Almost everyone, at one time or another, has found themselves in a situation where they've needed to write a professional resignation letter. Well, now you're in.
Make a resignation formal with a letter
To quit your job properly, you will need to put it in writing. If you have just been offered a new job, then do this sooner rather than later so that you can set a start date.
Stick to the following advice on how to use a resignation letter template:
Download the relevant template and simply fill in your personal details to get the ball rolling in the next step of your career.
Whether you can't wait to escape the clutches of your current employer, or will genuinely be sad to leave, writing a resignation letter is a key career tool. Get it wrong and you could leave with bad feelings – you never know when your paths may cross again. Even if you verbally hand in your notice, you must formalise it with a letter.
Begin as you would any other formal letter, suitably addressed and dated.
It is important to include the date on the resignation letter in the top left line above the address. The date is important as it shows when the letter was originally written. The date format in the UK is day-month-year: 1 July 2018
The address should be in the same format as a traditional business letter template. The company name on the first line, followed by the street address, city and post code.
The addressee will usually be your line manager – you should use their first name. If you think it is necessary, you can address a larger audience such as unit, team, department, or the whole company. But we wouldn’t suggest this as best practice.
Explain your intention to resign along with a brief explanation of your reasons for leaving. People leave their jobs for different reasons so get to the point at the beginning of your letter. This is a great opportunity for you to maintain a positive relationship with your soon-to-be ex-employer, and explain your reasons in a clear and rational way.
It's best to keep this to the one main reason – you're employer doesn't want to read through a long list of why you hated your job so much. If it's a combination of factors, try and stick to whichever is most poignant.
State the date that you believe will be your official leaving date which can be calculated by looking at the notice period stated in your contract. Typically it will be a month but could be much longer for senior positions.
Also state your willingness to work your full notice period. It's not your decision whether you will have the luxury of ‘greenlining leave' or not and any negotiation on leaving earlier than your official notice should be done verbally.
If you are leaving in good circumstances then it is a good idea to thank your boss for the opportunities that they presented to you or for the experience gained whilst working for the company. After all, you may need to get a reference from them.
Even if you are leaving under a cloud, resist the temptation to bad mouth and let off steam. Remember the old adage, ‘don't burn your bridges'.
Handle your resignation letter like you would any business document – professionally. Make sure you leave behind a lasting positive impression of yourself. Unless you want to undo everything that you have accomplished since you first started in this job, your departure must be as deliberate as your arrival.
The closing is how you end your resignation letter: it should be short and polite. You should start your closing two lines below your final body paragraph. Popular closings include Best regards, Sincerely, and Yours truly.
If you are still unsure about what to include in your resignation letter, use one of the templates below. Each is designed to be the ideal tool no matter what sort of job you happen to be resigning from.
– This template provides you the right guidance for writing a simple resignation letter. It gets the job done positively and is suited to organisations which require you to inform both your line manager and Human Resources departments at the same time. It is also suited to people who have been working in their job for a long time and would like to go into detail about their reasons for leaving, perhaps providing feedback.
– This template covers the essentials, but nothing else. It is most suited to people who are unhappy but who do not wish to say anything that might harm getting a good reference.
– This template helps you to request a reduced or shorter notice period than your contract allows for. It is useful if you want to start your new job as soon as possible.
– This template is ideal for people who have decided to retire and who are not moving on to another job in their career.
It is usually a good idea to obtain an acknowledgement of receipt for a letter of resignation - whether by hand or by email. This should ensure there are no later disputes about when notice was formally given.
Whenever you leave a job you're required to give a resignation letter to your employer, even if you've had a face to face discussion. A Standard resignation letter.
Most of the career advice available online focuses on making a good impression when looking for a new job or working towards better pay or a more senior position in your existing role. But what about the impression you make when leaving a job? It’s easy to assume that there’s no need to make a good impression at this point – but in fact, it’s crucial. Even after you leave, you will need to rely on former colleagues, managers and HR departments for references and you never know when you may come across them again in your new role.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts for a successful resignation letter:
What to do
• Do address it to your manager – You don’t need to address your resignation letter to the owner or CEO – addressing it to your line manager is fine as this is the person who will receive the letter and initiate your leaving process. Keep it formal by addressing it to “Dear”, even if you’re on close terms.
• Do cover off all the legal and practical angles – It may sound basic, but in the excitement of moving on to a new role, it’s often the most basic things that are forgotten. Make sure you date your letter and state clearly that you are resigning from your position and include your job title. You should also include details of your contracted notice period and the date you expect your notice period, and therefore your employment, to end. Your employer should then send you a note of acceptance confirming the details laid out in your letter as well as additional points such as any holiday pay owed to you.
• Do ask for a reference – Make sure to mention that you would like to be able to use your employer as a reference in future. This gives them the opportunity to provide you with their preferred contact details, or to prepare a written reference for you to take away with you.
• Do use a template – Often, different countries have slightly different conventions for resignation letters. There are plenty of standard templates available free of charge online to help ensure you follow the correct etiquette.
• Do strike the right tone – Regardless of how informal your work environment is, you do need to submit your resignation in writing. Your resignation is primarily a legal document, so avoid using a chatty tone and stick to Business English, signing off with “Yours sincerely”.
• Do be polite and gracious – Even if you’re leaving your old job because you hate it and can’t wait to stride out of the door, it’s important to leave on amicable terms. When writing your letter, make sure you thank your employer for the opportunities they’ve given you while you’ve been working for them and try to list any skills or highlights of the job that you feel have benefited you. Sign off by wishing them the best for the future.
• Do keep it brief – Your resignation letter should be short and sweet. Keep it to a maximum of 2-3 paragraphs, making sure you cover off all the important practical information. Any other information – such as handovers – can be dealt with over email or in conversation with your manager.
• Do deliver it in person – This piece of advice isn’t just about saving you the cost of a stamp – handing your notice in personally is the polite way to do things. Ideally, you should call a short meeting with your manager and inform them that you are resigning before handing over your letter.
What not to do
• Don’t mention why you are leaving the job – It’s perfectly acceptable to say something generic about your decision to leave, such as a desire to try something new or to seek new opportunities. If you’re particularly disgruntled it may be tempting to mention in your resignation letter that you are moving on to better pay, more favourable benefits, or a more senior role what you didn’t get in your current job. Bear in mind that your resignation letter isn’t the best place for this – but that you may be able to discuss your concerns informally with your manager before you leave.
• Don’t use it as an opportunity to air grievances – Your resignation letter isn’t the appropriate place to share any negative options you may have about your workplace. Most employers will have a formal process in place for allowing leavers to discuss why they are leaving and share any negative experiences, so save any complaints you have about the company, your manager or your colleagues for your exit interview.
• Don’t do it by email – Your resignation should be delivered to your manager in person where possible, so do print it out on paper and deliver it by hand. This helps you look professional and also helps avoid any doubt about when the letter was received.
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Wil is a writer, teacher, learning technologist and keen language learner. He’s taught English in classrooms and online for nearly 10 years, trained teachers in using classroom and web technology, and written e-learning materials for several major websites. He speaks four languages and is currently looking for another one to start learning.
The gig is up—literally—and it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. You’ve already given your two weeks notice and started packing up your desk supplies. There’s just one little thing you still have to do: write your letter of resignation.
Oh, right. That.
What exactly is a resignation letter again? Chances are it’s been a while since you last penned one, so let’s talk about what a resignation letter actually is and why you need to write one.
It’s possible that your company may not require a letter of resignation, but does that mean you don’t need to write one? If this is the case, you probably won’t lose anything by not writing one, but it’s always nice to go the extra mile.
If you’ve had some hiccups during your employment and you’re worried about leaving on less than ideal terms, writing a resignation letter could be especially valuable for you. Just think, this is your last chance to set the record straight about what kind of employee you are and keep those bridges intact.
Spending fifteen minutes to write a resignation letter that outlines what you appreciated about the job and the company you’re leaving is a small price to pay to make sure you leave on good terms. So let’s get started. Here’s an easy three-step guide to help you write the perfect letter that will have your boss singing your praises long after you’re gone.
No need to beat around the bush. They already know you’re leaving, so the beginning of the letter just needs to restate the fact that you are resigning and your planned exit date. You can also include your reason for leaving and future plans here if you like.
Side note: You don’t have to disclose your reason for leaving if you don’t want to. That’s what an exit interview is for, and even then you get to choose the story you tell. Maybe your boss is a nightmare, or you don’t have a new job lined up. Whatever the reason, if you don’t want to share it, don’t.
Be sure to use positive language. When in doubt, skew on the positive. While there is a temptation to express your grievances, try not to use this as a place to vent.
This portion might look something like this:
Dear Amanda [Include Last Name if you work in a more formal environment],
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as [Title, e.g. Senior Developer] as of [End date, e.g. October 12, 2016]. I have received an offer for a management position with a startup company, and after careful consideration, I feel that this is the right career move for me.
Take a minute to reflect. What did you like about this job? What did you learn? What opportunities did you have here that have impacted your career? Even if you can’t wait to get out of this hellhole, you probably wouldn’t have been able to get the job offer you’ve just accepted without the experience you gained here. Everyone loves to hear the words “thank you,” and gratitude has been proven to correlate with happiness, so jot down a few lines about what you have appreciated about this job.
I want to express my gratitude for the knowledge I’ve gained and the skills I have been able to develop in this role. It would not have been possible without your mentorship.
I am thankful for the time I have spent working with every member of our team and the opportunity to develop great professional relationships here. I look forward to staying in touch, and I hope that we can collaborate again in the future.
Before you say #kthxbye and press send, make sure you let your boss know that you fully intend to complete all assigned work, and—if you’re up for it—that you’re available should they have any questions after you’re gone.
Two weeks is a short amount of time for a company to be able to transition your role to someone else, and by allowing them to contact you for (minor) help and questions, you’ll help ease that transition, which will speak volumes to your former employer. This is your opportunity to show that you’re a hard worker with integrity and will help preserve the relationship. It will earn you major brownie points and might even get you a great letter of recommendation.
What you should say:
To ease the transition after my departure, I intend to complete all assigned work before my final day and leave thorough instructions for my replacement. I am happy to assist with any training during my last two weeks. If you have additional questions after my departure date, please feel free to contact me on my cell (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or by email at [email protected].
As with any formal letter, put the date and address of the person you’re writing at the top of the page. And then put it all together. If you're emailing the resignation, you can forgo the address, but keeping it as professional as possible is the name of the game here. If you can add an address header, you may as well.
October 3, 2016
Ms. Amanda Rodriguez
1234 Memory Ln,
Cityville, CO 33333
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as Senior Developer as of October 12, 2016. I have received an offer for a management position with a start-up company, and after careful consideration, I feel that this is the right career move for me.
I want to express my gratitude for the knowledge I’ve gained and the skills I have been able to develop in this role. It would not have been possible without your mentorship. I am thankful for the time I have spent working with every member of our team and the opportunity to develop great professional relationships here. I look forward to staying in touch, and I hope that we can collaborate again in the future.
To ease the transition after my departure, I intend to complete all assigned work before my final day and leave thorough instructions for my replacement. I am happy to assist with any training during my last two weeks. If you have additional questions after my departure date, please feel free to contact me on my cell (xxx-xxx-xxxx) or by email at [email protected]
Now hit send and go celebrate that new job!
You’ve earned it.
Discover how to write a professional resignation letter with tips from Kelly Services.
Resigning from a job, regardless of the pretenses, is a major life decision and should be taken seriously. Crafting and submitting a professional resignation letter is a key aspect of the resignation process and can leave a lasting impression on former and future employers.
Pat Roque, career transformation coach at Rock on Success, described a job resignation letter as being a formal notification of your exit strategy.
"It is a required document that becomes part of your employee records," Roque told Business News Daily. "Think of it as the last chapter of your story at your former company."
Your letter should have a neutral tone that informs your employer that you are leaving and on what date, plus it should offer to assist in the transition to someone new and thank them for the time you were part of the team. Despite your feelings about your job or your boss, being professional, courteous, and helpful provides closure and a positive path forward.
"Always keep the door open, because you never know when you may want to return or even work with other colleagues in a future role elsewhere," said Roque.
James Rice, head of digital marketing at WikiJob, said that although you will likely be expected to hand in a standard resignation letter, it is usually best to schedule a meeting with your boss to personally give them the letter and discuss your resignation in person.
Although the specific contents of your job resignation letter can be tailored to your job and company, there are a few basic elements that should always be included. Regardless of the circumstances, keep it simple and concise.
Roque suggested including the following elements:
Alex Twersky, co-founder of Resume Deli, added that offering to assist in training a replacement, preparing the team for your departure and expressing gratitude are important elements of a job resignation letter.
"Conjure up ... the best time at your job and have that image top of mind when you write your resignation letter," said Twersky. "Let your boss think they were great, even if they weren't. [You might] get a good recommendation out of it."
Just as important as knowing what to say in a resignation letter, is knowing what not to say. Many resigning employees make the mistake of including too many personal details and emotional statements in their official letters.
When you are writing an official resignation letter, omit the following details:
When writing your letter, try not to burn your bridges as you may need them in the future.
"Your employers may be providing you with a reference, or if you are staying in the same field, you may still network in the same circles or want to return in the future," said Rice. "It is always good to keep in touch with your old colleagues and with social networks like LinkedIn, it may be hard to avoid them."
These are also good tips to keep in mind when you have the conversation informing your supervisor or manager that you are leaving. Short and simple is fine; there is no reason to explain your reasons if you don't want to. Just stay polite, respectful and professional throughout the discussion.
Based on advice from our experts, here is an all-purpose resignation letter template you can fill in with your personal details. Remember, you are not required to include your reason for resigning in your letter.
Dear [supervisor's name],
Please accept this letter as my formal resignation from my role as [title]. My last day with [company] will be [end date].
To ease the transition after my departure, I am happy to assist you with any training tasks during my final weeks on the job. I intend to leave thorough instructions and up-to-date records for my replacement.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the knowledge and experience I have gained by working here. I am very grateful for the time I have spent on our team and the professional relationships I've built. It's been a pleasure working for you, and I hope our paths will cross again in the future.
[Your signature and printed name]
If you opt to provide a reason for leaving, either in your letter or during the conversation with your employer, be clear and positive, focusing on what you are gaining from the change and not the circumstances that caused it. Always maintain your professionalism and keep things formal.
"Remember that people leave their jobs every day, and your manager will be used to the process," said Rice. "If you are courteous and thoughtful when resigning from your job, you will make the process easier for everyone and set yourself on the right path for future success."
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Marci Martin. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
Negotiate the delicate process of writing your resignation letter including a sample. Find more career advice at triochitarristicodiroma.com