How to Write a Resignation Letter

How to Write a Resignation Letter (+ Sample Resignation Letter)

Writing a resignation letter can be an intimidating task and it’s better to do it well than to rush through something and regret it later. We’ll help guide you step-by-step on how to write a resignation letter that gets you out with professionalism, grace, and respect.

In this post we’ll show you how to write a resignation letter, why it matters so much, when is the best time to start the process, and common mistakes to avoid. We’ve also included a simple resignation letter sample template at the bottom of this article.

Following these tips on how to write a resignation letter will help make sure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible no matter where life takes you next.

How to Write a Resignation Letter

Information your resignation letter should include

Your resignation letter doesn’t need to be long or complicated, but some aspects should be standard.

Make sure to include a date on your letter so that you have clear proof of how much notice has been provided to the company.

Address the letter to the right person.

Succinctly state your intention to resign in the opening paragraph.

Clearly indicate when your last day at the company will be.

Remember to end your letter with a signature and include your personal/forwarding contact information in case of any follow-up inquiries or communication.

Offer your support in the transition

Before submitting your resignation letter, be sure to clearly indicate that you are willing and able to help transition responsibilities by training or providing guidance for the new hire. Don’t forget to complete all unfinished tasks prior to leaving, and make certain any contact details or deadlines pertaining to regular duties is recorded in writing. (For reference purposes, there is an example located at the end of this post.)

Express your appreciation

Even though you may not have had the most enjoyable time working in your current role, remember that your employer has likely devoted resources and money to upskilling you for this position. A courteous way to thank them is by expressing gratitude for the chances they’ve provided.

As with anything, there were highs and lows throughout your tenure. To leave a good impression and express thanks appropriately, reflect upon the fond memories you made while working for the company in your resignation letter. This is key to demonstrating professionalism as you say farewell to all involved.

What to avoid when you write a resignation letter

Writing a resignation letter may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. When composing a resignation letter, there are some key things you should avoid doing in order to maintain professionalism throughout the process.

First, resist the urge to provide too much detail as to why you are leaving your job. You don’t need to share how and why you disagree with how the company is operating or how management has dealt with your situation.

Steer clear of personal attacks or raise negativity if you can – criticism serves no purpose if it puts your former employer, colleagues, or team in an awkward position.

keep false promises out of your letter: do not lie about who may have come up with the decision or claim that it was mutual if that wasn’t the case.

Finally, don’t rush writing and sending off your resignation letter; giving notice should still be conducted in a respectable manner, even if you are not satisfied with the organization anymore.

Being thoughtful and getting advice on how to write a resignation letter will enable smooth transitions no matter how uncomfortable circumstances may be.

Why you need to write a resignation letter

Reason #1: It creates a paper trail

Some managers or HR representatives will ask you to submit a letter as a matter of record-keeping. Even if no one requests one, you should write a resignation letter so that there is documentation of you giving notice and your departure date, which might help with the paperwork around your final paycheck and transition of your responsibilities.

Reason #2: It’s customary in your industry or company.

Depending on the area, industry, and organization you work in, submitting a resignation letter may be necessary. To ensure that you properly adhere to this expectation, it might be best to do some research or ask around. Connecting with someone who has recently departed your workplace could provide insight into what they did when resigning. Similarly, if you have a trusting relationship with HR personnel at your company – even better! They can guide you toward how resignations are typically handled within their own environment.

Reason #3: It will help you manage a potentially emotional conversation.

It can be difficult to confront your boss about leaving, but you don’t have to do it alone. Sending an email with your resignation letter prior to meeting them will help ease the tension of the conversation and give them some time for reflection on what lies ahead. By taking this proactive step before speaking in person, both parties will enter the discussion prepared and ready for whatever comes next.

Reason #4: You control the reasoning for your resignation

Writing a resignation letter allows you to control the messaging around your departure. If, for instance, there is any worry that they will present a version of events that benefits them but isn’t entirely truthful – then putting it in writing will make the reasons for your departure clear to everyone. You can also send the letter to them and copy HR or your boss’s boss.

Sample Resignation Letter Copy and Paste

Dear (manager’s name),

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from (company name). My last day with the company will be (date).

Before I leave, all my projects will be completed as much as possible. I am happy to assist in any way to ensure a smooth handover to my replacement, and I’m happy to schedule a meeting to hash out the process.

I’ve really enjoyed my time working at [company] and on this team. I’ve learned so much that I will take into my next position. Thank you for your support and for the opportunities you’ve given me over the last [X] years.

[Add a specific example of something you enjoyed or were proud of in your work at the company].

As I look forward to new opportunities, I will always remember my experience at (company name) fondly. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need any further information, and I hope we’ll be able to stay in touch.

Very best,

Your Name

Resigning can be difficult and nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. If you take the time to plan and write a well-thought-out resignation letter, you’ll set yourself – and your employer – up for success. Follow the tips in this article and you’ll be on your way to writing the best resignation letter possible.


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