Resignation Letter Writing Guide [+Templates, Samples, Tips]

Resigning at the start of a new year and a fresh outlook on the year ahead seems like a pretty good reboot. It’s nonetheless a big move and you’ll want to do it right. Once you have decided to waltz your way out of the current position, you should start crafting a formal resignation letter or resignation email.

Allow me to remind you how important it is to write a carefully-crafted resignation letter. For starters, it could strengthen relationships and build your future network. The more the merrier and that applies to friends in the workplace. You never know what the quirk of fate will bring you. Second, the resignation letter or resignation email will stick with you in the employment file, and future employers might factor this in when considering you’re a viable candidate or not.

Once the resignation letter is sealed and sent to both the HR department and your employer, a couple of weeks more before you can escape from the extenuating office. But what should and shouldn’t be included in your professional resignation letter or resignation email? How to write a polite resignation letter or email that can win you a competitive reference letter?

Resignation Letter or Resignation Email?

Whenever possible, it’s best to quit one’s job face-to-face with a formal resignation letter to show gratitude for all the training and time spent on you. But circumstances arise.

In 2020, the pandemic throws us a wrench, many have been forced to work remotely and social distancing. That makes providing notice in-person not feasible. A resignation email thus becomes acceptable. You want to do that professionally and courteously so as to leave smoothly.

How to Write a Resignation Letter / Resignation Email?
- 5 Things to Include

The structure of a polite resignation letter is akin to that of a resignation email. Do it right and others will pale by comparison. Here are 5 pertinent parts we recommend you to put in the resignation letter or resignation email.

Header & Salutation

For a resignation letter, you should include contact information(name, title, company name, address, phone number, email address) at the top of the page. Introduce your letter with a formal salutation, address the recipient by name such as “Dear First Name.”

As for a resignation email, the email subject line should be: [Resignation- Your Name]. The title gets down to brass tacks and you’ll employer won’t postpone reading it.

Paragraph 1: Date and Reason

Your resignation statement should include the position you’re resigning from and the date on which your resignation will be effective. You should also write down the day you hand in your notice. There is no need to sugarcoat or get creative, make this paragraph crisp and clear. If you’re not sure about the notice period, you should take a look at the staff handbook or the contract you signed when you were hired.  

As for the reason for departure, one or two sentences (max) should suffice. There’s no need to share your future career-planning or health condition with your employer in the resignation letter or resignation email. You could, however, mention that you’ve thought carefully about leaving. 

📌 A heads-up — don’t lie.

Your next gig might be in the same industry, and lying can lead to serious consequences. Don’t even try to hide elephants in mouseholes. There’s no need to unveil everything nor lie to your employer. Just keep the resignation statement concise and clear.

Paragraph 2: Appreciation

Show appreciation in your resignation letter and resignation email. Be it long or short, you must have gained some experiences during the days in the office.

To end things on a good note, saying thank you will foster a positive transition. Not to mention that you might need a reference letter from your employer down the line. Don’t burn your bridges, keeping a good relationship with your employer might reward you someday in the future.

Paragraph 3: Transition

State your willingness to make this transaction as smooth as you can in the resignation letter and resignation email. Consider it works ethics: offering to train your replacement is not mandatory but recommended. It not only helps the transition go smoothly but eliminates any inconvenience caused by your departure. Train your replacement the way you want to walk into your new job.

Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver, but a couple of lines stating that you’ll ensure a smooth wrap-up of your duties shows you’re willing to contribute to the very last minute.

Paragraph 4: Reference ( Optional )

Before signing on the dotted line for your next gig, your potential employer might ask you for your reference letter. You can ask for a reference letter in the resignation letter or resignation email. If you’ve followed this guide carefully, your former boss should be pretty impressed and is more likely to write you a reference letter. 

Last but not least, remember your signature at the end of the resignation letter and resignation email. 

3 Pieces of Advice for Your Resignation Letter & Resignation Email 

To ensure a happy quitting, here are three pieces of advice for you.

1. Keep the resignation letter and resignation email positive and concise

Keep the letter positive, or at least neutral. Avoid including a negative or disparaging tone about the company. Details for leaving the company can also be dismissed for it could get a little judgmental or overly subjective. Your resignation letter and resignation email will be included in your employment file and could be shared with potential future employers. Not only a professionally written resignation letter can help you leave your job on a positive note but build your professional prowess. 

💡 Tips: Concision is equally important, which is basically the essence of a good resignation letter. One page is maximum, as with all resignation letters or resignation emails, brevity is advantageous.

2. Propper Formatting

Don’t miss the basic writing formats. You’re leaving the company for good, don’t slack off on the home straight. Write in traditional fonts such as Time News Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Single spaced and 10-12 points are preferable. Again, the letter will be in your employment record, so make it a business letter format. Remember to proofread the resignation letter or resignation email before sending it out.

3. Send your notice to the right people

Right people include your employer and HR department, this can be easily forgotten. For your teammates, you can leave them a farewell message to colleagues after resignation. 

Likewise, for your resignation email, remember to carbon copy (CC) the HR department. You can also send a copy to your personal email account for your own sake. You might not be able to access your email account once your employer receives your resignation letter or email.

Resignation Letter Templates & Formats

Now that you know all the tricks of writing a resignation letter and resignation email, suppose you have little idea how to put together one polite and formal resignation letter. it can be helpful to look at some resignation letter templates and incorporate some of them into your letter. These resignation letter samples can also help you with the layout of your email, such as the placement of different sections. But you should always tailor a message suitable for your audience and personal circumstances. Here are the two types of resignation letter samples for you to choose from.

Formal Resignation Letter Template 

[Your name]
[Your address]
[Your personal phone number]
[Your personal email address]
[The date]
[Name of employer]
[Company address]

Dear [Your Boss’ Name],

Please accept this letter as formal resignation from my position as [Your position title] with [Company Name]. Per the terms of my contract, my last day of work will be [date of your last day—usually two weeks from the date you give notice], two weeks from today. 

I have appreciated my [number of years of employment] years at [Company name] and the opportunities that it brought me. I’ve learned [a few specific skills/tasks you’ve learned/accomplished on the job], all of which I will take with me throughout my career. Also, I have enjoyed having the pleasure of working with some great people. 

During my last two weeks, I’ll do what I can to help make my leaving as easy as possible for the company. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to aid during the transition.

Best wishes to you and all at [Company Name] in the future.

Sincerely yours,
[Your Name]

Simple Resignation Letter Sample 

[Your name]
[Your address]
[Your personal phone number]
[Your personal email address]
[The date]
[Name of employer]
[Company address]

Dear [Your Boss’ Name], 

I would like to notify you that I’m resigning from the position as [Your position title] with [Company Name], effective [date of your last day]. 

I am grateful for all of your support during my time here and deeply appreciate all of the valuable experiences I have gained. It has been a sincere pleasure working with you and the team. I’ll always cherish my time spent with all of you. 

During my last two weeks, I intend to wrap up my final projects and delegate all other responsibilities to my replacement. If I can be of any assistance during the transition, please don’t hesitate to ask. 

I wish the company continued success.

Thank you for everything, 
[Your Name] 

Resignation Email Examples

Looking for resignation email inspirations? Here are two resignation email templates for you. Immediate resignation is not ideal, but in some cases (family, personal or other issues), you may need to leave your job without giving notice. Here are two resignation email templates if you’re resigning immediately or would like to give in more details for your resignation.

Immediate Resignation Email

Email Subject Line: Immediate Resignation - Your Name

Dear [Your Boss’ Name], 

Regretfully, I must submit my immediate resignation for personal reasons. 

My time at [Your Company] has been instrumental in my personal growth. I deeply appreciate all of the valuable experiences I have gained. Thank you for your mentorship for the [Time you Stay in the Company]. 

I do not intend to inconvenience you with this news, please accept my sincere apologies and help in the transition. I’m happy to help screen and train replacement via video conferencing. 

If necessary, I’m available for phone and email inquiries. Please contact me at [You Email] or [Your Telephone Number]. 

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. 

Respectfully yours, 
[Your Name] 

Resignation Email with Reasons

Email Subject Line: Immediate Resignation - Your Name

Dear [Your Boss’ Name], 

I write to inform you that I’m resigning from my position here as [Your Job Title] with [Company Name]. My last day will be [Two Weeks From Now], two weeks from today. Family circumstances currently require my full time and attention. 

Thank you so much for all of the opportunities this company has provided me. I have learned so much during[Time you Stay in the Company]. I’ll forever cherish the kindness of all colleagues. 

Let me know if I can be of any help to make this transition easier. You can always contact me at [Your Email] or [Your Telephone Number]. 

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. 

Respectfully yours/Sincerely/Best,
[Your Name]

Final Note: Stay Strong

I hope these resignation letters and resignation email templates help you build yours. Feel free to adjust them based on your experience and company culture. Remember to go through the letter a couple of times before delivering the resignation letter in person or sending the resignation email. Do check the format and content of your resignation letter and make sure it’s polished and solid.

Don’t put off handing your notice in, get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Once it’s all said and done, the gut-wrenching feeling will gradually disappear. Last but not least, happy quitting and good luck on your next journey.

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