How to Write a Professional Resignation Letter (2021)

a picture of business person and resignation letter

Learn how to write a resignation letter. A resignation letter is a formal part of resigning from your duties and responsibilities at a job. It's common case to notify your manager or employer about the desire to resign, then to write and submit a resignation letter.

Resignation letters are important for human resource departments. And officiate a resignation, the last day of employment, and informs the employer about a two weeks notice period which starts the transition.

Why write a resignation letter?

resignation letter

A resignation is more than a professional courtesy, it's sometimes required of human resource departments to receive this letter. Often, the managers take these letters to place into the personnel file. It states the official notice period, date of your last day, current position, and the reason why you're leaving your job.

Formal resignation letter checklist

Before writing a resignation letter, be sure to have the following information before you submit your formal notice:

  • The current date.
  • Company name and business address.
  • A short statement of resignation.
  • A desired last day of employment.
  • Two weeks notice period.
  • A short note showing appreciation for the opportunity.
  • An idea of how to help during the transition period.
  • Name, signature, and other details.

How to write a resignation letter (3 steps)

A professional resignation letter shouldn't be extremely creative. They should be written in formal business tone, and provide ample information to the manager. For example, the reason why you decided to leave your job. And what your new job will be.

Before submitting the letter, it's important to have a discussion with your manager, informing them of the upcoming desire to resign. Be sure to meet with your manager before you submit a resignation letter.

During that meeting, try to come prepared with an idea of how to assist with the transition. This might include transferring data to another computer, training a new employee, or something else.

1. The resignation letter template, with effective date of resignation

[Today's Date]

[Company name/business name]

[Company address]

[City/state/zip]

[Manager's first name],

This letter is to inform you of my intention to resign from my job duties as [current position title] with [company]. This will be effective two weeks from today's date, making my last day of employment on [end date of employment].

My reason for resigning is [reason for resigning]. It has been an absolute pleasure to work here.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

2. Thank the employer

It's vital to write a sincere and thoughtful note to the employer or manager. Sending a separate email message to the manager is a great idea, too.

Mention positive relationships, key milestones, projects completed, and other heartfelt memories that will be kept through the years.

Never leave a company on a bad note. You may need the previous manager to be a professional reference in the future. And a positive recommendation from a previous manager can be a great tool for a future job search.

resignation letter

For example:

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work together. When I started here as [position title], my knowledge of the industry was next to nothing. I received a lot of encouragement, knowledge, information, and coaching that has advanced me as a person and a professional.

3. Start the transition period

A transition period is a time when the manager will need to replace the duties and responsibilities of the current role. It's best to try and assist with this process.

State the ideas that you might have to help with this. It could include training a new employee, finishing current projects, or trying to transfer knowledge to the new person taking over the position.

For example:

I would love to finish up the last two projects that I'm currently working on. They currently sit around 80% completion. Starting next week, I would love to train the new employee who is going to take over this position. I have notes and key talking points prepared that I believe will help the new person taking over these responsibilities.

I hope we can stay in touch in the future and I am certain of the companies continued success.

Sincerely,

[Full name]

[Handwritten signature]

resignation letter

Example Resignation Letters

Below are sample resignation letters that can help you in your writing process. Use these as examples of how to follow the resignation letter format. And how to speak to your manager and employer about the upcoming transition.

Resignation letter example

11/11/21

Widgets and Things

111 Englewood Lane

Atlanta, GA 30303

Dear Ryan,

Please accept this letter of resignation as my formal notice to resign from my job duties as Software Engineer with Widgets and Things. This will be effective two weeks from today's date, on 11/22/21.

I sincerely appreciate the time spent with this company. I have learned a great deal about mechanical engineering, software engineering, and working closely with design and product. It will be a positive mark on my employment history. I can't thank you enough.

Since I have a great deal of knowledge that has been gained through the years, I'm looking forward to writing detailed notes for the person taking over this position.

I look forward to helping transition this role to a new team member in the following two weeks.

Please let me know additional ways that I can assist with this transition and ensure that the company moves forward with ease.

Sincerely,

John Smith

Another example resignation letter

10/11/21

Developer Things

133 Engineering Lane

Dallas, TX 75201

Dear Melissa,

I'm writing this letter to inform you of my formal resignation letter from Developer Things as Software Engineer starting two weeks from today's date. My reason for the resignation is that I've accepted a new position as senior software engineer at Apple, Inc.

My last day of work will be on 10/24/21. This experience has been bountiful. And my reasons for leaving this company are slim to none. This experience has added many benefits to my career trajectory. And the ability to be part of a team with strong leadership has paid dividends.

I look forward to being able to assist with the transition. And making sure that the new team member who takes over the role has all the required tools to do a wonderful job before my departure.

You were an absolutely wonderful boss and I hope we can stay in touch and on good terms in the future.

Sincerely,

Adam Richards

Pro tip: It's never a bad idea to seek support or career advice from a friend or mentor. If you're unsure of how to end one of your jobs on a positive note, find someone you can trust to gather the right guidance from. By doing this, you could gain experience and also gain a long-term professional partner who can help with other matters down the road.

Resigning by email

Never resign by email. It's okay to send an email to inform the meet with your boss regarding the upcoming transition and wish to resign. Though, never put the resignation letter directly into an email and send it.

Many companies will require a "hard copy" of the letter. It's usually a PDF or Word format document that's attached with an email and sent to the human resources department.

Here is what that email should look like:

Dear HR,

Below is my formal letter, resigning from my duties as Software Engineer, effective two weeks from today's date on 10/22/21.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me below.

Sincerely,

Adam Richards

Handwritten letter of resignation

It's best not to write a handwritten note. In some circumstances, employers ask for "written communication" of the resignation. This does not mean that a person should handwrite their note.

Simply type the note out, print it, and then deliver it to the related department (like human resources).

resignation letter

Resignation tips

Write a farewell email

Before your last day, be sure to write a farewell email to everyone in the company that was important to you. Tell them all the great memories you'll share. And ask if you can stay in professional contact, this will help to build a professional network. And can assist in gathering people who might be professional references in the future.

Pro Tip: It can be important to check with the state's unemployment benefits office to find out more information regarding unemployment benefits. Especially in the event of a company layoff, resignation, or termination. New York State's Department of Labor website provides helpful frequently asked questions for unemployed persons that are applicable to many states.

resignation letter

Refer to the company handbook

Vital information is contained in the human resource manual provided to employees during training. One portion each employee should examine is whether they are considered an "at-will" employee. An "at-will" employee can be terminated, without cause, for any reason. Meaning, if the employee submits their resignation letter, with two weeks' notice attached, the employer has the potential to terminate the employee that day. Especially if they are going to work for a competitor.

Avoid a two-page letter

A common mistake from entry-level workers writing their first resignation letter is to write a two-page letter. While it may seem heartfelt to share such an in-depth story, this isn't the best practice. Keep the letter to one page and use the "goodbye email."

Deliver the letter in person

After writing the resignation letter, ask to meet with the manager and deliver the letter in person. During this meeting, the details of the resignation should be discussed. The details should include the desired last day of employment, transition period, reason for resigning, and transition period goals.

Pro tip: Always start with the letter date, followed by the date that you submitted the letter on the top left line of the note itself. Generally speaking, follow a business letter template. Which includes business letter font styles, margins, and font sizing.

Have your reasons for leaving

Good or professional reasons for leaving might include accepting a new position, needing to address family or personal issues, and more. Be sure to have a list of reasons ready as the current company you work for might ask.

Resignation Letter Templates & Samples

Below are resignation letters and letter templates.

resignation letter

Job Title

Format

Reason

By Time

Additional Resources


best resignation letter template

Resignation Letter Template

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

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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