them all, or quote personal reasons.
Now that you have all these tips and detailed templates up your sleeve, you won’t have a problem preparing a letter of resignation that is both professional and to-the-point.
Some things to keep in mind before we go:
- A letter of resignation is not just a formality! Handing in a letter of resignation is essential to reap post-employment benefits and continue to be in good terms with your previous employer. But remember to pay your boss a visit and discuss your resignation face-to-face.
- Be professional! Good impressions go a long way, especially if you’ll need a good reference or a networking contact from them in the future.
- Don’t go overboard! You do not need to give a lot of details about your departure. Keep it as precise as possible and your boss is going to thank you!
Make good use of all the tips and tricks that we taught you when preparing and handing in your letter of resignation, and you’ll be good to go.
A lot of new opportunities await…