Writing a Resignation Letter

writing a letter of resignation on a computer
Learn everything you need to know to write the perfect letter of resignation.

People leave jobs for a variety of reasons… To escape a bad boss, pursue an exciting new opportunity, or for a better salary. Once you’ve decided to leave, there are a few things you’ll need to do, and writing a letter of resignation is step one. 

First off, congratulations! Moving on to something can be nerve-wracking, so kudos to you for making that leap of faith. When you’re putting together your resignation letter, consider the following:

What you say in this letter will set the tone for the rest of your time working with the organization and your team. We can’t stress this enough: Take the high road! Even if you don’t have the warm and fuzzies for your manager, you want your resignation letter to be the epitome of class and professionalism.

If your PTO payout is dependent on the length of notice you give, make sure that your letter is submitted to the correct person on time.

This letter will speak for you long after you’re gone, as it will be one of the last things included in your personnel file. Like a resume, you want your resignation letter to present the best version of yourself to anyone who reads it.

We’ve broken down the nine different parts of writing a resignation letter and included a template for you below.

Click here to skip straight to the template!

The Basics

At the minimum, your resignation letter needs the following:

  • Date (Use the date you’re submitting it)
  • Your name and contact information
  • A statement of intent to resign
  • Your current job title
  • The date that your resignation is effective
  • Signature

Each section is just as important as the next, so make sure not to leave anything out.

Pro-Tip: Remember, your organization’s policy may outline what must be included in a resignation letter for it to be accepted. Make sure to check your personnel policy or company handbook for specifics. 

Date

Your resignation letter may be passed from your supervisor to their boss, to the Human Resources Department. Because this may take a few days, you need to include a date at the top of the letter to confirm that your resignation was tendered with the appropriate notice.

We recommend emailing your formal resignation letter after having a conversation with your supervisor. This eliminates any possible confusion regarding when the document was received.

Your Name and Contact Info

Just like you would with a cover letter, include your name, mailing address, and personal email address.

This document will be one of the last in your personnel file – including your contact information ensures that HR has an up to date way to contact you once you’ve left. (This will be important when tax season rolls around and your W-2 is being mailed.)

Statement of Intent

There’s no need to beat around the bush here. Simply state that you’re resigning from your position. 

You can address your letter to your supervisor, manager, or the owner of the company. If you have a close relationship with the person you’re addressing the notice to, feel free to address them by their first name. Otherwise, opt for a formal greeting. 

Current Job Title

Remember when we said your resignation letter would be around long after you were gone?

Use this letter to document the important aspects of your employment with the organization. If the company changes their software or loses all of their digital employee files, you want them to be able to look at your resignation letter and know who you were and what you did while you worked for them.

In your letter, include your current job title. You can easily slip this in by saying that you’re “resigning your position as [current title].”

Resignation Date

Just as important as dating your letter is including the day that your resignation will be effective. This should be your last physical day of work.

Generally, if you work Monday through Friday, your last day should fall on a weekday. If you work part-time or on weekends, then it’s okay for your last day to fall on a weekend.

It’s pretty standard to give two weeks notice to your current employer. Of course, there are sometimes circumstances that make it impossible to work out a full two weeks. If this is the case for you, be polite and try to give as much notice as possible.

Signature

Last, but not least, you’ll want to include your signature. This certifies that everything you’ve written in your resignation letter comes directly from you.

Print the letter, sign it, and scan the signed copy to your supervisor after you have a conversation with them.

So far, your resignation letter should look like this:

September 1, 2019

Jackson Doe
224 Candy Lane
Orlando, FL 32828

Dear Jessica,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as Accounts Payable Supervisor, effective September 16, 2019.

Sincerely,

Jackson Doe

While the above is technically all that you need to include in your resignation letter, it’s traditional (and polite) to say thank you to your employer for the opportunity to work with them.

Say Thanks

Take some time to think about the things you’ve learned or achieved while working for your current company. Once you have a list of three or four things, say thank you for them! Even if you can’t wait to leave, consider the future; at some point, you may need to use your supervisor as a reference.

The peak-end rule, which asserts that people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, applies here. Your resignation (peak) and last two weeks of work (end) will heavily influence how you’re remembered within the organization. Use your resignation letter to set a positive tone for your last two weeks and to ensure that your final impression is a good one. 

Once you’ve added the niceties, your resignation letter will look like this:

September 1, 2019

Jackson Doe
224 Candy Lane
Orlando, FL 32828

Dear Jessica,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as Accounts Payable Supervisor, effective September 16, 2019.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with [company name]. I’ve truly enjoyed working as a member of the Finance Department and will always remember my time with [company name], and our team, fondly.

Again, I appreciate the opportunities for professional development that the [company name] has provided me with over my time as an employee. 

Sincerely,

Jackson Doe

Offering Assistance

Feel free to polish off your resignation letter by offering to help with the transition of a new team member. There are ways you can help your team even if the new employee won’t start before your resignation date. 

To keep the offer casual, state that you’re happy to help out in any way over the next few weeks. If you want to get specific, you can suggest a few things that would be helpful, such as creating training material, training your replacement, or distributing your clients between your coworkers. 

Once you’ve offered to lend a helping hand, your resignation letter will look like this, and it’s ready to be printed!

Letter of Resignation Template

September 1, 2019

Jackson Doe
224 Candy Lane
Orlando, FL 32828

Dear Jessica,

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as Accounts Payable Supervisor, effective September 16, 2019.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with [company name]. I’ve truly enjoyed working as a member of the Finance Department and will always remember my time with [company name], and our team, fondly.

Please let me know what I can do to facilitate a smooth transition for the next team member. I’m happy to help out in any way I can.

Again, I appreciate the opportunities for professional development that the [company name] has provided me with over my time as an employee. I wish you all the best and look forward to keeping in touch.

Sincerely,

Jackson Doe

Delivery

In a perfect world, you’d sit down with your supervisor, discuss the decision you’ve made to leave, and hand over your printed (and signed) resignation letter at the end of the conversation. 

While we’d recommend this approach nine times out of ten, you may be in a situation where you have no other option than to submit a copy of your resignation letter by email. 

However you plan to give your notice, remember that you’re setting the tone for the rest of your relationship with the organization and there’s no need to burn bridges on your way out. 

It’s always a good idea to follow up any in-person conversations about your resignation with a professional email. This will cover you if the paper document is misplaced or your supervisor doesn’t inform the correct people on time. 

Send an email with a PDF attachment of your resignation letter and say: “Per our conversation, attached is a digital copy of my resignation letter. Thank you again for the opportunity to work for [company name].”

Pro-Tip: Send your follow up from your personal email address, or BCC yourself on the email so that you have a record of when it was delivered. 


Deciding to leave a job can be hard, but writing a resignation letter doesn’t have to be! Feel free to adjust our letter of resignation template to fit your role and the procedures of your organization.

Best of luck in your next adventure!

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