How to write a resignation letter
An effective resignation letter typically has four main sections:
- Resignation statement. Include your job title, company name and your last day.
- Transition assistance. Offer to help find or train a replacement before leaving.
- Appreciation. Briefly explain how grateful you are for your experience with the company.
- Next steps. If your contract doesn’t outline a resignation process, ask how to proceed.
For example, the company may want to break the news to the rest of the team in a certain way. In some cases, your boss may want you to leave the premises immediately.
Stick to the most relevant details and avoid oversharing. The more intimate details you include, the more likely you are to let something slip that rubs your ex-employer the wrong way.
Resignation letter sample
There’s no need to start writing your resignation letter from scratch. To save time and ensure you sound professional, feel free to pull from examples you find online.
A resignation letter serves a very simple purpose. You don’t earn extra points by being creative.
You’ll have to tweak your message based on your unique situation, but here is a general structure to follow:
Dear [Supervisor’s name],
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my position as [Your job title] with [Company]. My last day will be [Date].
To make the transition easier for you, I am happy to help find and train a replacement before I leave. If there is anything else I can do to streamline the process, please don’t hesitate to ask.
This decision was not easy, and I want to thank you for helping me grow professionally over the past [Time period]. I am extremely grateful for the time I’ve spent as part of the [Company] team, and I hope we cross paths in the future.
(Optional) Please let me know if there is a certain resignation protocol to follow.
Alternatively, you could flip the structure and start by expressing gratitude:
Dear [Supervisor’s name],
Working for [Company] has been a great pleasure, and I want to thank you in particular for helping me grow professionally over the past [Time period].
However, I have made the difficult decision to explore other opportunities. Please accept this letter as my formal resignation. My last day will be [Date].
I am happy to help find and train a replacement before I leave. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to streamline the process or if there is a certain resignation protocol to follow.
I hope we cross paths again in the future.
What not to put in your two weeks notice letter
When it comes to resignation letters, less is more.
This isn’t a time to air out your dirty laundry or list out all the complaints you have with a company. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
And as you can see in the sample letter, it’s not always necessary to include a reason for quitting. Your boss will ask if they want to know, but ultimately, it’s your business.
The same goes if you are legitimately sad to be leaving. There’s no need to dive into a heartfelt explanation about how the company has changed your life or how bummed you are to say goodbye.
If you’re compelled to share this information — and you’re doing everything you can to quit the right way — you can share it verbally in your resignation meeting.
Of course, if you have a good relationship with your boss, you may feel like an explanation is needed. If you’re quitting due to a relocation, maternity leave or other personal reasons, adding a brief explanation in your letter can help lessen the blow.
Just be careful if you’re leaving for a better opportunity with another company. Avoid any phrasing that implies your current company is inferior.
To play it safe, assume that a future employer will contact your boss or co-workers at some point. Don’t include anything in your letter that would compromise their opinion of you.
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How to hand in your resignation letter
If you’re unhappy with your job, it’s tempting to shoot your boss a text message saying, “See you never!”
Tempting, but not wise.
The way you quit a job affects your reputation. And even if you don’t list your ex-boss as a reference, there’s nothing stopping a potential employer from calling them to get dirt on you.
That’s why it’s best not to burn bridges. Delivering your two-weeks-notice letter in person shows respect and professionalism, which is exactly what you want to be remembered for.
If you work remotely, schedule a video chat with your boss to break the news, then send them your two-weeks resignation email.
In some cases, two weeks' notice may not be convenient. For example, if you found a dream job in a different state, you may want to cut your notice short to give yourself time to relocate.
Keep in mind that, if you have an employment contract, it may require that you provide two weeks notice — or more. Even if you’re legally in the clear, leaving in a rush puts your manager in a tough spot.
If you’re sincere and have a legitimate excuse, most reasonable humans will understand. To lessen the sting, give your notice as soon as possible with a genuine apology.
Then, find ways to be extra helpful during your last days. That might mean working longer hours to help your boss prepare for the transition or even offering remote assistance for a set period after you leave.
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