How to Write a Resignation Letter (+ Free Template!) (2024)

All good things must come to an end, and all bad things must come to an end quickly.

If you’re stuck at a job that doesn’t appreciate you for your skills and work ethic, or if you’re ready to take the plunge into a different career path, it’s time to write a resignation letter, which is just one of the many types of business letters.

What is a resignation letter?

A resignation letter is a document that formally ends an employee's relationship with a company. It usually includes the last day of work, a reason for leaving, and a rough transition plan.

But first, why is it important to write one? You are quitting, after all. Who needs ‘em!?

Just to be safe, I recommend you write a resignation letter no matter how formal or informal the job was.

My first job was as a hostess at a Mexican restaurant. I was 16 and picked up the role for some extra summer cash. Once the school year began, I became too busy with after-school theatre rehearsals and had to let go of my commitments to the restaurant and its customers.

My parents had me write and turn in a two-weeks notice letter. I had chosen to leave the company on my own volition and wanted to make sure we maintained a good relationship. As a teenager, I knew it was important to have viable references on my resume. Not only was a letter of resignation good professional practice, but it meant my hard-earned connections would be more likely to speak positively of my performance lateron.

I went on to work at Sonic Drive-Thru the next summer (no, I did not rollerblade), and believe you me, that reference really meant something to my new manager.

The two-week notice rule is not always best practice for employees who are being mistreated. If you’re leaving a company that has not cared for your well-being, it’s likely your resignation will be immediate.

This is something worth thinking long and hard about. Do you need that reference later on? Or do you have a new job lined up and you’re all ready to walk out the door? While hate-quitting can feel great in the moment, you’re the only one who can judge whether it would come back to haunt you or not.

Either way, a letter is a good idea. It serves as an in-writing notice of why you are leaving and can also protect you in the event of untrue accusations or in the future when recruiting teams may reach out to use a previous company as a reference. I do not hope for this situation for anyone (I’ve certainly had my own negative experiences in a toxic work environment), but I know it happens, and it’s better to be prepared than penitent.

Once you're back on the job market, consider utilizing job search sites to find your next perfect march.

How to write a resignation letter

So, if you’re ready to leave that old nine-to-five (or any other combination of hours; I understand the hustle takes many forms) behind, grab a cold brew or a glass of wine (depending on the circ*mstances) and learn how to resign with dignity.

1. Include an introduction

Any letter of resignation should begin with the date written and the address of the company at hand. The date on which the letter is written is especially important, as you’ll include your final employment date in this letter later.

Having the date written at the top of your resignation letter is a reliable reference for when you notified management of this change. Should there be any unfortunate discrepancies about your last day, you can reference the letter as proof of your due diligence.

If you are writing a resignation email, the timestamp is already included. However, if you want the date to stand out as an important aspect of your resignation, feel free to include it in the body of the email.

It is also recommended to include the name and address of the company in the header, regardless of whether it is an email or hard copy.

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You are most likely handing this letter directly to the related personnel, so it can feel silly to include a mailing address. The address is a time-honored tradition of resignation letters that also serves to specify exactly which company you are leaving. Again, when it comes to leaving an organization, better to be specific than sorry.

When beginning a letter of resignation, keep things formal yet amicable. Even though you’re quitting, your letter of resignation can still sound like it’s coming from you.

Begin with a “Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. BOSS NAME,” “Dear COMPANY NAME,” or even a “To whom it may concern” if you’re not sure who will be handling the letter.

If you know your boss or manager well, refer to them by their first name instead of their last.

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2. State your objective

With a resignation letter, you’ll need to get right to the point. The first paragraph should clearly denote that you are leaving the organization.

Here are a few examples of how you can quickly and clearly state your objective:

  • “I am writing today to inform you of my resignation as Project Manager at Logistics Company.”
  • “It is with sorrow and gratitude that I submit my resignation as Project Manager at HealthcareCompany.”
  • “This letter serves as my formal resignation from ConstructionCompany.”

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It will probably feel unnatural to write a sentence this blunt and straightforward. You would never speak to a friend or family member this formally. However, it’s important not to mince words.

If you’ve come to the decision that you are leaving and cannot be convinced otherwise, your letter should make that clear. Otherwise, there may be some confusion as management tries to drum up ways to keep you around.

If it’s a higher salary or promotion you desire, you should have that conversation with your boss prior to a letter of resignation. Only submit a letter of resignation when you’re certain you’re ready to move on to other opportunities.

3. Set an end date

After notifying management of your leave, you’ll need to clarify your final date of employment. The standard notice for most organizations is two weeks or more, depending on special circ*mstances. For example, if you’re in the middle of a long project, you may tell management you’ll stay with them to finish it out.

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If, for some reason, you need to quit prior to two weeks in advance, outline that reason here. You don’t have to go into great detail. If, for example, you need to leave to care for an ailing relative, that’s private information that you don’t have to say explicitly. You could instead choose to tell your boss you are leaving prior to the standard two-week notice letter due to unforeseen emergency circ*mstances.

Regardless of the length of your notice, be sure to include an exact date for when your employment will end.

Providing this final date is important for many reasons. For one, it’s another way to definitively communicate to your management team that you are leaving. For another, it allows management to better prepare for your absence. With an exact date in mind, they can understand what work is possible to accomplish and what all will remain after you’re gone.

4. Offer a reason for your resignation (optional)

If you’ve worked at a company for years, it’s possible your managers and co-workers are more than just that. Perhaps they’re your friends, or they’ve watched your kids, or you co-own a sailboat (weirder things have happened).

If you want to let them know your next steps in life, include that in the next portion of your letter of resignation. Humans long for closure, and stating why you’re leaving lets your managers know if the working relationship is ending on a good note.

Some examples of ways to describe the next phase of your life are as follows:

  • “Although I regret to leave this company, I look forward to my graduate program in finances at UNIVERSITY NAME.”
  • “I feel it is best for my family and myself to accept my recent job offer out of state.”
  • “After many enjoyable years at CURRENT COMPANY, I am leaving to pursue a full-time career in music."

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Ideally, your company cares about you and is happy that you are taking your next steps in life. A corporation is not a person, so remember that quitting is not the same as a breakup. It’s easy to feel guilty leaving behind the projects you were passionate about and the people you grew to love. At the end of the day, however, we have to take care of our own best interests.

If the working relationship is not ending on a good note, you may choose not to go into extensive detail. That information may be better suited for an exit interview.

Some examples of ways you can communicate your leave without excessive detail are as follows:

  • “After much consideration, I’ve decided to resign.”
  • “For personal reasons, I have decided to leave my position at COMPANY NAME.”
  • “Due to unforeseen circ*mstances, I will no longer be at COMPANY NAME.”

Everyone’s relationship with co-workers and management is different, so adjust your letter of resignation accordingly.

5. Offer to assist in the transition

You do a lot for your company. When you’re gone, there will undoubtedly be a gap where your hard work once was. Although it’s not your responsibility to worry about the company after you’re gone, it’s a nice gesture to offer some help with the transition throughout the duration of your notice.

If the company is planning to hire a replacement, this offer might be impossible. The hiring process can take weeks to months, and you’re not going to stick around for that long.

But, if there are other employees on the team who could reasonably perform your job or parts of your job, managers may appreciate an offer to spend some of your final days at the company training those colleagues.

Offers to help train employees or otherwise aid in the transition could look as follows:

  • “I understand the effect my leave may have on the graphic design team and offer to train the junior designers in how to fulfill some of my more complex responsibilities.”
  • “I wish for the company’s continued success upon my leave and will make myself available to train my colleagues in preparation for this transition.”

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Again, this step is optional. It’s a gesture that shows you’re willing to go out of your way to help with the difficulty of your leaving. This step is recommended mostly to employees whose specific roles and skills are difficult to replace.

If you’re working part-time in a role with a high turnover rate, there are likely frequent training sessions already set in place. In that case, it is not your responsibility to help the company adjust to your absence.

6. Reflect on your time and give thanks

An integral part of a letter of resignation is this next section wherein you thank the company for all that it has done for you. Even in my role as a teenage hostess, I was grateful to that restaurant for helping a young high-schooler build her resume and skills.

Additionally, this part of the resignation letter is great for maintaining that positive relationship we discussed. You get to reinforce your appreciation for the opportunity and end things on a good note, or, more literally, a good letter.

This section is an opportunity to get more specific with some of the things you have appreciated about this job. It also communicates to management that you’ve had a good experience and gleaned wisdom from the role.

Examples of ways to formally, yet genuinely, thank your manager or management team for the opportunity are as follows:

  • “I want to thank you and all of TechnologyCompany for the opportunity to work in a fast-paced, rapidly growing sales department. My experiences here have undoubtedly shaped me into an excellent communicator with improved critical thinking skills.”
  • “I have genuinely enjoyed my time at MarketingCompany and I thank you for trusting me to lead the research team. Not only have my problem-solving skills improved, but you’ve also helped me hone my ability to ask for the necessary tools to succeed.”
  • “I am sincerely grateful for everything I’ve learned at Logistics Company. Most of all, I value the effort management exerts to ensure all employees are receiving proper training and abundant opportunities for professional development.”

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Again, this section is not the place to air your list of complaints. Plus, with this screenshot-and-share internet and social media culture, you’ll want to be careful about what you put in writing. You do not want a moment of fury to be the letter that gets shared across all of Twitter, especially as you’re entering a difficult job market.

Regardless of your experience at work, it could make a huge difference in your professional relationship if you’re able to muster up some positive things to say about the role. At the end of the day, you never know when you’ll need to use a role, company, or manager as a reference to get another job.

7. Offer a polite outro

As with any essay or letter, you’ll want to end with a polite conclusion. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or lengthy. It’s just a way of neatly wrapping up everything you’ve said.

If you had a closer relationship with your boss and/or colleagues, feel free to make this section slightly more personal. Keep it formal, though. Resignation letters are not the place to write an emotional poem about how the sun shines into the kitchen on Taco Tuesday. Although, that would make for a great goodbye email.

Examples of ways to formally, yet politely, conclude your letter of resignation are as follows:

  • “I’m happy to discuss any additional questions or concerns you may have regarding my departure, and I am willing to hold off on telling other employees until you feel it is the right time.”
  • “Thank you again for all you’ve done for me over the course of my three years at SalesCompany. I hope to retain our amicable connection.”
  • “I extend my best wishes to you and everyone at AdvertisingCompany as you continue to impact consumers around the world positively.”

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If you had previously offered to train colleagues or new employees, now would be an okay time to restate your intentions to do so.

8. Sign off at the end

This may seem obvious, but be sure to sign your name at the end.

This confirms you as the sender, confirms the end of your letter of resignation, and serves to make the letter more personal.

Be sure to end the letter with a closing greeting, such as, “sincerely,” “warmly,” “regards,” or something along those lines. The word you choose can, again, reflect the relationship you have with this company and its employees.

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Resignation letter template

Should you need it, here is our example of a fully completed resignation letter:

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Download the template here!

Moving on to bigger and better things

Change is scary, and leaving a place you’re comfortable at, or maybe just comfortably provided for at, can be scary. We all know how hesitant Pam was to leave Scranton and follow Jim’s new startup in The Office. Over time, we grow roots, and they get harder and harder to dig up.

But change can be really, really good. So good that it just made a writer use the word “really” twice in a professional article. Change means new faces, new friends, and new opportunities to explore.

If you feel like it’s time for something different, maybe lean into that feeling. Determine why you feel that way and if it’s time to pursue other interests. Then, when the time is right, and your path is moderately laid out (it will never be perfectlylaid out), write up one of these letters of resignation.

Am I encouraging everyone reading this to up and quit their jobs to pursue their bliss? Off the record, yes. On the record, no. I’m saying that you shouldn’t remain somewhere static simply because it’s comfortable.

If it’s time to go — and if you’re reading this far, it might be — you should be on your merry way. And, just like that, you’re off to find the next best thing.

If you're on the fence about going or staying, consider if job burnout may be the issue and find out how address it before it's too late.

This article was originally published in 2018. The content has been updated with new information.

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What now?

If you've decided to resign, the next step may seem daunting. Start getting acquainted with job search sites!

Grace Pinegar

Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, worked in Chicago, and is now a proud New Yorker. (she/her/hers)

How to Write a Resignation Letter (+ Free Template!) (2024)


How to Write a Resignation Letter (+ Free Template!)? ›

Address the letter to the appropriate person. Keep the opening paragraph short and to the point regarding your intention to resign. Provide the date of your last day with the company. Sign your letter, followed by your personal/forwarding contact information for any post-departure questions or communication.

How do I write a simple resignation letter? ›

Address the letter to the appropriate person. Keep the opening paragraph short and to the point regarding your intention to resign. Provide the date of your last day with the company. Sign your letter, followed by your personal/forwarding contact information for any post-departure questions or communication.

Does Word have a resignation letter template? ›

Microsoft Word Resignation Letter Templates

To access these templates from your computer, open the Microsoft Word file and select "New". You will be able to search online templates from that screen by typing “resignation” in the search box.

What is a nice example of a resignation letter? ›

I, [state your name], am formally resigning from my position as [insert role here]. This resignation is effective immediately and my last day of employment will be [insert date here]. I have learned valuable skills in my time with [insert company name here] that I will carry through the rest of my professional career.

How do you politely resign template? ›

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my intention to resign from my position as [job title] with [company name]. In accordance with my notice period, my final day will be [date of last day]. Thank you very much for the opportunity to have worked in the position for the past [time in employment].

What is the first sentence of a resignation letter? ›

Dear [Your Boss' Name], Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as a [position title] with [Company Name]. My last day will be [your last day—usually at least two weeks from the date you give notice].

Can I write my own resignation letter? ›

Most companies accept all types of resignation letters, including printed letters and emails. However, giving your supervisor your letter in person can feel more personal and may improve your relations with that employer. Consider typing your letter, printing it and giving it to the recipient personally.

Should a resignation letter be in a PDF or Word? ›

We recommend sending emailed resignation letters in adobe (. pdf) format, but a word (. doc) format will work, too. Keep in mind that any formal documentation, including a resignation letter, will become part of your permanent employment file, so be professional.

Should resignation letter be handwritten or printed? ›

You should type out a resignation letter and sign it with your handwritten signature. This is because it will be easier to read. You can however handwrite the letter if you wish to do so. “Written communication” means you have to leave a paper trail of documentation.

How do you end a resignation letter? ›

This may seem obvious, but be sure to sign your name at the end. This confirms you as the sender, confirms the end of your letter of resignation, and serves to make the letter more personal. Be sure to end the letter with a closing greeting, such as, “sincerely,” “warmly,” “regards,” or something along those lines.

What is a good resignation sentence? ›

I would like to notify you that I am resigning from my position as [job title] at [company name] due to receiving another job offer . My last day of work will be [date of departure]. I am grateful for all your support during my tenure here and sincerely appreciate the valuable experiences I have gained.

What is the best resignation wording? ›

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as [Job Title] with [Company Name]. My final day with the company will be [End Date]. To help with the transition process, I am happy to assist you with training a new team member during my final two weeks on the job.

Do you have to give a reason for resignation? ›

1 You may want to explain your reasons in your resignation letter, but you're not obligated to provide an explanation.

How do you professionally say you are resigning? ›

How to tell your boss you're leaving
  1. Set up a one-on-one meeting in person (or via Zoom) ...
  2. Be direct about your decision at the front of the conversation. ...
  3. Outline the reasons why you're leaving. ...
  4. Express gratitude and appreciation. ...
  5. Provide the appropriate two weeks' notice. ...
  6. Help put together a transition plan.
Jul 12, 2022

How do I professionally resign immediately? ›

Immediate resignation letter template

Dear [Mr./Ms./Mrs. Surname], I am writing to give my formal notice for immediate resignation from [company name] as of the [date of departure]. I sincerely apologize for not being able to provide notice, but due to [reason for leaving], I must resign immediately.

How do you resign humbly? ›

How To Resign From A Job
  1. Finalise the terms of your new employment. ...
  2. Inform your manager before you let others know. ...
  3. Follow the resignation rules of your company. ...
  4. Submit a formal resignation letter in person. ...
  5. Help to transition your responsibilities. ...
  6. Prepare for an exit interview. ...
  7. Ask for references. ...
  8. Return company items.
Apr 8, 2023

What is the standard resignation letter format in Word? ›

Dear [Mr/Ms]. [Supervisor Name], I am writing to tender my resignation from my position of [Position Held] with effect from [Resignation Date Requested]. [Reason for Resignation – You can copy and paste one of the reasons from below].

What font is the resignation letter in Word? ›

Make your resignation at most 1 page long. Use a traditional font like Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Keep your font size between 10 and 12pt. Make your letter single-spaced with a space between each paragraph.

What is the template for resignation letter effective immediately? ›

Dear [manager's name], Please accept my resignation from the role of [job role] at [company name] as of [today's date], with apologies that I am unable to give you any more notice. Regrettably, I am no longer able to fulfil my duties due to circ*mstances beyond my control.

How do you hand your notice in Word? ›

I will do what I can to help make my leaving as easy as possible for both the company and my colleagues. Let me know what you would like me to do in the way of handing over my responsibilities during my final [month, two weeks… whatever your notice period is]. Best wishes to you and all at [company name] in the future.


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