The moment you’ve waited for has arrived: it’s time to hand in your resignation letter and officially start the countdown until your last day. Eek!
Writing a resignation letter can bring on many different emotions, from excitement to anxiety, but it’s an important part of ending your tenure with a company on a professional note. We’ll explain how to write a resignation letter and share some sample resignation letters to use when putting together your own.
What is a resignation letter?
A resignation letter is the formal notice you give your employer when you’re leaving your job. It’s the documentation your company will keep as a record of your departure. It should clearly state that you’re resigning and give a date when your employment will end. A resignation letter can be in the form of a printed letter or an email.
Why it’s important to resign in writing
When you’re leaving a job, it’s best to have an in-person conversation with your boss to let them know before you tell anyone else. So do you also need to send a resignation letter? The answer is yes.
A resignation letter serves as the official written notice that you’re leaving. Most HR departments will require a resignation letter to begin their resignation process, which includes processing your final paycheck, paying out any time off you’ve accrued, preparing tax documents and coordinating the transfer of your benefits packages.
Additionally, a resignation letter is a professional norm that helps conclude your employment on a positive note and leave your manager with a favorable impression of you.
When you should send a letter
You should send (or hand) your resignation letter to your boss and your company’s HR manager after you’ve broken the news to your boss personally. It’s a good idea to send one as soon as you’re ready to give notice so you can begin wrapping up your work and give HR plenty of time to handle the administrative side of your departure.
What to include
A statement of your resignation
Begin with the fact that you’re resigning from your job.
Your last day of work
Ideally, you should give at least two weeks’ notice. For some positions, like leadership roles, it’s standard to give a month’s notice or more.
A thank you
Convey a gracious tone by expressing your gratitude to your employer for the opportunity to work for them.
A personal note
If you’re leaving on amicable terms, it’s nice to include a few personal words directed at your boss, like your appreciation for their guidance or mentorship.
Contact and transition details
Include your non-work contact information and the (optional) offer to be of assistance in the transition to your replacement.
What you should omit
- Too many personal details. Avoid getting into too many specifics about why you’re leaving. A simple explanation like the fact that you’ve taken a new job or are leaving for personal reasons is sufficient.
- Complaints. A resignation letter is not the place to air your grievances about your employer or manager. You may need a reference from them down the road.
- Suggestions. Even if you have constructive ideas for how things could be improved, save these for your exit interview.
Resignation letter sample #1
Resignation letter sample #2
Taking the time to write a thoughtful, polished resignation letter formally kicks off the end of your employment while maintaining the positive, professional reputation you’ve worked hard to build.