If you quit your job, you are not alone.
In April 2021 alone, around 4 million people quit their jobs, according to the Labor Statistics Office. This number is the highest since the Office began collecting such rates.
Even with millions quitting their jobs every month, we know telling your boss that you’re leaving is never easy. A respectful letter of resignation can mean the difference between an uncomfortable goodbye and the chance for a long-term professional relationship.
Ideally, you should submit a letter of resignation two weeks before you leave the company. With a resignation letter, you can officially announce your resignation to the company and contain important housekeeping information, such as your last day and other details about your departure.
An effective one will help you keep a positive conversation with your boss and ensure a smooth transition to your next trip.
But how do you write a good letter of resignation? What should you include and exclude?
How do I write a professional resignation letter?
Your resignation letter should be short and contain only relevant and helpful information. Don’t focus on the benefits of your next role. Instead, take the time to reflect on the appreciation you have for the company you are leaving behind.
Writing a resignation letter can feel like a daunting task, so we’ve created a professional-grade resignation letter template to get you started and included examples for inspiration.
What should I put in a letter of resignation?
Writing a professional resignation letter starts with understanding each of its components:
1. Notice of withdrawal and end date
Start your letter by stating your position in the company. This may seem redundant if you work in a small business and your boss knows you well, but it’s important to include it as the letter is your official resignation. Along with this information, there should be a simple statement of your withdrawal.
Providing an end date in the first main part is also helpful as this is one of the first questions your employer will have.
This is what this first paragraph could look like in practice:
I would like to inform you that I am doing my job as [Position Name] Per [Company Name], Effective [Date].
Take the time to think about how you’ve grown or what you valued most about your time at the company. Be as specific as possible – maybe the company offers professional development opportunities, or maybe you enjoyed the climate the company promotes and the supportive atmosphere.
It is also nice for your employer to receive a thank you for the time and resources they have devoted to supporting your career growth. Here is an example of what that might look like:
I appreciate the professional development opportunities you have offered me over the past two years. I enjoyed my tenure at [Company Name] and are particularly honored to be part of such a supportive team.
You can also indicate where you want to go next if you want. For example, if you are changing industries to pursue a passion or to graduate from college, it may be appropriate to include that. For example:
I have accepted a position [New Job Title], and I look forward to [pursuing my passion in X or continuing my work with a focus on Y].
However, if you are leaving the company for a competitor, it is better to leave out such information.
3. Transition details
In the third paragraph, mention your willingness to make the transition easier. For example:
If I can help you with this transition, please let me know. I am available to train my representative and ensure that all of my reports are updated before my last day of work.
This sentence might look different to you. But no matter what you write, it is good practice to provide specific details about how you will help.
As an optional follow-up paragraph, take a quick look at the work that you will hand over when you officially leave the company. While it is technically your manager’s responsibility to pick up this work and determine how to proceed, it is helpful to list all the projects and tasks that you have been responsible for to make the transition even easier for the company in the meantime .
If you have not held a managerial position or work with other departments, you can skip this part.
4. Personal contact information
This last paragraph is optional and does not need to be included all the time, especially if you don’t have a request or want to use your former employer as a reference. However, many candidates choose to maintain their professional network, so such a closure can look like this:
Thank you again for the opportunity to work at [Company Name]. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing from you. You can email me at [Email Address].
Professional resignation letter template
With the above template in mind, let’s consider some sample resignation letters for different positions, each of which takes on a slightly different but amicable tone.
1. Template for a friendly letter of resignation
2. Sample for a short letter of resignation
3. Template for an immediate letter of resignation
While the best way to quit a job is to quit at least two weeks in advance and offer to help with the transition, sometimes circumstances make it impossible. If you have to quit your job without notice, you need an immediate letter of resignation.
Here is an example that can help:
Free templates for professional resignation letters
Download the templates now
Sometimes the nature of your position calls for a more specific letter of resignation when you leave. Below are some templates to help these more dynamic roles gracefully exit the company.
1. Template for a letter of termination from the contractor
If you are a freelancer, you may need to adjust the focus of your resignation letter so that it covers your final assignments and how exactly you will part with your client. This includes your current tasks, what tasks you are not doing, and how you will accept your final payment.
2. Template for the letter of resignation from executives
If you hold a managerial or managerial position, a short email or two-paragraph communication to your manager may not be sufficient as an official resignation. Since these roles are more difficult to fill, you can play a more important role in the transition period – especially as you manage more people and decide on the direction of more projects.
The following template divides the resignation into two sections – the first is the resignation itself, and the second, how (and with whom) the work of resignation will continue. This is just one of the different templates we offer.
Ready to write your resignation letter?
No matter what role you are, why you are leaving, and who you are informing, be courteous in your resignation letter. Gratitude and leaving support go far with employers, and the last thing you want to do is leave the company pissed off – even if you leave for a sour reasons.
By taking inspiration from resignation letter templates and templates, you will protect your bridges and keep your professional network intact when you begin your next adventure.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for completeness.