Resignation Letter Examples (+ How to Write One) [2020 Updated]

resignation letter

Writing the perfect letter of resignation (resignation letter) is more of an art than it is a science. It is about showing your appreciation for the opportunity as well as informing your employer about the next steps. And we’re going to cover how to master that art form in this writeup. It can be a stressful and complicated scenario: resigning from your job. But we’re going to help reduce the stress involved in going through this process.

Ready to get started? Let’s dig right in!

Learn How to Write a Resignation Letter

Resignation Letter Samples

What Is A Resignation Letter And Why Write One?

A letter of resignation is a formal way of ensuring that your employer knows you'd like to remove yourself from the company. While it used to be the standard way to inform your employer about your leave, it has become more of a clerical item. Meaning HR departments require this letter to be stored as part of your employment history. The act of writing and sending a letter of resignation is considered a professional and courteous act.

Pro fact: A study that was led by Lou Adler suggests that 85% of critical jobs are filled via networking. This means sustaining your working network is absolutely critical.

Letter sample:

resignation letter sample

How To Write A Letter Of Resignation (Step By Step)

Writing a letter of resignation isn’t as complicated as you might think. But it’s good that you’re reading this guide trying to ensure that you follow the steps to resigning in a professional and courteous way. Resigning isn’t usually a practice that’s covered in an employee handbook or as part of your employment training. Meaning, you’ll need to learn how to resign on your own.

Below is an overview of the steps we’ll want to take in order to write the best resignation letter:

1. Always keep your communication positive. This is one of the hardest steps when writing a letter of resignation. And one that makes us put it at the top of the list. When resigning, you usually have a good reason to do so. But you’ll want to make sure you aren’t venting your frustration with the company on your way out. Keep your communication positive at all costs!

2. Include a formal greeting. Before you get into your first paragraph of the resignation letter, be sure you professionally address whoever is receiving the letter. Something like, “Dear Sarah”.

3. Be direct in your first paragraph. In your first paragraph of the resignation letter body, be sure you get straight to the point. Say something like, “This is regarding my employment here and my request to resign.” If you’d like, you can list your reason for departing. But it doesn’t have to be said if you don’t want to.

4. Be thankful for the opportunity. This is truly important. Make sure that in the body of your letter you thank your employer. Something like, “I am truly grateful for the experience I have been able to gather here and the people I’ve been able to work with.”

5. Assist in your transition out. If you can, offer to assist in searching for your replacement or helping to train your replacement to transition the duties you currently manage.

6. Be punctual. This seems simple but be sure that you are proofreading your letter for grammar and spelling errors.

Pro tip: Anthony Klotz tells us that resignations that are face-to-face, with one's manager to announce the resignation, and with a standard notice period is considered the best way to resign. Giving a proper explanation for the resignation shows business etiquette.

What Should Go In My Letter

There are a few things that should go into your letter of resignation, most of them are some basic data points and structural components of the letter itself.

It should include:

Good Reasons For Leaving The Job

One of the things that many people like to include in their letter of resignation is their reason for the departure. It is optional. Though, highly recommended and appreciated by your boss.

But when picking your reason, you have to make sure your position is a polite one. So how do you do that? The way you do it is by choosing to describe your reasoning in a professional way.

Here are some great reasons you can use to include in your letter:

Related: Reasons For Leaving A Job: 35 Good Examples, 15 Bad Examples

resignation letter questions

What Not To Say In Your Letter

When writing your letter body, there are a few points you want to avoid. The first thing you want to avoid is a long letter. Something that shows you clearly had issues with the working environment and you’re using this to vent.

Try to avoid some of the following when writing your letter:

What Do I Do After I Have My Letter?

What most guides don’t cover is what you do after you have your letter written. The first thing you should do is contact your direct report and make sure you explain either by phone or in-person that you’re going to be departing.

After that, be sure that you contact your HR department and inform them that you’ll be rescinding from the environment as well. Both your direct report (your manager) and your HR department should be helpful in transitioning you out of the role.

Submit your letter to both HR and your manager or management team as apart of the standard process. That means you may need to submit two letters.

Here are the steps in short:

Is My Resignation Letter And 2-Weeks Notice The Same?

The discussion of your two-week notice should happen in the step where you communicate with your manager and the HR team. You can request your transition out of the company to be two-weeks due to the need to transition into your new employment role.

With that said, your resignation letter and two-week notice are essentially the same things. Though, your resignation letter does not need to cover the fact that you are requesting to end your employment within two weeks. That step should happen verbally, between you and your management team.

If you are desiring to submit two weeks notice but don't know how to do so, read our full guide here.

Related: Two Weeks Notice Letter: How To Write It, Samples, Full Guide

resignation letter questions

Important Resignation Letter Tips

Here are a few tips based on the most frequently asked questions as it relates to both the process of writing and sending your letter of resignation.

Should I send my letter by email? You probably shouldn't send your letter body in an email body. That means you don't want your actual letter to be an email. But what you should do is either create a PDF or create a DOCX (Microsoft Word Document) file that you then attach into the email you send. This is so that the receiver of the letter can download it, forward it or store it more easily.

Should I make my letter funny? Making a funny letter of resignation is very difficult. And it also requires a very deep relationship with the person you're sending it to. An attempt at a funny resignation letter could easily come off as unprofessional and that will be difficult for you to manage. Keep your letter professional and sincere, it will be the easiest for you to manage in terms of communication with your HR department and management team.

Can I use other forms of sign-off instead of "Sincerely"? Absolutely. The other options that you have are "Thank you so much" or "With the utmost of respect" or something else that is classified as formal writing.

What if I have health issues? Is that a valid reason for resigning? Absolutely. All you have to do is communicate in your letter that you'll be paying more attention to your health and informing your boss that your reason for leaving is due to health concerns.

Emailing Your Resignation Letter

As mentioned, you should never make your email your letter. Your letter should always be attached as either a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF that is part of the email that you'll send to both your HR department as well as your manager. Both of these parties should receive separate emails as well as separate letters.

Important: Be sure that you have a discussion with your manager about your desire to leave before sending this email.

When you have your letter and are ready to send your email, here's what it should look like:

Dear Sarah —

It is with a heavy heart that I send you my letter of resignation (attached here) per our discussion the other day. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to ask.

Please let me know how I can assist in the transition and drive success for the last few weeks that I am part of this great company.

Sincerely,
John

And should look something like this as a final result:

resignation letter by email sample and guide

Email Subject Lines For Sending Your Letter

As mentioned in this guide, you should send an email to both your management (or manager) as well as your HR department. When you do that, you'll probably be wondering what email subject line you should use. Here are a few example email subject lines you can use when sending your letter:

What Are The Most Difficult Types Of Resignation Letters To Write?

A few letter types are particularly difficult to write. And this is due to your working history with that employer. Here are a few of the most difficult types of resignation letters you might have to write and how to deal with them.

When You've Had Short Employment (Not Much Time At The Company)

If you've worked at the company for less than 3-months writing your resignation letter is going to be difficult because the employer isn't going to take kindly to the volatility you are placing into the role. The best thing you can do is be appreciative of the work experience and apologize for not being able to stay with the company longer.

When You Are Resigning On 24-Hour's Notice Or Short Notice

Resigning on short notice is very hard. The best thing you can do is communicate with your boss and if you have a valid reason for leaving on short notice (like family or health issues) that you are clear about that being the case. As long as you do that, it should be much easier to deal with.

The Last Step: A Farewell Email To Your Colleagues

After this is all said and done, you'll want to be sure you connect with your colleagues and thank them for your time with them. They don't individually need a letter of resignation. But it would be good to send a personalized email where you inform them that you'll be leaving the company. We've put together an incredible guide on writing a goodbye email to your coworkers to help you with this process.

Resignation Letter FAQ's

Here are common questions that employees have when resigning to their boss.

Why is leaving your job so hard?

It is an emotional time for both you and your boss. It can cause additional work that your manager might not have been expecting. It can be a time of transition and stress. And this is what can make it difficult.

resignation letter sample

What is an exit interview and how should I prepare for one?

An exit interview is a way for your boss to learn more about what they could do better in the current work environment. Try to prepare by having a list of talking points or valuable additions on how the next person who takes your role might be able to improve their work.

Should I submit a resignation letter at my current job before I have accepted a new job offer?

You should accept your new job offer before you resign from your current job, always.

How should I address my prior resignation in my upcoming cover letter?

You should not. Keep your cover letter focused on your work accomplishments only. Those letters are not intended to express why you left a job. If you want an example see our cover letter sample database.

What type of resignation letter format is provided in this guide?

There are many formats provided here. All of which attempt to provide you with a professional resignation letter that ends your employment on good terms. Here are some of the following formats that these templates are good for:

You will need to communicate with your boss about your effective date of resignation, which is required in a formal notice to HR and provided within each letter template here. Completing your letter and submitting it completes your written notice requirement in order to resign from your current position.

Should I mention anything about work-life balance in my resignation letter?

No. Even if this is your real reason for wanting to resign. This is not something that you should mention in your resignation letter.

Is a resignation letter required to quit your job?

Ideally, yes. You should write a resignation letter when you quit your job. You don't have to submit one but it is considered a polite and formal action when you quitting your job.

Do I need to submit a resignation letter when going on maternity leave?

No, you should not have to. Though you may want to refer to your employee handbook on the maternity leave policies and ensure you're following them appropriately.

Should I meet with my supervisor before writing my letter?

Yes, it is courteous to meet with your supervisor about your desire to depart and relieve your duties before you write your letter.

What is the best day to submit a resignation letter?

The best day to submit a letter is either the beginning of the week or the end of the week. Monday or Friday.

What should I do after I resign?

After you've completed your notice period, always ask for a recommendation letter. You can ask for one from either your boss, supervisor, or colleague. Or you can ask each of them for one. Leaving your position on a positive note provides more opportunity to

Should I mention this isn't my dream job in my letter?

No, you should not mention anything regarding this position or company not being your dream job. That would be impolite.

What if I have to resign under emergency circumstances?

Then be sure to communicate with your manager that it was not your intention to leave so abruptly but due to emergency circumstances you have to relieve your duties.

What does the phrase careful consideration mean and why do I see it in resignation letters?

The phrase careful consideration is a formal way of describing the level of thought you put into making your decision. It implies you took time to consider your actions before making them.

Should I include my job title on the resignation letter?

Yes, it can help to make your letter seem more formal. Including the date, job title, and managers information can be helpful to the human resources team and your current employer.

What should the tone of my resignation letter be?

No matter what, express your gratitude for the job. This is the best way to make a great letter. Gratitude is your optimal tone. Your boss will appreciate this.

What if I was only filling an employment contract, should I write a letter?

Yes, you should. Even if you were on a contract position, you should submit a resignation letter just the same as any other employee.

What is a transition period?

A transition period is the time required to alleviate you of your duties and allow another professional to take them over.

What's one piece of career advice you would give someone quitting a job?

Try to be graceful in your exit. You never know who your boss is connected to and how that could impact your professional development. Don't quit abruptly. Handle the situation with grace and professionalism.

Should I write a resignation email?

No. Your email should never be your formal notification to an employer about resigning. Use our resignation sample in this guide to get an idea of how to resign from your position and submit your notice. Writing an email as your notice is considered rude, improper, and unprofessional.

Key Research & Insights

We conducted a survey in 2019, asking business owners to tell us their experience with professionals providing their resignation. Here are the insights we were able to obtain:

Best Sample Resignation Letter

When writing a job resignation letter, be sure that you:

January 1, 2019

John Smith
john@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Sarah Doe
sarah@company.com
Senior Management
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Sarah —

This letter is with a heavy heart. I’m submitting my letter of resignation. My experience at this company has been nothing but positive. I am so thankful I had the chance to be able to work closely with you and the rest of the team. The lessons and skills I have learned will be invaluable to me going forward in my career. I will dearly miss working with you and the team on a regular basis. My reason for leaving is due to an advancement opportunity that I cannot deny. And I recognize I wouldn’t have that opportunity without the experience I was able to gain by working with you.

I truly hope that we can stay in close contact and continue to have a working relationship in the future. I will be happy to help with my transition. That would mean finding or training my replacement and ensuring all of my work is lined up for the new hire to take on.

Please let me know how I can assist in this transition and ensure the continued success of the company.

Thank you so much for being able to work with you.

Sincerely,
John Smith
best resignation letter template

Best Resignation Letter Template

Download this resignation letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template

Teacher Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a teacher resignation letter, be sure that you have:

January 1, 2019

John Smith
john@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Sam Elementary School
Ian Doe
ian@company.com
School Coordinator/Principal
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Ian —

This letter is to inform you that I would like to resign from my position as a 3rd Grade Teacher from Rock Sam Elementary School. I'd like to sincerely thank you for the chance to be part of this team and community. Being able to interact with these great children on a daily basis is something I will truly cherish. I cannot thank you enough for taking a risk on me and teaching me invaluable skills that will help me propel my career going forward.

Please let me know how I can assist in this transition and ensure the continued success of the company.

Thank you so much for the chance to be able to work with you.

Sincerely,
John Smith
teacher resignation letter template

Teacher Resignation Letter Template

Download this resignation letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template

Nurse Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a nursing resignation letter, be sure that you:

January 1, 2019

John Smith
john@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

New Sam Hospital
Ryan Doe
ryan@company.com
Hospital Coordinator
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Ryan —

This letter is to inform you that I would like to relieve myself of duties starting September 1st, 2019. This will alleviate me of my nursing responsibilities for those in our cancer ward. I have sincerely enjoyed my tenure here at New Sam Hospital. The experience I have been able to receive here will be invaluable for me going forward in my career.

Please let me know how I can assist in this transition and ensure the continued success of the company.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to work with you.

Sincerely,
John Smith
nurse resignation letter template

Nurse Resignation Letter Template

Download this resignation letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template

Retirement Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a retirement resignation letter, be sure that you:

January 1, 2019

John Smith
john@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Senior Management
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Bryan —

This letter is with a heavy heart. I've decided it is best for me to retire starting on September 1st, 2019. I have had a very long and fruitful career and I am very thankful to end my career at such a great company and with such a great team.

While it will be very difficult for me to wake up every morning and not come into this wonderful atmosphere where I am embraced with creativity and excitement on a daily basis, I must focus on my family and health moving forward. This will be a unique change for me but one that I am excited about.

Please let me know how I can assist in this transition and ensure the continued success of the company.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to work with you.

Sincerely,
John Smith
retirement resignation letter template

Retirement Resignation Letter Template

Download this resignation letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template

Short Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a short resignation letter, be sure that you:

January 1, 2019

John Smith
john@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Senior Management
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Bryan —

It is with a heavy heart that I must submit a notice for my employment to end at the ideal date of September 1, 2019, and relieve my duties as Director. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that Company Inc has provided me. And the guidance that you have shown me. I would be happy to assist in the transition and I look forward to staying professionally connected.

Sincerely,
John Smith
short resignation letter template

Short Resignation Letter Template

Download this resignation letter template in Word format. Can be imported as a Google Doc. Instant download. No email required.

Download Template

Resignation Letter Template

[Current Date]

[Your Full Name]
[Your Address]
[Your Personal Email]
[Your Personal Phone Number]

[Company Name]
[Manager Name]
[Manager Email]
[Manager Role/Title]
[Company Address]

Dear [Manager Name] —

Body of your letter should go here, as per our guide, be sure that you include:
A sincere thank you for the employment
Addressing the fact that you are leaving the company
A reason for why you are leaving
Asking to assist in the transition
Keep your body of the letter between 300 - 500 words

Sincerely,
[Your Hand Written Signature]
[Your Name]

Chef Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a chef resignation letter, be sure that you:

January 1, 2019

John Smith
john@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Restaurant Manager
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Bryan —

It is with a heavy heart that I must submit a notice for my employment to end at the ideal date of September 1, 2019, and relieve my duties as Chef of the Bull & Bear Establishment. My time with this restaurant was nothing more than spectacular.

I was able to learn how to truly become a chef here. And it will be difficult for me not to be part of the team on a regular basis. We have made more than 10,000 customers extremely happy with their meals.

I have spoken with Matthew Smith regarding training my replacement and ensuring a smooth transition. I want to thank you again for this opportunity to serve your patrons and be part of your restaurant establishment.

Sincerely,
John Smith

Maternity Leave Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a maternity leave resignation letter, be sure that you:

January 1, 2019

Ann Smith
ann@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Bryan —

Working with this company is one of the best things that has happened to me over the past few years. Until now. In the near future, I will be welcoming a new family member. And it is time to spend my focus on ensuring this new little gifts safety and health in their new life.

I have spoken with Matthew Smith regarding training my replacement and ensuring a smooth transition. I want to thank you again for this opportunity to be part of this team. My last day of employment will be March 30th, 2020.

Sincerely,
Ann Smith

"Back to School" Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a resignation letter to return back to school, ensure you:

January 1, 2019

Ann Smith
ann@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Bryan —

Working here has enlightened me more than I could have imagined. Though, it has always been a personal goal of mine to have an MBA. It is a goal that I set for myself as a young girl. And I believe it now time to pursue that dream. I would love any future employment opportunities back at this company once I complete my education.

I have spoken with Matthew Smith regarding training my replacement and ensuring a smooth transition. I want to thank you again for this opportunity to be part of this team. My last day of employment will be March 30th, 2020.

Sincerely,
Ann Smith

Board Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a resignation letter resigning as a board member, try to:

January 1, 2019

Ann Smith
ann@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Board Member
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Board Members —

I am writing this letter to inform you that I am relieving my seat and position as Board Member of Company Inc. It was an absolute pleasure to provide my fiduciary duty over the span of the past 4 years. I have prepared my replacement and ensure that there will a smooth transition that considers the business.

I want to thank you again for this opportunity to be part of this team. My last day as part of the board of directors and board members will be March 30th, 2020.

Sincerely,
Ann Smith

Immediate Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a resignation letter effective immediately can be hard, try to:

January 1, 2019

Ann Smith
ann@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Software Engineer
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Team —

I am writing this resignation letter to indicate that I am resigning from my duties as Software Engineer immediately. This is not something I was expecting as our relationship has been blossoming and I have been quite pleased with the leadership and level of work at this business. If this was not something that I was forced to do, I would not be doing it.

I want to thank you again for this opportunity to be part of this team. I understand that this is going to create a hardship with the team and for filling my replacement. For that, I am sincerely sorry and I hope I can help from the sidelines. I want to thank you once again for this employment opportunity.

Sincerely,
Ann Smith

Personal Reason Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a resignation letter where you need to resign for personal reasons:

January 1, 2019

Ann Smith
ann@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Software Engineer
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Team —

I am writing this resignation letter to indicate that I am resigning from my duties as Software Engineer. This is not something I was expecting as our relationship has been blossoming and I have been quite pleased with the leadership and level of work at this business. The reason why I am resigning is private and personal and I apologize that I don't feel comfortable sharing this.

I want to thank you again for this opportunity to be part of this team. I have begun to consider my replacement and am readily available to help ensure a smooth transition.

Sincerely,
Ann Smith

Short Notice Resignation Letter Sample

When writing a resignation letter providing short notice:

January 1, 2019

Ian Smith
ian@smith.com
888-888-8888
123 Road, St., New York NY 11121

Company Inc.
Bryan Doe
bryan@company.com
Software Engineer
123 Business Road, New York NY 11121

Dear Team —

I am writing this resignation letter to indicate that I am resigning from my duties as Software Engineer. I first want to apologize that I will not be able to provide a full two-weeks of employment to transition the next employee into my position. This is not something I was expecting as our relationship has been blossoming and I have been quite pleased with the leadership and level of work at this business.

I want to thank you again for this opportunity to be part of this team. I have begun to consider my replacement and am readily available to help ensure a smooth transition as much as I can without being able to provide the full allotted amount of time to resign from my duties.

Sincerely,
Ann Smith
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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